Lafayette, La., Dec 24, 2019 / 10:08 am (CNA).- Father Matthew Barzare blessed 100 gallons of water on the Ember Saturday of Advent, which was then loaded into a crop-duster and sprayed over fields and the town of Cow Island, Louisiana.
“The blessing was the brainchild of L’Eryn Detraz, a missionary currently stationed in Ohio who is a native of Cow Island,” according to a Facebook post from the Diocese of Lafayette.
The Dec. 21 blessing took place after Mass at St. Anne church in Cow Island, about 35 miles southwest of Lafayette.
Fr. Barzare told NPR that “It does have a history for us in our Catholic faith, that the priests would bless the fields, and of course the community, around certain times of the year, especially harvest times. We call them ember days.”
“Most parishes have a central location, but my area that I have to cover is a good 30 minutes to the next church, and so by plane, we realized, it might be the easiest way to sprinkle people’s fields, rather than me going in a car to different locations,” he added.
Ember Days were traditionally days of fast and abstinence. They are tied to the seasons of the year, and are held on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of four weeks: the third week of September, the third week of Advent, the first week of Lent, and the octave of Pentecost.