So often people ask, “Where are the young priests?” Well, whatever their age when called, priests are needed for parishes. One thing that parishes who want good priests should do is pray that God would send us good priests, develop good priests at good seminaries, where good faculty teach good doctrine. First God must call these men, and we should pray that God would do so.
There are special lessons and collects. One such collect is listed along with the Epistle and Gospel in the 1928 Prayer Book for the Eucharist for an ember day. The Missal has specific collects and epistle and gospel lessons for eucharists specific to that particular ember day. The Proposed Prayer Book of 1928, an English edition, has some extra collects that are nice as well. For example,
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who hast purchased to thyself an universal Church by the precious blood of thy dear Son: Mercifully look upon the same, and so guide and govern the minds of thy servants the Bishops and Pastors of thy flock, that they may lay hands suddenly on no man, but faithfully and wisely make choice of fit persons to serve in the sacred ministry of thy Church. And to those which shall be ordained to any holy function give thy grace and heavenly benediction; that both by their life and doctrine they may set forth thy glory, and set forward the salvation of all men; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, who of thy divine providence hast appointed divers Orders in thy Church: Give thy grace, we humbly beseech thee, to all those who are to be called to any office and administration in the same; and so replenish them with the truth of thy doctrine, and endue them with innocency of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee, to the glory of thy great name, and the benefit of thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This indicates one thing that we can do on behalf of seminarians on ember days: We can go to mass if it is offered and encourage that our priests offer Holy Communion on those days.
Another thing that can be done in saying our daily prayers is recite the Litany for Ordinations on page 560 in the Prayer Book. Pleading divine grace for this issue is a matter of prayer, fasting and humiliation. There is another good litany for Embertide that is for private recitation and is found in G. A. C. Whatton’s The Priest’s Companion: A Manual of Instructions and Prayers for Priests and Religious. It has three different collect options for the end of the Litany, which can be used consecutively if this Litany is said on the three Ember days at the four seasons. The three collects are:
O God, the Sanctifier and Preserver of thy Church, raise up in her (and most chiefly in this seminary) through thy Spirit worthy and faithful stewards of thy Mysteries: that, with thee as their protector, the Christian people may by their ministry and example be directed into the way of salvation.
O God, who didst command thy disciples, as with fasting they ministered before thee, to separate Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto thou hadst called them: be now with thy Church as she fasts and prays; and do thou, who knowest the hearts of all men, show unto her those whom thou hast chosen for the work of the ministry; through Christ our Lord. Amen. (Innsbruck Seminary Manual)
O God, who, for the glory of thy Majesty and the salvation of mankind, didst constitute thine Only-Begotten Son as the eternal High-Priest, mercifully grant; that those whom he has chosen to be the ministers and stewards of his Holy Mysteries may ever remain steadfast in the fulfilment of the ministry committed unto them; through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. (Roman Missal)
In these ways, we can utilize the Ember Days to our spiritual growth and for the welfare of God’s holy Church.