Gaudete in Domino semper! Ember Days as Advent calm in the storm of Christmas prep
In the western church, we have lost much of the penitential nature of Advent. From friends who were Byzantine Catholic, I had learned that there was an Advent fast. It is not as severe as the Lenten fast, but in both liturgy and actions our eastern rite brothers and sisters were a bit more focused on trying to make Advent a real time of preparation.