One of the most curious things concerning the traditional liturgical calendar, at least to this writer, is the placement of the summer Ember Days during the octave of Pentecost. Today is Ember Wednesday, a first class liturgy. But, if one follows the discipline of the Church in place during the 1962 calendar, it is also a day of fasting and partial abstinence (one full meal with meat and two small meatless meals).
The Ember Days this week -- Ember Wednesday, Ember Friday and Ember Saturday -- have a unique feature compared to the other nine Ember Days. All Masses this week are with red vestments. The Alleluia is said/sung. The Pentecost sequence is said/sung. It is still Pentecost. But three Ember Days are within the octave.
An interesting piece of trivia is that there was a time in the Church's history where this curious mix of feast and fast was severed. The Ember Days were observed as Masses during the octave of Pentecost like the 1962 calendar. But their corresponding fast and abstinence disciplines were delayed a few weeks. That ended when Pope Gregory VII in the 11th century treated the summer Ember Days like the other three seasons, with fasts on all three days, partial abstinence on Ember Wednesday and Ember Saturday and, of course, complete abstinence on Ember Friday.
This is all a moot point with the novus ordo, as Paul VI virtually eliminated the Ember Days and almost all fasting and abstinence in the 1960s.
But it remains a very interesting week for those who follow the traditional calendar and voluntarily follow the disciplines in place during the 1962 calendar, including Ember Day fasting and abstinence. A week of festive Pentecost Masses, yet with three days of penance during the octave, the way it was under pain of mortal sin from the late 11th century through the late 20th century.
Having said that, the purpose of the Ember Days outweighs everything else: priests. This week, during the Ember Days, we pray for many more.