Today is the first Ember Day for this quarter, a day of fasting and prayer. Traditionally, the weather today foretells the weather of January. Clear, bright, sunny... and very chilly. Very chilly indeed.
The medieval Golden Legend says that winter is cold and moist [with which we have no argument here]. In winter (says the writer), we fast to chastise the coldness of untruth and of malice, to be mortified to the world as the dying plants, to lessen the phlegm of lightness, forgetting, and inconstancy, and to become ancient and old by prudence and an honest life.
Modern prayers tend to be for our clergy, for our right use of the world's resources, for women facing childbirth, and for justice. All of these are good intentions, and should keep your prayer-life busy for these three days.