On November 15th, forty days prior to the celebration of the Feast of our Lord’s Nativity, the Holy Orthodox Church begins the Christmas Fast. This period of six weeks is often called Advent, which means the Coming, and refers to the Coming of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Mystery of His Holy Nativity.
Christmas and Epiphany are Feasts of Light, celebrating the Coming and Manifestation of Christ, the Light of the world. Nature itself helps us to experience these Feasts of Light. With the coming of the winter the days get shorter and the nights longer, but once we reach Christmas Day itself the reverse begins to happen. Nature prepares for the Coming of Christ, the Light in the darkness – and so do we during the Holy Season of Advent.
To help in our preparation, we will have an Advent Wreath in Church. The Wreath made of evergreens will have six candles on it – on for each week in Advent. Each Sunday, beginning November 18th , along with special prayers, we will light a candle on the wreath – as we prepare ourselves to receive Christ the Light of the world into our hearts.
The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light.
For those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death,
A light is risen.
For unto us a Child is born. :Unto us a Son is given.
And of His peace there shall be no end.