As we get closer to the the great feast of our Lord’s Nativity, let’s prepare to celebrate this joyous occasion with reverence and thanksgiving for all that God has done for us. The Nativity celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. For Christians, this birth was no ordinary event. It was the coming of God in the flesh. On this day, the uncreated One comes to be born. He enters our world of sin and death to rescue us from our fallen state and unite us to God.
Throughout the holiday season we will attend parties, visit family, feast on fine food and drink, give and receive gifts from one another, and above everything else, we will sanctify the season and ourselves through the liturgical celebration of the Church.
The miracle of the Nativity is a mystery containing timeless truth about God and all humanity, but we do not come to know this truth through books or sermons. It can only be known by experience as we journey along the path given to us by God in the Divine services of the Church. We will celebrate the following services and Liturgies:
Sundays, December 13 & 20:
Divine Liturgy at 9:30am. On these days, we will remember to great saints of the Church, Saint Herman of Alaska on Dec 13 and St. John of Kronstadt in Russia on Dec. 20. On both of these days, we also remember the Old Testament faithful who prepared the way for Christ. Fr. Daniel will continue to teach on the Old Testament in the homily reminding us of its significance for us today. just as the Old Testament faithful prepared to receive the Messiah, we must prepare to receive Christ in our hearts on the Feast of Nativity.
Thursday, December 24:
Baptismal Divine Liturgy at 3:00pm. We will celebrate the Liturgy of St. Basil along with the baptisms of Logan Arakelov and Phinley Montague followed by our Nativity Holy Supper. Please bring a Lenten dish to share.
Vigil for Nativity at 7:00pm. The vigil contains all of our favorite Orthodox hymns for Nativity and prepares us for the following day’s Divine Liturgy. Following the Vigil, we invite you to join our choir in singing traditional, Western Christmas carols.
Friday, December 25:
Divine Liturgy for Nativity at 9:30 am. This is high point of the Feast. After this Liturgy, we break the fast and begin the Feast.
Saturday, December 26:
Divine Liturgy for the Synaxis of the Theotokos at 9:30am. The day after Nativity, we remember the virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord, who played such an important role in the Nativity. Immediately following the Liturgy, we will serve Vespers for the Feast of St. Stephen
Divine Liturgy for the Feast of St. Stephen the Protomartyr at 9:30am. Our parish is dedicated to St. Stephen so we look forward to his celebration each year. Since it falls on a Sunday, we will have a special Christmas presentation by our children using both English and Russian language.
Please mark your calendars and prepare your hearts to worship the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in spirit and in truth on this Great and Holy Feast.