Reflect Emmanuel

Reflect Emmanuel

Reflect Emmanuel is a series of Advent meditations on Emmanuel, our God with us

Dennis Paul, Collegiate Press

December 1, 2015

Dennis Paul, Collegiate Press

Greek Orthodox Christmas Feast

“A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.”

  —Isaiah 11:1-10

Orthodox Nativity Icon

How is He contained in a womb, whom nothing can contain? And how can He who is the bosom of the Father be held in the arms of His Mother? This is according to His good pleasure, as He knows and wishes. For being without flesh, of His own will has He been made flesh; and He Who Is, for our sakes has become that which He was not. Without departing from His own nature He has shared in our substance. Desiring to fill the world on high with citizens, Christ has undergone a twofold birth.

Orthodox Nativity Advent Calendar Icon

This Orthodox Nativity Advent Calendar starts at the beginning of the Nativity feast, November 15th -28th through December 25th -January 7th. There is a window to be opened each day of the feast. This will reveal the saints commemorated that day.

On November 15th, many Orthodox Christian families will begin a journey to the Feast of the Nativity which is celebrated as Christmas in the US and Canada, on December 25th. The Feast is preceded by a fast which, while not as strict as Lent, is observed as a kind of winter Lenten season in preparation for Christ at His birth.

Christians who grew up celebrating western Christmas observe four Sundays of Advent , a period of preparation for the celebration on December 25, but Orthodox Christians commemorate six Sundays of Advent which fall in the forty days of preparation.

The Orthodox Advent calendar is a helpful teaching tool; calendars can aid parents as they assist their children in preparing for the Feast of the Nativity. Doors opening each day highlight art, saints or scriptures that tell the story of the season, and kids often look forward to seeing what is behind the next door as the countdown to Christmas continues...

This Great Lent of Christmas in the Orthodox Religion is a time to give Thanks to All.

The Birth of Christ is the symbol of bearing gifts, and allows understanding for our religious faith. As we celebrate this Great Lent for forty days, from November to Christmas Day it is our practice to help those who are in need of our gifts. We learn from the three Wise Men who upon entering the stable, gave to the Christ: hope, faith, and charity.

The approaching days of the Christmas Feast we cleanse our bodies through fasting and prayer.

The blessings we receive on Christmas Day is the devotion from our faith. We kiss the Nativity Icon, our gift, “Christ the King” on this holy day. Christ the King was born to all, and shared by all. Remembering our faith, we share amongst our parish.