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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center

Great Feast of the Nativity According to the Flesh of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ Cycle - Preparation

Cycle Preparing Preparing
Fasting
Royal
Hours
of
Paramony
Morning
Feast
Nativity
Vespers
Div. Lit.
24th
Evening
Div. Lit.
25th
Morning
Divine
Liurgy
Changable
Prayers
Homily Celebrating

 

Cycle Preparing Preparing
Fast
2nd
Sun.
bef.
Sun.
bef.
Prep.
Day
2nd
Day
3th
Day
4th
Day
Royal
Hours
of
Paramony
Feast
Nativity
Celebrating

 

Theology
Fasting
Definition
Fasting
Periods
Fasting
Nativity
Fasting
Prophonisimon
Fasting
Great Lent
Great Week
Theology
Fasting
Great Lent
Great Week
Guidelines
Fasting
Our Lady's
Fasting
Apostles
Fasting
Holy Theophany
Fasting
Exaltation
Holy Cross
Fasting
People
Excused
from
Fasting

 

Cycle Preparing and Celebrating Preparing (Fasting, Praying, and Performing Charity) Fasting Praying Performing Charity Feasting (Celebrating)

The article below was written by Rev. Fr. James Graham, Pastor of Saint Elias the Prophet Melkite Greek Catholic Mission, San Jose, CA. The article appeared in THE VOICE OF THE PROPHET, News from St Elias the Prophet Melkite Greek Catholic Mission, Volume 8, Number 12, December 2002.

Every Day in December is Preparation for the Nativity of Christ

Sometimes people ask when Advent begins in our Greek Catholic Church. The answer is that it doesn't, because the Byzantine Church does not celebrate Advent (which means the "coming") as the Latin Church does. However, in our tradition, the preparation for the Nativity of Christ begins 40 days before Christmas, with the Nativity Fast that begins on 15 November. When the Melkite Church transferred the beginning of the fast to 10 December, we lost an aspect of tradition that emphasized the importance of Christmas by assigning it a preparatory fasting period as long as the Great Lent that comes before Easter. But when we look at the weeks leading up to the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Lord on 25 December, we can see a pattern of spiritual and liturgical preparation that in some ways resembles the Western churches' Advent season. From 26 November, 30 days before Christmas, we sing the Kontakion of the Preparation for Christmas at every Sunday and feast-day liturgy. This Kontakion tells us, "Today the Virgin is on her way to the cave where she will give birth to the Eternal Word of God in an ineffable manner. Rejoice, therefore, O Universe, when you hear this news, and glorify, with the angels and the shepherds, Him who shall appear as new child, being God from all eternity." Commemorations of Old Testament Prophets (Nahum on 1 December, Habakkuk on the 2nd, Zephaniah on the 3rd, Haggai on the 16th, and Daniel and the Three Holy Youths Ananias, Azarias, and Mizael on the 17th) and the Ancestors of Christ (on the Second Sunday before Christmas) remind us that Jesus is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament, the fulfillment of God's promises to His chosen people. The feast of the Maternity of Anne (the Conception of the Mother of God) shows us how God employs ordinary human beings to fulfill His Plan of Salvation. The reading of the Genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1:1-25) on the Sunday before Christmas connects Jesus even more intimately with God's people, all the way back to the Patriarch Abraham, the "Father of Many Nations." In the Troparion for the Paramony of the Nativity (24 December), we sing "Christ is born to renew the likeness that had been lost of old." The coming of the Son of God into the world as a human person, we sing in the Troparion of Christmas, "has shed the light of knowledge upon the world. Through it, those who had worshipped stars learned through a star to worship You, O Sun of Justice, and to recognize You as the One who comes and rises from on high." We recognize and worship Jesus the Messiah, not as a baby, but as the new Adam, the perfect man, and the Light of the world.

Kontakion, Troparion, Exapostilarion, and Vespers Sticheron or Doxastichon

26 Nov. - 24 Dec., at every Sunday and feast-day liturgy.

Kontakion of the Preparation (Tone 3)
Today the Virgin is on her way to the cave where she will give birth to the Eternal Word of God in an ineffable manner. Rejoice, therefore, O universe, when you hear this news, and glorify with the angels and the shepherds Him who shall appear as a newborn Babe, being God from all eternity.

December 20, Feast of the Preparation

Troparion (TONE 4)
Bethlehem, make ready, for Eden has been opened for all; Ephrata be alert, for the Tree of Life has blossomed forth from the Virgin in the cave. Her womb has become a spiritual paradise wherein the divine Fruit was planted- and it we eat of it, we shall live and not die like Adam. Christ is coming forth to bring back to life the likeness that was lost in the beginning.

Fasting

The Pre-Nativity Fast has Fasting Guidelines

 

Preparation
DayCommemorateDateDay of
Prepar-
ation
ApostolosGospel
Feast
St. Philip
Apostle
St. Philip
Apostle
14
Nov.
 Acts
8:26-39
Jn.
1:43-51
Pre-Nativity
Fast
Ancient

Begins
Philip FastBegins
15
Nov.
11 Tim.
4:4-8,
16
Lk.
16:15-18
17:1-4
Conception
Anne
Maternity
Anne
9 Dec.25Gal.
4:22-27
Lk.8:16-21
Pre-Nativity
Fast
Modern

Begins
Philip FastBegins
10
Dec.
26 or 1Heb.
9:8-23
Mk.
8:22-26
Second
Sunday
before
Nativity
Sunday
Forefathers
Between
11 and 17
 Col.
3:4-11
Lk.
14:16-24
Sunday
before
Nativity
Sunday
Genealogy
Between
18 and 24
 Heb.
11:9-10
32-40
Mt.
1:1-25
Preparation
Nativity
Holy
Hieromartyr
Ignatios,
God-Bearer
2036 or 11James
2:1-13
Mk.
10:23b-32a
Second Day
Preparation
Holy Martyr
Juliana
Nicomedia
2137 or 12Gal.
3:8-11
Lk.
13:19-29
Third Day
Preparation
Holy
Great Martyr
Anastasia
2238 or 13Gal.
3:8-11
Lk.
13:19-29
Fourth Day
Preparation
Ten Holy
Great Martyrs
Crete
2339 or 14James
2:14-26
Mk.
10:46-52
Paramony
Royal Hours
 2440 or 15ManyMany
Paramony
Nativity
Holy Woman
Martyr
Eugenia
2440 or 15Heb.
1:1-12
Lk.
2:1-20
Pre-Nativity
Fast

Ends
Philip FastEnds
just
before
Vespers
on 24
December
evening
40 or 15  

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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center
Martha Liles
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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is dedicated to my cousins: Bucky (Richard C. Liles) and Shirley (Shirley Jean Liles Buck). Bucky fell asleep in the Lord on Dec. 12, 2000 and Shirley fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 8, 2001.
O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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Last Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2017, 20:29:01, CST
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