Javascript Menu by Deluxe-Menu.com

Sunday of the Holy Forefathers

The Sunday that falls between December 11-17 is known as the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers. These are the ancestors of Christ according to the flesh, who lived before the Law and under the Law, especially the Patriarch Abraham, to whom God said, “In thy seed shall all of the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3, 22:18).

The Righteous Aaron was the son of Amram and Jochebed, and the elder brother of the Prophet Moses the God-seer, and also of Miriam. He was a direct descendent of Levi by both parents. God called him “the Levite” in Exodus 4:14, when He appointed Aaron to be the spokesman for Moses, who was “slow of speech,” before the people.

The Righteous Benjamin was the youngest son of Jacob, he was called Benoni and then Benjamin (Genesis 35:16-18).

The Righteous Deborah: Accounts of the holy Prophetess and Judge Deborah may be found in the Book of Judges 4:5-14, and also chapter 5.

The Righteous Miriam: Saint Miriam, like her brothers Moses and Aaron, was descended from the tribe of Levi. When Moses was placed into a basket of reeds and set upon the waters of the Nile. Miriam watched in secret. When Pharaoh’s daughter found him, Miriam emerged from her place of concealment and offered to find a wet nurse from among the Hebrew women for the baby. Miriam went to get her mother, who raised her child until he was grown.Information for many of the Forefathers may be found here.

 

Why fast before the Nativity?

      We fast before the Great Feast of the Nativity in order to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Our Lord’s birth. As in the case of Great Lent, the Nativity Fast is one of preparation, during which we focus on the coming of the Savior by fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.

     By fasting, we “shift our focus” from ourselves to others, spending less time worrying about what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, and so on in order to use our time in increased prayer and caring for the poor. We learn through fasting that we can gain control over things which we sometimes allow to control us—and for many people, food is a controlling factor. 

     While fasting from food, however, we are also challenged to fast from sin, from gossip, from jealousy, from anger, and from those other things which, while well within our control, we all too often allow to control us.

     Just as we would refrain from eating a lot before going to an expensive restaurant for dinner—if we “ruin our appetite” we will enjoy the restaurant less—so too we fast before the Nativity in order to more fully feast and celebrate on the Nativity itself.

During the Nativity Fast, we are called upon to refrain from meat, dairy, fish, wine, and olive oil. At the same time, we are challenged, within this framework, to fast to the best of our ability, and to do so consistently. 

     If we must modify the extent to which we fast within this framework, it is of course possible, but in every instance our fasting should be consistent and regular, for Christ does not see fasting as an option, but as a “must.” 

     In Matthew Christ says, “WHEN you fast, do not be like the hypocrites"

It is not: "IF you fast" or "IF YOU CHOOSE to fast."

 

Fasting is wonderful, because it tramples our sins like a dirty weed, while it cultivates and raises truth like a flower.  

        

 

An Invitation to Worship




An Introduction to the

Orthodox Christian Church

Adapted from: John Meyendorff. The Orthodox Church

Sesquicentennial Commemorative Logo

Fr. Lawrence Gaudreau
Fr. Lawrence Gaudreau
Fr. Lawrence Gaudreau

About Our Church

 

 

     We are a family church of many cultures with intergenerational worship; we have a full liturgical life throughout the Church year, with many opportunities for joyful fellowship and enduring growth. Our vision is to “manifest the Kingdom of God by proclaiming and living the Orthodox Christian Faith.” Orthodox Christianity is for everyone — come and see!

 

     Located at the north end of California's San Joaquin Valley, St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church is dedicated to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to His promise of salvation to all mankind. The services of our mission-parish are located in Atwater.

 

     Committed to serving Christ and His Holy Church, the people of St. Mary Magdalene welcome and encourage all visitors to be our guests, especially those who are truly seeking the path of salvation.  

 

 

   Feel more at home in Orthodox worship

Read an article?

12 Things I Wish I'd Known...

First visit to an Orthodox Church

Listen to a discussion of the article:

Ancient Faith Ministries Podcast:

Discussion: "12 Things I Wish I'd Known..."

Part I   (53 min)               Part II  (50 min)

Part III (51 min)             Part IV  (52 min)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ancient Faith Radio
Click one of the four stations to listen




  Powered by Orthodox Web Solutions

Home | Back | Print | Top