A warm greeting to all in these first days of the Advent Fast! As many of you are already aware, on Saturday, November 28th we began the 40-day Fast in preparation for the Feast of our Lord’s Nativity. It’s a beautiful season full of special services and festivities leading us towards the celebration of the incredible reality of our Lord’s Incarnation in the flesh.
For those of you who may have questions concerning the Fast, please feel free to speak with Fr. Daniel after any of the services or email him at any time with your inquiries. Our parish classes and services will continue as usual throughout the Fast, excepting the week of New Calendar Christmas – December 20-27.
If you aren’t already engaged in some spiritual reading, please consider choosing something to accompany you on the lenten journey over the next several weeks. St. Athanasius the Great’s On the Incarnation is always a wonderful option for the season.
As we struggle through the Fast it’s important to recall the great preparation that the entire world underwent leading up to our Lord’s birth. Much of the Old Testament period can be understood in many respects as a great fast leading mankind to the Incarnation. The enormity of Emmanuel –God with us –is not something which we are called to understand simply as an historical idea, but as a reality to be lived out –a truth to be revealed to a greater and greater degree throughout the whole of our lives. The Advent Fast is the liturgical and ascetical means by which the Church reminds us of the reality of Christ’s becoming one of us and what this implies about our relationship with Him. Keeping this in mind, let’s proceed to fast and prepare ourselves with sobriety and yet with joy, like all the righteous Fathers and Mothers of old, so that we can embrace our Lord as they did, with love and rejoicing.