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With the transition from Fall to Winter, we soon will enter the preparatory season for the great Feast of our Lord's Birth, Christmas. The Nativity Fast, or Advent, begins November 15, forty days prior to Christmas. For the Orthodox the Nativity Fast is characterized by abstaining from certain luxurious foods - namely, meat(s), dairy products, olive oil, and wine (alcoholic drinks). The season is also a time to guard all our senses from needless entertainments. Instead, we are to focus our energies more toward God in personal prayer, the services of God's House, meditation on God's Word, and works of love for other people. Think of the Nativity Fast as the perfect time to clean our own homes and put everything in order to receive a great dignitary when He arrives (Lat., adventus).
Needless to say, the Orthodox practice of the Nativity Fast runs almost exactly opposite to everything the society around us will do prior to Christmas. Our consumer society will be permeated with advertising to buy more and more stuff for people who probably have most of what they need already. Schools and workplaces will be scheduled for parties. Mass media will be filled with music, shows, movies, and memes revolving around semi-religious, mythical, and legendary symbols.
How do we filter out all the noise and distraction of the world around us? We quietly attend to the one thing needful - the Truth. The Nativity Fast, or Advent, is really a return to normal because the arrival of God in the flesh - Jesus Christ born of the Virgin - is the standard by which we live. We can never forget or fail to confess that truly life-changing reality. The Gospel of Jesus Christ defines who we are if indeed we are truly His Christian people.
If you are interested in the Orthodox Faith, we welcome you to come and meet with us and pick up many interesting and informative pamplets that are available for you! If you should have any questions please feel free to call me at the Church at (330) 372-3895.
Thank you for visiting our website and we look forward to seeing you soon!
During times of inclement weather, especially snow and ice, we do not cancel services scheduled at St. John's. Use your best judgment as to whether or not you can travel from and to your home to attend.