We have now entered into the period of the Nativity Fast. Many wonder why we approach Christmas with a fast; why so somber when this is a season for parties, presents, festal meals and celebration?
Fr Thomas Hopko, describes this period as “The Winter Pascha” and explains that: “The Lord’s birth and baptism are directly connected to His dying and rising. He was born in order to die…the harmony between the events is overwhelming…Jesus lay as an infant in the cavern in the reign of Caesar Augustus that He might lay in the tomb under Pontius Pilate. He was hounded by Herod that He might be caught by Caiaphas…He was worshipped by wise men that the whole of creation might adore Him in His triumph over death.”
Therefore, this period of the Nativity Fast, which is also one of the four Canonical Fasting Seasons in the Church year, gives us the opportunity to prepare ourselves to “Receive the King of all!” The Church encourages us to pray more so we can grow closer to God and to the people around us, to give alms and help the poor and thus overcome our self indulgence with self sacrifice. We are encouraged to be more generous and forgiving and in this manner be able to truly celebrate the Birth of Christ with real joy.
There are a good amount of feast days in advent and fish and wine are encouraged on those days.
We wish you all a joyful advent!