Wednesday, January 20, 2021 UTC

DEC 24 & 25: VIGIL OF CHRISTMAS & FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD, GOD, AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST (HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION)

nativity-icon-christ-jesus-lord-son-of-god   DEC 24: VESPERAL DIVINE LITURGY OF ST. BASIL THE GREAT – 4:00 PM (LIVE-STREAMED ON FACEBOOK), CHRISTMAS EVE DIVINE LITURGY – 9:00 PM; DEC 25: DIVINE LITURGY – 10:00 AM

(PLEASE RSVP TO CHURCH EMAIL ADDRESS WHICH DIVINE LITURGY YOU PLAN TO ATTEND IN ADVANCE).

PROPERS (ROYAL HOURS): NativityVigilOfficeofReadings

PROPERS (GREAT VESPERS): 12-25_Nativity_Vesper_Liturgy

PROPERS (VIGIL DIVINE LITURGY): Christmas_Eve_service

PROPERS: (CHRISTMAS DAY DIVINE LITURGY): 12-25_Nativity_DL

Streaming via Facebook Live.  https://www.facebook.com/saintscyrilandmethodius/

Parishes live-streaming in the Diocese can be found here: https://www.eparchyofpassaic.com/livestream

The Fore-feast of the Nativity 4 December 23 (from 1995-2016 Melkite Eparchy of Newton):Doc1TheForfeastoftheNativity4Dec23

The Paramony of the Nativity December 24 (from 1995-2016 Melkite Eparchy of Newton): Doc2TheParamonyoftheNativityDecember24

The Nativity of Our Lord, God and Jesus Christ December 25 (from 1995-2016 Melkite Eparchy of Newton): Doc3TheNativityDecember25

During the evening Divine Liturgy the Gospel Reading (December 24th) is Luke 2: 1-20, the Birth of Jesus, the Messiah.  In Luke’s account, Jesus’ humble birth is recounted with the backdrop of a mighty empire. The passage can also be broken into two parts: Luke 2:1-7: the birth of Jesus and Luke 2:8-20: the angels’ announcement to the shepherds who first heard the good news.

On Christmas Day, the Gospel reading is Matthew 2:1-12, The Magi Visit the Messiah, in which we learn that the wise men are led by a star to the Messiah.  They come to worship Him and bring gifts, but their arrival raises fears in Jerusalem and for King Herod.

Holy Supper is a traditional fasting meal on the Eve of the Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas Eve). Since Christmas is preceded by forty days of fasting, the Holy Supper is the last meal of the fast. The Holy Supper is called Velija (veh-LEE-yah), literally “vigil” and meaning Christmas Eve Holy Supper. Velija is a 12-dish (the number of dishes symbolizes the apostles) meatless feast whose preparations begin early on Christmas Eve and starts when the first star is seen that night. It is a solemn meal that brings the family together. The foods include but not limited to, include Christmas bread, red borscht with tiny dumplings, mushroom soup, or pea soup, carp, herring, or other fish dish, i.e., Viennese fish, fried fish, pierogi, braised sauerkraut, halupki or cabbage rolls made with mushrooms and beans/rice, haluski (cabbage and noodles), kutia (wheat berry pudding), gingerbread, poppyseed cake, honey cake, nut/apricot/poppy seed rolls, and dried fruit.  Holy Supper for SSCM (1)

In the Byzantine Rite, Christmas Eve is referred to as Paramony (“preparation”). It is the concluding day of the Nativity Fast and is celebrated as a day of strict fasting. Nothing is eaten until the first star appears in the evening sky, in commemoration of the Star of Bethlehem. The liturgical celebration begins earlier in the day with the celebration of the Royal Hours, followed by the Divine Liturgy combined with the celebration of Vespers, during which a large number of readings from the Old Testament are chanted, recounting the history of salvation. After the dismissal at the end of the service, a new candle is brought out into the center of the church and lit, and all gather round and sing the Troparion and Kontakion of the Feast.