Wednesday, December 13, 2017 UTC

DEC 24 & 25: FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD, GOD, AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST

nativity-icon-christ-jesus-lord-son-of-god DEC 24: VESPERAL DIVINE LITURGY BASIL THE GREAT (SCM)  – 4:00 PM; HOLY SUPPER (CHURCH HALL) – 6:00 PM; “MIDNIGHT” NATIVITY LITURGY (SN) – 10:00 PM (SN); DEC 25: MATINS – 8:00 AM; DIVINE LITURGY – 10:00 AM (SCM).

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 Lenten 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.

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