December 25 is the feast of the Nativity According to the Flesh of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ! We will celebrate the feast at the following services:
Friday, Dec. 23
8:30am – Royal Hours of the Nativity
Saturday, Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve
8am Matins for Christmas Eve
9am Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
5pm Great Vespers for the Nativity with Litia and Artoklasia
Friday, Dec. 25 – Christmas
8am – Festal Matins
9am – Festal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great (followed by festal potluck brunch)
Notes on the Feast
Although the Festal Divine Liturgy is what most of us think of as the “primary” service for this feast, it is the other services that really contain the wealth of our Holy Church’s teaching about the Nativity of our Lord and its significance. If you have never attended these other services, please take the opportunity to do so this year. They are among the most beautiful services of the festal cycle.
If you would like to read more about this great feast, click here.
Theophany is the feast of the Baptism of Jesus Christ, when He began His public ministry by being baptized by St. John the Forerunner (John the Baptist) in the Jordan River. This act not only introduced Him to the world, but also made Christian baptism possible (by His blessing of the waters) and made plain the three Persons of the Holy Trinity—the Father speaking from the heavens, the Son being baptized and the Holy Spirit descending on the Son in the form of a dove. Theophany means “the appearance of God” and refers to this revelation of the Holy Trinity.
As part of the celebrations of this great feast—which is second in rank only to Pascha (Easter) and thus more important than Christmas!—holy water is blessed for use throughout the year, especially for the blessing of all parishioners’ homes.
Following is the schedule of services for Theophany 2016:
Thursday, Jan. 5 – Paramon (Eve) of Theophany
8:30am – Royal Hours of Theophany
10am – Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great
Friday, Jan. 6 – The Feast of Theophany (times moved due to winter weather)
8am – Festal Matins for Theophany
9am – Festal Divine Liturgy for Theophany with the Great Blessing of Water (bring your holy water bottles!)
Sunday, Jan. 8
12pm – Outdoor Blessing of Water at the Emmaus Wildlands Conservancy (3701 Orchid Pl., Emmaus, PA 18049)
Please note that the eve of Holy Theophany (January 5) is appointed to be kept as a strict fast day—no meat, poultry, fish with backbones, dairy, wine or oil are to be consumed.
To read more about Holy Theophany, click here.