Advent Meditations: Saturday 21 December

Dec 21, 2019 by

Dec 21
am: 61, 62
pm: 112, 115
Job 42:1-6 1 Peter 1:3-12 Luke 1:1-25

Notes on the Liturgical Feast for Today:  Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle                          The O AntiphonO Oriens 


The Forefeast of the Nativity. The liturgical structure is similar to the Holy Week preceding Pascha/Easter. The Orthodox Church sees the birth of the Son of God as the beginning of the saving ministry which will lead Him, for the sake of man’s salvation, to the ultimate sacrifice of the Cross. On this day the Orthodox Church recalls the time when Mary and Joseph approached Bethlehem to give birth to God the Word made flesh. On this prepatory feast it would be helpful to know the Nativity of Christ is celebrated in the Orthodox Church. We should remember that the Nativity of Christ is celebrated on December 25th by the Eastern Church as December 25th on the Julian calendar falls on January 7th on the Gregorian calendar.

PRAYER: Ever living God, who strengthened your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in your Son’s resurrection: Grant us so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Activity – Be an agent of surprises. Two women, Mary and Elizabeth, no doubt had no expectation of motherhood coming to them at the precise moment of their life that it did. Take on the activity today of surprising a person with an act of kindness. Extend yourself towards a person who has no expectation that another person is even mindful of a need they may have.


Advent is called a “little Lent,” because, like Lent, it is a time of repentance. While fasting during Advent used to be universal, most Western Christians today treat Advent as an early part of the Christmas season. Eastern Rite  Christians however, continue to celebrate Advent with the Philip’s Fast, named after the Apostle Philip. The fast doesn’t really have anything to do with the Apostle Philip, other than the fact that it starts on November 15, the day after his feast in the Eastern calendar. It runs through Christmas Eve, December 24.

Like most fasts in the Eastern Church, Philip’s Fast is fairly strict and includes abstinence from meat on all weekdays and dairy products on Tuesdays and Thursdays. While Western Christians no longer fast during Advent, reviving the tradition could make excellent preparation during Advent can help us better appreciate our Christmas celebration.



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