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15novAll Day24decThe Nativity Fast (Advent Fast)

Event Details

The Nativity Fast, also known as Advent, is a cherished period of anticipation and preparation for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, observed by Orthodox Christians from November 15th to December 24th. This fast is a time of reflection, prayer, and fasting, leading up to the joyous celebration of Christmas.


The Significance of the Fast

The Nativity Fast has its roots in the tradition of the Church to prepare devoutly for major feasts. Similar to Great Lent before Pascha, the Nativity Fast is a period for Orthodox Christians to prepare their hearts and minds for the coming of Christ. The goal of this fast is not only to abstain from certain foods but to engage in a spiritual journey that includes prayer, almsgiving, and repentance, fostering a deeper relationship with God and a renewal of faith.

General Rules of the Fast

During the Nativity Fast, Orthodox Christians traditionally abstain from meat and dairy products, with shellfish, wine, and olive oil allowed on certain days, except for Wednesdays and Fridays, which are strict fast days. The faithful are encouraged to approach these dietary restrictions with a spirit of humility and willingness, seeing them as an opportunity for spiritual growth rather than as mere obligations.

Suggested Prayers

During the Nativity Fast, Orthodox Christians intensify their prayer life, participating in services such as the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos and the Advent Paraklesis, which are especially appropriate during this period. Additionally, the faithful might include in their daily prayers special petitions for the strength to observe the fast faithfully and for the grace to celebrate the Nativity of Christ with a pure heart.

The Nativity Fast is a time for Orthodox Christians to turn their hearts and minds more fully towards God, preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ with joy, love, and peace. It is a period of spiritual renewal and growth, offering the faithful an opportunity to reflect on the profound mystery of the Incarnation and its implications for their lives.


November 15 (Friday) - December 24 (Tuesday)(GMT+00:00)

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