In the Orthodox Church the Nativity Fast, known in the West as Advent, begins on November 15. Modeled after Great Lent, this is a 40-day fast in preparation for Christmas, the feast of our Lord’s birth. But there is another theme to this season as well. We not only prepare to celebrate the feast of Christ’s first coming into the word. We also use this time to reflect on our readiness to meet him at his second coming.
Lord God and Master! Father Almighty, Only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit, one Godhead, one power: have mercy on me a sinner; and by the judgments which you know, save me, your unworthy servant.
Guide my life, calm Haven of the storm-tossed. With your Sovereign Spirit steady my mind, that, guided and guarded each day, I may be able to practice your commandments, always mindful of your glorious presence.
Be mindful, O Lord, of all those who have served our nation in its armed forces, and grant eternal rest to those who have given their lives for us.
O Lord, help every soul, and do not forget me, either. Help everyone to find peace and to love you, as the angels love you. Give us, too, the strength to love you as your Most Holy Mother loves you and your holy angels. Give me, too, the strength to love you boundlessly!
Almighty God! Give us wisdom to perceive you, intellect to understand you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate upon you, and life to proclaim you, through the power of the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ.
O Good Shepherd, seek me out and bring me home to your fold again. Deal favorably with me according to your good pleasure, till I may dwell in your house all the days of my life, and praise you forever with them that are there.
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of hosts! Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Have mercy on us, God the Father Almighty! O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, God of hosts, be with us, for we have no helper in our hardships and distress but you.
O God, illumine our minds and keep watch over our senses, that we may finally reach life everlasting, after walking the path of your commandments every day of our lives as we should.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, O God, instill the wisdom of your Holy Spirit in my heart; protect my soul and body, every fiber of my being, from all possible harm, all traps of the Devil and every temptation to sin.