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.

Daily Prayer

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.

Daily Prayer

You, O God, have given us your word for a light to shine upon our path. Grant us to meditate on that word, and to follow its teaching, that we may find in it the Light that shines more and more until that perfect day, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Evening Prayer

Grant us, Father, to pass through the night of this present life with watchful heart and sober thoughts, awaiting the radiant day of your Only-begotten Son. May we not be found fallen and idle, but watching and upright, ready to accompany him into the divine palace of his glory.