The Nativity Fast(Byzantine) & Nativity

18 Nov

Both Byzantine Rite Catholic Churches and Eastern Orthodox Christians practice The Nativity Fast from November 15th to December 24th, inclusive, on the Julian Calendar. This time is also called Advent.
When St. George Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Manhattan holds their Thanksgiving Dinner Fundraiser on Saturday, 11/22/14, it will be 6 Days before the beginning of The Nativity Fast. It will begin on Friday, November 28th, 2014(Gregorian Calendar), continuing through all of December into January 6th(Tridentine Calendar says “Epiphany”, while Julian Calendar says Eve of The Nativity). January 7th(Gregorian) is December 25th, Christmas Day on The Julian Calendar.
On my birthday on January 14th, it will be January 1st on the Julian Calendar, called “The Feast of Christ’s Circumcision”, with the Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy of St Basil The Great being offered. On January 6th(January 19th on the Gregorian Calendar), Epiphany is called Theophany, both names meaning Revelation, celebrates the beginning of Christ’s Public Ministry, when He is Baptised in the River Jordan by St. John The Baptist(The Last Prophet and Cousin of The Lord).
Now earlier this year, it was within the Octave of Theophany on the Sunday After Theophany where I Witnessed The Blessing of The Waters. I recalled being blessed by Water by The Priest at Holy Cross Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Astoria, Queens, NY. The Priest had a wand filled with Hyssop and the Water. I was rather wet from the Blessing and was also given an Anointing via Wand.
For I was reminded of The Mysteries of Initiation, namely Baptism and Confirmation.
In the Byzantine Rite of The Church, I would receive Baptism and Confirmation(Called Chrismation) @ Baptism. One also receives Holy Communion at Baptism in the Byzantine Rite of The Church, as these Sacraments(Called Mysteries in the Eastern Catholic Churches), are Sacraments of Initiation.

But, having been raised in the Roman Rite Catholic Church, I was baptized. Then some years later in the 1st Grade, I was instructed on the Sacraments. I then made my 1st Penance prior to receiving 1st Holy Communion. Five years later, at age 12, I was Confirmed.

Nevertheless, I was reminded of These Outward Signs instituted by Christ, called Sacraments, to impart Sanctifying Grace. And since I had received Holy Communion at the same Divine Liturgy, I received the Grace from God.

Deo Gratias!

M

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