SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
[The Sacrament of Confession with Absolution is available by appointment or up until 15 minutes prior to the services.]
The Sunday before The Holy Nativity “The Sunday of the Genealogy”
Saturday, December 22nd – Great Vespers, 5 p.m.
Sunday, December 23rd – Orthros, 8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy,* 10 a.m.
THE FEAST OF THE NATIVITY IN THE FLESH OF OUR LORD, GOD, AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST
Monday, December 24th (Christmas Eve and Paramon)
The Ninth Royal Hour, 3 p.m.
Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great* – 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 25th (Christmas Day)
Orthros and the Christmas Canon, 8:30 a.m., Divine Liturgy,* 10 a.m.
[There is no fasting from December 25th to January 4th]
The Circumcision of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ and the Feast of St. Basil the Great (New Year’s Day)
Monday, December 31st (New Year’s Eve) – Great Vespers, 5 p.m.
with prayers for the New Year
Tuesday, January 1st (New Year’s Day) – Orthros, 8:45 a.m.;
Divine Liturgy,* 10 a.m., with prayers for the New Year
THE GREAT FEAST OF HOLY THEOPHANY (EPIPHANY)
Friday, January 4th — The Ninth Royal Hour, 4:30 p.m. followed by
Daily Vespers of the Paramon (Eve) of Theophany, 5 p.m.
Saturday, January 5th The Eve of Theophany (Paramon) – [observed as a strict fast day]
Daily Orthros, 9 a.m., The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom* 10 a.m.
Great Vespers of Holy Theophany, 5 p.m.
Sunday, January 6th — Festal Orthros, 8:30 a.m. followed by “The Great Sanctification of Water” immediately followed by The Festal Divine Liturgy
* Services with Holy Communion
THE CHRISTMAS FAST – ADVENT
The Church ordains that this preparation begins on November 15. The Fast is forty days long and is sometimes known as Philip’s Fast because it begins the day after November 14, which is dedicated to St. Philip the Apostle.
The Fast has very ancient origins. Leo the Great, in the Fifth Century, made mention of it as an ancient, established Fast, which gave importance to the event of the Birth of Christ by the Church, even at that time. The Christians Church did not universally observe the Fast in length and method until the Council of Constantinople in 1166 AD. It was at that Council that the ancient regulations and various customs and traditions of the churches were studied and forty days was chosen to be most representative.
Many of us want the Feast without the penitential note that precedes it. We want Christmas without Advent. The result is that most of us only “observe” the day of Christmas and fail to “keep” the day holy. The Christmas fast gives us time to meditate upon the meaning of our Lord’s coming (God born as a man) – in the past, present, and future. Only to the extent that we prepare carefully for His Coming can we receive Him worthily. Hence, as Christmas approaches, we should be aware of the meaning of the Christmas fast (Advent) upon us and our souls. Consciences need examination; sins need to be forgiven. Above all, souls need refreshment with His Sacramental Presence when the Christmas Fast ends and Christ is born.
You Are Welcome at St. Michael Church
Saint Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Van Nuys began serving Orthodox Christians in the San Fernando Valley on January 12, 1969. As a community we are grateful for God’s guidance, and for the dedication, love, hard work, and generous spirit of those who served St. Michael Church, and thus made it possible for the parish to grow spiritually and to prosper.
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