St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral

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Fasting

The Nativity Fast began last Friday. During the season of preparation for the celebration of the Lord's Nativity, the Church directs us to make a special effort to increase and deepen our efforts in fasting, prayer and the performance of good works. While most people quite understand the importance of prayer and good works, it seems to many especially hard to make sense of fasting in what is deemed 'the holiday season'.

In ancient times, fasting was considered an important and appropriate response in times of war and the threat of war, in times of sickness, in the face of natural disasters, and whenever seeking God's forgiveness and protection. Such fasting is considered an appropriate, sacrificial self-offering within the context of a living faith and a sense of personal encounter and relationship with God. In the Gospels we find that the Lord Himself fasted, and that He assumes that His followers will fast too. For example, in Mathew 6:16-18, 9:14-17, 17:20-21 we find Him teaching them that fasting can bring about God's favor, that there are occasions when it is important to fast, and that prayer joined to fasting is particularly powerful. Those who are His followers of course strive to shape their lives according to His teaching. Thus the Church at Antioch (Acts 13:1-3), and the Church at Galatia (Acts 14:21-23), took such fasting in their communities very seriously. The Apostle Paul counts his own personal fasting as one of the things proving the authenticity of his ministry (2 Corinthians 11:23-28).

Fasting has always been a central element in Christian spiritual life and it is hard to imagine a genuine Christian faith that does not attempt to follow the Lord's explicit directive (Matthew 6:16) and the Church's teaching in this regard. In the fasting seasons of the Church year we are given an opportunity, the resources and the support needed to enter into the spirit and practice of discipleship. This is a fasting of expectation or anticipation, a fasting of preparation, with all the spiritual efforts and all the spiritual blessings of fasting focused on our renewal in the coming of the Savior. May we use the fast to the best of our ability!

 ~ Fr. Andrew



SERVICE SCHEDULE All services are held at the Cathedral unless otherwise noted.
Please watch the Messenger and website for places/times of other services.

Schedule of ServicesNativity Fast continues through December 24

Wednesday
, November 20
6:15 p.m. Festal Vespers & Litiya

Thursday, November 21
Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple
7:45 a.m. Festal Matins
9:00 a.m. Festal Liturgy

Saturday, November 23
5:00 p.m. Vespers

Sunday, November 24
23rd Sunday After Pentecost
Afterfeast of the Entrance of the Theotokos
Greatmartyr Catherine of Alexandria

7:45 a.m. Matins @ Cathedral
9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy @ Cathedral
Parastas: Lorraine Kalina @ Cathedral



 



NOTE: Elevators available at both the Cathedral and the Parish Center.

This Week's EventNativity Fast continues through December 24

Monday
, November 18
Church Office Closed
8:30 a.m. Perohi

Tuesday, November 19
8:30 a.m. Perohi
6:45 p.m. Men’s Club Turkey Raffle

Wednesday, November 20
7:00 p.m. Choir Rehearsal

Friday, November 22
11-2:00 p.m. Perohi Sales
8:00 p.m. Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil Concert @ Cathedral

Sunday, November 24
11:00 a.m. Church School @ Parish Center (Gymnasium Reserved for Church School)
11:00 a.m. Youth Choir @ Parish Center
1:00 p.m. Parish Center Reserved (private event)
3:00 p.m. FOCUS Dinner (St. Mary’s Cathedral sponsoring) @ FOCUS MN, 550 Rice St., St. Paul

















 


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