Especially in the period before Christmas we are invaded by all kinds of stimuli: lights, commercials, Santas and jingling bells. The Nativity often remains forgotten in the society somewhere in the background.
But not for the Christian who knows how to keep alive the awareness of the great feast during the entire fasting period, for forty days.
What does the believer who fasts for real do? He is not careful only at what he eats, he surrounds himself with the things reminding him of the reason of the fasting – the joy that our Lord comes into the world and he follows all the time in his mind the star of Nativity.
Taken from Christians and given back to them, we present you 7 things you can do to maintain alive the awareness of the Nativity during the entire fasting period:
- Put in the middle of the place where you pray an Icon with the Nativity or other representations related to the event as it is the worshiping of the Magi, the Holy Family and so on. Keep lit before it a vigil light or a candle.
- Pray. Read at least once a week the Akathist of Annunciation or other prayers which refer at Nativity.
- Sing. Teach the children poems and carols. Tell them about the event celebrated on Christmas and about its meaning
- Read. Especially the Bible. See the prophecies from the Old Testament and the account of Nativity from the New Testament. Read other spiritual books but not only these. You can also choose to read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
- Listen (or read) sermons referring at the Incarnation of the Saviour. Make a playlist with church hymns and Christmas carols.
- Look. In the age of technology the Icon doesn`t remain at home. You can personalize the screen of your phone with an image of Nativity.
- Do not forget to be kind. Thinking that the Kind One incarnates Himself, be kind too. Give, help a sick person, call someone who is alone, be more generous with those around you.
The fasting before Christmas reminds us the long fasting of the patriarchs and the righteous from the Old Testament awaiting for Messiah – The Redeemer. By its length of 40 days, this fasting reminds us as well the fasting of Moses on Mount Sinai, when he was waiting to receive the words of God, the Decalogue.
The first mentions about this fasting are coming from the 4th and 5th century from the blessed Augustine and Saint Leon the Great of Rome.