On Christmas Eve day, especially Orthodox Christians prepare for the upcoming holiday, the day is filled with special festive mood. On the morning of Christmas Eve at the end of the liturgy and the following evening in the center of the temple and the priests imposed a candle to her sing the Troparion Christmas. Christmas Eve service and the post has a number of features, so in these days on our website comes many questions about how to spend Christmas Eve. To answer these questions we have asked the priest of Alexander Ilyashenko.
- Father Alexander, the most frequently asked question by our readers - how to fast on Christmas Eve, until a time to refrain from eating the food? What does the "post until the first star"? Do the same measure of abstinence for those working and not working that day? How long does a post to the sacrament?
This year Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday, so the Royal Hours are performed on Friday. In the very same day, Christmas Eve post is not a strict as in the preceding days of the strictest weeks of Advent.
The name is believed, from the word "sochivo" (the same as "kolivo" - cooked grains of rice or wheat). Eat "sochivo" or "kolivo" laid on the eve after the liturgy, which is connected with the evening. Thus, part of Christmas Eve December 24 is in full neyadenii.
tradition not to eat until the first write to the evening star, is associated with memory phenomenon Star in the East (Mf.2 2), signaling the birth of Christ, but the charter of this tradition is not granted.
Indeed, Typicon directs the post until the end of Vespers. However, the Vespers service combined with the Liturgy, served in the morning, so we fasted to the point where the center of the temple shall be made before the candle and candle Troparion sung Christmas.
Obviously, being in the temple of people fast, and many receive Holy Communion on this day. Well, if those who can not be in service in the church who are working, will honor this day, more strict fasting. We remember that, according to the Russian proverb "full belly for prayer dull." Therefore, a strict fast prepares us for the future happiness of the holiday.
Those who partake in night Liturgy, Church tradition, taste their food to last at least six hours before the time of the Communion, or about to 6:00 pm. And here it is not a specific number of hours that a 6 or 8 hours to propostitsya and not a minute less, and that set a certain boundary, a measure of abstinence, and helps us keep our measure.
- Father, many questions come from people sick who can not abide by the post, asking how they act?
sick people, of course, must observe a fast on the extent to which this is consistent with the medication and doctors' prescriptions. This is not about that feeble man lay in the hospital, and to strengthen the human spirit. Disease - it is hard and fast feat. And here is a man must try to determine the degree of fasting on his forces. Any thing can be reduced to an absurdity. For example, imagine that a priest who comes communion a dying man would ask, when a person last ate?
- Usually believers are trying to find Christmas on the night of festive liturgy. But in many churches also serve as a Vigil and Divine Liturgy at the usual time - 5 pm and in the morning. In this regard, often asked whether the young man sin, not feeble, without children, do not go to the service at night and in the morning?
Visit the night or morning service - you need to look at the forces. Meet the feast at night - of course, is a special joy and spiritual, and emotional. Such services in a year is very small in most parish churches night liturgies are served only at Christmas and Easter - the most solemn services traditionally performed during the night. But for example, on Mt Sunday vigils are served at night. Still, these services are not many, just over 60 per year. The Church as sets, given the human capacity: the number of night vigils in the year is limited.
Gala night services contribute to a deeper prayer experience and perception of the Festival.
- ended with a festive liturgy begins festive meal. And here are two questions we asked. First - can you celebrate Christmas, first in the parish, not just arrange a family reunion?
course, a well-celebrate with family, friends, family, giving us a good share in the holiday joy with others. If the congregation can come together and prayed together in the temple, can sit down together at the festive table - this is very good. This festival brings together the joint holding, allows to share the joy with each other. Collected and the family, and friends.
- The second question relates to the fact that the Christmas Liturgy many partake. And people are experiencing some confusion: You just took communion in the books of the holy fathers wrote that to keep the grace we must try to protect themselves from the conversation, the more laughter, and try to spend time in prayer after Communion. A festive meal here, even with his brothers and sisters in Christ ... People are afraid of losing their prayerful mood ..
Those rules that fathers - the desert monks suggested, can not be fully transferred to secular life, especially since you can not transfer them on major holidays. This is the devotees - ascetics, especially richly endowed with the blessed gifts of God. For them, the outer part of the secondary. Of course, the spiritual life comes first, and for the laity, but we can not here to hold the same clear distinction between the spiritual and earthly.
apostle Paul commanded us to "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks the Lord "(1Fes 5:16-18). If we find the feast with joy, prayer and thanksgiving to God, we fulfill the apostolic precept.
course, this issue must be considered individually. Of course, if a person feels that a noisy celebration, he loses the grace mood, maybe he should sit down for a short time table, leave early, saving spiritual joy.
- Father Alexander, and not whether there differentiate ourselves a two state - when we are really afraid of spilling it received in the temple of feeling, and when his refusal to participate in the festival, we can upset neighbors, and often reject joint non-peaceful joy to my heart. The relatives come to terms with the fact that their zealous member of the family refused to meet with the new year, it would seem, the post has ended, the person should be "return" to the family, to share together the joy of the holiday, and again he slams the door and said, "What," Sit down with us, "I have a great holiday, such a grace, lose with your whole spirit of prayer!"
His prayer as in this case, a man hardly hurt, because this behavior suggests that a person does not dwell in it. The state of contemplation in prayer is always associated with the tide of spiritual joy, the grace which the Lord pours out lavishly on their slaves. And this attitude of his neighbors is more like bigotry and fariseytvo.
- Do I have to visit the evening service in the day of the feast - the evening of the Nativity?
- This one has to decide for himself. After a night life to rejuvenate. Not all, of the - of the age, health, and spiritual level are able to go to church and take part in the service. But we must remember that God rewards for every effort that a person does for him.
Evening service at great feasts this day not long, especially the inspired, the solemn and joyful, for it proclaims the Great Prokeimenon, so of course, well, if I can visit it.
Congratulations to all the readers of our site with the upcoming holiday of Christ's Nativity!
based on the site, "Orthodoxy and the World"