Feast of St Spyridon the Wonderworker
WE HAD A delightful time together at our annual Nativity Feast Friday evening, which actually fell on the feast day of St. Anna's conception of the Theotokos, the Prophetess Hannah, and the Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection (click here for a brief reflection on that feast day).
The feast began, as many of our events do, with our Eighth Day Convocation, which in this instance, included a selection of prayers for the Feast of St. Anna's conception of the Theotokos and a remarkable reflection on the nature and importance of feasts by Fr. Alexander Schmemann. Then, after reading a section of my dissertation on the Russian Orthodox theologian Fr. Georges Florovsky's insistence on the centrality of Christ in his call for a return to the mind of the Fathers, Ted Branson led us in Christmas carols. We concluded with a brief but magnificent homily by Fr. Florovsky, "Christ: The Hope of the World."
Next year, we will be moving our seventh Nativity Feast to the Church's proper season of celebrating the Nativity, i.e. between Dec. 25 and Dec. 31 (the Western tradition celebrates a bit longer with the Twelve Days of Christmas). As a good friend put it, this will allow us to "push the feast into the Feast." It will also allow us to promote and follow the season of fasting that should precede any authentic feast, as the Church in fact encourages us to do through the Nativity Fast (or Advent in the Western tradition).