Christmas, other holidays head in fast
By LEILA PITCHFORD-ENGLISH
Advocate news graphics
June 07, 2013
Think Christmas is coming too fast?
For Orthodox Christians, the Nativity Fast begins Tuesday and runs through Dec. 24.
This is one of four major fasts in Orthodox life. The others include Lent, which is before Easter; the Fast of the Apostles, eight days after Pentecost through June 28; and the Dormition Fast, Aug. 1-Aug. 14.
The Christmas fast is supposed to be joyous since it is a time of anticipating the birth of Christ.
It has two parts. Through Dec. 19, one isn’t to eat meat, dairy, fish, wine and oil, but these are allowed on certain days. Smoking is supposed to cease. From Dec. 20-24, these guidelines are to be followed more strictly.
See a detailed chart of what is allowed to be eaten and when at http://www.
This fast is followed by the 12 days of Christmas, which start Dec. 25 and end Jan. 6, Epiphany.
For other Christians, Advent, the four-Sunday countdown to Christmas, starts Nov. 27.
For those wanting to mark Advent with special home or church observances, search the Internet.
A good place to start is with your denominational or church website. For example, go to the United Methodist site, http://www.umc.org/ and search for “advent resources.”
This page has collected articles and videos about Advent. It offers meditations for wreath lighting ceremonies and music for the season. One section offers advice on family celebrations.
Other November dates
NOV. 12: Followers of the Baha’i religion celebrate the birth of Baha’u’llah, the founder and teacher of Baha’i.
NOV. 20: Roman Catholics and other Christians mark the Feast of Christ the King, a celebration in honor of Jesus Christ as lord of all creation.
NOV. 24: Thanksgiving.
NOV. 24: Sikhs celebrate the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur by the Moghul emperor in India.
NOV. 26: This is another celebration about the founder of the Baha’i, this time marking the covenant given in Baha’u’llah’s last will and testament.
NOV. 26: Muslims celebrate Hijra, New Year on their religious calendar. It marks the move by Muhammad and his followers to Medina in 615.
Bible version update
The Voice, a modern version of the Bible we reported on in 2009, has announced that the complete Bible will be available in March.
The Voice is designed to be read aloud in modern phrasing and uses a screenplay format. Commentary is added into the screenplay as narration.
The New Testament is available now.
Sources: press release, http://www.britannica.com/, http://www.antiochian.org/node/18518, http://www.interfaithcalendar.org/