Divine Liturgy at the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra on the day of the vigil of the Nativity
Sunday 6 January 2019 Orthodox Christians celebrate the Eve of Christmas.
The liturgical name of eve – the eve. Of all the twelve most important after the Easter holidays the twelve only two are preceded by Christmas eve – the Nativity and Baptism, which speaks of their special importance. This writes Thomas.
The name eve comes from the word “sochivo” is a special vegetable dishes eaten on this day – of scalded wheat grains (rice, lentils) mixed with juice or honey.
By tradition this day believers is held in strict fasting, in which it is not customary to eat (in addition sochivo) before the appearance of the sky the first star – the symbol of the star of Bethlehem.
On Christmas Eve fasting is particularly strict, but at the same time this day is filled with joyful anticipation of that great event.
Service Christmas eve longer than usual, and more glorious: Great, that is, in a special way committed only three times a year – at Christmas and Epiphany Christmas eve and good Friday – hours, consisting of Psalms, prayers and the reading of the gospel, divine Liturgy and Vespers, which moved this day from the evening to the morning. After the Liturgy in the middle of the Church imposed a candle, and the priests to her sing the Christmas hymn. This candle symbolizes the star of Bethlehem which announced to the world that Christ was born.
Dedicated in the Church calendar Theophany message, special service, even the tradition of fasting – helps get closer to understanding what happened in the following such day night two thousand years ago. Almighty God came to earth and revealed Himself to mankind in the flesh, became in one step with a person to enable a person to come to God.
On the night of 6 to 7 January, the majority of Orthodox believers go to the Christmas vigil to get in touch with the universal joy that had come into the world with a Savior.
Christmas Eve ends with a pre-Christmas 40-day Christmas (Filippov) post.
On the feast of the Nativity of Christ Liturgy is celebrated in the night from 6 on 7 January and joins the all-night worship.