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Fast of the Prophets (Advent)

Nov 25, 2019

15th November (geez calander), marks the first day of the Advent Fast, a period of abstinence and penance practiced by the Church from ancient times, in preparation for the Nativity of Christ. This fast, is observed beginning on November 15th and ending on Christmas Eve, with the Feast of the Birth of Christ (Christmas). It is a time for devout and penitential preparation of the soul for the proper and worthy celebration of the great feast of Christmas.

We observe this fast following the examples of the forefathers, the patriarchs and the prophets who were fasting and praying in their times, longing for the Advent of Christ. In the Law of Kings, (an ancient book that deals with orders and rites) Article 15, instruction is given to the believers that they should observe this fast before they celebrate Christmas.

The forefathers and the prophets fasted so that Christ’s coming would be hastened. Our fasting is however done not only to prepare for Christ’s birth by remembering the grace that has come to us, but also for the remission of sins and the subsequent participation in the blessings of Christmas.

The Birth of Christ, which was the fulfillment of the promise granted to Adam and the prophesies of the prophets, was realized through this fasting. As a result, this fast is also sometimes called the fast of the prophets and the Nativity Fast.

The Church classifies the years into four circles, as per the four writers of the Gospel: When the turn of the three synoptic writers happens, Christmas is observed on 29th December Geez Calendar (7 January). This year is St john’s turn, and as a result, Christmas is celebrated one day ahead, i.e. on 28th December Geez Calendar (6 January 2020 G.C).

May the Lord accept our fasting for the remission of sins, and bring about unity and love for the Church, diligence and humility to the clergy, steadfastness and blessings to the laity. May He preserve us till Christmas.

Glory be to God.