Stolen Christmas: why Orthodox pre post

© RIA Novosti / Igor Alienability in photobacteria of the Nativity in cities of RussiaStolen Christmas: why Orthodox pre post© RIA Novosti / Igor Alienability in fotobelka Mikheev

The Orthodox believers on 28 November, Christmas, or as it is also called Filippov fasting, the most rigorous days which traditionally have on new year’s holidays. Why did before Christmas fasted only monks, what are the main «indicators of the effectiveness of the post», as the Orthodox to celebrate the New year and why put up with the «lean toxicosis», told RIA Novosti the famous Church publicist, Professor of the Moscow theological Academy, Archpriest Pavel Velikanov.

Advent was established in the first centuries of Christianity in the historical sources it is mentioned from the fourth century. At different times it lasted then 5, then 7, then 21 days, and only in the XII century by the decision of the Constantinople Patriarch Luke of Chrysovergis for Orthodox fasting was 40 days.

In the Catholic Church today, the fast before Christmas is actually already there. The only thing that was never clear, neither in the West nor in the East is total abstinence from food directly on the eve of the appearance of God in the world on Christmas eve. Essentially the same in the ancient world fasting was not a restriction in food, and complete abstinence from food and water. Man has sacrificed himself, refusing the essential. So today, fasting Muslims in the Holy for myself, the month of Ramadan, but only in the daytime.

To rely on the conscience — a few

«As today we have a post? Right, the real post? Do not eat eggs, meat, milk, do not go to places of entertainment. Sometimes not watching TV. We read spiritual literature, go to Church, often silent, to do good deeds… the Post was perceived as a ritual», says Archpriest Paul Giants..

According to him, the person thinks like this: «I, the Orthodox, do not understand why they do it, but they do. People should perform the installation of the party to which he belongs! I trust the Church. Don’t know how it works, but so did a thousand years, then it should work. And I believe that it will give some fruit.»

However, as suggested by the priest, striving to keep the commandments and statutes itself did not brings a person closer to God. In the end, according to Christian commandments is not the only Christians.

«Mechanical in the Church nothing works. Where is the device that can show this man grace 20%, and in only 3%? Conscience? It is generally non-religious concept. It was not in the old Testament. And actually, you know, if you try with her you can always negotiate,» says father Paul.
What happens when man begins to limit themselves in what used to be considered its normal life — to walk, to eat, to have fun? Whether he will be this good? «Yes you will feel awful! It will be like the morning sickness of a pregnant woman when she doesn’t know what he wants, but he knows that she is very much impossible,» says his father Paul.

And why all this hate?

«For the sake of silence that will come after. You finally stop the score being in their activities and to torment himself with thoughts about what you have not done so. You calm down and give God a chance (to be heard by you). I will not be able to hear you if I’m constantly saying,» explains the priest.

And then there’s a chance to Wake up one day and realize that you really want. And begin to ask God not what is advised a neighbor, father, mom and dad, and what he wants your heart. «That is birthed from prayer,» says father Paul.

The soul needs tuning like a musical instrument

«The difference between a Christian and not a Christian one, the first one is Christ. Christian is the man «pregnant» with the Holy Spirit, a person in which already have a new life,» he continues. The spirit of God in man, in the words of the Apostle Paul, is always love, joy, peace, goodness, and meekness. And when these manifestations are not enough, a believer must start again to set your soul in unison with the divine sound. It is difficult, it is much easier to return to the familiar ritual.

All who come to be baptized, feel the experience that the Orthodox dogma is called an «act of grace». This feeling of God’s presence. But over time, this feeling is dulled, and the answer to the question «why» usually looking for on the surface.

«I guess I was not quite good was baptized, my father was not too religious, you need to consult with others, you need to take in the ice-hole on Epiphany», lists father Paul of the usual exits from the situation.. And only need to do «strings of the soul.» For example, «stop yourself,» adds the priest.

© Photo : Alain Glastonbudget of Christ at Epiphany CathedralStolen Christmas: why Orthodox pre post© Photo : Alain Glastonbudget of Christ at Epiphany Cathedral
Bad no

St. Theophan the recluse, one of the most famous Orthodox theologians and preachers of the nineteenth century, wrote: «the more I live, the more I realize that poor people do not have». Later this idea somewhat differently repeat Bulgakov’s Yeshua’s conversation with Pilate. Father Paul with them strongly agree.

«Everyone is good. And all the bad and wrong that it is – casual, superficial. And lent is a wonderful opportunity in the end to realize that you are bad, and good. Not because a lot of hard work on this, but because you are God’s created» — said the priest.

Stolen Christmas: why Orthodox pre post© RIA Novosti / Ramil to Setdiscoverable in photobacteria Christmas time, Rossiiyu no evil people, no evil, quoted father Paul one of the chief teachers of Christianity, St. Basil the Great. «Evil is only the absence of good,» wrote the great native of Cappadocia. In order to become poor, you must first be a good. Evil is «spoiled good», and in order to arise, requires absolute freedom, free will. The freedom which God has given man from creation and which he so unsuccessfully used in the early books of the old Testament.

According to the priest, knowing that «every good man» changes the attitude to themselves and to others. And that is the main and only meaning of advent.

«Lent is a time when we give each other gifts. God has given us Himself, and we give each other the best that we have. And if we will see the radiance in the eyes of our neighbors — I think this will be the most important indicator that our feat was effective. Thanks to him someone’s feeling warmer,» he explains.

Time, Internet and Christmas

One of the main issues, annually causing heated debate in the Orthodox segment of Facebook: is it possible for the believer to celebrate the New year, which falls on the strict pre-Christmas week, and isn’t it time for the Russian Church to move to a new style and to celebrate Christmas with all the «civilized» world? Father Paul believes the New year, «a stolen Christmas,» but urges him to meet, in order not to upset loved ones.

«Yes, in fact now the New year is a stolen Christmas. The focus of the celebration is always shifted it here, what does not, for example, Christians in the West. But we can’t say to those around us: guys, I’m Orthodox, so your new year is not celebrated. And then, it is a wonderful occasion to sit in the circle of his family, to show kindness and indulgence to all who with us,» he says.

Recently in the temples of both Russian capitals became popular night Christmas service. At midnight, under coming from the street the sound of fireworks and firecrackers, the priest proclaims, «Blessed is the Kingdom…» — and begins the divine Liturgy. «Everyone asks,’ what are you celebrating? What a «Holy New year»? And we just want to meet him with Christ, what’s wrong?!» — says the priest.

As for the Internet, then it is simple. «There are people who are willing to starve, but not lose the Internet. First, locate the space in which you can remain silent and wait for the Lord to answer. And when you find it – use anything,» concludes the Archpriest Pavel Velikanov.

© RIA Novosti / Yuri to Calopresti in fotoreceptori icons «Christmas»Stolen Christmas: why Orthodox pre post© RIA Novosti / Yuri to Calopresti in fotoreceptori icons «the Nativity»