The period of Advent in the Syrian Orthodox Church, celebrating the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, is much longer than that of the Western Church. It consists of the eight weeks prior to Christmas, the first Sunday of which marks the beginning of the ecclesiastical year.
During this period, the Church prepares for the coming of Christ. The first Sunday is dedicated to the Sanctification of the Church (Qudosh
cIdto), while the second is dedicated to the Renewal of the Church (Hudoth cIdto). Both Sundays emphasize the importance of the Church in the life of the faithful.
The five Sundays that follow commemorate the following events which took place before Christimas:
Annunciation to Zachariah when the angel visited Zachariah while he was serving in the altar and told him of the news of the birth of a son (John the Baptist).
Annunciation to the Virgin when the angel Gabriel announced to the blessed Virgin Mary the conception of our Lord in her womb.
Visitation of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth, Zachariah's wife.
Birth of St. John the Baptist.
The revelation to Joseph when the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream.
The eighth and last Sunday of the Advent is simply called the "Sunday before Christmas" in the liturgical calendar.
The 25-day Nativity Fast (Advent) begins today, 01 December in Malankara Archdiocese of Syriac Orthodox Church. In rest of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese its commence from 15 December.
It is our prayer that we all begin to allow ourselves to be embraced by the love of God and that His Peace, which surpasses all understanding, will reside in our hearts.
Let this season be a blessed one to all of us.
In our Lord's Love