Christ is Born - Glorify Him!
Christ is Baptized - In the Jordan!
Background Information on the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord   
Why We Fast Before Nativity (Christmas)

Heesnagats:  Advent in the Armenian Church Tradition

The Feast of Christ's Nativity in the Flesh by Sub-Dn. Lazarus W. Der-Ghazarian

The Conception of the Most Holy Theotokos by Sub-Dn. Lazarus W. Der-Ghazarian

Dating Holy Nativity and Holy Theophany by Sub-Dn. Lazarus W. Der-Ghazarian

The Orthodox Origins of the Christmas Tree by Metropolitan Anthimos of Alexandroupolis

Theophany:  Christmas in the Armenian Church Tradition by Bishop Shnork Kaloustian

An Ancient Account of the Blessing of the Waters by the Medieval Latin Canon Willebrand

The Armenian Church's Observance of Theophany by Nerses Manoogian

Prayer for the Blessing of the Waters of St. Basil the Great

Homily on the Nativity of our Lord by St. John Chrysostom

Homily on Holy Theophany by St. Gregory the Theologiaan

St. Nicholas of Myra from the Domar of the Armenian Church

Return to the home page of the St. Gregory the Illuminator Institute
The Fast and Feasts of
The Holy Nativity in the Flesh
of our Lord, God and Savior
Jesus Christ & Holy Theophany
Traditional Armenian Theophany Greeting:
Kreesdos Dznav yev Haydnetsav / Christ is Born and Revealed!
Orhnyal eh Haydnootyoonun Kreesdosee / Blessed is the Revelation of Christ!
-Keep "Christ" in Christmas:  
(This is self-explanatory)

Santa Claus on his day:  
(Celebrate St. Nicholas on his
day, December 6th)

"Mass" in Christ-mas:  
(Go to Church and worship
Christ our God on the day
of His Holy Nativity!)
Since the early fourth century, a feast was celebrated in both East and West on January 6 to commemorate the
Birth of Christ, the Adoration of the Magi, and his Baptism in the River Jordan.  Its name was the celebration of the
Divine Theophany, the Manifestation of Christ our God and his declaration to the world that He was the beloved
Son of the Father.  The observance of this feast was more theological rather than being... about historical dating.
Later, the Birth of Christ came to be celebrated in Rome on December 25, in order to Christianize the feast of the
"birth of the Invincible Sun" (
Natalis solis invicti) which the Romans celebrated on that day since the time of
Emperor Aurelius Caesar (274).  Instead of celebrating the birth of the Invincible Sun, Christians chose to
celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Sun of Justice and Light of the World!  This feast was adopted in the East
where Byzantine writers and hymnographers sang of the incomprehensible manner in which Christ was born of a
Virgin and stressed the motherhood of Mary as Theotokos (Birth-giver of God).  After the Council of Ephesus
(431 AD), the Byzantine Church established a special feast for the synaxis of St. Mary and celebrated it on the day
after Christmas (adapted from -
Byzantine Daily Worship).
The Armenian Church maintained the primitive observance, celebrating these three feasts together (the Nativity of
our Lord, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Baptism of our Lord) as Theophany on January 6th.  The Byzantine
Church, around the time of St. John Chrysostom, began celebrating the Nativity of our Lord and the Adoration of
the Magi on December 25th and the Baptism of our Lord (Theophany) on January 6th.  The Latin Church
eventually separated all three feasts celebrating first the Nativity (on December 25th), then the Adoration of the
Magi (called "Epiphany") and then, in turn, the Baptism of our Lord.
Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!
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