“‘For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2:10-11)

The Feast of the Nativity of Jesus is one of the most joyful days of the Orthodox Church. It ranks next to the greatest holiday, the Resurrection of Jesus. The Feast of the Birth of Jesus is also known as the “Incarnation of Christ.” This means that Jesus became a man and came into the world to save us. We also refer to this joyous feast as Christmas.

“What is the True Meaning of Christmas?”

Orthodox Christians ask this question along with everyone else, but our answers might be different. During America’s favorite season of feasting, we fast, and our festal season culminates on Theophany, two weeks after most Americans’ holiday is done. It may be a struggle to partake of the fullness of Nativity while still sharing in the warmth and fellowship of the Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions of our families. How do we embrace our Orthodox practice amidst the conflicting demands of our culture?

Through the resources offered by our Archdiocese, we hope to provide food for thought and for the spirit throughout the fast, and a feast of good words as we celebrate the Feast of the Word’s Birth in the Flesh. Visit [Christmas].

A Byzantine Christmas Carol

Click on the icon to listen to the beautifully sung Arabic Christmas Carol.
(Chanted by Reader Nader Hajjar, St. Elias Antiochian Cathedral, Ottawa [1]. Video by kalamation and Fr. Francois Beyrouti.)

Today is born of the Virgin Him Who holdeth all creation in the hollow of His hand.
He Whose essence is untouchable is wrapped in swaddling clothes as a babe.
The God Who from of old established the heavens lieth in a manger.
He Who showered the people with manna in the wilderness feedeth on milk from the breasts.
And the bridegroom of the Church calleth the Magi, and the Son of the Virgin accepteth gifts from them.
We worship Thy Nativity, O Christ.
Show us also Thy divine Theophany!


Other resources that will draw you closer to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
by His Grace Bishop JOHN (Abdalah)

Let every twinkling light on every bush and window remind us that Christ is the Light that brings us from darkness into light…. Let every gift we present to one another remind us of the gift of life that Christ is for us…. Let every Christmas carol and seasonal song, remind us that we are called to praise God from the depths of our beings.  …read more

Selection from St. Romanos’ Kontakia on the Nativity
by St. Romanos the Melodist

The Virgin today gives birth to the superessential One,
And the earth proffers the cave to the unapproachable One.
Angles with the shepherds sing songs of praise;
The Magi, with the star to guide pursue their way. For us there has been born,
A newborn babe, the God before time. …read more

St. Ephraim the Syrian on the Nativity

Pure is the present night, in which the Pure One appeared, Who came to purify us! Let our hearing be pure, and the sight of our eyes chaste, and the feeling of the heart holy, and the speech of the mouth sincere!  …read more

Glad Tidings of Great Joy
An excerpt from The Winter Pascha, by Fr. Thomas Hopko

When the “Hail” of the angelic salutation is translated “Rejoice”  ….there is an even greater presence of the “good news of great joy” for the faithful, since they, together with the whole of creation, are greeted with this salutation again and again in the songs of the festal celebration.  …read more

The Sun of Righteousness
An excerpt from The Winter Pascha, by Fr. Thomas Hopko

Some people fault the Christian Church for establishing the feast of Christ’s birth on the day of the “birth of the sun.” …Orthodox Christians believe that it was an act inspired by the Holy Spirit. God has sent His Son into the world for its sanctification and salvation.  …read more