Home > eastern-orthodox, Orthodoxy > Nativity of the Theotokos – First Feast of the Church’s New Year

Nativity of the Theotokos – First Feast of the Church’s New Year

The Christian Church observes an annual calendar of feasts and fasts, which begins anew each year on the 1st of September.  The Church uses its calendar to teach the Gospel, the story of our salvation; it invites us to participate in these very same events & the reality they represent; it makes real, here & now, the Truth that is Christ.

The first feast of the new year is the Nativity of the Theotokos, where we celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary on the 8th of September.   We celebrate the birth of her who gives flesh to God Incarnate, Who is both our Creator & Redeemer, that He may be the Salvation of our souls.

Theotokos, which is Greek for “God-bearer” or “Mother of God”, was established as the title for the virgin Mary by the 3rd Ecumenical Council in 431 A.D. as an affirmation of both the divinity and the humanity of Christ. If Christ is both God & man, then the virgin is the Theotokos, otherwise Christ is not God in the flesh.

Tonight we celebrated the feast with a Vesperal Liturgy.  If you’re interested in learning more, tonight’s homily by Fr. Gregory does far more justice to the topic than I can offer. It is worth a listen.

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