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NOTICE! Calendar change!  - We have added a Thanksgiving Akathist Service to the calendar. 

Join us Wednesday at 6 pm for a pre-Thankgiving worship service.  Thanks!

The Nativity Fast

November 15 thru December 24

Why fast before the Nativity?

      We fast before the Great Feast of the Nativity in order to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Our Lord’s birth. As in the case of Great Lent, the Nativity Fast is one of preparation, during which we focus on the coming of the Savior by fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.

     By fasting, we “shift our focus” from ourselves to others, spending less time worrying about what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, and so on in order to use our time in increased prayer and caring for the poor. We learn through fasting that we can gain control over things which we sometimes allow to control us—and for many people, food is a controlling factor. 

     While fasting from food, however, we are also challenged to fast from sin, from gossip, from jealousy, from anger, and from those other things which, while well within our control, we all too often allow to control us.

     Just as we would refrain from eating a lot before going to an expensive restaurant for dinner—if we “ruin our appetite” we will enjoy the restaurant less—so too we fast before the Nativity in order to more fully feast and celebrate on the Nativity itself.

During the Nativity Fast, we are called upon to refrain from meat, dairy, fish, wine, and olive oil. At the same time, we are challenged, within this framework, to fast to the best of our ability, and to do so consistently. 

     If we must modify the extent to which we fast within this framework, it is of course possible, but in every instance our fasting should be consistent and regular, for Christ does not see fasting as an option, but as a “must.” 

     In Matthew Christ says, “WHEN you fast, do not be like the hypocrites"

It is not: "IF you fast" or "IF YOU CHOOSE to fast."

Fasting is wonderful, because it tramples our sins like a dirty weed, while it cultivates and raises truth like a flower.  

          (Look HERE and HERE for Fasting Rules in the Orthodox Church or on the Church Calendar for the fasting rule on a given date)

 

Celebrating the Orthodox Christian Faith

in Merced/Atwater

 

Father Lawrence Gaudreau, Rector



  

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, November 22nd
6:00 Thanksgiving Akathist

Saturday, November 25th
5:00 Great Vespers

Sunday, November 26th
9:40 Hours
10:00 Divine Liturgy

Wednesday, November 29th
Holy Apostle Andrew
4:45 Choir practice
6:00 Great Vespers
with Litya
7:00 Adult Education

Saturday, December 2nd

12 Noon Decorate trailer (chapel parking lot)

3:00 Merced Christmas Parade

on Main Street

Great Vespers Cancelled

 

Sunday, December 3rd
9:40 Hours
10:00 Divine Liturgy 

 Our Complete Calendars & Schedules page is here

     St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church keeps a full schedule of services for the major feast days of the Church Year. 


Ancient Faith Radio
Click one of the four stations to listen

What in the world is an Orthodox Christian?  

Click HERE for a brief explanation!

Click HERE for a more complete explanation!



Orthodox Christianity on the Web

by a member of our church


Directions & Location

     St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church holds services at the Chapel of Dignity Health Outpatient Center (also called "Dominican Campus") located at 2740 M Street, Merced, CA 95340, between 27th Street and Bear Creek Drive.  The entrance to the chapel is from the Bear Creek Side (north side). Go to the Driving Directions page for a map and detailed directions. HERE.








Glossaries of Orthodox Terms

Orthodox Terminology  A very large glossary of Orthodox words from the website of The Orthodox Church of the Mother of God

A Short Glossary of Liturgical Terms from the website of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, San Francisco

St Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church

Who We Are 

 

 

     We are a family church of many cultures with intergenerational worship; we have a full liturgical life throughout the Church year, with many opportunities for joyful fellowship and enduring growth. Our vision is to “manifest the Kingdom of God by proclaiming and living the Orthodox Christian Faith.” Orthodox Christianity is for everyone — come and see!

 

     Located at the north end of California's San Joaquin Valley, St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church is dedicated to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to His promise of salvation to all mankind. The services of our mission-parish are located in the heart of Merced.

 

     Committed to serving Christ and His Holy Church, the people of St. Mary Magdalene welcome and encourage all visitors to be our guests, especially those who are truly seeking the path of salvation.  

Saint Mary Magdalene
Orthodox Church

Archpriest Lawrence Gaudreau
Sermons

"Don't forget what Christmas is about"
November 19, 2017
"Allow someone to see Christ through us"
November 12, 2017
"Transform into a creature of Christ"
Nov 05, 2017
     




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