The Fast of the Holy Prophets - The Nativity Fast

Throughout the centuries our almighty God sent the Holy Prophets to predict different events and facts concerning the promised Savior. It was the Holy Trinity that prophesied first about the coming of Jesus Christ. God promised Adam that him and his descendants would be saved after 5500 years through his great granddaughter’s (St. Mary) Son [Jesus Christ].  Starting from the first parents, our forefathers and prophets were all fasting to see the coming of their Messiah- Savior. Spiritually, some have foreseen the coming of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as it is recorded in the Gospel of John, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”[Jn 8:56].   The fast of the Holy Prophets is one of the seven official fasting seasons of Eritrean Tewahdo Church which starts on the 15th of Geez calendar of Hidar [Nov. 24] and ends on Christmas Eve 28 of Tahsas Geez [ January 6].

We observe this fast following the examples of the prophets who were fasting and praying in their times longing for the Advent of Christ. In the Law of Kings Article 15, instruction is given that we should observe this fast before we celebrate Christmas. We fast this period to celebrate the gift we receive from the birth of our God, Emmanuel and also to partake of the blessing of those Holy forefathers, prophets, apostles who had fasted the Nativity fast. During this holy month, our Holy Church teaches that as the Holy Prophets were fasting to see the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ through Virgin Mary, we should also fast and pray promptly and diligently to see the coming of God's kingdom.

As the Bible teaches us the Holy Church is built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone. Prophet Moses fasted on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights before receiving the Ten Commandments from God, which were at that time considered the word of God to his people. Thus, with Christ being the Word of God, the Christians fast those 43 days in preparation of receiving the Word of God in flesh at the Feast of the Nativity. This is called the fast of Holy Prophet because the prophecy about the coming of Jesus Christ was fulfilled.

Prophecy Old Testament New Testament
Place of birth

God Incarnate

Born of a virgin

Sold for silver

False testimonies against Him

His fall under the Cross

Giving Him vinegar and gall

Giving up the Spirit

Darkness on His crucifixion

His resurrection

His ascension

Micah 5:2

Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 7:14

Zechariah 11:12

Psalm 35:11

Psalm 109:24

Psalm 69:21

Psalm 31:5

Amos 8:9

Psalm l6:10; Psalm 22:22

Psalm 4:7; Psalm 68:18

Matthew 2:1-6

John 1:14

Matthew 1:8-23

Matthew 26:14-15

Matthew 26:59-60

John 19:17

Mark 27:34

Matthew 23:46

Matthew 27:45

Matthew 28, 1 Corinthians 15

Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9

Just as the prophecies concerning the past have been fulfilled, so will those concerning the future. "Surely, I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20).

Fasting is abstinence from food, and is observed by man at certain times determined by law, to attain forgiveness of sins and much reward, obeying thus the one who fixed the law. Fasting (also) serves to weaken the force of concupiscence so that (the body) may obey the rational soul." During this fasting period, Christians abstain from meat and all animal products: meat, milk, butter and eggs. No food or drink is taken before noon; the seriously sick are exempted from fasting after they talked with their priest.

The First Sunday of Nativity fast starts with SIBKET (PERIOD OF PREACHING). In this period, our Church remembers the preaching of different prophets about the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

From Adam to Moses:  References to the Redeemer were made, besides specification of the person and tribe of which Christ will come.

His redeeming work: "Shall bruise the head of the serpent" (Genesis 3:15).

Christ's origin: from the line of Abraham (Genesis 23:18), and from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10), and from the stem of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1).

From Moses to Christ: In this phase the rituals and rites were set down then the Psalms and the redemption. The time and conditions in which Christ would come are defined accompanied by accurate calculations and specific testimonials.

A man of sufferings: acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3).

He was beaten, lashed and spit upon (Isaiah 50:6).

His cry on the Cross: "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Psalm 22:1).

He will also arise: He rose victorious over death (Psalm 16:10).

On this date, St. Yared's theme of song reflects on fulfilled prophecy of the Saviour and the Church’s preaching and teaching of the Savior saying "WELDO MEDHIN NESEBK""----"WE PREACH JESUS CHRIST THE SAVIOR".  The theme of the song is based on 2nd Corinthians 4:5, 1st Timothy 4:2-5, and others -"For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord….”

All the reading and psalms also reflect accordingly--

Stretch out Your hand from above;

Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters,

From the hand of foreigners, PSALM 143:7

Meaning- Send your Son {Jesus Christ] from above, and rescue, save and redeem us from the hand of foreigners [the devil, our fleshly desires, and from ourselves too. ]

Archpriest John 1:40-fin

Ass-Priest Act 13:16-fin

Archdeacon Hebrew 1:1-fin

Ass-Deacon 2nd Peter 3:1-10

May God who has received the fast and prayer of the Prophets and Apostles, receive our prayers and devotion. God Bless!

Deacon Medhanie


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    henok says

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