This past Sunday I sang “O come O come Emanuel” in church for the first time this year. That’s right the 40 day fast in preparation for the feast of the incarnation has begun.
What, you say, are you talking about? Advent doesn’t begin this year until December 1st. A forty day fast is lent not advent. Are you sure you were in a Catholic church?
Yes I was in a Catholic church. Here is a picture of the interior, the altar is behind that wall with all the pictures.
That’s right advent in the Byzantine Rite has begun. In the Byzantine liturgy the pre-Christmas season is called St. Philips fast and is 40 days before Christmas. It begins November 15th the day after the feast of St. Philip in the eastern calendar.