A forefeast (also known as prefeast) is a period of time preceding certain major feasts of the Christian year during which the Church anticipates the approaching festival. The liturgical life of the Church reflects this anticipation by foreshadowing the feast in the divine services celebrated during the forefeast.
Most commemorations that have a forefeast also have an afterfeast and a leavetaking.
The period of a forefeast varies from 1 to 5 days, depending on the particular feast.
Pascha, the other commemorations from the Pentecostarion, and Palm Sunday do not have forefeasts. Most other First Class Feasts and Second Class Feasts do have forefeasts.
From the Pentecostarion
From the Lenten Triodion
- Palm Sunday—no forefeast
From the Menaion
- Nativity of the Theotokos (September 8)—forefeast: 1 day (September 7)
- Elevation of the Holy Cross (September 14)—forefeast: 1 day (September 13)
- Presentation of the Theotokos (November 21)—forefeast: 1 day (November 20)
- Nativity of Christ (December 25)—forefeast: 5 days (December 20 - December 24)
- Theophany (January 6)—forefeast: 4 days (January 2 - January 5)
- Presentation of Christ (February 2)—forefeast: 1 day (February 1)
- Annunciation (March 25)—forefeast: 1 day (March 24)
- Transfiguration (August 6)—forefeast: 1 day (August 5)
- Dormition (August 15)—forefeast: 1 day (August 14)
- The Festal Menaion, tr. by Mother Mary and Archimandrite (now Bishop) Kallistos (St. Tikhon's Seminary Press) (ISBN 1878997009)
- The Pentecostarion, tr. Holy Transfiguration Monastery (ISBN 0943405025)
- Website of the St. Raphael Clergy Brotherhood of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America