Menaion

December 8

VigilFEAST OF THE MATERNITY OF THE HOLY ANNA, MOTHER OF OUR BLESSED LADY, THE MOTHER OF GOD AND EVER-VIRGIN MARY. According to tradition, Joachim and Anna were childless for fifty years of their married life. In their old age, they were promised that a daughter would be born to them. After nine months, St. Anna bore a daughter, blessed by God and by all subsequent generations of humanity: the most holy Theotokos, the ever-virgin Mary.

At Vespers

music (samohlasen)

“Blessed is the man” is sung. There are eight stichera at "O Lord, I have cried":

Tone 6, special melody Zvannyj svyše byv. The barren Anna leaped for joy * when she gave birth to Mary the Virgin, * who in turn will give birth in the flesh to God the Word. * Overflowing with happiness, she cried out: * Rejoice with me, all tribes of Israel, * for I have conceived and put aside my burden of childlessness * as the Creator has deigned. * He heard my prayer and healed the pains of my yearning heart. (three times)

O Anna, the One who made waters gush forth from a rock * bestows as a fruit of your womb, the ever-virgin Lady. * Through her, our salvation will come. * Because of this you were delivered from shame. * No longer will you be on earth as a fruitless soil, * for you have produced an earth * which will bring forth the Tree of Life. * According to his will, * he delivered the human race from all shame * when he became man out of his compassionate mercy. (three times)

The sayings of the prophets are now being fulfilled: * the holy mountain is planted in the womb; * the divine ladder is set up; * the throne of the great king is ready; * the God-inspired city is being adorned. * The unburnable bush is beginning to bud forth, * and the treasure house of grace is overflowing. * It is spreading over the rivers of unfruitfulness * of the God-wise Anna *  whom we glorify in faith. (twice)

Glory, now and ever –  Tone 2.  Today the mystery which has been announced from eternity, * whose depth angels and human beings cannot measure, * appears In the arms of Anna. * Mary, the maiden of God Is prepared * to be the dwelling of the King of the ages * who will renew our human nature. * Let us entreat her with a pure heart and say: * Since you are the Intercessor for all Christians, * implore your Son and God to save our souls.

Entrance with censer, and prokeimenon of the day.  Then three readings:

A reading from Genesis (Genesis 28:10-17).

A reading from the Prophecy of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 43:27 – 44:4).

A reading from Proverbs (Proverbs 9:1-11).

Stichera at the Litija:

Tone 1 Bolhar. It is fitting that the Queen of heaven and earth, * who Is more precious than the Cherubim, * and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim, * be conceived and remain Immaculate as the angels, * so that they who are servants of the Lord * can boast of their own Queen, the Theotokos. * Glory and praise to the Lord who willed it so, * the Creator of all things.

It is fitting that the unique and chosen woman  be conceived without sin,  and the power of Satan is now taken away;  for the Mother of God will never bow before him.  Glory and praise to the Lord who willed it so,  the Creator of all things.

It is fitting that the Second Eve  be created and remain without sin  in the manner of the Second Adam;  for the rebirth of the human race now takes place,  just as the fall came through the first Adam and the first Eve.  Christ has renewed all through his new birth,  and it was Mary that gave birth to Him.  Glory and praise to the Lord who willed it so,  the Creator of all things.

Glory, now and ever –  Tone 1 Bolhar. Before the nativity of the Son of God, * it was fitting for the Father * to bestow the most pure conception upon the Theotokos, * who is betrothed of the Holy Spirit, * that she might be filled with heavenly gifts * in a manner beyond all other creatures. * Glory and praise to the Lord who willed it so, * the Creator of all things.

The aposticha are for the feast:

Tone 5, special melody Radujsja.  Anna, whose name means divine grace, * once cried out in her prayer, asking for a child. * She invoked the God and Creator of all, saying: * Lord of Hosts, you know what shame it is to be barren.  * Heal the pains of my heart. * Make my fruitless womb fruitful * so that we may offer to you the child who is born as a gift, * and that with one mind, * we may bless, praise, and glorify your love * through which the world obtains great mercy

The Lord swore an oath to David; he will not go back on his word.

Anna was praying with great fervor, beseeching the Lord for a child, * when she heard the voice of an angel * who told her that God had granted her wish, saying plainly: * Do not doubt, for your prayer has reached the Lord. * Wipe away your tears, * for you shall be an olive tree bringing forth a beautiful branch. * You will bring forth the Virgin * from whom will blossom the flower, Christ-in-the-flesh, * who will grant great mercy to the world.

A Son, the fruit of your body, will I set upon your throne.

Joachim and Anna, the righteous couple, * gave birth to the precious heavenly fruit, the ewe-lamb, * who in turn will give birth in a manner beyond understanding * to the Lamb of God who is to be sacrificed for all. * Because of this, they offer to the Lord * an unceasing and humble hymn of praise. * Let us, therefore, praise them with fervor. * And let us joyfully celebrate the birth of the One who was born of them, * Mary, the Theotokos; * because through her, great mercy is granted to all of us.

Glory, now and ever – Tone 2.  On this day the royal purple appears, * descending from the root of David. * The mystical flower of Jesse buds forth; * from her shall blossom Christ our God, * the Savior of our souls.

Troparion, Tone 4.  Today the bonds of barrenness are loosed, * for God has heard the prayers of Joachim and Anna. * He promised, beyond hope, the birth of their godly daughter. * The Indescribable, himself, born of her as a mortal, * commanded us through the angel to sing to her: * Rejoice, O woman full of grace, * the Lord is with you. (twice)

Glory, now and ever – Theotokion, Tone 4. Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos! * Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you! * Blessed are you among women, * and blessed is the fruit of your womb. * For you gave birth to Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of our souls.

At the Divine Liturgy

music

Troparion, Tone 4.  Today the bonds of barrenness are loosed, * for God has heard the prayers of Joachim and Anna. * He promised, beyond hope, the birth of their godly daughter. * The Indescribable, himself, born of her as a mortal, * commanded us through the angel to sing to her: * Rejoice, O woman full of grace, * the Lord is with you.

Glory, now and ever – Kontakion, Tone 4. Today the whole world celebrates * how Anna becomes a mother by the power of God. * She conceived the woman * whose conception of the Word is beyond our words.

Prokeimenon, Tone 4 (Ps. 67:36,27). God is wondrous in his saints, the God of Israel
V. In the churches bless God; from Israel's wellsprings bless the Lord.

Epistle:  Galatins 4:22-31

Alleluia , Tone 1 (Ps. 36:39,40). Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
V. The salvation of the just is from the Lord; he is their protector in time of distress.
V. The Lord will help them and deliver them and rescue them from sinners and save them, for they have hoped in him.

Gospel:  Luke 8:16-21

Magnification. Extol, O my soul, the wondrous conception of the Mother of God.

Irmos, Tone 1. Let us, the faithful, * extol the Theotokos, * the ever-flowing Fountain of Life, * radiant Beacon of Grace, * Living Temple, and most pure Tabernacle, * more spacious than earth and heaven.

Communion Hymn (Ps. 32:1). Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous ones; praise from the upright is fitting. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!