Menaion

December 24

Vigil of the Nativity.

The holy great martyr Eugenia. Her father was Eparch of All Egypt. Eugenia ministered to the Christians who had been forced to flee the city of Alexandria due to persecution, and was then baptized. She assumed men’s clothing and lived in a monastery. She was betrayed to the Eparch, who then found his daughter (thought by him to be dead). He was converted to the Faith. They moved back to Rome, where she was beheaded on December 25. (262)

At Vespers

music (samohlasen)

There are six stichera at "O Lord, I have cried": three for the the pre-feast, and three for the holy martyr.

Tone 5, special melody Radujsja. You bear the form of Adam, * yet You are all-perfect, being in the form of God. * Of your own will You are held in human hands, * even though in your own power You uphold all things. * The pure and undefiled Virgin spoke aloud: * How shall I wrap You in swaddling clothes like an infant? * How shall I nurse the One who gives nourishment to the world? * How shall I not wonder in amazement at your poverty beyond understanding? * How shall I, who am your handmaiden, call You my Son? * I sing your praises and I bless You, * for You grant great mercy to the world.

The undefiled Virgin beheld the pre-eternal God as a child * who had taken flesh from her. * She held Him in her arms * and without ceasing kissed Him. * Filled with joy, she cried out: * O most high God and unseen King, * how is it that I look upon You? * I cannot understand the mystery of your immeasurable lowliness. * For the smallest of caves is a strange dwelling for You; * yet it finds room for You within itself. * You have been born without destroying my virginity, * and You have kept my womb as it was before childbirth. * Now You grant great mercy to the world.

When the Virgin saw the Magi standing before the cave, * she spoke to them in wonder: * Whom do you seek? * For I see that you have come from a far country. * You have the appearance but not the thoughts of the Persians. * You have come with zeal to worship Him * who journeyed as a stranger from on high, * and who wondrously took up abode in me * in a way known only to himself. * He grants great mercy to the world.
Tone

Tone 8, special melody O preslavnoho čudese.  O praiseworthy Eugenia, * putting aside the attractions of the world, * through good deeds you manifested the nobility of your soul. * O invincible martyr, O tower of virginity, O noble flower of nature, * through a holy life you preserved grace undisturbed.

O wise Eugenia, * through your words and your life, * through your grace and suffering, you adorned your soul; * you brought the armies of martyrs and the assembly of virgins to Him * who shone forth from the Virgin. * With them implore Him to save your flock.

The steward of justice adorned you as a pure virgin * and as a glorious martyr with two crowns. * O bride of Christ, He prepared a bridal chamber illuminated with radiant lights, * where you have taken your abode with your betrothed.

Glory, now and ever – Tone 2.  Behold, the time of salvation is drawing near. * O Cave, prepare yourself, * for the Virgin is coming to give birth. * O Bethlehem, O land of Judah, * adorn yourself and be happy * since the Lord will shine forth from you. * O mountains and hills and lands around Judah, * hearken, for Christ is coming * that he may save his creation * because he is the Lover of us all.

The aposticha are for the pre-festive day:

Tone 1, special melody Prechvalnyj mučenicy.   Having learned that You were to be born as a King, * the Kings from the East come to You, * bringing gifts of frankincense, myrrh, and gold, O Son. * Behold them standing before the doors; * bid them enter to gaze upon You, * held in my arms as a child, * even though You are older than ancient Adam.

God comes from Ternan; the Holy One from Mount Paran.

Come and make haste to enter, said the Virgin to the Magi, * and behold Him who is invisible * is now visibly manifest and has become a child. * They came eagerly and worshiped Him, * bringing gifts in fulfillment of the divine prophecy.

O Lord, I heard your voice and I was afraid; I knew your deeds and I was terrified.

I hold in my arms as a child the One who upholds all, * and I am filled with amazement. * How shall I feed You with milk, * for You give food to all, O my Son and my Creator? * I glorify your infinite condescension * whereby You save the perishing world.

Glory, now and ever – Tone 6.  O Zion, be happy; rejoice, O Jerusalem, * the city of Christ our God; * welcome the Creator who rests in a manger in a cave. * Open your gates, Jerusalem, and I will enter * so that I may see Him who holds all creation in his hand, * even though He lies in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes. * The angels ever praise this life-giving Lord * who is the only Savior of all.

Troparion of the martyr,  Tone 4. In you, O mother, the divine image was strictly preserved; * taking up your cross, you followed Christ. * You taught us by example how to spurn the flesh, for it passes away, * and how to care for the soul which is immortal. * Therefore, O venerable Eugenia, your soul rejoices with the angels.

Glory, now and ever – Troparion of the Vigil, Tone 4. At that time Mary registered in Bethlehem * with the elder Joseph who was of the house of David. * She had conceived without seed and was with child, * her time to give birth had come. * They found no room at the inn, * but the cave became a pleasant palace for the Queen. * Christ is born to raise up the likeness that had fallen.

At the Divine Liturgy

music - see the December Menaion

Troparion of the Vigil, Tone 4. At that time Mary registered in Bethlehem * with the elder Joseph who was of the house of David. * She had conceived without seed and was with child, * her time to give birth had come. * They found no room at the inn, * but the cave became a pleasant palace for the Queen. * Christ is born to raise up the likeness that had fallen.

Troparion of the martyr,  Tone 4. In you, O mother, the divine image was strictly preserved; * taking up your cross, you followed Christ. * You taught us by example how to spurn the flesh, for it passes away, * and how to care for the soul which is immortal. * Therefore, O venerable Eugenia, your soul rejoices with the angels.

Glory – Kontakion of the martyr, Tone 4.   You left the passing glory of the world to follow Christ, * and you kept immaculate the brilliance of your soul. * O inspired martyr Eugenia, * you are worthy of all praise.

Now and ever – Kontakion of the Vigil, Tone 3.   Today the Virgin is coming to the cave * to give birth to the eternal Word * in a manner beyond expression. * Let the world dance when it hears the news; * with the angels and shepherds glorify the eternal God * who chose to appear as a newborn child.

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:  (proper)

Alleluia, Tone 1 (Ps. 39:2,3). Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
V. I have waited, waited for the Lord, and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.

Gospel:  (proper)

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