Menaion

December 25

Great feastTHE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD, GOD, AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST “When the fullness of time was come, God sent his only-begotten Son” (Galatians 4:4) to save the human race. Nine months after his conception in the womb of the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity was born in a stable in Bethlehem of Judea. To him be eternal glory and praise! Amen.

At Vespers

music (samohlasen)

If it is Saturday evening or Sunday evening, we sing "Blessed is the man."

On any other day, we immediately sing "O Lord, I have cried" in Tone 2, and the priest begins the preparation (prothesis) for the Divine Liturgy. The deacon censes as usual while the hymns of the feast are sung.

There are eight stichera at "O Lord, I have cried."

Tone 2 samohlasen. Come, let us rejoice in the Lord; * let us proclaim the present mystery * by which the partition has been broken and the flaming sword withheld. * Now the Cherubim shall let us all come to the Tree of Life. * As for me, I am returning to the bliss of Paradise * from which I had been banished by disobedience. * Behold! The Image of the Father and his unchangeable eternity * has taken the form of a servant. * Without suffering He has come forth to us from an all-pure Virgin, * and yet He has remained unchanged. * He is true God as He was before, * and He has taken on himself what He had not been, * becoming man out of his love for all. * Therefore, let us raise our voices in hymns, singing: * O God, born of the Virgin, have mercy on us. (twice)

Because the Lord Jesus was born of the holy Virgin, * all creation is enlightened. * Behold! The shepherds keep watch and the Magi are adoring; * the angels are singing hymns of praise * and Herod is trembling; * for the Savior of our souls has revealed himself in the flesh. (twice)

O Christ our God, your kingdom is eternal, * and your reign is from generation to generation. * You became incarnate of the Holy Spirit * and became man from the ever-virgin Mary. * Your coming, O Christ, has shed a great light upon us. * You are the Light of Light * and the radiance of the Father. * You have illumined the whole creation. * Therefore, everything that breathes sings a hymn of praise to You. * You are the image of the Father's glory. * You are the eternal God, existing before all ages, * who shone forth from the Virgin. * O Lord our God, have mercy on us. (twice)

O Christ, what shall we offer You * for your coming on earth in our humanity for our sake? * Every creature that has its being from You gives thanks to You: * the angels offer hymns of praise, the heavens give a star; * the Magi present their gifts and the shepherds, their wonder; * the earth provides a cave and the desert, a manger. * As for us, we offer a Virgin Mother. * O God who are from all eternity, have mercy on us. (twice)

Glory, now and ever – Tone 2.  When Augustus became supreme ruler of the world, * the many kingdoms among the people came to an end. * Likewise, when You became incarnate of the Immaculate One, * the worship of many gods had to cease. * The cities came under a universal power, * and the Gentiles believed in one supreme Divinity. * Nations were registered in the name of Caesar Augustus, * and we, the faithful, were registered in your divine name, O Incarnate One. * O Lord, great is your mercy; glory to You!

Entrance with Gospel book, and prokeimenon of the day. But if December 24 falls on a Friday, we sing the following great prokeimenon instead:

Prokeimenon, Tone 7 (Psalm 76: 14-16, 11, 12). What god is as great as our God? You are the God who works wonders.
V. You showed your power among the peoples.
V. I said:  “This is what causes my grief; that the way of the Most High has changed.”
V. I remember the deeds of the Lord, I remember your wonders of old.

Then three readings:

A reading from Genesis (Genesis 1:1-13).

A reading from the Book of Numbers (Numbers 24:2-3, 5-9, 17-18).

A reading from the Prophecy of Micah (Micah 4:6-7, 5:2-4).

and the following responsorial troparion:

Tone 6. You were born in a cave, hidden from the eyes of all; * but the heavens revealed You to all by means of a star, O Savior. * It brought the Magi to You; * they worshiped You in the fervor of their faith. * Have mercy upon all of us.

v. On the holy mountain is his city cherished by the Lord. The Lord prefers the gates of Zion to all Jacob's dwellings.

Refrain: It brought the Magi to You; * they worshiped You in the fervor of their faith. * Have mercy upon all of us.

v. Of you are told glorious things, 0 city of God. Babylon and Egypt I will count among those who know me.

Refrain: It brought the Magi to You; * they worshiped You in the fervor of their faith. * Have mercy upon all of us.

v. Zion shall be called Mother, for all shall be her children. It is He, the Lord Most High, who gives each his place.

Refrain: It brought the Magi to You; they worshiped You in the fervor of their faith. * Have mercy upon all of us.

Glory be...now and ever...

You were born in a cave, hidden from the eyes of all; * but the heavens revealed You to all by means of a star, 0 Savior. * It brought the Magi to You; * they worshiped You in the fervor of their faith. * Have mercy upon all of us.

Then three more readings:

A reading from the Prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 11:1-10).

A reading from the Prophecy of Baruch (Baruch 3:35 – 4:4).

A reading from the Prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 2:31-36, 44-45).

and the following responsorial troparion:

Tone 6.  You have shone forth from the Virgin, O Christ, Sun of Justice. * A star found You, whom nothing can contain, manifested in the cave. * It led the Magi to adore You. * With them, we worship You, * O Giver of Life; glory to You!

v. The Lord is King, with majesty enrobed; the Lord has robed himself with might; He has girded himself with power.

Refrain: It led the Magi to adore You. * With them, we worship You, * O Giver of Life; glory to You!

v. The world You made firm, not to be moved; your throne has stood firm from of old. From all eternity, O Lord, You are.

Refrain: It led the Magi to adore You. * With them, we worship You, * O Giver of Life; glory to You!

v. The waters have lifted up, O Lord, the waters have lifted up their voice; the waters have lifted up their thunder.

Refrain: It led the Magi to adore You. * With them, we worship You, * O Giver of Life; glory to You!

Glory be...now and ever...

You have shown forth from the Virgin, O Christ, Sun of Justice. * A star found You, whom nothing can contain, manifested in the cave. * It led the Magi to adore You. * With them, we worship You, * O Giver of Life; glory to You!

Then two final readings:

A reading from the Prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 9:6-7).

A reading from the Prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 7:10-16; 8:1-4, 9-10).

If it is Saturday or Sunday evening, we continue with Vespers:

Prokeimenon of the Vigil, Tone 1 (Ps. 2:7-8).  The Lord said to me: You are my Son; it is I who have begotten you this day.
V. Ask, and I shall bequeath you the nations

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Galatians (Galatians 3:15-22).

Alleluia of the Vigil, Tone 5 (Ps. 109:1-3). Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
V. The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool.
V. The Lord will yield from Zion your scepter of power: rule in the midst of all your foes.
V. From the womb, before the morning star, I have begotten you. The Lord has sworn and he will not repent.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 13:31-36).

Then the Litany of Fervent Supplication, the hymn "Make us worthy, O Lord", the Litany of Supplication, and the festive dismissal. There are no aposticha, since they are sung at Compline.

If it is not Saturday or Sunday evening, then after the last reading from Isaiah, the Small Litany is intoned, and the Divine Liturgy of our Holy Father Basil the Great is celebrated, beginning with the Trisagion.

Prokeimenon of the Vigil, Tone 1 (Ps. 2:7-8).  The Lord said to me: You are my Son; it is I who have begotten you this day.
V. Ask, and I shall bequeath you the nations

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 1:1-12).

Alleluia of the Vigil, Tone 5 (Ps. 44:1,3). Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
V. The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool.
V. The Lord will yield from Zion your scepter of power: rule in the midst of all your foes.
V. From the womb, before the morning star, I have begotten you. The Lord has sworn and he will not repent.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 2:1-20).

Instead of It is truly proper, we sing In you, O Woman full of grace...

Communion Hymn (Ps. 148:1). Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the highest. Alleuia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

At Great Compline

music

Stichera at the litija:

Tone 1 Bolhar. May heaven and earth rejoice prophetically this day. * May angels and people spiritually celebrate, * for God appeared in the flesh * to those groping in the darkness and resting in a shadow. * Having been born of a Virgin, * a cave and a manger received Him. * Shepherds relate a miracle; * the Magi from the East bring gifts to Bethlehem, * while we, with unworthy lips, render Him angelic praise: * Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth, * for the hope of nations has arrived. * Having come, He has saved us from hostile bondage.

Today heaven and earth unite, for Christ is born. * Today God came to earth in the flesh, * and the human race was lifted up to the heavens. * Today, for the sake of all, He is seen in the flesh, * the One who by nature is invisible. * Let us glorify Him, singing: * Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace * which your coming has bestowed on us. * O Savior, glory to You!

Today in Bethlehem I hear from the angels: * Glory to God in the highest; * glory to Him whose good pleasure it was that there be peace on earth. * The Virgin is now more spacious than the heavens. * Light has shone upon those in darkness * and has exalted the lowly who sing like the angels: * Glory to God in the highest!

Seeing the one who was made to the image and likeness of God * fall because of his transgression, * Jesus lowered the heavens and came down. * And without changing, He took up his dwelling in a virgin womb * that He might fashion anew the corrupt Adam who cried to Him: * Glory to your epiphany, 0 my Deliverer and my God.

Glory – Tone 5 Bolhar.  The Persian Magi clearly recognized the heavenly King born on earth. * Led by a bright star, they arrived at Bethlehem * bearing choice gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh; * and falling down, they adored Him; * for they saw the eternal One, lying as a Child, in the cave.

Now and ever – Tone 6.  Angels rejoice in heaven, and people exalt today, * and all creatures leap with joy * because of the birth of the Lord Savior in Bethlehem; * for all deceit of idolatry has ceased, * and Christ reigns forever.

The aposticha are for the feast:

Tone 2 samohlasen.  A great and glorious miracle was wrought today: * the Virgin gives birth without corrupting her virginity; * the Word is made flesh without separation from the Father; * the angels and shepherds give praise, and we exclaim with them: * Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth.

From the womb, before the morning star, I have begotten you. The Lord has sworn and he will not repent.

Tone 3.  Today the Virgin gives birth to the Creator of all, * Paradise offers a cave, and a star presents Christ as the Sun in darkness; * the Magi with their gifts, enlightened by faith, adore; * the shepherds behold a miracle, * while the angels exclaim: Glory to God in the highest.

The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool.

When the Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, * the Magi, coming from the East, adored God made man, * and unfolding their treasures, they brought precious gifts: * the purest of gold as to the eternal King; * and incense as to the God of all; * and myrrh as to the immortal dead of three days. * Come all nations, let us adore Him who is born to save our souls.

Glory – Tone 4.  Rejoice, Jerusalem; * exalt all those who love Zion. * Today the temporary bond of Adam's condemnation is dissolved; * Paradise is opened to us, and the serpent is crushed; * for woman, whom he first deceived, he now perceives as mother of the Creator. * O abyss of divine wealth, wisdom, and intellect! * She, who had been a sinful vessel conveying death to all flesh, * has become through the Mother of God the means of salvation to the whole universe; * for of her is born a Child, ever-perfect God, whose birth confirms virginity, * loosening the bonds of sins with swaddling clothes, * and, through his infancy, healing Eve's care-laden pains. * May the whole universe exalt and leap with joy, * for Christ has come to regenerate it and to save our souls.

Now and ever – Tone 4.  You have dwelt in a cave, O Christ God, * and a manger received You; * the shepherds and the Magi adored You. * Then were the predictions of prophets fulfilled; * and angelic powers stood amazed, singing and saying: * Glory to your condescension, * for You alone love all creation.

Troparion, Tone 4.  Your birth, O Christ our God, * has shed upon the world the light of knowledge; * for through it, those who worshipped the stars * have learned from a star to worship you, the Sun of Justice, * and to know you, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to you, O Lord! (3 times)

At Matins

music

 

At the Divine Liturgy

music

First Antiphon (Ps. 9:2, 110:1-3):
I shall praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I shall declare all your wondrous deeds.
Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, save us.

In the meeting of the just and their assembly, great are the works of the Lord, to be pondered by all who love them.
Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, save us.

Majestic and glorious his work, his justice stands firm forever.
Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, save us.

Glory... now and ever...
Refrain: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, save us.

Second Antiphon (Ps. 111:1-3):
Happy the man who fears the Lord and greatly delights in his commands.
Refrain: O Son of God, born of the Virgin, save us who sing to you: Alleluia!

His posterity will be mighty upon the earth; the children of the upright are blessed.
Refrain: O Son of God, born of the Virgin, save us who sing to you: Alleluia!

Riches and wealth are in his house; his justice stands firm forever.
Refrain: O Son of God, born of the Virgin, save us who sing to you: Alleluia!

Glory... now and ever...
O Only-begotten Son and Word of God...

Third Antiphon (Ps. 109:1-3), sung to the Tone 4 troparion melody:
The Lord is King; let the peoples rage. He is enthroned upon the Cherubim; let the earth quake.
Refrain: Your birth, O Christ our God, * has shed upon the world the light of knowledge; * for through it, those who worshipped the stars * have learned from a star to worship you, the Sun of Justice, * and to know you, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to you, O Lord!

The Lord will yield from Zion your scepter of power: rule in the midst of all your foes.
Refrain: Your birth, O Christ our God...

A prince from the day of your birth on the holy mountains.
Refrain: Your birth, O Christ our God...

Entrance Hymn, sung to the Tone 4 troparion melody (Ps. 109:3-4). From the womb, before the morning star, I have begotten you. * The Lord has sworn and he will not repent: * You are a priest forever * according to the order or Melchizadek.

Troparion, Tone 4.  Your birth, O Christ our God, * has shed upon the world the light of knowledge; * for through it, those who worshipped the stars * have learned from a star to worship you, the Sun of Justice, * and to know you, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to you, O Lord! rd has sworn and he will not repent.

Glory, now and ever – Kontakion, Tone 3.   Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable. * The angels sing his glory with the shepherds; * the wise men journey with the star. * The eternal God is born for us as an infant child.

Instead of "Holy God", the following is sung:

All you who have been baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. Alleluia! (three times)
Glory... now and ever... Have been clothed with Christ. Alleluia!
All you who have been baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. Alleluia!

Prokeimenon, Tone 8 (Ps. 65:4,1,2).  Let all the earth worship you and sing praise to you; let everyone sing praise to your name O Most High.
V. Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; sing praise to his name, give to him glorious praise.

Epistle:  Galatians 4:4-7

Alleluia, Tone 1 (Ps. 18:2,3). Alleuia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
V. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
V. Day unto day pours out the word and night unto night imparts knowledge.

Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12

Magnification. Extol, O my soul, Christ the King, born in a cave.

Irmos, Tone 1. I see a strange and marvelous mystery: heaven is a cave, * the cherubic throne a Virgin; * the manger has become the place * in which Christ, the incomprehensible God, lies down. * Let us praise him and extol him.

Communion Hymn (Ps. 110:9). The Lord has sent deliverance to his people. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!