Menaion

December 28

Post-festive day of the Nativity.

The Twenty Thousand Martyrs of Nicomedia. During the reign of emperor Maximian Hercules, the Christian faith was brutally persecuted in Nicomedia. When the local Christians had gathered in the church to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord, he ordered his soldiers to surround the church and set it on fire. Those inside were offered free passage out, as long as they betrayed Christ. They refused, men, women and children, and were martyred. (302)

At Vespers

music (samohlasen)

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

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 4, special melody Jako doblja. You were made firm and solidly strengthened * and formed with the power of Jesus Christ. * Being weak by nature, * you revealed yourselves to be invincible, O Martyrs. * In the struggle, you vanquished the enemy, * and you pray for those who observe your holy and light-bearing memory, * O great and glorious Martyrs.

In the words of Theophilus and in the deeds of Dorotheus, * together with Gorgonius, Secundum, Peter, and Indis, * the martyrs fought with courage and overcame the camps of the enemy. * They are imploring that Christ God deliver from all dangers * those who in faith observe their precious memory.

Young men and women, * the elderly and the children, * all showed the same courage. * Therefore, they obtained equal rewards through grace, * and now they abide with the God and King of all. * Let us, with sacred and spiritual hymns, * venerate the twenty thousand of them * as light-radiating luminaries of the whole world.

Glory, now and ever – Tone 5.  May all the earth rejoice and may heaven be happy; * for today there is truly one fold for angels and people. * O wonder! The invisible One is seen; * He who is uncontainable is contained. * The Word takes on flesh, and the Son of God becomes the Son of Man. * The all-pure Virgin is seen as the Mother of God, * and being a mother, she is still found to be a virgin after giving birth. * The Word of the Father becomes incarnate, * and He is found lying in a crib. * The shepherds proclaim and partake of the mystery. * Magi from the East offer gifts, after having been guided by a star. * They worship Him who was born, the Savior. * With them, let us feast-lovers warmly open up our hearts ." and offer good deeds to Him who comes to save the whole race from error. * Let us offer deeds of faith, hope, and love * as though they were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. * Angelic voices now sing to him: * Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will to all.

The aposticha are for the post-feast:

Tone 2, special melody Dome Jefratov.  O Christ, You came forth from the Virgin, * and You mystically bore the first Adam within yourself. * You were born in a cave, * and You were wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.

Before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.

O David, cry out as a prophet * and raise up your lyre in hymns, * because from your loins the Theotokos descended, * and from her, Christ is born today.

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

O faithful, let us offer worthy praise * with the shepherds and the Magi; * and with the angels let us give glory to God * who has blossomed forth from the Virgin.

Glory, now and ever – Tone 1.  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!

Troparion of the martyrs, Tone 2.  O victorious martyrs of the Lord, * blessed is the earth that received your blood, * and holy are the heavenly places that opened to your souls. * You have vanquished the enemy in battle and proclaimed Christ with courage. * We beg you to intercede with Him, the all-good One, * that He may save our souls.

Glory, now and ever – Troparion of the Nativity, 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!

At the Divine Liturgy

music - see the December Menaion

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. 94:1):
Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord; let us acclaim God our Savior!
Refrain: O Son of God, born of the Virgin, save us who sing to you: Alleluia!

Entrance Hymn (Ps. 94:6):
Come, let us worship and bow before Christ.
Refrain: O Son of God, born of the Virgin, save us who sing to you: Alleluia!

Troparion of the Nativity, 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!

Troparion of the martyrs, Tone 4.  O victorious martyrs of the Lord, * blessed is the earth that received your blood, * and holy are the heavenly places that opened to your souls. * You have vanquished the enemy in battle and proclaimed Christ with courage. * We beg you to intercede with Him, the all-good One, * that He may save our souls.

Glory, now and ever – Kontakion of the martyrs, Tone 2.   Thousands of saints stood firm in their faith and endured martyrdom in a blaze. * They cry to him who was born of the Virgin: *O God eternal, accept our offering * and you accepted the gold, frankincense and myrrh of the Persian klings.

Prokeimenon, Tone 5 (Ps. 11:8,2).  You, O Lord, will keep us and preserve forever from this generation.
V.Save me, O Lord, for the righteous have vanished.

Epistle:  Romans 8:3-9

Alleluia, Tone 4 (Ps. 65:1-2,10). Alleuia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
V. Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; sing praise to his name, give to him glorious praise
V. For you, O God, have tested us, you have tried us as silver is tried.222222

Gospel: Luke 10:19-21

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