Menaion

December 31

Leave-taking of the Nativity of the Lord.

Transferred to December 30 (because of the leave-taking):
Our venerable mother Melany the Younger of Rome, who, with her husband St. Pinianus, left the city of Rome and set out for the Holy City of Jerusalem. There, she among the women consecrated to God and her husband among the monks, they practiced the religious life and both rested in a holy death. (438)

At Vespers

music - aposticha

Daily Vespers is celebrated. There are six stichera at "O Lord, I have cried" for the feast of the Nativity.

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.

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.

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!

But if it is Friday evening, we sing: Glory.... Augustus became supreme ruler of the world... Now and ever... and the dogmatikon in the Tone of the Week.

There is no entrance. Prokeimenon of the day.

The aposticha are from Compline 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! (once, without theotokion)


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, 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!

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.

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:  (of the day)

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: (of the day)

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!