November 21

Great feastTHE ENTRANCE OF OUR MOST BLESSED LADY, THE THEOTOKOS AND EVER-VIRGIN MARY INTO THE TEMPLE. The day after the dedication of the basilica of the New St. Mary's, built near the wall of the temple in Jerusalem, that dedication is celebrated which the future mother of God showed of her own accord toward God from her infancy. By the movement of the Holy Spirit she was immaculate, filled with grace at her conception.

At Vespers

music (samohlasen)

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

Tone 1, special melody O divnoje čudo. O faithful, let us leap for joy today, * singing psalms and hymns of praise * in honor of Mary, his mother, * the holy Tabernacle and Ark that contained the Word * whom nothing can contain. * She is offered to God as a child in a marvelous way, * and Zechariah the high priest receives her with great joy, * for she is the dwelling place of the Most High. (twice)

Today the living Temple * of the holy glory of Christ our God, * Mary, the pure and blessed One, * is being brought into the temple according to the Law * to live in its holy precincts. * Joachim and Anne and all the virgins * rejoice with her in spirit. * They sing hymns of praise to the Lord * and give honor to his Mother.

O Virgin Mother of God, * you are the one foretold by all the prophets. * You are the apostles' glory * and the pride of the martyrs * and the cause of renewal for the entire human race. * Through you we have been reconciled with God. * Therefore, we honor your entrance into the temple of the Lord. * Together with the angels, * all of us who are saved by your prayers sing to you: * Rejoice, O most holy one!

Tone 4, special melody Jako dobl'a. The holy and immaculate one * is being led into the Holy of Holies * by the Holy Spirit. * She is being nourished by the angels, * since she is the holy Temple of our holy God. * He has sanctified all creation because of her entrance, * and He has deified our fallen human nature. (twice)

Today the maidens rejoice. * Carrying lamps, they piously escort Mary, * the spiritual lamp, into the Holy of Holies. * This is a foreshadowing of the splendid Light * that will shine forth from her, * the Light that will enlighten all * who sit in the darkness of ignorance.

The most praiseworthy Anna * cries out in great joy: * O Zechariah, receive the One whom the prophets of God * foretold through the Spirit. * Escort her into the holy temple, * since she is to be the sublime Temple, * the palace, throne, and wondrous abode of our God.

Glory, now and ever –  Tone 8.  O Lady and Bride of God, * you entered the temple of God In your infancy * to be brought up in the Holy of Holies, * for you are holy. * The archangel Gabriel was sent to serve you and bring you food. * All the heavenly powers were amazed * at the sight of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. * Therefore, O most pure and immaculate Mother of God, * since you are glorified in heaven and on earth, * through your prayers save our human race.

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

A reading from Exodus (Exodus 40:1-5, 9-10, 16, 34-35).

A reading from the First Book of Kings (1 Kings 7:51 - 8:1, 3-7, 9-11).

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

Stichera at the Litija:

Tone 1 Bolhar. Today let the heavens above greatly rejoice * and let the clouds pour down gladness * at the mighty and marvelous acts of our God. * For behold, the gate that looks towards the East, * born from a fruitless and barren womb according to the promise, * and consecrated to God as his dwelling, * is now being brought into the temple * as a spotless offering. * Let David greatly rejoice and play on his harp, saying: * Virgins shall be brought to the King after her; * her companions shall be brought into the ark of the Lord * to be nourished with the life of the Incorruptible One * who was begotten from eternity* for the salvation of our souls.

Tone 4 Bolhar. Today the Theotokos, * the Temple that is to contain God, * is being escorted into the temple of the Lord, * and Zechariah receives her. * Today the Holy of Holies greatly rejoices, * and the angelic choir celebrates this feast mystically. * Let us also celebrate with them today * and cry out with Gabriel: * Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you, * and he grants us great mercy.

Come all you people, * and let us praise the only Immaculate One * who was foretold by the prophets * and is being led into the temple. * She was chosen from eternity to be the Mother; * and in time she was revealed as the Theotokos. * Gracious Lord, through her intercession * grant us your peace and great mercy.

Glory, now and ever –  Tone 5 Bolhar. A day of rejoicing has dawned truly. * It is a most precious feast for us, * because she who was virgin before and after childbirth, * today is offered in the temple. * The aged Zechariah, father of the Forerunner, * cries aloud, rejoicing: * The Intercessor of those in affliction * comes into the holy temple, since she herself is holy. * She will be sanctified in the abode of the King of all. * Let her father, Joachim, be glad * and let Anna rejoice exceedingly, * because they have offered to God * the immaculate Queen as a three year old child. * Rejoice with them, all you women; * all you virgins and barren ones, dance for joy * and celebrate with them, * for the Queen of all has opened the kingdom of heaven for us. * Let all people be glad and rejoice.

The aposticha are for the feast:

Tone 5, special melody Radujsja živonosnyj Kreste.  Heaven and earth together rejoice today * at the sight of the mystical heaven; * the immaculate and pure Virgin * is coming into the holy temple * to be brought up in honor. * Zechariah, rejoicing in her and leaping for joy, * cried out in awe: * O Door of the Lord, I open the doors of the temple to you, * because I know and believe * that the salvation of Israel is already coming, * that the Word of God will be born from you, * and that He will grant great mercy to the world.

She is led to the King with her maiden companions.

When Anna, which means grace, was graced with the pure and ever-Virgin Mary, * she presented her into the temple of God. * She called maidens to carry candles * and walk before her as she said: * O child, go to be an offering * and a fragrant incense for the One who sent you to me. * Enter into the veiled places and learn the mysteries of God. * Prepare yourself to be a delightful dwelling place for Jesus * who will give great mercy to the world.

They are escorted amid gladness and joy; they pass within the palace of the king.

The all-holy Virgin is handed over into the temple. * Maidens carrying candles go before her. * Her parents, the devoted couple, Joachim and Anna, * joyfully celebrate, * for they have given birth in the flesh * to the One who will bear the Creator. * She will dance for joy in the temple of God * and will be fed by the hand of an angel. * The all-immaculate Mother of Christ has appeared, * and He will grant great mercy to the world.

Glory, now and ever – Tone 6.  O assembly of the faithful, * let us celebrate this day as a spiritual feast. * With great love, let us honor the maiden of God, * the Virgin and Theotokos, * as she is presented into the temple of the Lord; * for she has been chosen from among all generations * to be the dwelling place of Christ our God * who is the King of all. * O virgins, carry candles and lead the way * for the entrance of the ever-Virgin. * Follow after her who is the Mother of God * and mediatrix for the joy of the world. * Therefore, let us all cry out together with the angels: * Rejoice, for you are full of grace, * and you continually pray for our souls.

Troparion,  Tone 4.  Today is the prelude of God's benevolence * and the herald of our salvation, * for the Virgin openly appears in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with full voice exclaim to her: * Rejoice, fulfillment of the Creator's plan. (three times)

At the Divine Liturgy


Troparion,  Tone 4.  Today is the prelude of God's benevolence * and the herald of our salvation, * for the Virgin openly appears in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with full voice exclaim to her: * Rejoice, fulfillment of the Creator's plan.

Glory, now and ever – Kontakion, Tone 4.   The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal Chamber and Virgin, * the Treasury of the glory of God, * is led today into the house of the Lord, * bringing grace in the Spirit of God. * God's angels praise her in song; she is the Heavenly Ark.

Prokeimenon, Tone 3 (Luke 1:46-48). My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
V. For he has looked with favor upon the humility of his servant; from this day forward, all generations will call me blessed.

Epistle:  Hebrews 9:1-7

Alleluia, Tone 8 (Ps. 44:11,13). Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
V. Listen, O daughter, and see and incline your ear.
V. The rich among the people will seek your favor.

Gospel:  Luke 10:38-42, 11:27-28

Magnification. The angels were struck with amazement, * beholding the entrance of the Most Pure, * seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies.

Irmos, Tone 4. Let no uninitiated hand * touch the living Ark of God; * but let faithful lips, singing without ceasing * the words of the angel to the Theotokos, * cry aloud in great joy: * O pure Virgin, you are truly exalted over all.

Communion Hymn (Ps. 115:4). I shall take the chalice of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!