Behold, the time of our salvation draws near: let the cave be ready, for the Virgin is about to give birth; and you, O Bethlehem of Judah, rejoice and be glad, for the Lord will soon shine forth from your midst. Listen, all you mountains and you hills, and all you country of Judah: Christ is coming to save the human race, His creatures, for He is the Lover of mankind.
Bethlehem, make ready, for Eden has been opened for all: Ephrata, be alert, for the Tree of Life has blossomed forth from the Virgin in the cave. Her womb has become a spiritual Paradise wherein the Divine Fruit was planted - and if we eat of it, we shall live and not die like Adam. Christ is coming forth to bring back to life the likeness that had been lost in the beginning.
On this day, the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ, as our holy and God-bearing Fathers have directed, we commemorate all those who were acceptable to God throughout the ages, from Adam to Joseph, the spouse of the most holy Theotokos.Through their holy prayers, O our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.