Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sunday before the Nativity of our Lord

Dogmatikon of the Lamp-lighting Psalms of Great Vespers in Tone Six
O cave of Bethlehem, prepare yourself to receive the Mother who bears Christ within her womb. O manger, receive the Word who destroys the sins of mankind. O shepherds, keep watch and then bear witness to the awesome wonder. O Magi, come from Persia and bring your gifts to the King. For the Lord has appeared from a Virgin Mother; yet she bowed to Him as a servant and spoke to Him within her heart, saying: How were You conceived in me? How did You grow in me, my God and my Savior?

Doxastikon of the Apostika of Great Vespers in Tone Two

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.

Troparion of the Preparation in Tone Four

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.

Kontakion in Tone One of Orthros of the Sunday before the Nativity
(on 20 December or after)
Rejoice, O Bethlehem, and be ready, O Ephrata! Behold the Virgin is on her way, to give birth to the Great Shepherd she carries in her womb. The God-bearing Forefathers will rejoice at His sight, and together with the shepherds, they will glorify the Virgin nursing Him.

(on 20 December or after)
O Virgin, contemplating the bright splendor of your conception, Abraham, the friend of God, together with Isaac, and Jacob rejoices with the choir of chosen holy ones. They led the creation to encounter you in these times which cause our joy. For you bring joy to all in conceiving in your womb the One who once manifested Himself in Babylon, preserving from the flames the young men unjustly thrown into the fiery furnace, by a miracle surpassing understanding. Thus they celebrate the Child whom they see carried in your arms and glorify the Virgin nursing Him.

Synaxarion of the Sunday before the Nativity of our Lord
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.

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