December 21, 2014 </br>Sunday of the Holy Fathers, Tone 3

December 21, 2014
Sunday of the Holy Fathers, Tone 3

This glorious virgin and martyr was born in Nicomedia of pagan parents. Hearing the Gospel preached, she turned to Christ with all her heart and began to live in exact observance of the Lord’s commandments. Eleusius, a senator, was her betrothed. In order to turn him away, Juliana told him that she would marry him only if he became the eparch of that city. She suggested this to him, thinking that this young man would never attain such a high position. Nevertheless, Eleusius tried and, by flattery and bribery, attained the post of Eparch of Nicomedia. Juliana then revealed to him that she was a Christian and could not enter into marriage with him until he embraced her Faith, saying: “What does it benefit us to be united physically but divided spiritually?” Embittered by this, Eleusius denounced her to her father. The enraged father scorned her, beat her, and then handed her over to the eparch for torture. The eparch ordered that they severely beat her, then she was cast into prison, all wounded and bloody. However, the Lord healed her in prison, and she appeared before the eparch completely well. He then threw her into a glowing furnace but the fire did not burn her. Seeing this miracle, many believed in Christ God. Five hundred men and one hundred and thirty women were converted. The eparch condemned them all to death and ordered them all to be beheaded. Thus their souls entered Paradise. Then the wicked judge condemned holy Juliana to be beheaded. With a joyful spirit, Juliana went out to the place of execution, prayed to God on her knees, and placed her head on the block. Her head was severed and her soul went to the Kingdom of Christ’s eternal light in the year 304. God’s punishment quickly befell Eleusius: as he was sailing on the sea, his ship broke up and he fell into the water. He did not find death in the water, but swam to an island, where dogs tore him to pieces and devoured him. (Prologue of Ohrid)


GREAT VESPERS

Kathisma Reading
“Blessed is the man…” is sung.

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 3

10. By Your Cross, O Christ our Saviour,
the power of Death has been vanquished
and the deceit of the devil has been destroyed.
Therefore, mankind, saved by faith,
offers You hymns of praise forever.

9. O Lord, all creation has been enlightened by Your resurrection,
and Paradise has been reopened;
therefore, all creation extols You
and offers You hymns of praise forever.

8. I glorify the powers of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
and I praise the dominion of the undivided Divinity,
the consubstantial Trinity,
Who reigns forever and ever.

7. We adore Your precious Cross, O Christ,
and with hymns of praise we glorify Your Resurrection;
for by Your wounds we have all been healed.

In Tone 6

6. The Never-setting Sun is coming from the Virginal womb
to enlighten everyone under the sun.
Let us meet Him with pure hearts and with good works.
Let us prepare ourselves now through the Holy Spirit
to greet Him who is coming to His own people
as He Himself had willed.
He is being born in Bethlehem
so that through His compassion
He might bring back all of those
who were exiled from life in Paradise.

5. He who is carried by the Cherubim
has taken human nature in the abode of the Immaculate womb.
He has come to earth to be born of the tribe of Judah.
The holy cave has been adorned
like a splendid palace for the King of all;
the manger, like a ruby throne.
The Virgin will place the Child into it
for the renewal of His boundless creation.

4. Having conceived in a manner beyond understanding,
the Virgin places You into the manger of the dumb animals,
O eternal Word of God,
because You come to pardon the ignorance
that I acquired through the envy of the serpent.
You come to be wrapped in swaddling clothes
in order to break the chains and the fetters of my sins.
Only-blessed One and Lover of mankind,
I most joyfully glorify, extol, and adore You
and Your coming in the flesh;
for through You have I been freed.

In Tone 8

3. The commemoration of the holy Fathers
is manifested to the ends of the world.
It is truly full of splendour,
and it glistens with the rays of grace;
for Christ the splendorous Sun has shone forth on high from afar.
He forms the assembly of stars which glisten with Him,
and the star reveals that the nativity of the God-man will be in Bethlehem.
Therefore, we piously and faithfully clap our hands
and leap for joy at this nativity,
and we give praise before the feast.

2. The Holy Fathers are adorned
by the glory of the divine sharing of our nature.
Adam rejoices today,
since he is the foundation and the strength of the wise Forefathers;
Abel leaps for joy as well.
Enoch is glad; Seth and Noah dance together.
The praiseworthy Abraham sings with the Patriarchs.
Melchizedek now sees from on high
the birth without a father.

1. The faithful and God-wise youths
are radiant with joy in the furnace.
They herald the nativity of Christ on earth.
As the precious dew which the Lord sent down,
He now preserves the Virgin without stain
and enriches her sublime with gifts.
Therefore, Daniel, inspired by God,
is also happy and full of joy
because he had a clear vision of the unhewn stone of the mountain.
He now zealously prays for our souls.

In Tone 6, Glory…

Daniel was a beloved man.
He saw You, O Lord, as the Rock
which was hewn without the use of a hand.
He foretold that You, the Incarnate Word,
the Unchangeable God, and Saviour of our souls,
would be born without seed
as a Child of the Virgin.

Now…

O Cave, prepare yourself to receive the Mother
who bears Christ within her womb.
O Manger, receive the Word Who destroyed the sins of all.
O Shepherds, keep watch and then bear witness to the awesome wonder.
O Magi, come from Persia,
and bring your gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh 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 bosom, saying:
How were You conceived in me?
How did You grow in me, my God and Saviour?

 

Readings
(1) Genesis 14:14-20; (2) Deuteronomy 1:8-11, 15-17; (3) Deuteronomy 10:14-21

 

Aposticha

In Tone 3

O Christ, Who darkened the sun by Your passion
and enlightened all creation by Your resurrection,
accept our evening prayer; for You love mankind.

The Lord reigns, He is clothed in majesty. Robed is the Lord, and girt about with strength.

O Lord, Your life-giving Resurrection has enlightened the entire universe
and has revived Your creation which lay in corruption.
Therefore, we, who have been released from the curse of Adam, cry out to You:
Almighty Lord, glory to You!

For He has made the world firm, which shall not be moved.

O God, although in Your divine nature You are unchangeable,
yet in Your human nature You underwent change by suffering in the flesh.
All creation was prostrate with fear
when it saw You hanging on the Cross,
and it groaned in sorrow as it sang the praises of Your long-suffering.
But You descended into Hades and arose on the third day,
granting life and great mercy to the world.

Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, for length of days.

You suffered death, O Christ, to deliver mankind from death.
And when You arose from the dead on the third day,
You enlightened the world
and resurrected all who acknowledge You as God.

In Tone 2, Glory…

Rejoice, O illustrious Prophets!
You firmly established the Law of the Lord,
and you faithfully manifested yourselves
to be invincible and unshakeable pillars.
You have been taken to heaven
and have shown yourselves to be mediators of the new Law of Christ.
Implore Him to give peace tot he world
and to save our souls.

Now…

Behold, the time of salvation is drawing near.
O Cave, prepare yourself,
for the Virgin is coming to give birth.
O Bethlehem, O land of Judah,
adorn yourself and be happy
since the Lord will shine forth from you.
O mountains and hills and lands around Judah,
hearken, for Christ is coming that He may save His creation
because He is the Lover of mankind.

 

Troparia

In Tone 3
Let the heavens be glad, let the earth rejoice,* for the Lord has done a mighty deed with His arm.* He trampled death by death. He became the first-born of the dead;* He saved us from the abyss of Hades* and granted great mercy to the world.

In Tone 2, Glory…
Great are the achievements of faith!* In the fountain of flames, the three holy youths rejoiced as by the water of rest,* and the prophet Daniel was revealed shepherding lions like sheep.* Through their intercession, O Christ God, save our souls.

In Tone 4, Now…
Bethlehem, make ready, for Eden has been opened for all. * Ephrathah, be alert, for the Tree of Life has blossomed forth from the Virgin in the cave. * Her womb has become a spiritual paradise * wherein 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.

 


DIVINE LITURGY

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 3: Let the heavens be glad, let the earth rejoice,* for the Lord has done a mighty deed with His arm.* He trampled death by death. He became the first-born of the dead;* He saved us from the abyss of Hades* and granted great mercy to the world.

Troparion, Tone 2: Great are the achievements of faith!* In the fountain of flames, the three holy youths rejoiced as by the water of rest,* and the prophet Daniel was revealed shepherding lions like sheep.* Through their intercession, O Christ God,* save our souls.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 6: Armed by the Being that defies description* You defied the man-made idol, O thrice blessed youth.* In the midst of the unbearable flames you stood and cried out to God:* “In Your mercy, O gracious One, hasten and come to our aid,”* for You can do whatever You will.

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Blessed are You, Lord God of our fathers,* and praised and glorified is Your Name forever.
verse: For You are righteous in everything that You have done to us. (Daniel 3:26,27)

Epistle
Hebrews 11:9-10,17-23,32-40

Alleluia, Tone 4
verse: O God, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have told us the work You did in their days.
verse: You saved us from our oppressors and put to shame those who hate us. (Psalm 43:2,8)

Gospel
Matthew 1:1-25

Communion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest (Psalm 148:1).* Rejoice in the Lord, O you just;* praise befits the righteous (Psalm 32:1).* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia.

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