December 26, 2014 </br>Synaxis of the Most Holy Mother of God

December 26, 2014
Synaxis of the Most Holy Mother of God

On the second day of the Nativity, the Christian Church gives glory and thanksgiving to the Most-holy Theotokos, who gave birth to our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. This feast is called “the Synaxis” because on this day all of the faithful gather to glorify her, the Most-holy Theotokos, and to solemnly and universally celebrate a feast in her honor. In Ohrid, it has been the tradition from ancient times that, on the eve of the second day of Nativity, Vespers has been celebrated only in the Church of the Most-holy Theotokos called the Chieftain [Èelnica]. All the clergy with the people gather together to glorify the Most-pure Mother of God. (Prologue of Ohrid)


 

VESPERS

At Psalm 140

In Tone 2

6. Come, let us greatly rejoice in the Lord
as we tell of this present mystery!
The dividing wall has been destroyed;
the flaming sword turns back,
the cherubim withdraw from the tree of life,
and I partake of the delight of paradise
from which I was cast out through disobedience.
For the express image of the Father, the imprint of His eternity,
takes the form of a servant,
and without undergoing change He comes forth from an unwedded mother.
For what He was, He has remained: True God,
and what He was not, He has taken upon Himself,
becoming man through love for mankind.
To Him, let us cry aloud:
O God born of a virgin, have mercy on us!

5. Come, let us greatly rejoice in the Lord
as we tell of this present mystery!
The dividing wall has been destroyed;
the flaming sword turns back,
the cherubim withdraw from the tree of life,
and I partake of the delight of paradise
from which I was cast out through disobedience.
For the express image of the Father, the imprint of His eternity,
takes the form of a servant,
and without undergoing change He comes forth from an unwedded mother.
For what He was, He has remained: True God,
and what He was not, He has taken upon Himself,
becoming man through love for mankind.
To Him, let us cry aloud:
O God born of a virgin, have mercy on us!

4. When the Lord Jesus was born of the holy Virgin,
all the world was enlightened.
The shepherds watched in the fields,
the magi adored and the angels praised in song;
but Herod was troubled:
for God has appeared in the flesh, the Saviour of our souls!

3. When the Lord Jesus was born of the holy Virgin,
all the world was enlightened.
The shepherds watched in the fields,
the magi adored and the angels praised in song;
but Herod was troubled:
for God has appeared in the flesh, the Saviour of our souls!

2. What shall we offer you, O Christ,
who for our sakes have appeared on earth as a man?
Every creature made by You offers You thanks,
the angels offer you a hymn; the heavens a star;
the magi gifts; the shepherds, their wonder;
the earth its cave; the wilderness, the manger;
and we offer you a Virgin Mother.
Pre-eternal God, have mercy on us!

1. What shall we offer you, O Christ,
who for our sakes have appeared on earth as a man?
Every creature made by You offers You thanks,
the angels offer you a hymn; the heavens a star;
the magi gifts; the shepherds, their wonder;
the earth its cave; the wilderness, the manger;
and we offer you a Virgin Mother.
Pre-eternal God, have mercy on us!

In Tone 6, Glory… Now…

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace!
Today Bethlehem receives Him who ever sits with the Father.
Today angels glorify with holy hymns the Babe that is born.
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will towards men!

 

Great Prokeimenon
Who is so great a God as our God?* You are the God who do wonders!
verse:   Amongst the people have You made Your power known!
verse:   And I said: now have I made a beginning: this change has been wrought by the right hand of the Most High.
verse:   I have remembered the works of the Lord, and called to mind Your wonders from of old.

 

Aposticha

In Tone 8

A great miracle has come to pass this day:
nature is made new and God becomes man!
That which He was, He has remained,
and that which He was not, He has taken on Himself
while suffering neither confusion nor division.

The Lord said to my lord: sit at my right hand!

Lord, you have come to Bethlehem
and have made Your dwelling in the cave.
You have heaven as Your throne,
yet You are laid in a manger!
The hosts of angels attend on every side
yet You have come down among shepherds,
that in Your compassion You might save mankind.  Glory to You!

From the womb before the morning star have I begotten you!

How shall I tell of this great mystery?
He who is without flesh becomes incarnate;
the word puts on a body; the invisible is seen;
He whom no hand can touch is handled;
and He who knows no beginning now begins to be!
The Son of God becomes the Son of Man:
Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and for ever!

Glory… Now…

The shepherds hasten to Bethlehem, revealing the true shepherd,
seated upon the cherubim and lying in a manger!
For our sakes He has taken upon Himself the form of a child.
O Lord, glory to You!

 

Troparion

In Tone 4
Your Nativity, O Christ our God,* made the light of knowledge dawn on the world:* through it, those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star* to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness,* and to know You, the Dawn from on high.* Glory to You, O Lord.

 


DIVINE LITURGY

Antiphon 1
I will confess You, Lord, with all my heart,* I will declare all Your wondrous deeds.
Through the prayers of the Mother of God,* O Saviour, save us.
In the council of the just and the congregation,* great are the works of the Lord, conforming to His will in every way.
Through the prayers of the Mother of God,* O Saviour, save us.
His work is filled with praise and majesty,* and His righteousness endures forever.
Through the prayers of the Mother of God,* O Saviour, save us.
Glory…  Now… Only-Begotten Son…

Antiphon 3
Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord, let us acclaim God, our Saviour.
Son of God, born of a Virgin, save us who sing to You: Alleluia.
Let us come before His face with praise, and acclaim Him in psalms.
Son of God, born of a Virgin, save us who sing to You: Alleluia.
For God is the great Lord, and the great king over all the earth.
Son of God, born of a Virgin, save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

Entrance
Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ.
Son of God, born of a Virgin, save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 4: Your Nativity, O Christ our God,* made the light of knowledge dawn on the world:* through it, those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star* to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness,* and to know that You, the Dawn from on the high.* Glory to You, O Lord.

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

Kontakion, Tone 6: He who existed before the morning star* and was born of the Father without a mother,* today, O Full of Grace, becomes flesh from you without a father.* Wherefore, a star brings the news to the Magi* and angels with shepherds sing of how you gave birth ineffably.

Prokeimenon, Tone 3
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.
verse: Because he has regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold, all generations shall call me blessed. (Luke 1:46-48)

Epistle
Hebrews 2:11-18

Alleluia, Tone 8
verse: Rise up, Lord, to the place of Your rest, You and the ark of You holiness.
verse: The Lord swore an oath to David, and will not go back on His word. (Psalm 131:8,11)

Gospel
Matthew 2:13-23

Hymn to the Mother of God
O my soul, magnify the all-pure Virgin Mother of God, more honourable and glorious than the heavenly hosts.
and the Irmos, Tone 1: To keep silence in fear would be easier for us to do, for this is free from danger, O Virgin Mother, and though it is hard indeed to properly weave hymns, O Mother, give us strength so that our good intentions may be fulfilled.

Communion Hymn
The Lord has sent deliverance* to His people.* Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.(Psalm 110:9)

Instead of “Blessed is He who comes…” we sing:
All creation is filled with rejoicing today, for Christ is born of a Virgin.

Instead of “We have seen the true light…” we sing:
All creation is filled with rejoicing today, for Christ is born of a Virgin.

Instead of “May our mouths…” and “Blessed be the Name…” we sing:
All creation is filled with rejoicing today, for Christ is born of a Virgin. (3)

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