December 28, 2014 </br>Sunday after the Nativity of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ; Holy and Just Joseph, King David and James, Brother of the Lord in the Flesh; Tone 4

December 28, 2014
Sunday after the Nativity of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ; Holy and Just Joseph, King David and James, Brother of the Lord in the Flesh; Tone 4

During the reign of the wicked Emperor Maximian Hercules, the Christian Faith flourished in Nicomedia and increased day by day. At one time the emperor, staying in this city, learned of the large number of Christians and the progress of the Christian Church, and he became greatly embittered and conceived a plan of how to kill them all. The Feast of the Nativity of Christ approached, and the emperor, knowing that all the Christians gathered in the church for this feast, ordered that on that day the church be surrounded by soldiers and set afire. When all the Christians had gathered in the church after midnight and began the solemn celebration, the soldiers surrounded the church and would not permit anyone to leave. The emperor’s envoy entered the church and announced to the Christians the emperor’s command that they immediately offer sacrifices to the idols or be burned alive. Then the archdeacon, a heroic soldier of Christ, inflamed with divine zeal began to encourage the people, reminding the faithful of the Three Children in the furnace in Babylon. “Behold, brethren,” he said, “the table of oblation in the sanctuary of the Lord, and understand that our true Lord and God was just now sacrificed for us on it; should we not then lay down our lives for Him in this holy place?” The people were filled with zeal to die for Christ, and all the catechumens were baptized and chrismated. The soldiers then set fire to the church on all sides, and the Christians, twenty thousand of them in number, were burned in the flames while singing praises to God. The church burned for five days; and smoke with an intoxicating and wonderful fragrance rose from it. A certain marvelous, golden-rayed light manifested itself over this place. Thus, numerous men, women and children gloriously died and received the wreath of eternal glory in the Kingdom of Christ. They suffered and were glorified in the year 302. (Prologue of Ohrid)


GREAT VESPERS

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

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 4

10. We never cease to adore Your life-giving Cross, O Christ our God,
And we glorify Your resurrection on the third day.
For You, Almighty One, have thereby restored the corrupted nature of all
and reopened the way to heaven,
since You alone are gracious and You love mankind.

9. O Saviour, You have absolved the penalty of disobedience,
committed through the tree of Eden,
by willingly being nailed to the tree of the Cross.
As Almighty God, You descended into Hades
and broke asunder the bonds of death.
We, therefore, venerate Your resurrection from the dead,
and joyfully cry out to You:
Almighty Lord, glory to You!

8. O Lord, You have battered down the gates of Hades,
and by Your death You have dissolved the realm of death.
You have freed mankind from corruption,
bestowing life, incorruption, and Your great mercy upon the world.

In Tone 2

7. Come, let us greatly rejoice in the Lord
as we tell of this present mystery.
The middle wall of partition 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 came forth from a Mother who knew not wedlock.
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.
Unto Him let us cry aloud:
God born of a Virgin, have mercy on us.

6. 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.

5. Your Kingdom, O Christ our God, is a Kingdom of all the ages,
and Your rule is from generation to generation.
Made flesh of the Holy Spirit and made man of the ever-Virgin Mary,
You have enlightened us by Your coming.
Light of Light, Brightness of the Father,
You made the whole creation shine with joy.
All that has breath praises You, the Image of the glory of the Father.
O God who are, and who have ever been,
who have shone forth from a Virgin,
have mercy on us.

4. What shall we offer You, O Christ,
who for our sakes has appeared on the earth as 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.
O pre-eternal God, have mercy on us.

In Tone 1

3. Let us praise David the King, the ancestor of God,
because from him came forth the branch who is the Virgin.
From her bloomed the Flower, Christ,
Who summoned Adam and Eve from corruption.
He is compassionate towards all.

2. In his advanced years,
Joseph clearly saw the prophecies fulfilled.
It was truly a strange betrothal;
and he received a revelation from the angels who cried out:
Glory to God Who sent down peace upon the world.

1. Let all of us praise the relative of the Lord, James the Apostle,
who bravely suffered martyrdom as a bishop.
By his prayers, O Christ our God,
Who was wrapped in swaddling clothes in the cave,
save all those who extol You.

In Tone 6, Glory…

We are commemorating the noble David and James:
the king and prophet, the apostle and first bishop;
because by their teachings we have been delivered from error.
Let us sing the praises of Christ
Who came forth from the Virgin
and became incarnate to save our souls.

In Tone 4, Now…

O Mother of God, because of You David the Prophet
became an ancestor of God;
he foretold and sang a joyous hymn of praise
and cried out to Him who worked wonders in you:
“The Queen stood at your right hand.”
God revealed you as a life-giving mother,
when He chose to be incarnate of you without a father.
He renewed in man His image which the passions had corrupted.
He found the lost sheep in the mountains, carried it on His shoulders,
offered it to the Father, generously numbered it among the powers of heaven,
and saved the whole world, since He is Christ of great and rich mercy.

 

Aposticha

In Tone 4

In being lifted upon the Cross, O Lord,
You abolished the curse which we had inherited from our ancestors.
By going down into Hades,
You freed from eternal captivity those imprisoned there,
and granted incorruption to the human race.
We, therefore, praise Your life-giving and redeeming resurrection.

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

By hanging on the Cross, O Almighty One,
You shook the whole creation to its foundations.
When You Yourself were laid in the grave,
You raised to life those who had been lying in the graves,
and You granted life and incorruption to mankind.
We, therefore, praise and glorify Your resurrection on the third day.

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

O Christ, the lawless people showed their ingratitude to You, their Benefactor,
by delivering You to Pilate who condemned you to be crucified.
But You willingly suffered death and burial;
and, as God, You rose by Your own power on the third day,
granting us everlasting life and great mercy.

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

The women, shedding bitter tears, came to see You in Your tomb;
and not finding Your body, they lamented, saying:
O Saviour and King of All, how were You stolen?
What place holds Your life-bearing body?
An angel answered them, saying:
Do not weep, but go and proclaim that the Lord is risen,
filling our hearts with joy;
for He alone is most compassionate.

In Tone 6, Glory…

The remembrance of Your Nativity
brings happiness to priests and might to kings.
Let us also boast of it and say:
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy Name, O Lover of mankind.

Now…

Today the invisible nature is united with our visible nature through the Virgin.
Today the infinite Essence is wrapped in swaddling clothes in Bethlehem.
Today God is guiding the Magi by a star
so that they might worship Him.
With the gold, frankincense, and myrrh,
He is foretelling His three-day burial.
Let us cry out to Him:
Having become incarnate from the Virgin,
save our souls, O Christ God.

 

Troparia

In Tone 4
When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel* the glorious news of the resurrection* and cast off the ancestral condemnation,* they proudly told the apostles:* “Death has been plundered!* Christ our God is risen,*granting to the world great mercy.”

In Tone 2, Glory…
O Joseph, announce to David, the ancestor of God, the news of the miracle:* You saw a virgin giving birth.* With the shepherds, you gave praise and with the Magi you worshipped;* they too were warned by an angel.** Pray to Christ our God to save our souls.

In Tone 4, Now…
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: When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel* the glorious news of the resurrection* and cast off the ancestral condemnation,* they proudly told the apostles:* “Death has been plundered!* Christ our God is risen,* granting to the world great mercy.”

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.

Troparion, Tone 2: O Joseph, announce to David, the ancestor of God, the news of the miracle:* You saw a virgin giving birth.* With the shepherds, you gave praise and with the Magi you worshipped;* they too were warned by an angel.* Pray to Christ our God to save our souls.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Kontakion, Tone 3: Today the divine David is filled with gladness;* Joseph along with James offers praises* for having received a crown through their kinship with Christ they rejoice* and sing of the One who inexpressibly was born on earth,* crying out, “O Gracious One, save those who worship You.”

Now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 3: The Virgin today gives birth to Him who is above all being;* the earth offers the cave to Him whom no one can approach;* Angel with shepherds give Him glory,* while Magi make their way with a star,* for to us is born a little Child – the pre-eternal God.

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
God is wonderful in His saints,* the God of Israel.
verse: In the churches bless God, the Lord from the fountains of Israel. (Psalm 67:36,27)

Epistle
Galatians 1:11-19

Alleluia, Tone 4
verse: Lord, remember David and all his meekness.
verse: How he swore an oath to the Lord, and vowed to the God of Jacob. (Psalm 131:1,2)

Gospel
Matthew 2:13-23

Hymn to the Mother of God
O my soul, magnify Christ the King born in a manger.
and the Irmos: A strange and glorious mystery do I behold:* the cave is heaven;* the Virgin, the throne of the cherubim;* the manger, a dwelling place* in which is laid Christ, the God Whom nothing can

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.

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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