December 27, 2015 </br>Sunday after the Nativity of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Octoechos Tone 6; Holy and Just Joseph, King David and James, Brother of the Lord in the Flesh; Holy Apostle, First Martyr and Archdeacon Stephen

December 27, 2015
Sunday after the Nativity of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Octoechos Tone 6; Holy and Just Joseph, King David and James, Brother of the Lord in the Flesh; Holy Apostle, First Martyr and Archdeacon Stephen

GREAT VESPERS

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

At Psalm 140

In Tone 6

  1. Lead my soul forth from prison* that I may give thanks to Your name.

O Christ, You won the victory over Hades,
You ascended the Cross so that You might raise up with Yourself
all those who dwelt in the darkness of death.
Almighty Saviour, You are free from death
and bestow life by Your divine light.
We, therefore, beseech You to have mercy on us.

  1. The just shall gather around me* when You have been good to me.

Today Christ has conquered Death.
He has risen from the grave as He foretold,
bestowing great joy upon the world.
Therefore, let us all lift up our voices and sing:
O Fount of Life, O Light Whom no one can approach,
Almighty Saviour, have mercy on us.

  1. Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord;* O Lord, hear my voice!

O Lord, where can we sinners flee from You,
for You are present in all creation?
You are present in heaven, for it is Your dwelling place.
Your power prevails in Hades where You conquered Death.
O Master, Your sustaining hand touches even the depths of the sea.
Where, then, can we take refuge except in You?
We, therefore, prostrate ourselves before You and pray:
O Lord, risen from the dead, have mercy on us.

In Tone 2

  1. Let Yours ears be attentive* to the voice of my prayer.

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.

  1. If You mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?* But with You forgiveness is that You may be revered.

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.

  1. I have waited for You as You have commanded; my soul patiently relies on Your promise,* for it has trusted in the Lord.

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.

  1. From the morning watch until night* let Israel trust in the Lord.

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 4

  1. For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him there is plentiful redemption;* and He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

Your soul was illumined with the grace of the Holy Spirit;
your face shone as an angel, Stephen.
Your body was made radiant by the brightness within you:
Contemplation of God’s light was your only joy:
Therefore the heavens were wondrously opened to you,
leader and glory of the martyrs

  1. Praise the Lord, all the nations;* proclaim His glory, all you people.

The torrent of stones became a ladder for you:
on its steps you ascended to the gates of heaven.
You beheld the Lord standing at the right hand of the Father;
He offered you a crown with his own life-giving hand;
truly you have fulfilled the meaning of your name!
Now you stand before Him, glorious conqueror;
the first warrior offered in battle.

  1. Strong is the love of the Lord for us;* eternally will His truth endure.

Renowned with signs, wonders, and heavenly preaching,
you destroyed the malice of the wicked council.
As they stoned you to death, you begged God to forgive them,
using the words of the Saviour as He hung upon the cross,
commending your pure spirit into His hands, blessed Stephen.

In Tone 2, Glory…

To the King and Lord of all who is born on earth
today is offered the all-beautiful Stephen,
adorned in the crimson of his own blood as with precious gems.
Come, lovers of the martyrs,
weave the flowers of song into a crown,
honouring the Protomartyr of Christ our God,
for his spirit is radiant with wisdom and love:
Through his prayers we will receive peace and great mercy!

In Tone 6, Now…

Who would not call you blessed, O Virgin most holy?
Who would not sing a hymn of praise
to the glory of your giving birth without pain or travail?
The Only-begotten Son Himself,
begotten of the Father before all ages,
was made flesh out of you in a manner
that cannot be explained, O Woman most pure!
And for our sake, He Who is God by nature
assumed the nature of a man.
He is not divided into two persons;
He is understood to have two natures
without commixion or confusion.
O noble and blessed Woman,
intercede with Him that He may mercy on our souls.

Aposticha

In Tone 6

O Christ our Saviour,
the angels in heaven sing the praises of Your Resurrection;
make us on earth also worthy
to extol You with a pure heart.

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

Almighty God, You destroyed the brazen gates and bars of Hades,
and raised up fallen mankind.
Therefore, with one accord, we cry out:
O Lord, risen from the dead, glory to You!

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

Christ willed to renew us from our corruption of old
by being nailed to a cross and placed in a tomb.
When the women came to anoint His body they tearfully cried out:
O, what sorrow afflicts us!
O Saviour of All, how could You consent to occupy a grave?
If you truly willed this, then why did You allow Your body to be stolen?
How were You removed?
What place now conceals Your life-bearing body?
O Lord, appear to us as You promised
and put an end to out tears.
As they were lamenting, an angel appeared and cried out to them:
Do not weep, but tell the Apostles that the Lord is risen,
granting sanctification and great mercy to the world.

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

O Christ, You were crucified of Your free will,
and by Your burial You imprisoned Death.
As God, You rose in glory on the third day,
granting life and great mercy to the world.

In Tone 6, Glory…

Blessed Stephen, the adornment of Christ’s warriors,
first of deacons and first of martyrs,
joy of the faithful and glory of the righteous,
as you stand before Christ, the Lord of all,
pray for us who celebrate your honourable memory
that we may receive remission of our sins
and be accounted worthy of the Kingdom of heaven.

In Tone 6, 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 6
Angelic powers were upon Your tomb* and the guards became like dead men;* Mary stood before Your tomb* seeking Your most pure body.* You captured Hades without being overcome by it.* You met the Virgin and granted life.* O Lord, risen from the dead,* glory to You!

In Tone 4, Glory…
O apostle and first martyr for Christ,* you fought the good fight* and exposed your persecutors’ wickedness.* For when you were killed by stoning at the hands of the lawless* you received a crown from on high from God’s right hand,* while crying out to Him:* “O Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

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 6: Angelic powers were upon Your tomb* and the guards became like dead men;* Mary stood before Your tomb* seeking Your most pure body.* You captured Hades without being overcome by it.* You met the Virgin and granted life.* O Lord, risen from the dead,* glory be to You!

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.

Troparion, Tone 4: O apostle and first martyr for Christ,* you fought the good fight* and exposed your persecutors’ wickedness.* For when you were killed by stoning at the hands of the lawless* you received a crown from on high from God’s right hand,* while crying out to Him:* “O Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

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 contain.* Singing His praises, we magnify Him.

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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