December 25, 2016 </br>The Nativity in the Flesh of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ

December 25, 2016
The Nativity in the Flesh of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ

GREAT VESPERS

At Psalm 140

In Tone 2

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

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord
as we tell of the present mystery.
Destroyed is the middle wall of partition;
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 Father’s express Image, the Imprint of His eternity,
takes the form of a servant,
and without undergoing change He comes 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.
To Him let us cry aloud:
God born of a Virgin, have mercy on us.

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

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord
as we tell of the present mystery.
Destroyed is the middle wall of partition;
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 Father’s express Image, the Imprint of His eternity,
takes the form of a servant,
and without undergoing change He comes 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.
To 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 Jesus the Lord was born of the holy Virgin,
the whole world was enlightened.
The shepherds watched in the fields,
the Magi adored and the angels sang hymns of praise;
but Herod was troubled: for God 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.

When Jesus the Lord was born of the holy Virgin,
the whole world was enlightened.
The shepherds watched in the fields,
the Magi adored and the angels sang hymns of praise;
but Herod was troubled: for God appeared in the flesh,
the Saviour of our souls.

  1. From the morning watch until night* let Israel trust 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 have made all creation shine with joy.
Everything that breathes praises You,
the Image of the Father’s glory.
O God–the One who is–and always was,
who shone forth from a Virgin, have mercy on us.

  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 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 have made all creation shine with joy.
Everything that breathes praises You,
the Image of the Father’s glory.
O God–the One who is–and always was,
who shone forth from a Virgin, have mercy on us.

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

O Christ what shall we offer You;
for our sake You appeared on earth as man?
Every creature made by You offers thanks to You.
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.

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

O Christ what shall we offer You;
for our sake You appeared on earth as man?
Every creature made by You offers thanks to You.
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.

Glory…Now…

When Augustus reigned alone on earth,
the many kingdoms of men came to an end;
and when You were made man of the pure Virgin,
the many gods of idolatry were made powerless.
The cities of the world passed under one single rule;
and the nations came to believe in one sovereign Godhead.
The peoples were enrolled by the decree of Caesar;
and we, the faithful, were enrolled in the name
of the divinity,
when You, our God, were made man.
Great is Your mercy: Lord, glory to You.

Readings
Genesis 1:1-13; Numbers 24:2-3, 5-9, and 17-18; Micah 4:6-7 and 5:2-4a

Then, the priest intones the entire text of the following Troparion:

You were born in a cave hidden from sight, but heaven spoke through a star and proclaimed You to all, O Saviour. And it brought to You the Magi, who with faith bowed down in worship. Have mercy on them and us.

When the priest has finished, we respond by repeating the conclusion (Tone 6, resurrectional, even though the custom has developed of singing this conclusion to the prokeimenon melody – a custom that is less appropriate):

Response: And it brought to You the Magi,* who with faith bowed down in worship.* Have mercy on them and us.

Then the priest intones the following verses of Psalm 86, and we repeat the Troparion’s conclusion after each verse.

His foundations are on the holy mountains; the Lord loves the gates of Sion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things were spoken of You, O city of God.

Response: And it brought to You the Magi,* who with faith bowed down in worship.* Have mercy on them and us.

To those who know Me I will mention Raab and Babylon. And, behold, foreigners and the people of Tyre and Ethiopia, these were born there.

Response: And it brought to You the Magi,* who with faith bowed down in worship.* Have mercy on them and us.

A person will say “Mother Sion,” and “Such a person was born in her,” and “The Most High Himself founded her.”

Response: And it brought to You the Magi,* who with faith bowed down in worship.* Have mercy on them and us.

The Lord will declare this in His record of the peoples and rulers who were born in her. How happy are all who have their dwelling in you.

Response: And it brought to You the Magi,* who with faith bowed down in worship.* Have mercy on them and us.

Glory… Now…

Response: And it brought to You the Magi,* who with faith bowed down in worship.* Have mercy on them and us.

Then the priest intones the first half of the Troparion:

You were born in a cave hidden from sight, but heaven spoke through a star and proclaimed You to all, O Saviour.

And we conclude:

And it brought to You the Magi,* who with faith bowed down in worship.* Have mercy on them and us.

 

Readings
Isaiah 11:1-10; Baruch 3:36-38 and 4:1-4; Daniel 2:31-36 and 44-45

Then the priest intones another Troparion (Tone 6):

You have shone forth from a Virgin, O Christ, rational Sun of righteousness. And a star showed You, Whom nothing can contain, contained in a cave. You led Magi to worship You and along with them we magnify You: Glory to You, O Giver of life.

When the priest has finished, we respond by repeating the conclusion (Tone 6, resurrectional):

Response: You led Magi to worship You* and along with them we magnify You:* Glory to You, O Giver of life.

Then the priest intones the following verses of Psalm 92, and we repeat the Troparion’s conclusion after each verse.

The Lord is King; He is clothed with beauty; the Lord is clothed with strength and has girded Himself. For He has established the world which shall not be shaken.

Response: You led Magi to worship You* and along with them we magnify You:* Glory to You, O Giver of life.

Your throne is prepared from of old; You are from everlasting.

Response: You led Magi to worship You* and along with them we magnify You:* Glory to You, O Giver of life.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord; the floods have lifted up their voices. The floods shall lift up their breakers with the noise of many waters.

Response: You led Magi to worship You* and along with them we magnify You:* Glory to You, O Giver of life.

Wonderful are the surging waves of the sea; wonderful is the Lord on high. Your testimonies have become exceedingly credible; holiness befits Your house, O Lord, for length of days.

Response: You led Magi to worship You* and along with them we magnify You:* Glory to You, O Giver of life.

Glory… Now…

Response: You led Magi to worship You* and along with them we magnify You:* Glory to You, O Giver of life.

Then the priest intones the first half of the Troparion:

You have shone forth from a Virgin, O Christ, rational Sun of righteousness. And a star showed You, Whom nothing can contain, contained in a cave.

And we conclude:

Response: You led Magi to worship You* and along with them we magnify You:* Glory to You, O Giver of life.

Readings
Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 7:10-16, 8:1-4, and 8-10

Then, the Small Litany  followed by the Prokeimenon:

Tone 1 Prokeimenon – Psalm 2
The Lord said to Me: You are My Son,* today have I begotten You.
verse: Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations as an inheritance, and as Your possession, the ends of the earth.

Epistle
Galatians 3:15-22

Alleluia, Tone 5
verse: The Lord said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet.”
verse: The Lord will send you a sceptre of power out of Sion; reign in the midst of your enemies.
verse: Yours is the dominion on the day you are given power in the splendour of your holy ones.

Gospel
Matthew 13:31-36

Triple Ekteny

Deign, O Lord

Festive Dismissal


DIVINE LITURGY ON CHRISTMAS DAY

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
The Lord said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet.”

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.

The Lord will send you a sceptre of power out of Sion; reign in the midst of your enemies.

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.

Yours is the dominion on the day you are given power in the splendour of your holy ones.

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.

Entrance
From the womb before the daystar I begot you. the Lord has sworn an oath and will not go back on His word: You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

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 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.

Instead of Holy God:
All you who have been baptized into Christ, you have put on Christ! Alleluia! (3)
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
You have put on Christ! Alleluia!
All you who have been baptized into Christ, you have put on Christ! Alleluia!

Prokeimenon, Tone 8
Let all the earth worship You and sing to You; let it sing to Your Name, O Most High.
verse: Shout to the Lord, all the earth, sing now to His name, give glory to His praise. (Psalm 65:4,2)

Epistle
Galatians 4:4-7

Alleluia, Tone 1
verse: The heavens tell the glory of God, and the firmament declares the work of His hands.
verse: Day announces its message unto day and night proclaims its knowledge unto night. (Psalm 18:2,3)

Gospel
Matthew 2:1-12

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
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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