December 24, 2017 </br>Sunday before the Nativity of Christ; Octoechos Tone 4; Eve of the Nativity of Christ; The Holy Venerable-Martyr Eugenia

December 24, 2017
Sunday before the Nativity of Christ; Octoechos Tone 4; Eve of the Nativity of Christ; The Holy Venerable-Martyr Eugenia

Texts for Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy for December 24, 2017.


GREAT VESPERS

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

At Psalm 140

In Tone 8

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

The commemoration of the holy Fathers
is manifested to the ends of the world.
It is truly full of splendor,
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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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
Genesis 14:14-20; Deuteronomy 1:8-11, 15-17; Deuteronomy 10:14-21

Aposticha

In Tone 2

O house of Ephrathah and holy city!
O boast of the prophets!
Adorn the house in which the Divine One is born.

God comes from Teman; the Holy One from Mount Paran.

O Bethlehem, O land of Judah,
you are the bright abode of the One-Who-Is.
Prepare the cave, for God is to be born in the flesh
from the holy, undefiled Virgin
to save mankind.

O Lord, I heard Your voice and I was afraid; I knew Your deeds, and I was terrified.

Come, let us faithfully celebrate beforehand the birth of Christ!
Let us sing spiritual hymns of praise.
With the shepherds, let us cry out:
The Saviour of all has come from a Virgin,
and He summons all the faithful.

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 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…
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…
At that time, Mary registered with the venerable Joseph in Bethlehem * since she was of the house of David. * She was with child, having conceived without seed. * When the time for her delivery drew near, * they could find no room in the inn, * but the cave seemed a joyful palace for the Queen. ** Christ is born to renew the likeness that had been lost of old.


DIVINE LITURGY

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 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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