December 31, 2017 </br>Sunday after the Nativity of Christ; Octoechos Tone 5; The Leave-taking of the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, Christmas; Our Venerable Mother Melania the Roman (439)

December 31, 2017
Sunday after the Nativity of Christ; Octoechos Tone 5; The Leave-taking of the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, Christmas; Our Venerable Mother Melania the Roman (439)

Texts for Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy for December 31, 2017.


GREAT VESPERS

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

At Psalm 140

In Tone 5

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

With Your precious Cross, O Christ,
You have put the Devil to shame.
With Your Resurrection You have deadened the sting of Death.
We, therefore, glorify You, O only-begotten Son of God.

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

O Christ, Who granted resurrection to mankind,
You were led like a lamb to the slaughter.
Then the princes of Hades were struck with terror
as they saw the gates of their tearful domain being lifted up;
for Christ, the King of Glory, entered therein
and exclaimed to those in chains: Go forth from here!
And to those in darkness: Go forth into the light!

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

What a great wonder!
The Creator of invisible beings suffered in the flesh for mankind,
and rose from the dead as immortal.
Come, therefore, all you nations and adore Him;
for through His compassion we have been freed from the snares of the Devil,
and we have learned to praise the one God in three Persons.

In Tone 2

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.

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.

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.

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 1

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

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.

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

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.

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

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 5, Now…

A symbol of the undefiled Virgin and bride
was revealed in the Red Sea.
There, Moses divided the waters;
here, Gabriel is the messenger of the miracle.
There, the Israelites crossed the deep and their feet were not even wet;
here, the Virgin gives birth to Christ without human seed.
There, the sea remained uncrossed after the passing of Israel;
here, the immaculate remained incorrupt after giving birth to Emmanuel.
Therefore, O immortal God, who appeared in the flesh as true Man,
have mercy on us!

Aposticha

In Tone 5

O Christ our Saviour,
we lift up our voices to glorify You.
For, in Your love for mankind,
You became incarnate without leaving heaven;
You accepted the Cross and death;
You cast down the gates of Hades;
and on the third day You arose from the dead
for the salvation of our souls.

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

O Giver of Life,
streams of forgiveness, life, and salvation
poured forth from Your pierced side upon us all.
By accepting physical death, You granted us immortality;
by lying in the tomb, You freed us from Hades,
and as God, by rising from the dead,
You raised us with Yourself in glory.
Therefore, we cry out to You:
O Lover of mankind, glory to You!

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

O Lover of mankind,
Your crucifixion and descent into Hades are most wondrous.
For, as God, You thereby conquered the power of Hades,
and raised up in glory, with Yourself, those who were long imprisoned there.
You reopened Paradise and enabled them to enter.
Grant forgiveness of sins to us
who glorify Your Resurrection on the third day,
for You alone are all-merciful.

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

O Lover of mankind,
You accepted suffering in the flesh
and rose from the dead on the third day.
Therefore, heal the passions of our flesh,
raise us from our dreadful iniquities, and save us.

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 5
Let us, the faithful, acclaim and worship the Word* co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,* and born of the Virgin for our salvation.* For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh,* to suffer death and to raise the dead,* by His glorious Resurrection.

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 5: Let us the faithful acclaim and worship the Word,* co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,* and born of the Virgin for our salvation.* For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh, to suffer death* and to raise the dead by His glorious resurrection.

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 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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