Sunday of the Holy Fathers
Sunday between December 18 and December 24
Resurrectional Troparion of the Tone.
Troparion of the Fathers, Tone 2.
Great are the achievements of faith! The three holy youths rejoiced in the source of flames as if on restful waters; and the Prophet Daniel proved to be a shepherd of lions, as of sheep. By their prayers, O Christ our God, have mercy on us.
Troparion of the Forefeast of the Nativity, Tone 4.
Make ready, O Bethlehem; open thyself to all, O Eden; adorn thyself, O Ephratha; for the Tree of life hath blossomed from the Virgin in the cave. Her womb hath proved to be a noetic paradise, having within it the divine Plant. By eating of it we shall live, and not die like Adam. Christ is born, wishing to raise up the image that before was fallen.
Troparion of Vigil of the Nativity, Tone 4.
Of old Mary, together with the aged Joseph, was registered in Bethlehem, as being of the seed of David; and she bare in her womb the fruit of a conception without seed. The time came for her to give birth, and there was no place for her to stay, but a cave proved to be a fair palace for the Queen. Christ is born, wishing to raise up the image that before was fallen.
Glory. Now and ever.
Kontakion of the Fathers, Tone 6.
A hand-wrought image ye would not worship, O thrice-blessed ones; but, armed by the undepictable Essence, ye were glorified in your fiery ordeal. Standing in the midst of the unbearable flames, ye called upon God: Make haste, O Compassionate One, and, as Thou art merciful, hurry to help us; for what Thou willest, Thou canst do.
December 20 & 24:
Glory. Now and ever.
Kontakion of the Vigil, Tone 3.
Today the Virgin cometh to the cave to give birth to the pre-eternal Word ineffably. Exult, O earth, on hearing these tidings, and together with the angels and the shepherds give glory to Him Who willeth to appear as a young Child, God before all ages.
Glory. Now and ever.
Kontakion of the Forefeast, Tone 2.
As we see the One Who holdeth the world in His hands now wrapped in swaddling clothes in Bethlehem, let us offer our hymns in anticipation to the one who gave Him birth; for with a mother’s joy doth she cradle the Son of God.
Prokeimenon, Tone 4.
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and Thy name is worthy of praise, and glorious for ever.
Verse: For Thou art just in all that Thou hast done to us.
The Lesson of the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Hebrews.
Hebrews §328 (11:9-10; 17-23; 32-40.)
Brethren: By faith Abraham abode in the land, dwelling in cottages, with Isaac and Jacob, the co-heirs of the same promise. For he looked for a city that hath foundations; whose builder and maker is God. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered Isaac: and he that had received the promises, offered up his only begotten son; (To whom it was said: In Isaac shall thy seed be called.) Accounting that God is able to raise up even from the dead. Whereupon also he received him for a parable. By faith also of things to come, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and adored the top of his rod. By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the going out of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months by his parents; because they saw he was a comely babe, and they feared not the king’s edict. And what shall I yet say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, Barac, Samson, Jephthe, David, Samuel, and the prophets: who by faith conquered kingdoms, wrought justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, recovered strength from weakness, became valiant in battle, put to flight the armies of foreigners: women received their dead raised to life again. But others were racked, not accepting deliverance, that they might find a better resurrection. And others had trial of mockeries and stripes, moreover also of bands and prisons. They were stoned, they were cut asunder, they were tempted, they were put to death by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being in want, distressed, afflicted: of whom the world was not worthy; wandering in deserts, in mountains, and in dens, and in caves of the earth. And all these being approved by the testimony of faith, received not the promise; God providing some better thing for us, that they should not be perfected without us.
Alleluia, Tone 4.
Psalm 43:2, 8.
Verse 1: We have heard, O God, with our ears: and our fathers have declared to us. Alleluia.
Verse 2: Thou hast saved us from them that afflict us: and hast put them to shame that hate us. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
The Lesson of the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew.
Saint Matthew §1 (1:1-25).
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac. And Isaac begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Judas and his brethren. And Judas begot Phares and Zara of Thamar. And Phares begot Esron. And Esron begot Aram. And Aram begot Aminadab. And Aminadab begot Naasson. And Naasson begot Salmon. And Salmon begot Booz of Rahab. And Booz begot Obed of Ruth. And Obed begot Jesse. And Jesse begot David the king. And David the king begot Solomon, of her that had been the wife of Urias. And Solomon begot Roboam. And Roboam begot Abia. And Abia begot Asa. And Asa begot Josaphat. And Josaphat begot Joram. And Joram begot Ozias. And Ozias begot Joatham. And Joatham begot Achaz. And Achaz begot Ezechias. And Ezechias begot Manasses. And Manasses begot Amon. And Amon begot Josias. And Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren in the transmigration of Babylon. And after the transmigration of Babylon, Jechonias begot Salathiel. And Salathiel begot Zorobabel. And Zorobabel begot Abiud. And Abiud begot Eliacim. And Eliacim begot Azor. And Azor begot Sadoc. And Sadoc begot Achim. And Achim begot Eliud. And Eliud begot Eleazar. And Eleazar begot Mathan. And Mathan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. So all the generations, from Abraham to David, are fourteen generations. And from David to the transmigration of Babylon, are fourteen generations: and from the transmigration of Babylon to Christ are fourteen generations. Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son: and thou shalt call His name Jesus. For He shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife. And he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.
Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise ye Him in the high places.
Rejoice in the Lord, O ye just: praise becometh the upright. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.