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AT MATINS


The usual office of the Resurrection. The Anavathmi and Prokeimenon of the Tone. Dawn Gospel.

Having seen the Resurrection etc.

Canon of the Ancestors. Ode 1. Tone 6. Irmos.

’The One, who of old hid the pursuing tyrant with the waves of the sea, the Children of those he saved have hidden beneath the earth; but let us, like the young maidens, sing to the Lord, for he has been greatly glorified’. (Twice)

To you in fear the gates of death stand open and the everlasting bars are shattered; for at your revered descent the dead of old have risen up and with joy, O Christ, they sing your Resurrection.

Today the company of the godly Fathers radiantly feasts in anticipation Christ’s Nativity and traces the wonder of this grace: for Abraham and the Youths are a symbol of the Law.

Of old holy Abraham entertained the one Godhead in three persons; while now the Word, enthroned with the Father and the divine Spirit, comes forth for the Youths, and he is greatly praised.

Abraham was delivered from an unjust hand, the godly Youths from the flame of the furnace and the Prophet Daniel from the wild beats and the den. And so they now feast in anticipation Christ’s Nativity.

In number and faith of the divine Trinity the Youths in the furnace overthrew godlessness and in symbols revealed beforehand to the world the mysteries of God that were to be.


Theotokion.

O full of grace, Mother without bridegroom, Virgin undefiled, we call you blessed, for you blossomed from the race of Abraham and the tribe of David, and you have given birth to Christ who was proclaimed of old by the Prophets.


Canon of the Forefeast. Tone 1. Christ is born.

Christ made a child in the flesh, Christ willingly become a beggar, Christ made visible, the Virgin now comes to Bethlehem to give birth to him. Let heaven and earth be glad.

You hills and mountains, leap for joy; Prophets inspired by God, dance. Peoples and nations, clap your hands. The salvation, the enlightenment of all is close at hand and comes to bei born in the city of Bethlehem.

The Rich becomes a beggar, and beggars those rich by wickedness. God is recognised as without change the mortal offspring of an unwedded Maiden. Let us all sing to him in praise, for he has been glorified.


Katavasia.

Christ is born, give glory! Christ comes from heaven, go to meet him. Christ is upon earth, be exalted! Sing to the Lord all the earth, and all you peoples, raise the hymn with joy: for he has been glorified!


Of the Ancestors. Ode 3. The Irmos.

’When creation saw you hanging on Golgotha, who had hung the whole earth freely on the waters, it was seized with amazement and cried: None is Holy, but you, O Lord!’ (Twice)

After three days in the tomb, you raised by your Rising those dead since time began; they, loosed from condemnation, in harmony rejoiced and cried: See, you have come, Lord, our Redemption! (Twice)

Thinking on the glory in the image and likeness of God, the Youths, by the fire of the Spirit, valiantly quenched the flame of the image of gold, as they sang with faith: We know no Lord but you.

With superiority of wisdom and the power of the Spirit the Youths took prisoner and put to shame the wise men of Babylon, and resolutely they cried out: None is Holy but you, O Lord, lover of mankind!

The Law rejoices and dances with the Youths and the Prophets, and leaps with joy today in anticipation of the divine shining out of the Lord. Abraham is glad, because he has seen the Lord incarnate from his seed.


Theotokion.

Your conceiving was without seed, the acquisition of your giving birth came forth beyond reason and beyond nature; for the Mystery so often spoken of supernaturally by Prophets has appeared to us, the Word of God, the Lord.


Of the Forefeast. To the Son begotten.

He who was begotten of the Father before the ages beyond understanding, in the last times became flesh from the Virgin, as he knows how, for he wished to renew humanity, corrupted by the plot of the evil serpent.

The Son of God without beginning, who is seated in the highest with the Father and the Spirit, seeing how human nature had been brought low, takes a beginning and is about to be born in the flesh as man.


Theotokion.

She who is holier than the Angels and all creation now bears in the flesh the Angel of the great counsel of the Father for the recalling of all who sing to him unceasingly: Holy are you, O Lord.


Katavasia.

To the Son begotten of the Father without change before the ages, and in the last times without seed made flesh from a Virgin, to Christ God let us cry aloud: You have raised up our horn. Holy are you, O Lord!


The Ypakoï. Tone 8.

An Angel turned the furnace of the Youths to dew, while now he halts the women’s lamentation, saying: Why do you bring sweet spices here? Whom do you seek in a tomb? Christ God has risen, for he is the life and salvation of the human race.


Of the Ancestors. Ode 4. The Irmos.

’Foreseeing your divine self-emptying on the Cross, Avvakum cried out marvelling: You have cut short the strength of the mighty, loving Lord, and preached to those in Hell, as all-powerful’. (Twice)

Your divine descent into Hell, Christ God, declared life to the dead; for you bound the enemies below, loving Lord, and opened to mankind the path to heaven. (Twice)

Let us honour the firstfruits of the Fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; for from their seed has shone out Christ, incarnate from a Virgin, as all-powerful.

Foretelling what would come to pass at Christ’s descent, Daniel revealed the wild beasts to be like sheep, as God’s prophet knowing in advance and clearly revealing the future to all.

Not having sucked in the poison of sin, the Youths were snatched from the flame; for being truly more precious than gold, they were not melted in the furnace of error.


Theotokion.

Loudly the expectation of the Nations is proclaimed in advance, and the world’s salvation: your childbearing, O holy and immaculate, which the company of the Fathers hymns today.


Of the Forefeast. Rod out of Jesse’s root.

Rod out of Jesse’s root, O Virgin, you budded, and blossomed with a flower that does wither, the Creator of all, who as God decks the whole earth with flowers, which cries aloud to him: Glory to your power, O Lord!

O Word of God you came to get me back, who had been stolen through evil eating, had fallen away by my own will and become like the dumb beasts. So you became a babe and were laid in a manger for dumb beasts. Glory to your power, O Lord!


Theotokion.

Avvakum foresaw you, Jesu, incarnate of a shaded mountain, the Virgin, crushing the evil mountains and hills and handing over to oblivion the uprisings of the evil one and the rebellions of the demons.


Katavasia.

Rod out of Jesse’s root, and flower that blossomed from his stem, O Christ, you sprang from the Virgin, the praised from the mountain overshadowed by forest. You came, made flesh from her who knew not wedlock, yet God not formed of matter. Glory to your power, O Lord!


Of the Ancestors. Ode 5. The Irmos.

’Isaias, as he watched by night, saw the light that knows no evening, the light, O Christ, of your Theophany that came to pass through your compassion for us, and he cried aloud: The dead will arise, and those in the graves will be raised, and all those born of earth will rejoice’. (Twice)

The shining Angel, clearly indicating the dazzling radiance of joy, is revealed in the tomb proclaiming Resurrection to the women; and they, setting sorrow aside, rejoiced, for Christ had risen, and they announced to the Apostles the message: Rejoice!

As we assemble today, let us with faith honour the firstfruit of the Fathers, as founder of both Law and Grace, the Patriarch Abraham; for as a Prophet of God he foretold Christ from a Virgin, and he advances to meet his divine Nativity.

Abraham’s Children, clearly foreshadowing the Lord’s coming to us, through the presence of an Angel quenched the furnace and made the fire a fine mist of dew, and thus by faith they melted down the glory of the golden image.

By the Spirit Daniel stopped the mouths of wild beasts in the den; by grace the Children of Abraham quenched the strength of the fire, and saved from destruction they foretell Christ from a Virgin, begging him, as Redeemer, for our salvation.


Theotokion.

Showing by the Spirit of God your passionless acquisition of our nature, O Lord, Isaias cried aloud, as he watched for the Law of grace: A Virgin is coming to give birth without seed to one according to the flesh of Abraham’s race, but of the tribe of Juda.


Of the Forefeast. As you are God of peace.

By nature the Master, you are found with slaves. All-perfect Son of God, you were well-pleased to be called Son of Man, All-merciful; and so you willingly became a beggar and are coming to be born in the Cave, O supremely Good.

Christ our King, by nature uncontainable, how will a little cave receive you? How will a manger, Jesu, be able to contain you? From a Mother who has not known man you come in flesh, Lord, to your own that you may save those who have been banished.

The Ewe-lamb has come forth to bear the Shepherd. Holy Cave, prepare. Shepherds, hasten to behold the Lamb and Shepherd who has been born. Magi with gifts prepare to worship him in the flesh as King.


Katavasia.

As you are God of peace and Father of mercies, you have sent us your Angel of great counsel, who grants us peace: so we are guided to the knowledge of God, watching before dawn we glorify you, only lover of mankind.


Of the Ancestors. Ode 6. The Irmos.

’Watching the sea of life rising with the tempest of temptations, as I hasten to your fair haven, I cry to you: Bring my life up from corruption, O most merciful’. (Twice)

By your burial for three days, O good one, in a manner fitting God you accomplished the slaughter of death and the cleansing of Hell. By rising you poured out life for those in the world, Jesu our King.

Since his way was that of hospitality and his faith exalted, Abraham, the forefather, received in type the divine mystery and he rejoiced; while now, as he hastens before Christ, he exults.

Now by the Spirit’s gift faith subjected nature to the Youths; for the fire, which devours all and is without fear, was filled with fear of those who honour the maker of fire, Jesus Christ.

Daniel the prophet in the den once showed how the savagery of the world is trained for the peace of God by the coming of Christ, for in manner fitting God he tamed the lions.


Theotokion.

O Mary, Mother who knew not man, from your virgin womb you bore the Christ, whom the Prophets saw in vision; while now the Fathers dance in anticipation of his Nativity.


Of the Forefeast. The monster from the deep

Sovereign Lady, you are a new heaven. From your womb, as from a cloud, you hasten to make Christ, the sun of glory, dawn in a cave in the flesh, for by his owns bright rays he is going to make all the fullness of the earth cry aloud because of his measureless pity.

Compassionate Christ, you saw our grief and our trouble, and you did not despise us; but, without parting from your Father, you emptied yourself and dwelt in a womb that knew not wedlock, which now comes to the Cave to give birth to you in the flesh without pangs.

Mountains and hills, plains and valleys, peoples and tribes, nations and everything that has breath, filled with divine joy, shout in exultation: The redemption of all, the timeless Word of God, through pity subject to time, came and dwelt on earth.


Katavasia.

The monster from the deep spat Jonas from its bowels, like a new-born babe, just as it had received him; while the Word, having dwelt in the Virgin and taken flesh, came forth, yet kept her incorrupt, for being himself not subject to decay, he preserved his Mother free from harm.


Kontakion. Of the Ancestors. Tone 6.

Because you did not honour an image traced by human hand, but were armed with the breastplate of uncreated being, you were glorified, thrice-blessed Youths, in the arena of the fire; but standing in the midst of the immaterial flame you called on God: Come swiftly in your pity, hasten in your mercy to come to our aid, for you can accomplish whatever you will.


The Ikos.

Stretch out your hand, which of old the warring Egyptians and the warred-on Hebrews experienced; do not abandon us, do not let death swallow us. He thirsts for us and Satan hates us; but draw near us and spare our souls, as you once spared the Youths, who without ceasing sang your praise in Babylon, and were cast into the furnace for your sake, while from its midst they cried to you: Come swiftly in your pity, hasten in your mercy to come to our aid, for you can accomplish whatever you will.


Another Kontakion, of the Forefeast.

Tone 1. The angelic choir.

Bethlehem rejoice, Ephrata prepare; for see the Ewe-lamb, bearing in her womb the great Shepherd, hastens to give birth. Seeing him the godbearing Fathers exult as with the Shepherds they hymn a Virgin who gives suck.


The Ikos.

Seeing the dazzling radiance of your conceiving, O Virgin, Abraham the friend of God, noble Isaac, Jacob and the whole choir of saints chosen by God rejoice; and they bring creation to meet you with words of joy. For you appeared as the source of joy, since you conceived in your womb him who once appeared in Babylon and beyond all understanding preserved unburned the Youths unjustly cast into the furnace. And so they also raise the song as they hymn a Virgin who gives suck.


Synaxarion of the day and then:

On the same day, the Sunday before Christ’s Nativity, we have been ordered by our holy and godbearing Fathers to keep the commemoration of all those who have been well-pleasing to God since time began, from Adam right down to Joseph the Betrothed of the All-holy Mother of God, according to the genealogy, as the Evangelist Luke has accurately numbered them; and likewise of the Prophets and Prophetesses.

Commemoration of Adam and Eve, the first-formed.


Verses.

Living I hymn the race’s authors dead: Responsible that I both live and die.

Commemoration of the just Abel, Adam’s son.

Your blood and soul apart cry out to God: First of the dead, and first too of the saved.

Commemoration of the just Seth, Adam’s son.

New offspring for his parents Abel’s place Seth took; a just man too, as Abel was.

Commemoration of the just Enos, Seth’s son.

Commemoration of the just Canaan, Enos’s son.

Canaan was written of in Moses’ book; So in the present book must he be written.

Commemoration of Malelael, Canaan’s son.

Commemoration of Jared, Malelael’s son.

Just is it in the number of the just Jared the just also to celebrate.

Commemoration of the just Enoch, Jared’s son.

Enoch, who had pleased God most visibly, In lands invisible was made to dwell.

Commemoration of Mathousala, Enoch’s son.

That you, Mathousala, were Enoch’s child I learned, and here for others wrote it down.

Commemoration of Lamech, Mathousala’s son.

Knowing two Lamechs, I must honour one Named Lamech, but not him the murderer.

Commemoration of the just Noe, Lamech’s son.

Adam brought mortals ruin from a tree: But Noe through a tree saved all the race.

Commemoration of the just Shem, Noe’s son.

His father’s nakedness Sem rightly covered, Found that he had his father’s prayers as cover.

Commemoration of the just Japhet. Noe’s son.

Commemoration of the just Arphaxad, Sem’s son.

Commemoration of the just Cainan, Arphaxad’s son.

Commemoration of the just Sala, Cainan’s son.

Commemoration of the just Heber, after whom the Jews are named Hebrews.

Heber is truly great for all the Jews; He gave his own name to the Hebrew race.

Commemoration of the just Phalek, Heber’s son.

I keep high festival for Eber’s child; For Moses tells that Phalek begot.

Commemoration of Ragab, Phalek’s son.

Again conception and again new birth; Phalek begets for us Ragab his son.

Commemoration of the just Seruch, Ragab’s son.

Writing the offspring of ancients down, Were I to miss out Seruch, I would err.

Commemoration of the just Nachor, Seruch’s son.

Commemoration of the just Tharra, Nachor’s son.

Tharras came forth from Nachor as his son; Father of many nations father he became.

Commemoration of the just Patriarch Abraham.

How shall I welcome Abraham with words, To whom it was vouchsafed to welcome Angels?

Commemoration of the Patriarch Isaac, Abraham’s son.

Bound for the slaughter Isaac was a type Of God’s high Word who would to slaughter come.

Commemoration of the Patriarch Jacob, Isaac’s son.

By the Ladder that is the Virgin Jacob saw God coming down to earth before his birth.

Commemoration of the Patriarch Ruben, Jacob’s son.

Of Jacob’s honoured offspring I have known Ruben to be the godlike, honoured start.

Commemoration of the Patriarch Symeon, Jacob’s son.

Though only second Symeon in line, From us no second honour does he bear.

Commemoration of the Patriarch Levi, Jacob’s son.

As godly servant of the the greatest God What better glory, Levi, do you wish?

Commemoration of the Patriarch Juda, Jacob’s son, of whose tribe came the Christ.

Those who are saved will now sing Juda’s praise, For Christ who is salvation came from him.

Commemoration of the Patriarch Zavulon, Jacob’s son, whose tribe lives by the sea shore.

Commemoration of the Patriarch Issachar, Jacob’s son, whose tribe tills the soil.

Issachar sets himself to heavy toil, Sustains his life by bringing bread from earth.

Commemoration of the Patriarch Dan, Jacob’s son, whose tribe is judge.

Commemoration of the Patriarch Gad, Jacob’s son, whose tribe is robbed or robs.

Commemoration of the Patriarch Aser, Jacob’s son, whose tribe is rich in wheat-bearing lands.

Commemoration of the Patriarch Nephalim, Jacob’s son, whose tribe is very numerous.

Commemoration of the Patriarch Joseph, Jacob’s son, whose tribe is very glorious and very famous.

Commemoration of the Patriarch Benjamin, Jacob’s son, whose tribe is gentle and not savage.

Commemoration of Phares and Zara, the twin sons of the Patriarch Juda.

Commemoration of Esrom, Phares’ son.

Commemoration of Aram, Esrom’s son.

Commemoration of Aminadab, Aram’s son.

Commemoration of Naason, Aminadab’s son.

Commemoration of Salmon, Naason’s son.

Commemoration of Booz, Salmon’s son.

Evangelist, whom do you write as son Of Salmon here? Booz, he says, I write.

Commemoration of Obed, Booz’ son, born of Ruth.

Obed of Ruth, a Moabite by tribe, But yet of Booz, a true Israelite.

Commemoration of Jesse, Obed’s son.

Jesse give birth, and let your race give birth Until from it a Child, great God, is born.

Commemoration of King David, Jesse’s son.

What shall I say, the Lord bears witness here, I have found David after my own heart.

Commemoration of King Solomon, David’s son.

Commemoration of King Roboam, Solomon’s son.

Commemoration of King Abia, Roboam’s son.

Commemoration of King Asa, Abia’s son.

Commemoration of King Josaphat, Asa’s son.

Commemoration of King Joram, Josaphat’s son.

Commemoration of King Ozias, Joram’s son.

Commemoration of King Joatham, Ozias’ son.

Commemoration of King Achaz, Joatham’s son.

Commemoration of King Hezekias, Achaz’ son.

Commemoration of King Manassee, Hezechias’ son.

Commemoration of King Ammon, Manassee’s son.

Commemoration of King Josias, Ammon’s son.

Commemoration of King Jechonias, Josias’ son.

Commemoration of Salathiel, Jechonias’ son.

Commemoration of Zorobabel, who rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem which had been burned down.

Commemoration of Abioud, Zorobabel’s son.

Commemoration of Eliakim, Abioud’s son.

Commemoration of Azor, Eliakim’s son.

Commemoration of Sadok, Azor’s son.

Commemoration of Achim, Sadok’s son.

Commemoration of Elioud, Achim’s son.

Commemoration of Eleazar, Elioud’s son.

Commemoration of Mathan, Eleazar’s son.

Commemoration of Jacob, Mathan’s son.

Commemoration of Joseph, the Betrothed, Jacob’s son.

To Joseph, the Betrothed, the Spirit shows That his betrothed, before they wed, conceives.

Commemoration of the just Melchisedek.

No father and no mother Scripture gives To you, Melchisedek, as type of Christ.

Commemoration of the just Job.

Having the Most High to give fitting praise, Job therefore has no need of earthly praise.

Commemoration of the Prophet Moses, and the priests Hor and Aaron.

Aaron with Hor depicts Christ’s suffering, Both raising Moses arms up like a Cross.

Commemoration of Jesus, Navi’s son.

Commemoration of the Holy Prophet Samuel.

Commemoration of the Prophet Nathan.

Commemoration of the Holy Prophet Daniel.

Commemoration of the three Holy Youths.

The furnace fire was fire and also dew; For the ungodly fire, for Youths, though, dew.

Commemoration of the just Sara, Abraham’s wife.

A barren nature by God’s will o’erthrown,

A child is witness too of Sara’s pains.

Commemoration of the just Rebecca, Isaac’s wife.

Noblest of husbands found to share his bed Rebecca, who was noblest of wives.

Commemoration of the just Lea, Jacob’s first wife.

The Lord did not make Lea fair of face, But gave her womb the gift of motherhood.

Commemoration of the just Rachel, Jacob’s second wife.

Her father’s gods through longing Rachel steals, But at the last she longs for God the Word.

Commemoration of the just Asineth, the most upright Joseph’s wife.

The sun exceeds in beauty all the stars; For me Asineth maids beneath the sun.

Commemoration of the just Mary, Moses’ sister.

Let’s sing, she said, and sing unto the Lord, Now Mary beats the timbrel of the soul.

Commemoration of the just Deborah, who judged Israel.

Commemoration of the just Ruth.

Leaving her nation and her gods behind, Nation and God of Moses Ruth then found.

Commemoration of the just woman of Sareptha, to whom Elias was sent.

Commemoration of the just Sunamitess, who gave lodging to Elisaios.

Commemoration of the just Judith, who slew Holophernes.

Commemoration of the just Esther, who saved Israel from death.

Commemoration of the just Anna, mother of the prophet Samuel.

Commemoration of the just Susanna.

At their holy prayers, O God, have mercy and save us. Amen.


Of the Fathers. Ode 7. The Irmos

’Wonder past speech! He who delivered the Holy Youths in the furnace from the flame, is laid as a corpse without breath in a tomb for the salvation of us who sing: Redeemer, our God, blessed are you!’ (Twice)

O strange wonder! The Lord himself, who is seated on a throne in the highest, by his taking flesh underwent death; but in the strength of his Godhead he rose and raised with himself the dead since time began. (Twice)

Father Abraham, author of the faith, by being Christ’s ancestor according to the flesh, you were clearly revealed by the Spirit as Father of the nations, for the salvation of us who sing: Redeemer, our God, blessed are you!

The song of the living blunted the vainly shouting voices of the lifeless; for the Youths, with bodies aflame, trampled down the fire of the furnace as they cried: Our God, blessed are you!

Of old the Prophet Daniel, gazing intently with the vision of the Spirit, foreshadowed the second coming of Christ, and foretold its dread accompaniments, as he cried: Our God, blessed are you!


Theotokion

The strange wonder spoken of openly of old by prophets and by fathers, a Virgin who will give birth, is come to pass, for the salvation of us who sing: Redeemer, our God, blessed are you!


Of the Forefeast. The Youths brought up.

The godly vine, which makes the pure cluster ripen, draws near and has come to give birth to the wine of joy which gushes forth and gives drink to us who cry to him: God of our fathers, blessed are you!

The divine casket, bearing within it the sweet-scented myrrh, is coming to pour it out in the cave of Bethlehem, and fill with mystic fragrance those who sing: God of our fathers, blessed are you!

The tong, which the prophet Isaias saw of old, has come carrying in her womb the divine coal, Christ, who burns up all the material of sin and guides the souls of the faithful to the light.


Katavasia

The Youths brought up together in godliness, spurning the impious decree, feared not the threat of fire, but standing in the midst of the flame they sang: God of our fathers, blessed are you!


Of the Ancestors. Ode 8. The Irmos.

’Be astonished, O heaven, tremble and let the earth’s foundations be shaken; for see, the God who dwells in the highest is numbered among the dead and is lodged in a little tomb. Youths bless, priests praise, people highly exalt him to all the ages!’ (Twice)

How ineffable, O Christ, is your condescension for us lowly creatures! For see, you tasted death, though you are immortal God, and were laid as a mortal in a tomb. But you arose, O Word, and raised up with yourself those below who highly exalt you to all the ages. (Twice)

Foreshadowing your slaughter, O Christ, Abraham, obedient to you, his Master, ascended the mountain in faith to sacrifice like a sheep the son he had begotten. But he came back rejoicing, Isaac and the aged man highly exalting you to all the ages.

The unresting flame, O Christ, was quite dulled when the Holy Youths clothed themselves in you, the divine fire, as in a garment, and by your condescension the dew echoed round them as they sang: Priests bless, people highly exalt him to all the ages!

By ineffable judgements the prophet Daniel is given as fodder to lions; but devoutly he held the wild beasts by teachings of self control to be his fellow fasters in the pit of the den. At his prayers and those of Abraham and the Youths keep in peace those who sing your praise.


Theotokion

Jesus Emmanuel, the Son and Word without beginning of God the Father, whom prophetic voices faithfully foretold, I coming in human form. From the Holy Spirit the Virgin Mary gives birth to him without wedlock in the city of Bethlehem.


Of the Forefeast. The furnace moist with dew.

Glory to God in the highest, let us cry in joy with the Angels. The Saviour will be born. The Master, whom a Star shows to the Magi as they hasten to behold him in a manger, will come to make his dwelling. Let all creation bless the Lord, and highly exalt him to all the ages.

Obedient to Caesar’s law, Master, you were willingly enrolled among slaves, that as God you might free humanity from the slavery of the evil one, O most merciful. therefore with joy we raise the song: Let all creation bless the Lord, and highly exalt him to all the ages.


Theotokion

O Word without beginning, I carry you as a young babe, yet am wholly without knowledge of man, said the Virgin. I am at a loss to know whom I should name as your father on earth; therefore with all I raise the song to you: Let all creation bless the Lord, and highly exalt him to all the ages.


Katavasia

The furnace moist with dew was the image and the figure of a wonder past nature; for it did not burn those it had received; even as the fire of the godhead did not consume the Virgin’s womb, into which it had descended. Therefore in praise let us sing: Let all creation bless the Lord, and highly exalt him to all the ages.


Of the Ancestors. Ode 9. The Irmos

’Do not weep for me, Mother, as you behold in a tomb the Son whom you conceived in your womb without seed. For I will arise and be glorified and as God exalt in glory those who magnify you in faith and love’. (Twice)

Creation, why do you lament as you behold God the Master of life on a Cross and on a bier? For he will arise and radiantly renew you by his rising on the third day, having destroyed death and raised with himself those who sing his praise. (Twice)

As we celebrate the feast of the Ancestors before the Law, let us honour in a manner fitting God Jesus, who came from them. For Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have been revealed as the foundation of the Prophets and the Law, and by faith the spiritual firstfruits of Grace.

The God, who in a divine vision showed in fire to Moses in the Bush the mystery beyond understanding, the same came down to the Youths in the fire and by the fire of his own divine nature turned the flame of the furnace to dew.

The all-holy Youths and wondrous Daniel, God’s prophet, Isaac and Jacob, and with Moses Aaron join Abraham and dance with faith before Christ’s birth, as they intercede unceasingly that we may be saved.


Theotokion

All creation rejoices, O Virgin, at your child-bearing; for Bethlehem has opened Eden to us; and see, we all enjoy the tree of life as we cry insistently: Master, fulfil our entreaties!


Of the Forefeast. A strange and wonderful mystery.

Strange, wonderful and dread mysteries! The Lord of glory came to earth, and as a beggar in a cave he put on flesh, seeking to call back Adam, and to deliver Eve from her pains.

By your swaddling bands you loose the cords of offences, while by your poverty, O Compassionate, you make all rich. Laid in manger for unreasoning beasts, you free mortals from irrational wickedness, O Word of God ever without beginning.


Theotokion

The proclamations of the Prophets have come to their end, for he whom they prophesied would come at the consummation of the years, has came, has appeared, embodied of a pure Virgin. Let us receive him with pure minds.


Katavasia

[Magnify, O my soul, her who is greater in honour and more glorious than the hosts one high!]

A strange and wonderful mystery I see, the Cave is heaven, the Virgin the Cherubim throne, the manger the place in which Christ, the God whom nothing can contain, is laid. Him we praise and magnify.


Exapostilaria Of the Fathers

The princes of the Patriarchs and the Fathers before the Law, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, shone out by faith like beacons; for all the Prophets and the Just like torches took their light from them, and formed of light they enlightened all creation in its darkness with rays of honoured prophecy.


Of the Forefeast

Bethlehem, rejoice; and you, Ephrata, prepare, for the Mother of God has come to give birth to God ineffably in a cave and in a manger. O dread mystery! whose divine Nativity Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, all the Patriarchs and Prophets now radiantly feast in anticipation, as mortals do with Angels.


At Lauds, 4 Stichera of the Resurrection and 4 Prosomia of the Ancestors.

Of the Ancestors. Tone 5. Hail, of ascetics.

Sion, godly city of God, truly raise your voice and proclaim the godly memory of the Fathers, with Abraham and Isaac honouring noble Jacob; see, with Juda and Levi we magnify Moses the great, Aaron the inspired, and with David we exalt Jesus and Samuel. Clapping our hands we all in songs inspired sing in anticipation the divine praise of Christ, and we beg that we may obtain the lovingkindness which comes from him, who grants the world his great mercy. (

Twice) ****

Verse:

Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our Fathers.

Come, Elias, who once rode in a fiery chariot from God, inspired Elisaios, rejoice with Ezekias and Josias; you twelve honoured Prophets, inspired by God, dance together at the Saviour’s birth, and all you Just sing songs. All-blessed Youths, who quenched the flame of the furnace by the Spirit’s dew, intercede for us, imploring Christ God that our souls may be given his great mercy.


Verse:

For you are just in all that you have done to us.

She, who from all eternity was proclaimed on earth by the voices of the Prophets, has appeared, the Virgin Mother of God, whom wise Patriarchs and multitudes of Just announce. With them the loveliness of women dances, Sara, Rebecca and Rachel, and renowned Miriam too, Moses sister. With them all the ends of the earth rejoice, all creation exults, for God coming to be born in flesh and to grant the world his great mercy.

Glory.

Of the Fathers. Tone 8.

The collected teachings of the Law reveal the divine Nativity of Christ in the flesh to those who heard the good tidings of Grace before the Law, as by faith they surpassed the Law. Therefore they proclaimed beforehand to the souls held fast in Hell that through the Resurrection it is the cause of escape from corruption. Lord, glory to you.

Both now.

You are most blessed.


Great Doxology and Dismissal

Before the First Hour, the Eothinon.

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This page was last updated on 03 November 2008