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Hieratikon

Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Octoechos - Mode 3.

On Sunday Morning

Menaion - December 18-24

Sunday Before Christmas

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LITURGY OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

Unless otherwise indicated, the texts of the prayers and hymns of the Divine Liturgy are from: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (© 2016), used with permission from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. This text was produced by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and approved by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Antiphon I. Mode 2.

Verse 1: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and everything within me, bless His holy name. [SAAS]

Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, Savior, save us. [GOA]

Verse 2: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His rewards. [SAAS]

Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, Savior, save us.

Verse 3: The Lord prepared His throne in heaven, and His Kingdom rules over all. [SAAS]

Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, Savior, save us.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, Savior, save us.

   

Antiphon II. Mode 2.

Verse 1: Praise the Lord, O my soul! I shall praise the Lord while I live; I shall sing to my God as long as I exist. [SAAS]

Save us, O Son of God, risen from the dead. We sing to You, Alleluia. [GOA]

Verse 2: Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob; his hope is in the Lord his God. [SAAS]

Save us, O Son of God, risen from the dead. We sing to You, Alleluia.

Verse 3: The Lord shall reign forever; your God, O Zion, to all generations. [SAAS]

Save us, O Son of God, risen from the dead. We sing to You, Alleluia.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Only begotten Son and Logos of God, being immortal, You condescended for our salvation to take flesh from the holy Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary and, without change, became man. Christ, our God, You were crucified and conquered death by death. Being one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit: Save us. [GOA]

   

Antiphon III.

Mode 3.

Verse 1: This is the day the Lord made; let us greatly rejoice and be glad therein. [SAAS]

Resurrectional Apolytikion.

Mode 3.

Let the heavens sing for joy, and let everything on earth be glad. For with His Arm the Lord has worked power. He trampled death under foot by means of death; and He became the firstborn from the dead. From the maw of Hades He delivered us; and He granted the world His great mercy. [SD]

Verse 2: Let heaven and earth praise Him. [SAAS]

Let the heavens sing for joy, and let everything on earth be glad. For with His Arm the Lord has worked power. He trampled death under foot by means of death; and He became the firstborn from the dead. From the maw of Hades He delivered us; and He granted the world His great mercy. [SD]

   

An optional alternative to the Antiphons are the Typika (Psalms 102 and 145), and the Beatitudes with the appointed troparia, which are provided here.

Psalm 102.

Psalm 145.

   

The Beatitudes.

Mode pl. 2.

In Your kingdom. Remember us, O Lord, when You come in Your kingdom. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [RSV]

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. [RSV]

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. [RSV]

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. [RSV]

Canon for the Fathers.

Ode iii. Mode pl. 2. When creation saw you. (NM)

From Menaion - - -

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. [RSV]

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! [EL]

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. [RSV]

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. [EL]

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. [RSV]

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! [EL]

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. [RSV]

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. [EL]

Canon for the Forefeast.

From Menaion - - -

Ode vi. Mode 1. The monster. (NM)

Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely [for my sake]. [RSV]

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. [EL]

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven. [RSV]

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. [EL]

Glory.

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. [EL]

Both now.

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. [EL]

   

Entrance Hymn. Mode 2.

Come, let us worship and bow down before Christ. Save us, O Son of God, risen from the dead. We sing to You, Alleluia. [GOA]

   

Hymns After the Small Entrance.

From Octoechos - - -

Resurrectional Apolytikion.

Mode 3.

Let the heavens sing for joy, and let everything on earth be glad. For with His Arm the Lord has worked power. He trampled death under foot by means of death; and He became the firstborn from the dead. From the maw of Hades He delivered us; and He granted the world His great mercy. [SD]

For the Forefeast.

Mode 4.

O Bethlehem, prepare, Eden is opened unto all. * And be ready, Ephrata, for the Tree of life * has in the grotto blossomed forth from the Virgin. * Indeed her womb is shown to be spiritually * a Paradise, in which is found the God-planted Tree. * And if we eat from it we shall live, and shall not die, as did Adam of old. * Christ is born, so that He might raise up * the formerly fallen image. [SD]

For the Fathers.

Mode 2.

Magnificent are the accomplishments of faith! The holy Three Servants greatly rejoiced, as they stood in the fountain of fire, as if beside the still waters; and the Prophet Daniel appeared to be a shepherd of lions, as if they were sheep. At their entreaties, O Christ God, save our souls. [SD]

Apolytikion of the Parish Church

(The text of the Apolytikion of the local church goes here.)

From Menaion - - -

Kontakion.

Mode 3. Automelon.

On this day the Virgin Maid * goes to the grotto to give birth * to the pre-eternal Word * in an ineffable manner. * Dance for joy, all the inhabited earth, on hearing. * Glorify along with Angels and with the shepherds * Him who willed that He appear as * a newborn Child, * the pre-eternal God. [SD]

   

THE TRISAGION HYMN

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (3) [GOA]

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

   

The Epistle

Sunday Before Christmas

Prokeimenon. Mode 4. The Prayer of Azariah.

Blessed are You, O Lord God of our fathers. [SAAS]

Verse: For You are righteous in all You did for us. [SAAS]

The reading is from Paul's Letter to the Hebrews.

Heb. 11:9-10, 32-40

Brethren, by faith Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. [RSV]

   

Alleluia. Mode 4.

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

Verse 1: O God, we heard with our ears. [SAAS]

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

Verse 2: The righteous cried, and the Lord heard them. [SAAS]

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

The Gospel

Sunday Before Christmas

The reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Mt. 1:1-25

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Ammin′adab, and Ammin′adab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Bo′az by Rahab, and Bo′az the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uri′ah, and Solomon the father of Rehobo′am, and Rehobo′am the father of Abi′jah, and Abi′jah the father of Asa, and Asa the father of Jehosh′aphat, and Jehosh′aphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzzi′ah, and Uzzi′ah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezeki′ah, and Hezeki′ah the father of Manas′seh, and Manas′seh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josi′ah, and Josi′ah the father of Jechoni′ah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoni′ah was the father of Sheal′tiel, and Sheal′tiel the father of Zerub′babel, and Zerub′babel the father of Abi′ud, and Abi′ud the father of Eli′akim, and Eli′akim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eli′ud, and Eli′ud the father of Elea′zar, and Elea′zar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emman′uel" (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus. [RSV]

   

Hymn to the Theotokos.

It is truly right to bless you, Theotokos, ever blessed, most pure, and Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption you gave birth to God the Logos. We magnify you, the true Theotokos. [GOA]

   

Communion Hymn. Psalm 148.

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest. Alleluia. [SAAS]

   

Hymn after Holy Communion.

Mode 2.

We have seen the true light; we have received the heavenly Spirit; we have found the true faith, worshiping the undivided Trinity, for the Trinity has saved us. [GOA]

   

THE DISMISSAL

May He Who rose from the dead, Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His all-pure and all-immaculate holy Mother, the power of the precious and life-giving Cross, the protection of the honorable, bodiless powers of heaven, the supplications of the honorable, glorious prophet and forerunner John the Baptist, of the holy, glorious, and praiseworthy apostles, of the holy, glorious, and triumphant martyrs, of our righteous and God-bearing fathers, (local patron saint); of the holy and righteous ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, all those who from the beginning of time were well-pleasing to God, from Adam to Joseph the Betrothed of the Most Holy Theotokos, whose memory we observe; and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loves mankind.

   

Fasting Rule

Wine: Wine and oil are allowed. Refrain from meat, fish, dairy, and eggs.

It is the Christmas fast.