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Menaion - December 31

Leave-taking of Christmas

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MATINS

CHOIR

Mode 4.

God is the Lord, and He revealed Himself to us. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. [SAAS]

Verse 1: Give thanks to the Lord and call upon His holy name.

or: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever.

Verse 2: All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I defended myself against them.

Verse 3: And this came about from the Lord, and it is wonderful in our eyes.

Apolytikion of the Feast.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4.

Your nativity, O Christ our God, has caused the light of knowledge to rise upon the world. For therein the worshippers of the stars were by a star instructed to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know You as Orient from on high. Glory to You, O Lord. (3) [SD]

PRIEST

Again and again, in peace, let us pray to the Lord.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

(To You, O Lord.)

For Yours is the dominion, and Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

(Amen.)

CHOIR

Kathisma I.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4. Joseph marveled.

Come, believers, let us see the place where Christ has been born.* With the Magi, those three kings who from the orient are,* now let us follow to where the star is proceeding.* Ceaselessly do Angels sing praises there.* Shepherds in the field sing a worthy song,* saying: Glory in the highest be to Him who* was born today in the grotto* from the Virgin and Theotokos,* in Bethlehem of Judea. [SD]

Glory. Both now. Repeat.

Come, believers, let us see the place where Christ has been born.* With the Magi, those three kings who from the orient are,* now let us follow to where the star is proceeding.* Ceaselessly do Angels sing praises there.* Shepherds in the field sing a worthy song,* saying: Glory in the highest be to Him who* was born today in the grotto* from the Virgin and Theotokos,* in Bethlehem of Judea. [SD]

Kathisma II.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4. Joseph marveled.

Mary, why are you amazed and awed by what was done in you? * And she answers, "For in time I have brought forth a timeless Son. * But I have no understanding of His conception. * Husbandless am I: how can I bear a son? * Who has ever seen seedless childbirth? * But where God wills, the order found in nature * is overcome, as it is written." * So Christ was born from the Virgin Maiden, * in Bethlehem of Judea. [SD]

Glory. Both now. Repeat.

Mary, why are you amazed and awed by what was done in you? * And she answers, "For in time I have brought forth a timeless Son. * But I have no understanding of His conception. * Husbandless am I: how can I bear a son? * Who has ever seen seedless childbirth? * But where God wills, the order found in nature * is overcome, as it is written." * So Christ was born from the Virgin Maiden, * in Bethlehem of Judea. [SD]

From Menaion - - -

READER

Kontakion.

Mode 3. Automelon.

On this day the Virgin gives * birth to the Super-essential. * To the Unapproachable, * earth is providing the grotto. * Angels sing and with the shepherds offer up glory. * Following a star the Magi are still proceeding. * He was born for our salvation, a newborn Child, the pre-eternal God. [SD]

Oikos.

Bethlehem has opened Eden. Come, let us see. We have found the hidden delight. Come, let us receive the things of Paradise inside the Cave. There, we shall see an unwatered root that blossomed forgiveness. There, we shall find an undug well, from which David of old desired to drink. There, the Virgin quenched the thirst of both Adam and David, when she gave birth to her baby. So let us go there now, where He was born a newborn Child, the pre-eternal God. [SD]

Synaxarion.

From the Menaion.

On December 31, we commemorate our devout mother Melania the Roman.

On this day we also commemorate the Martyr and Priest Zotikos who cared for orphans.

On this day St. Gelasios reposed in peace.

On this day the holy 10 Virgins in Nikomedia died after their eyes were pierced and the sides were scraped.

On this day the holy Martyr Olympiodora died by fire.

On this day St. Gaios reposed in peace.

The holy Martyrs Bousiris, Gaudentios and Neme died by the sword.

By the intercessions of Your Saints, O God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

Katavasias Odes 1-8

CHOIR

Katavasias of Christmas I and II

Ode i. Mode 1.

Christ is born; glorify Him! * Christ is come from heaven; go and meet Him. * Christ is on earth; arise to Him. * Sing to the Lord, all you who dwell on the earth; * and in merry spirits, O you peoples, praise His birth. * For He is glorified. [SD]

Iambic. Mode 1.

Working signs of old the Master saved the people, * replacing fluid waves of the sea with dry land. * Now born of a Maid by His own will, He has made * passable a way to heaven. Him, in essence * equal to mankind and the Father, we glorify. [SD]

Ode iii.

To the Son, begotten * without flux, of the Father, before the ages, * and who was lately made incarnate * of the Virgin without seed; * to Christ God now let us cry aloud: * You have exalted the horn of our strength. Only You are holy, O Lord. [SD]

Iambic.

Hearken, Benefactor, to the hymns of Your servants, * and humble the arrogant contempt of the foe. * Carry us Your musicians, all-seeing Master, * high above all sin, immovably established * firmly on the Faith's foundation, O Blessed One. [SD]

Ode iv.

Jesse's root produced a branch, O Christ, * and You its flower blossomed forth, * from the Virgin who by Habakkuk prophetically once was called * overshadowed, dense mountain. * From her who knew not man You came incarnate, * the immaterial God. * Glory to Your power, O Lord. [SD]

Iambic.

Prophet Habakkuk in his ode was foretelling * mankind's remaking, when of old he was granted * to see its type in a manner past expression: * From the Virgin mountain as a newborn infant * the Logos emerged, to refashion the peoples. [SD]

Ode v.

God of peace and Father of mercies, Your Son * You have sent unto us as Your messenger, * the Angel of great counsel who is granting peace. * Therefore having been guided to the light of godly knowledge, * waking from the night to dawn, we sing Your glory, O Lover of man. [SD]

Iambic.

Would that You come, O Christ, to us who once were darkened * by the night of works of error, but who offer * hymns to You wakefully now, O Benefactor. * Grant us forgiveness, and make easy the pathway. * Ascending this path may we also find glory. [SD]

Ode vi.

Such as it received * Jonah as an embryo, the sea beast disgorged him from its bowels intact. * With the Virgin, though, when the Logos had dwelt in her taking on flesh, * He came forth from her preserving her yet incorrupt. * For from her no fluxion suffered He, * and He kept her unaltered in childbirth. [SD]

Iambic.

Jonah, as he sat in the sea's deepest caverns, * implored to come to You and out of the tempest. * But as for me, by the tyrant's arrows wounded, * I pray You, O Christ, the Destroyer of evil, * come to me quicker than my soul's own indifference. [SD]

Ode vii.

The Servants nurtured piously together, * with contempt regarding the impious king's decree, * intrepidly faced the threat of holocaust, * and while standing in the midst of flames they chanted thus, * saying: O God of the fathers, You are blessed. [SD]

Iambic.

As the three young men were ensnared by the longing * for the King of all, hence they disdained the tyrant's * impious chatter, though he was very angry. * The infinite fire yielded to them, who uttered, * Blessed are You, O Master, unto the ages. [SD]

Ode viii.

Babylon's bedewing furnace bore the image * of an extraordinary wonder. * For it did not burn the youths it accepted, * nor did the fire of Divinity consume the Virgin's womb wherein it went. * So let us melodiously chant in praise: * Let all creation bless and extol the Lord, * and let it exalt Him supremely to the ages. [SD]

Iambic.

We praise and we bless and we worship the Lord.

Standing in fire without burning, the young men * did of old portray thus the womb of the Maiden. * Remaining sealed, supernaturally it gave birth. * Grace with a single miracle-working power * did both, and rouses all the peoples to sing praise. [SD]

DEACON

Let us honor and magnify in song the Theotokos and the Mother of the light.

CHOIR

From Menaion - - -

Ode ix.

Canon I.

Mode 1. Heirmos.

O my soul, magnify her who is greater in honor and in glory than the armies of heaven.

I see here a strange and paradoxical mystery. * For, behold, the grotto is heaven; * cherubic throne is the Virgin; * the manger a grand space * in which Christ our God the uncontainable reclined as a babe; * Whom in extolling do we magnify. [SD]

Troparia.

O my soul, magnify God who was born in the flesh from a Virgin.

The wise men concluded from their observations of * the extraordinary path of the peculiar nova which had lately * appeared and was shining more brightly than anything in outer space, * that Christ the King was born on earth, in Bethlehem to save our souls. [SD]

O my soul, magnify the King who was born as an infant in the grotto.

When Magi came saying: "Where is the newly born * child King whose star has appeared? * For we have come to adore Him * with gold, myrrh and incense," * then Herod, the enemy of God, was vexed, and madly incensed, * fuming he plotted how to murder Christ. [SD]

O my soul, magnify God who was worshiped by the Magi.

Herod ascertained the exact time the star appeared; * by the guidance of which the wise men * with gifts in Bethlehem worshipped Christ; * by Whom they were directed * to go to their country by another way, * abandoning that terrible, ridiculous infanticide. [SD]

From Menaion - - -

Iambic Canon.

Mode 1. Heirmos.

Today the holy Virgin gives birth to the Master within the cave and grotto.

Easier for us is from fear to love silence, * free of any peril as it is, O Virgin; * whereas to weave stirring hymns out of longing * in earnest, is difficult. Therefore, O Mother, * give us strength to match our volition, we pray you. [SD]

Today our Lord and Master is born as an infant; His Mother is a virgin.

Easier for us is from fear to love silence, * free of any peril as it is, O Virgin; * whereas to weave stirring hymns out of longing * in earnest, is difficult. Therefore, O Mother, * give us strength to match our volition, we pray you. [SD]

Troparia.

Glory.

O my soul, magnify the power of the Godhead, that is three hypostases and also undivided.

We have clearly seen the obscure types and shadows * fulfilled; and the light of the truth we perceive now, * O pure Theotokos and Mother of the Logos * who lately came forth from the gate that had been closed. * Worthily we bless your womb, all-holy Virgin. [SD]

Both now.

O my soul, magnify the ever-virgin Maid who from the curse has redeemed us.

Having been granted the longed-for experience * of the Advent of God, the Christ-pleasing people * tearfully prays to see the regeneration, * the life-giving Baptism. All-pure and holy Virgin, * grant us the favor, to venerate that glory. [SD]

Ode 9: Katavasia

Katavasias

Canon I. Mode 1.

O my soul, magnify her who is greater in honor and in glory than the armies of heaven.

I see here a strange and paradoxical mystery. * For, behold, the grotto is heaven; * cherubic throne is the Virgin; * the manger a grand space * in which Christ our God the uncontainable reclined as a babe; * Whom in extolling do we magnify. [SD]

Iambic. Mode 1.

O my soul, magnify the ever-virgin Maid who from the curse has redeemed us.

Easier for us is from fear to love silence, * free of any peril as it is, O Virgin; * whereas to weave stirring hymns out of longing * in earnest, is difficult. Therefore, O Mother, * give us strength to match our volition, we pray you. [SD]

DEACON

Again and again, in peace, let us pray to the Lord.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

(To You, O Lord.)

PRIEST

For all the powers of heaven praise You and give You glory, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

(Amen.)

CHOIR

Exaposteilarion.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 3. Automelon.

Our Savior from on high * the Orient from the East * visited us who in the dark * and shadow hitherto had lain; * now we have found the truth indeed. * And this is so because from the Virgin the Lord is born. (3) [SD]

Lauds. Mode 4.

Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest. It is fitting to sing a hymn to You, O God. [SAAS]

Praise Him, all you His angels; praise Him, all you His hosts. It is fitting to sing a hymn to You, O God. [SAAS]

Show Stichologia

Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you stars and light.

Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens. Let them praise the Lord's name.

For He spoke, and they were made; He commanded, and they were created.

He established them forever and unto ages of ages; He set forth His ordinance, and it shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth, you dragons and all the deeps.

Fire and hail, snow and ice, stormy wind, which perform His word.

Mountains and all the hills, fruitful trees and all cedars.

Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds.

Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all judges of the earth.

Young men and maidens, elders with younger, let them praise the Lord's name, for His name alone is exalted.

His thanksgiving is in earth and heaven. And He shall exalt the horn of His people.

A hymn for all His saints, for the children of Israel, a people who draw near to Him.

Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of His holy ones.

Let Israel be glad in Him who made him, and let the children of Zion greatly rejoice in their King.

Let them praise His name with dance; with tambourine and harp let them sing to Him.

For the Lord is pleased with His people, and He shall exalt the gentle with salvation.

The holy ones shall boast in glory, and they shall greatly rejoice on their beds.

The high praise of God shall be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand.

To deal retribution to the nations, reproving among the peoples.

To shackle their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron.

To fulfill among them the written judgment: this glory have all His holy ones.

Praise God in His saints; praise Him in the firmament of His power.

Hide Stichologia

   

Stichera for the Feast.

From Menaion - - -

Idiomelon. Mode 4.

Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to the abundance of His greatness. [SAAS]

You righteous, be glad in heart; and the heavens, be exultant. Leap for joy, O mountains, at the birth of the Messiah. Resembling the Cherubim, the Virgin Maiden is seated and holds in her embraces God the Logos incarnate. The shepherds glorify the newborn Babe; Magi bring the Master their precious gifts. Angels are singing hymns of praise, and say, "O Lord incomprehensible, glory to You." [SD]

Idiomelon. Mode 4.

Praise Him with the sound of trumpet; praise Him with the harp and lyre. [SAAS]

The Father was well pleased; the Logos became flesh; and the Virgin gave birth to God who became man. A Star reveals Him; Magi bow in worship; Shepherds marvel, and creation rejoices. [SD]

Idiomelon. Mode 4.

Praise Him with timbrel and dance; praise Him with strings and flute. [SAAS]

O Virgin Theotokos who gave birth to the Savior, you reversed the curse to which Eve once was subject. For you have become the Mother of the Father's good pleasure, and you hold in your embraces God the Logos incarnate. The mystery admits no inquiry; we all glorify it by faith alone, and with you we cry aloud and say, "O Lord incomprehensible, glory to You." [SD]

Idiomelon. Mode 4.

Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with triumphant cymbals; let everything that breathes praise the Lord. [SAAS]

Come, let us extol and praise the Savior's Mother, who remained a virgin even after childbirth. Animate City of our King and God, rejoice, for Christ having dwelt in you has wrought our salvation. Together with Gabriel we sing your praise, together with the shepherds we glorify you, crying out, "Theotokos, intercede with the Lord, who is incarnate from you, to save us." [SD]

Glory.

From Menaion - - -

Mode pl. 2.

When the time came for Your Advent on earth, the first census of the Roman world was conducted. Then it was that You began to record the names of those who would believe in Your birth. Such a decree was published by Caesar, because the timelessness of Your eternal kingdom was revealed anew. And now, we in our turn, above and beyond a monetary tax, bring to You the wealth of Orthodox theology, O God and Savior of our souls. [SD]

The [second] choir sings the following Idiomelon, up to the asterisk; then the first choir begins the Great Doxology, starting with the last verse of the Idiomelon: "Glory to God in the highest..."

Both now.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 2.

Today in Bethlehem, Christ is born of the Virgin. Today, the Unoriginate begins, and the Word becomes flesh. The hosts of heaven are rejoicing, and the earth and humanity are merry. The Magi bring their gifts. The Shepherds proclaim the marvel. And we unceasingly cry aloud: * "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" [SD]

Great Doxology

We praise You, we bless You, we worship You, we glorify You, we give thanks to You for Your great glory.

Lord King, heavenly God, Father, Ruler over all; Lord, only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; and You, O Holy Spirit.

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us, You who take away the sins of the world.

Accept our supplication, You who sit at the right hand of the Father, and have mercy on us.

For You alone are holy, You alone are Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Every day I will bless You, and Your name will I praise to eternity, and to the ages of ages.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, this day, that we be kept without sin.

Blessed are You, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Your name to the ages. Amen.

Let Your mercy be on us, O Lord, as we have set our hope on You.

Blessed are You, O Lord. Teach me Your statutes.

Blessed are You, O Lord. Teach me Your statutes.

Blessed are You, O Lord. Teach me Your statutes.

Lord, You have been our refuge from generation to generation. I said: Lord, have mercy on me. Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.

Lord, I have fled to You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God.

For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we shall see light.

Continue Your mercy to those who know You.

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

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.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Apolytikion.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4.

Your nativity, O Christ our God, has caused the light of knowledge to rise upon the world. For therein the worshippers of the stars were by a star instructed to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know You as Orient from on high. Glory to You, O Lord. [SD]