Variable Portions of the Divine Liturgy

20 December 2009

28th Sunday After Pentecost

Sunday Before Nativity

St. Ignatius of Antioch

 After the Little Entrance


Troparion        Let the heavens rejoice!

Resurrection    Let the earth be glad!

(Tone 3)           For the Lord has shown strength with His arm!

                          He has trampled down death by death!

                          He has become the first-born of the dead!

                          He has delivered from the depths of hell,

                          and has granted the world great mercy!


Troparion          Prepare, O Bethlehem;

Forefeast           for Eden has been opened to all.

(Tone 4)            Adorn yourself, O Ephratha,

                           For the Tree of life blossoms forth from the Virgin in the cave.

                           Her womb is a spiritual paradise

                           planted with the Fruit divine.

                           If we partake of it, we shall live forever

                           and not die like Adam.

                           Christ is coming to restore the image which He made

                           in the beginning.


Troparion          Great are the accomplishments of faith,
Holy Fathers     for the three holy youths rejoiced in the flames
(Tone 2)                       as though at the waters of rest;

                            and the prophet Daniel appeared

                            a shepherd to lions as though they were sheep
                            By their intercessions, O Christ our God, have mercy on us!


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


Kontakion          Rejoice, O Bethlehem!  Prepare yourself, O Ephratha!

Sunday Before   The Ewe-Lamb is on her way to give birth to the Chief

(Tone 1)                  Shepherd she carries in her womb.

                             The God-bearing fathers will rejoice, beholding Him,

                             and with the shepherds they will glorify the Virgin

                             nursing Him!


                             Now and ever, and unto ages of ages.  Amen.


Kontakion         Today the Virgin comes to the cave

Preparation        to ineffably give birth to the timeless Word.

(Tone 3)             Therefore, rejoice at the tidings, O universe!

                            With the angels and shepherds, glorify

                            the One who wills to appear as a new-born babe,

                            our God before the ages.



(Tone 4)        Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our Fathers and praised and glorified is Thy name forever!


Holy Scriptures


Hebrews 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40                      Matthew 1:1-25


Communion Hymn verse


                           Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!  Praise befits the just!


Sung during Priest's Communion


O House of Ephratha,

the Holy City,

the glory of the holy prophets.

Beautify the house

in which the Divine One is born!


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

Now and ever, and unto ages of ages.  Amen.


The prophecy

of all the prophets is fulfilled

Christ is born

in the City of Bethlehem

of a pure handmaiden of God!



Priest:             Let us attend!  Peace be unto all!


Reader:            And to your spirit.


Priest:             Wisdom!


Reader:            The Prokeimenon in the 4th Tone:  Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our Fathers and praised and glorified is Thy name forever!


People:            Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our Fathers and praised and glorified is Thy name forever!


Reader:            For Thou art just in all that Thou hast done for us!


People:            Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our Fathers and praised and glorified is Thy name forever!


Reader:            Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our Fathers.


People:            And praised and glorified is Thy name forever!


Priest:             Wisdom!


Reader:            The Reading is from the Epistle of holy Apostle Paul to the Hebrews.


Priest:             Let us attend!


(Hebrews 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40)


Reader:            Brethren, by faith Abraham dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command.

And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented-- of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.


Priest:             Peace be unto you, Reader!


Reader:            And to your spirit.  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!


People:            Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!   


Reader:            We have heard it with our own ears, O God, for our fathers have told us.


People:            Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!   


Reader:            For Thou hast saved us from those who oppose us, and put to shame those who hate us.


People:            Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!   




Priest:             The Reading is from the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.


People:            Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee!


(Matthew 1:1-25)

Priest:             Let us attend!  The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king.David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah.  Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan 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, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

People:            Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee!


This content has been generously provided by Fr. Jerome Cwiklinski, CAPT, CHC, USN