The Nativity of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary
Kontakion - Tone 4
By Your Nativity, O Most Pure Virgin,
Joachim and Anna are freed from barrenness;
Adam and Eve, from the corruption of death.
And we, your people, freed from the guilt of sin, celebrate and sing to you:
The barren woman gives birth to the Theotokos, the nourisher of our life!
Troparion - Tone 4
Your Nativity, O Virgin,
Has proclaimed joy to the whole universe!
The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God,
Has shone from You, O Theotokos!
By annulling the curse,
He bestowed a blessing.
By destroying death, He has granted us eternal Life.
Vespers, 1st Reading
Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran.
So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep.
Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.
“Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”
And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”
Vespers, 2nd Reading
‘When these days are over it shall be, on the eighth day and thereafter, that the priests shall offer your burnt offerings and your peace offerings on the altar; and I will accept you,’ says the Lord God.”
Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the east, but it was shut.
And the Lord said to me, “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut.
“As for the prince, because he is the prince, he may sit in it to eat bread before the Lord; he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gateway, and go out the same way.”
Also He brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple; so I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord; and I fell on my face.
Vespers, 3rd Reading
Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars;
She has slaughtered her meat, She has mixed her wine, She has also furnished her table.
She has sent out her maidens, She cries out from the highest places of the city,
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
“Come, eat of my bread And drink of the wine I have mixed.
Forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding.
“He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you.
Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,
and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.
And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.
And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
Epistle, Divine Liturgy
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Gospel, Divine Liturgy
Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.
And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word.
But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me."
And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.
But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.
And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!"
But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"