Sunday Before the Nativity
Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria. 10AM 20 December 2020.
Troparion, Tone 4
When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel * the glorious news of the resurrection * and cast off the ancestral condemnation, * they proudly told the apostles: * ‘Death has been plundered! * Christ our God is risen, * granting to the world great mercy.’
Troparion, Tone 2
Great are the achievements of faith! * In the fountain of flames, the three holy youths rejoiced as by the water of rest, * and the prophet Daniel was revealed shepherding lions like sheep. * Through their intercession, O Christ God, * save our souls.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Now and forever and ever, Amen.
Kontakion, Tone 6
Armed by the Being that defies description, * you defied the man-made idol, O thrice blessed youth. * In the midst of the unbearable flames you stood and cried out to God: * ‘In Your mercy, O gracious One, hasten and come to our aid,’ * for You can do whatever You will.
Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Blessed are You, Lord God of our fathers, * and praised and glorified is Your Name forever.
Verse: For You are righteous in everything that You have done to us. (Daniel 3:26,27)
Epistle : Hebrews 11:9–10, 17–23, 32–40
A Reading from the letter of Saint Apostle Paul to the Hebrew:
Brothers and Sisters, by faith Abraham stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom he had been told, ‘It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named after you.’ He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, ‘bowing in worship over the top of his staff.’ By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial. By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that the child was beautiful; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. And what more should 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, administered justice, obtained promises, shut 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. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented - of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, without us, be made perfect.
Alleluia, Tone 1
Verse: O God, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have told us the work You did in their days.
Verse: You saved us from our oppressors and put to shame those who hate us. (Psalm 43:2,8)
Gospel : Matthew 1:1–25
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king. David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile. After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah. Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah, fourteen generations. Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,’ which means ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * Rejoice in the Lord, O you just; * praise befits the righteous. (Psalm 32:1) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.
[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.