O Great Mystery Saturday, December 20, 2014
The Christmas Fast: 5 days until the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ
27th week after Pentecost, Tone II
Today we celebrate:
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Tomorrow

  • Juliana of Nicomedia, martyr
  • Second day of the prefestivity of the Birthday

Yesterday

  • Boniface, archbishop of Maiz, and his companions
  • Friday: The cross

Lesser feast The holy hieromartyr, Ignatius of Antioch, the godbearer.
First day of the prefestive period of the Birthday of The Savior.
Saturday: All the dead in Christ

For Ignatius
Troparion, Tone IV
O inspiration for hierarchs and glory of martyrs, O godbearing Ignatius,* by emulating the apostles you also inherited their fate. * You endured fire, sword, and beast for the sake of the faith, * dispensing the word of truth even to the shedding of your blood. * O wise and holy hierarch,* beg Christ, our God, to save our souls.

Kondakion, Tone III
This happy festival honors your wonderful deeds as a preview of the one who is about to be born in a cave. * In your eagerness to enjoy his presence forever, * you were only too ready to be the fodder of ferocious beasts. * For the holiness of your life we call you godbearer, O Ignatius, brilliant hierarch.

For the prefestivity
Troparion, Tone IV
O Bethlehem, make ready, * O Eden, open wide to all. * O Ephrata, prepare yourself, * for, in a cave, a virgin's womb will soon bring forth the tree of life, * and like paradise itself, * she will bear the fruit divine.* And if we eat of it, we shall never die like Adam, * for, by his birth, Christ will raise that image that fell so long ago.

Kondakion, Tone III
Today, the virgin makes her way to a cave, * and there she will bear the eternal word in a way beyond our understanding. * Let all creation rejoice in this news, * and with the shepherds and the angels, * let us give glory to God eternal, * who comes to all mankind as a newborn child.

For the dead in Christ
Troparion, Tone II
All you apostles and martyrs, * you prophets and hierarchs, * monks and nuns and holy men and women of all times: * Valiantly have you fought, persevering in the faith. * For this, the Lord is sure to hear your prayers. * Remind him of his loving kindness, * and beg him to save our souls.

Troparion, Tone II
In your loving kindness, Lord, remember all your servants who have passed away. * Forgive them all the wrong they ever did, * for no one can boast a sinless life. * You alone have never sinned, * and you alone can give the dead repose.

Kondakion, Tone VIII
With your holy ones, O Christ, * give rest to the souls of your departed servants, * where there is neither suffering, nor sorrow, nor sighing, * but life everlasting.

Kondakion, Tone VIII
To you, creator of all things, * the universe presents the saints as the first fruits of creation. * For their sake, O saviour, rich in mercy, * preserve us all in holiness and peace through the Theotokos.

Theotokion, Tone II
With the praise the angels offer you do we praise you, * O mother of ineffable light.

Blessed is the kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit both now and forever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

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