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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Conception of Theotokos; Hanna the Prophetess

  Orthros: Plagal Third                     Gospel: Luke 24: 36-53
Epistle: Galatians 4: 22-27                 Page: 1010 (Pew Bibles)                                                             Gospel:  Luke 13: 10-17                Page: 109  (Red Books)

             St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra

† This glorious saint, celebrated even today throughout the entire world, was the only son of his eminent and wealthy parents, Theophanes and Nona, citizens of the city of Patara in Lycia. St. Nicholas learned of the spiritual life from his uncle Nicholas, Bishop of Patara, and was tonsured a monk in the Monastery of New Zion, founded by his uncle.

† Following the death of his parents, Nicholas distributed all his inherited goods to the poor, not keeping anything for himself. As a priest in Patara, he was known for his charity, even though he carefully concealed his charitable works, fulfilling the words of the Lord: Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth (Matthew 6:3).

† He was present at the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea [AD 325] and, out of great zeal for the truth, struck the               heretic Arius with his hand. For this act he was removed from the Council and from his archiepiscopal duties, until the Lord Christ Himself and the Most-holy Theotokos appeared to several of the chief hierarchs and revealed their approval of Nicholas.

† A defender of God's truth, this wonderful saint was ever bold as a defender of justice among the people. On two occasions, he saved three men from an undeserved sentence of death.      Merciful, truthful, and a lover of justice, he walked among the people as an angel of God.

† Even during his lifetime, the people considered him a saint and invoked his aid in difficulties and in distress. He appeared both in dreams and in person to those who called upon him, and he helped them easily and speedily, whether close at hand or far away. A light shone from his face as it did from the face of Moses, and he, by his presence alone, brought comfort, peace and good will among men. In old age he became ill for a short time and entered into the rest of the Lord, after a life full of labor and very fruitful toil, to rejoice eternally in the Kingdom of Heaven, continuing to help the faithful on earth by his miracles and to glorify his God. He entered into rest on December 6, AD 343.

 From The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by St. Nikolai Velimirovich. Copyright © 1999

     Let the heaven rejoice,
     and let things on earth be glad,
     for the Lord has worked powers with His arm;
     He has trampled upon death by death;
     He has become the first born of the dead.
     From the bowels of Hades has He delivered us,
     and has granted great mercy to the world.

2. APOLYTIKION ST. ANNA ( Fourth Mode)
    Today the bonds of childlessness are
    broken.  For hearing the prayers of
   Joachim and Anne, God promised that
   against all hope they would give birth to
   the Maiden of God.  He, the
   Uncircumscribed, would be born of her,
   when He would become man, and by the
   Angel’s example, He commands us to
   call to her:  “Rejoice, Maiden full of the
   grace, the Lord is with you.”

    Today is the beginning of our salvation,
    and the revelation of the mystery of ages.
    The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin.
    And Gabriel proclaims this gift from God.
    Together with him we cry out to You,
    O Theotokos: “Hail thou full of grace,
    the Lord is with you.”

4. KONTAKION (Fourth Mode)
   On this day the whole wide world is
   celebrating that Saint Anne conceived a
   child, which was a miracle of God.  And
   she gave birth to the one who bore the
   divine Logos, in ways passing speech
   and thought.

     Εὐφραινέσθω τὰ οὐράνια,
     ἀγαλλιάσθω τὰ ἐπίγεια,
     ὅτι ἐποίησε κράτος, ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ ὁ Κύριος.
     Ἐπάτησε τῷ θανάτῳ τὸν θάνατον, πρωτότοκος
     τῶν νεκρῶν ἐγένετο, ἐκ κοιλίας ᾅδου ἐρρύσατο
     ἡμᾶς καὶ παρέσχε τῷ κόσμῳ τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.

    Σήμερον τής ατεκνίας δεσμά διαλύονται,
    τού Ιωακείμ γάρ καί τής Άννης εισακούων Θεός, 
    παρ' ελπίδα τεκείν αυτούς σαφώς, υπισχνείται
    θεόπαιδα, εξ ής αυτός ετέχθη ο απερίγραπτος,
    βροτός γεγονώς, δι' Αγγέλου κελεύσας βοήσαι
    αυτή, Χαίρε Κεχαριτωμένη, ο Κύριος μετά σού.

    Σήμερον τῆς σωτηρίας ἡμῶν τό Κεφάλαιον,
    καί τοῦ ἀπ᾽ αἰῶνος Μυστηρίου ἡ φανέρωσις·
    ὁ Υἱός τοῦ Θεοῦ, Υἱός τῆς Παρθένου γίνεται,
    καί Γαβριήλ τὴν χάριν εὐαγγελίζεται.
    Διό καὶ ἡμεῖς σὺν αὐτῷ τῇ Θεοτόκῳ βοήσωμεν·
    Χαῖρε Κεχαριτωμένη, ὁ Κύριος μετὰ σοῦ.

    Εορτάζει σήμερον, ή οίκουμένη, τήν τής
    Αννης σύλληψιν, γεγενημένην έν Θεώ
    καί γάρ αύτή άπεκύησε, τήν ύπέρ λόγον,
    τόν Λόγον κυήσασαν.





















































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Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
64 Hershey Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603

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