TYPIKONIf the Eve of the Nativity falls on Saturday or Sunday the Service of these Hours is chanted on the Friday.
FIRST HOURWhen the Priest has given the Blessing we begin the Trisagion, then:
Come, let us worship and fall down before the King, our God.
Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, the King, our God.
Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ himself, the King, our God.
Three Metanias and the Psalms:Psalm 5
Give ear to my words, O Lord, understand my cry. Attend to the voice of my supplication, my King and my God, for to you I shall pray, O Lord. In the morning you will hear my voice. In the morning I shall stand before you, and you will watch over me, because you are not a God who wants iniquity. The evildoer will not dwell with you, nor will the lawless remain before your eyes. You have hated all those who work iniquity; you will destroy all those who speak lies. The Lord abhors a man of bloodshed and deceit. But I in the abundance of your mercy shall enter your house, I shall worship towards your holy temple in fear of you. Guide me, O Lord, in your justice because of my enemies, direct my way before you. Because there is no truth in their mouths; their heart is vain. Their throat is an open tomb, they deceive with their tongues. Judge them, O God. Let them fall through their counsels; according to the multitude of their impieties cast them out, for they have embittered you, O Lord. And may all those who hope in you be glad; they will rejoice for ever, and you will dwell among them, and all those who love your name will boast in you. Because you will bless the righteous; you have crowned him, O Lord, with your good pleasure.
My heart has uttered a good Word. I tell my works to the King. My tongue is the pen of ready writer. You are lovely with a beauty beyond the children of men. Grace has poured from your lips, therefore God has blessed you for ever. Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty warrior. In your splendour and beauty, draw your bow and prosper and reign in the cause of truth and meekness and justice, and your right hand will guide you wonderfully. Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; the sceptre of your Kingdom is a rod of justice. You have loved right and hated wrong, therefore God your God has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your fellows. Your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia, from the ivory palaces which gladden you. Kings’ daughters are in your train. The Queen stood at your right hand arrayed in gold wrought with many colours. Listen my daughter and see, and incline your ear. And forget your people and your father’s house. Then the King will desire your beauty, for he is your God and your shall worship him. And the daughter of Tyre will worship you with gifts. The richest of the people will entreat your favour. All the glory of the King’s daughter is within, though she is arrayed in tasselled gold, wrought with many colours. The virgins in her train will be brought to the King, those near her will be brought to you. They will be brought with joy and gladness, they will be led into the King’s temple. Instead of your fathers, sons are born to you. You shall make them rulers over all the earth. I will remember your name throughout all generations, therefore people will praise and thank you for ever and ever.
God is our refuge and our power, a help in the afflictions that beset us greatly. Therefore we shall not be afraid when the earth is troubled, and mountains are removed into the heart of the sea. Their waters roared and were troubled, the mountains were troubled by his might. The surgings of the river delight the City of God; the Most High has sanctified his tabernacle. God is in the midst of her, and she will not be shaken; God will help her towards the morning. Nations were troubled, kingdoms tottered, he uttered his voice, the earth was shaken. The Lord of powers is with us, our helper is the God of Jacob. Come and see the works of God, the wonders he has done upon the earth, putting an end to wars as far as the ends of the earth. He will smash the bow and shatter the weapon, and burn the shields with fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The God of powers is with us, our helper is the God of Jacob.
Glory. Both now. Alleluia (x3), Lord, have mercy (x3).
Glory, and the Troparion.Mary once with aged Joseph went to be enrolled in Bethlehem, for he was of David’s line; and she bore in her womb fruit unknown; the time for the birth was at hand, and there was no room in the inn; but the Cave proved a fair palace for the Queen. Christ is born, to raise up his image that had fallen.
Both now, and the Theotokion.What shall we call you, O Full of grace? Heaven? For you made the Sun of justice dawn. Paradise? For you made the flower of incorruption blossom. Virgin? For you remained incorrupt. Pure Mother? For you held in your holy embrace a Son who is the God of all. Implore him that our souls may be saved.
Then we chant the following Idiomels.Bethlehem make ready; let the Manger be prepared; let the Cave receive. The truth has come, the shadow has passed away, and God has appeared among men from a Virgin, formed as we are and making divine what he has put on. And so Adam is renewed with Eve as they cry, ‘God’s good pleasure has appeared on earth to save our race’. (Twice, without any verse)
Tone 8. By Sophronios, Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Tone 8. By Sophronios, Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Verse: God will come from Theman, and the Holy One from a mountain overshadowed by forest.