December 20, the three odes (Triodion) of the Canon for the Pre-festival of the Nativity in the flesh of our Lord and Savior.


We chant the following Triodion. Before the Troparia, we say, Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Second Tone


Heirmos: The impassable and boist’rous sea of tossing waves, * the Lord by His divine command once dried up mightily; * and He guided through its midst * the tribes of the Israelites to pass therethrough on foot. * To Him let us all sing; * in glory is He glorified.

O unspeakable descent of God the Word to us! * For Christ is known as God-man, not thinking it robbery * to be reckoned to be God, * but willingly cometh to take a servant’s lowly form, * the which He shall receive * from Mary, the pure Child of God.

Of His own free will now cometh Christ, the Fashioner, * to minister thus unto him whose form He putteth on; * rich in true Divinity, * He cometh to give unto paupered Adam strange rebirth * and strange refashioning, * because He is compassionate.


Heirmos: Both soul and body free from stain * of the guiltless Children quaked, trembling with terror; * yet the unrelenting fire * fed with endless fuel drew back and retired; * and when the ever-living flame had gone out, * an everlasting song of praise was sent on high: * O all ye works, praise ye the Lord and extol Him, * and supremely exalt Him unto all the ages.

I shall now reckon all of you * Mine own kin, if ye in truth keep My commandments, * saith Christ to all mankind, * even He that came from a pure Virgin’s womb. * And while granting them peace, He admonisheth them * and doth exhort them that they should mind lowly things, * while knowing Him as Lord and faithfully chanting: * We supremely exalt Thee unto all the ages.

O Word of God, this birth of Thine * is clean contrary to the natural order; * nor is it flesh and blood * that produced Thy holy and ven’rable flesh, * but the presence of the Holy Spirit of God * and God the Most High’s holy overshadowing. * And knowing Thee as Lord, we all sing Thy praises, * and supremely exalt Thee unto all the ages.


Heirmos: Thou hast magnified, O Christ, * Thy pure Mother, the Theotokos; * from whom, O Maker of all, * Thou didst don a body with human passions, * which became the ransom deliv’ring us from all our errors. * As we call Thy Mother blest, all we generations magnify Thy Name.

Let us cast off from ourselves * all defilement and stain of passion, * and rightly take up a wise * understanding of Christ’s incarnate advent: * He doth come to put on the flesh without any defilement * and to grant all men divine fashioning anew through the Good Spirit’s might.

Seeing Christ made lowly now, * let us lift up ourselves, ye faithful, * from grov’ling passions below; * and with godly zeal, and by faith instructed * not to be high-minded, come let us be abased in spirit, * so that with exalting deeds, we might all exalt and laud Him that is born.