O Lord, Thou wast born secretly in the cave, but Heaven announced Thee through a star and proclaimed Thee unto all. And it brought to Thee the Magi, who worshipped Thee with faith.
The Kontakion by St. Romanos the Melodist.
On this day the Virgin giveth birth to Him Who is transcendent in essence; and the earth offereth a cave to Him Who is unapproachable. Angels with shepherds give glory; with a star the Magi do journey; for our sake a young Child is born, Who before the ages is God.
Bethlehem hath opened Eden once more; come, and let us behold. Secretly we have found joy; come, let us receive the things of Paradise within the cave. There the un-watered Root hath appeared, blossoming forth forgiveness. There is found the un-dug Well, from which David longed to drink of old. There the Virgin hath borne a Babe, and made the thirst of Adam and David to cease straightway. For this cause, let us hasten to this place wherein a young Child is born, Who is the pre-eternal God.
On the twenty-fifth of this month we celebrate the Nativity according to the flesh of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ.
It is God Who is born, and His Mother a Virgin, what greater new things hath creation beheld?
On the twenty-fifth Mary gave birth to God.
Today we celebrate the worship of the Magi.
In worshipping Thee, O Word, this company from among the nations declares the nations’ future worship of Thee.
Today we celebrate the memory of the Shepherds who beheld the Lord.
The shepherds, in abandoning their own flocks, with haste travel to see Christ the good Shepherd.
Unto Him is due all glory unto all the ages. Amen.
From on high Christ our Saviour, even the Dayspring from the East, is come and hath visited us, and hence we who were in the dark and shadow have now found the truth; for the Lord hath been born now of the all-blameless Virgin.
Hymns adapted from the Menaion, published 1984 by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, MA.