Icon of the Nativity of the Theotokos

The fore-feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos

“The joy of the whole world, the all-praised Virgin, hath dawned forth for us from Joachim and Anna. On account of her exceeding purity, she is become the living temple of God, and she alone in truth is acknowledged as the Theotokos. By her entreaties, O Christ God, send down peace upon the world, and on our souls great mercy.” Doxastikon from the Vespers for the Fore-feast

“From the root of Jesse and from the loins of David the divine child Mary is born for us today. Wherefore, all creation is glad and is renewed. Heaven and earth rejoice together. Praise her, O ye tribes of the nations. Joachim rejoiceth and Anna kepeth festival, crying: The barren woman giveth birth to the Theotokos, the nourisher of our life.”  Hymn from Matins for the Fore-feast

Beloved faithful, the old year has ended, adorned with the Feast of Dormition of the Theotokos, and the new year is scarcely begun and behold we celebrate the Nativity of the Theotokos. The Church hearkens to us to dedicate the entire year to our All-holy one, the birth-giver of our Lord. She who is higher than the Cherubim, and more glorious, beyond compare, than the Seraphim, and is the example for all of mankind. So great, so radiant is this celebration of her nativity, which inaugurates the new year, that the Church brings a festive celebration before the Feast!

Hymns used by permission of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery