Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christ is born

Today my family and I, since we follow the Julian or Old Calendar, celebrate the mystery of Christ’s Incarnation and birth. On January 6th, while most of the world is asleep, we get dressed and go out in the cold to church. There we celebrate the midnight Liturgy.

Because we observe the Nativity on January 7th our commemoration is free from the commercialism that surrounds December 25th. We are free to worship the new-born King rather than be assaulted by Santas or elves. There is a special quietness to the day which western Christmas lacks.

For most people, January 7th is just another day. But for a few it is much more than that. It is one of the Days, one of the moments when earth and heaven rejoice together. And we cry together, “Christ is Born! Glorify Him!”

Troparion and Kontakion (hymns) for Nativity

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, has shone upon the world as a light of wisdom, for by it those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star to adore Thee, the Sun of Righteousness and to know Thee, the Orient from on high. O Lord, glory to Thee.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. Angels and shepherds glorify Him; the wise men journey with a star. For to us is born a young Child, the pre-eternal God.


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