St. Brighid's Celtic Orthodox Procathedral

A place for the worship of God according to the ancient rites of the Ancient Celtic Orthodox Christian Church.

Founded by St. Brigit (Brigid) of Kildare, it is an expression of the way the Christian Faith of Ireland truly was, before Rome forced it's standards/Ideals on the Church by declaring that only the Church of Rome was the True Church, and any others were heretics. It is of important note that Ireland is the one place where Christianity became the predominant Faith with no bloodshed. All Irish Martyrs are what are known as White Martyrs, where a Christian totally commits his life to God, uniting himself completely to God, without the violent bloodshed and death of most Martyrs. The Ancient Celtic Orthodox Church is a return to the original faith that came from Ireland's true Saint, St. Brigit (Brigid) of Kildare, who was born of Ireland, unlike Patrick who was born of Britain. The Christian Faith of Brigid held a much closer tie to the land and the Earth, as Ireland was an agricultural society during the Early Christian Era, and many Irish people had trouble accepting Rome's more Urban ideals as to how the Church should be. (Remember that there were no Cities in early Ireland, unlike the rest of the Roman Empire.)

Mission: To bring forth the TRUE Faith of Ireland, with a reverence to Nature and the Land and all that GOD has created in it; and to show GOD's Love to ALL his children, regardless of age, race, gender or gender expression, or sexual orientation. GOD loves ALL his Children, be they gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, inter-sex, or any other way that GOD has made them to be.

From the depths of my heart I congratulate you all on the radiant feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The wondrous miracle of the incarnation of God, which was accomplished more than two thousand years ago, today fills our souls with ineffable joy. “Today God has come upon the earth and man ascends to the heavens” (Verse for Festal Vespers). The Maker and Provider of all things has appeared in the world, for by his grace he could not “behold mankind oppressed by the devil” (from the Office for Baptism); “overcome by love, he who has no beginning and who is beyond expression came to seek out his lost creation” (Kontakion for the Parable of the Lost Coin by St. Roman the Melodist).

The amazing prophecies of the great heralds of the Word of God have come true, and before humankind, which for thousands of years has awaited salvation and deliverance, exhausted by the burden of sin, suffering from a curse not only during its earthly life but also in the world beyond, the gates of heaven have now been opened. “From the ever-blossoming Virgin there received flesh” our Lord Jesus Christ (Canon for the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God), and the cherubim, guarding the entrance to paradise with a sword of fire, “withdraw from the tree of life” (Verse for Festal Vespers). The Divine Infant has been born for the salvation of the world, who was “born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children” (Gal 4:4-5).

Inconceivable is the Lord’s humility: in being the omnipotent Master, he appears to people as a helpless infant; in being God, he assumes corruptible flesh and endures the afflictions of earthly life; in being the Immortal One, he goes voluntarily to his tortuous and shameful death. And he does all of this not for the select few – the prophets, righteous and his faithful servants. Christ comes for each one of us, he desires salvation for all without exception – the sinners and the evildoers, the indifferent and the neglectful, the cowardly and the angry, even his murderers!

The Lord turns nobody away, never disdains anyone; on the contrary, he assumes our human flesh, renews it through his divine incarnation, his sufferings on the cross and his life-bearing resurrection; he raises it up into the bosom of the Holy Trinity and sanctifies it by his presence rightward the throne of God. And it is of the life-creating body of Christ, his most pure blood shed for each one of us that we partake in the sacrament of the Eucharist – and we become one with the same body and the same blood of not only with the Savior but also with each other.

However, today we unfortunately see the waves of discord rocking the ship of the Church, the storm of arguments and contradictions undermining the unity of the Orthodox faithful, people, overpowered by the darkness of the enemy and tempter, discarding the Fount of living water in favor of the “the murky fount of ungodly heresies that is unfit to drink from” (Canon to the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council). At this difficult time, we must all recall that the Lord was born, crucified and rose from the dead for each one of us, that he founded on earth the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. In belonging to the Church, we are called upon to overcome discord, confrontation and conflict, to heal divisions, to help those who endure the horrors of war and suffer from oppression and injustice.

The Lord was born not in a royal palace but in a lowly cave in “abject poverty”. What, it would seem, could be worse than a cavern and poorer than a manger for cattle? Yet such a place does exist – it is the desert of the human heart scorched by sin, alienated from God, neither cold nor hot, wasted and enslaved by the passions. It is, however, within our power to make our soul a dwelling-place for God, to remember that the Lord is near, at the very gates, and that he humbly waits for us to finally see him with the eyes of faith, admit him into our lives, hear his words and respond to his love and allow him to act within us.

The whole world rejoices in the most glorious nativity of the Saviour: the angels sing hymns of praise, the shepherds are exultant, the magi worship and bring gifts to him, and it is only the embittered heart of Herod, full of envy, that does not wish to accept the divine truth, does not rejoice, yet trembles not from the fear of God but from cowardice. Let us ponder whether we too are not like him in our deeds, whether we do not make our priority our own well-being and comfort, whether we are not afraid that someone may be better than us, more talented, kinder, whether we do not do evil to such a person in trying to hurt or humiliate him before others, cast him down from his pedestal so that we may raise ourselves up a step higher. Is it not the case that the source of truth for us is not the Lord and his sacred commandments, but our very own selves? Do we not tempt others in passing off as truth our own self-serving fantasies, do we not rend asunder Christ’s robe through our ambitious actions, do we not sow the seeds of discord and discontent among our brothers and sisters in the faith?

As we gaze now upon the Divine Infant Christ and stand face to face with the divine truth, let us cast aside the “weight” of passions and “sin that clings so closely” (Heb 12:1), let us send up our ardent prayers for the strengthening of the unity of Orthodoxy and the increase of love, recalling that “love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things” (1 Cor 13:4-7).

The liturgical texts for the feast glorify not only the Lord who has been born for our salvation, but also those thanks to whom his incarnation became possible – the Most Pure Virgin Mary, the righteous Joseph the Betrothed and the holy forefathers. Let us also remember on this solemn day those who are close to us: let us visit our parents and friends, devote our attention to them, find kind words, and thank them for all they do for us. May our hearts, filled with love of God and neighbor, become the abode for the All-Merciful Christ, who is “Pre-eternal and Inconceivable, and Co-eternal with the invisible Father” (Sessional Hymn for Festal Vespers). Amen.

[06/02/18]   Readings for Sunday:
1st Sunday after Pentecost
+ THE 1st LESSON +
After the Reader is blessed and is standing at the Lectern, he/she says or chants:

V: The Lesson is written in the 1st Chapter of Ephesians, beginning with the 3rd Verse.

V: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Iosa (YŌ-suh) the Christ, Who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in the Christ: as He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity. Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Iosa (YŌ-suh) the Christ unto himself: according to the purpose of His Will: unto the Praise of the Glory of His Grace, in which he hath graced us in His Belovèd Son. In Whom we have Redemption through His Blood, the Remission of sins, according to the riches of His Grace, which hath superabounded in us in all wisdom and prudence, that He might make known unto us the Mystery of His Will, according to His good pleasure, which He hath purposed in Him, in the dispensation of the fulness of times, to re-establish all things in the Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in Him. In Whom we also are called by lot, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things according to the counsel of His Will. That we may be unto the praise of His Glory, we who before hoped for the Christ: [13] In whom ye also, after ye had heard the Word of Truth (the Gospel of thy Salvation); in Whom also believing, ye were signed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the pledge of our inheritance, unto the Redemption of acquisition, unto the Praise of His Glory.

At the completion of the Epistle, the Reader says or chants the following:

V: Here endeth the Reading.
R: Thanks be to God.

After the Gospelary and the Diacon are censed and blessed, and the Gospelary is processed to the center of the Quire, the Diacon says or chants the following, as all make the Sign of the Cross on the brow, the lips, and the heart:

V: The Holy Gospel is +++ written in the 3rd Chapter of the Gospel According to St. Matthew, beginning with the 7th Verse.

R: (bow) Glory be to Thee, O Lord. (rise)

V: Seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, John said to them: "Ye brood of vipers, who hath shewed ye to flee from the Wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of penance. And think not to say within thyselves, 'We have Abraham for our father.' For I tell ye that God is able of these STONES to raise up children to Abraham. For now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doth not yield good fruit, shall be cut down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize ye in the water unto penance, but He that shall come after me, is mightier than I, Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; He shall baptize ye in the Holy Spirit and fire. Whose fan is in His hand; and He will thoroughly cleanse His floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire." Then cometh Iosa (YŌ-suh) from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him. But John stayed Him, saying: "I ought to be baptized by Thee, and comest Thou to me?" And Iosa (YŌ-suh) answering, said to him: "Suffer it to be so now. For so it becometh us to fulfill all justice." Then he suffered Him. And Iosa (YŌ-suh) having been baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to Him: and they saw the Spirit of God descending as a Dove, and coming upon Him. And behold a voice from heaven, saying: "This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased."

At the completion of the reading, the Diacon bows over the Gospelary, saying or chanting:

V: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
R: (bow) Praise be to Thee, O Christ. (rise)

[05/27/18]   FÀILTE NA CAOGA-LA
+ THE 1st LESSON +
V: The Lesson is written in the 2nd Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, beginning with the 1st Verse.

V: And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: and suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Spirit gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under Heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: "Behold, are not all these, that speak, Galileans? And how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful Works of God."

V: The Holy Gospel is +++ written in the 7th Chapter of the Gospel According to St. John, beginning with the 37th Verse.
R: Glory be to Thee, O Lord.
V: And on the last, and great day of the festivity, Iosa (YŌ-suh) stood and cried, saying: "If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink. He that believeth in Me, as the Scripture saith, 'Out of His belly shall flow rivers of Living Water.'" Now this He said of the Spirit Which they should receive, who believed in Him: for as yet the Spirit was not given, because Iosa (YŌ-suh) was not yet glorified. Of that multitude therefore, when they had heard these words of His, some said: "This is the Prophet indeed." Others said: "This is the Christ." But some said: "Doth the Christ come out of Galilee? Doth not the Scripture say that the Christ cometh of the seed of David, and from Bethlehem the town where David was?" So there arose a dissension among the people because of Him. And some of them would have apprehended Him: but no man laid hands on Him. The ministers therefore came to the Chief Priests and the Pharisees. And they said to them: "Why have ye not brought him?" The ministers answered: "Never did man speak like this man." The Pharisees therefore answered them: "Are ye also seduced? Hath any one of the rulers believed in Him, or of the Pharisees? But this multitude, that knoweth not the law, are accursed." Nicodemus said to them, (he that came to Him by night, who was one of them:) "Doth our law judge any man, unless it first hear him, and know what he doth?" They answered, and said to him: "Art thou also a Galilean? Search the scriptures, and see, that out of Galilee a prophet riseth not." And every man returned to his own house. And Iosa (YŌ-suh) went unto mount Olivet. And early in the morning He came again into the Temple, and all the people came to Him, and sitting down He taught them. And the Scribes and the Pharisees bring unto Him a woman taken in adultery: and they set her in the midst, and said to him: "Master, this woman was even now taken in adultery. Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest Thou?" And this they said tempting Him, that they might accuse Him. But Iosa (YŌ-suh) bowing himself down, wrote with His finger on the ground. When therefore they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said to them: "He that is without sin among thee, let him first cast a stone at her." And again stooping down, he wrote on the ground. But they hearing this, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest. And Iosa (YŌ-suh) alone remained, and the woman standing in the midst. Then Iosa (YŌ-suh) lifting up Himself, said to her: "Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee?" Who said: "No man, Lord." And Jesus said: "Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more." Again therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying: "I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life."

V: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
R: Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

[12/18/17]   Once again I beg your forgiveness. Here is the Lectionary beginning with last Monday, continuing through the Nativity. You note that the Eve is on next Sunday. The readings for "Sunday Before" are used that morning, with the "Eve's" readings coming at the Vespers and Midnight Mass. God bless you all, and have a happy and joyous Nativity.

The Monday before the 2nd Sunday Before the Nativity:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Thessalonians, the 1st Chapter, the 1st through the 5th Verses.

Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy: to the Church of the Thessalonians, in God the Father, and in the Lord Iosa (YŌ-suh) the Christ. Grace be to thee and Peace. We give thanks to God always for thee all; making a remembrance of thee in our prayers without ceasing, being mindful of the work of thy Faith, and labor, and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Iosa (YŌ-suh) the Christ before God and our Father: knowing, brethren beloved of God, thine election: For our Gospel hath not been unto thee in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much fulness, as ye know what manner of men we have been among thee for thy sakes.

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 10th Chapter, the 22nd through the 37th Verses. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

“All things are delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knoweth Who the Son is, but the Father; and Who the Father is, but the Son, and to whom the Son will reveal Him.” And turning to His Disciples, He said: “Blessèd are the eyes that see the things which ye see. For I say to thee, that many Prophets and kings have desired to see the things that ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear the things that ye hear, and have not heard them.” And behold a certain lawyer stood up, tempting Him, and saying, “Master, what must I do to possess eternal life?” But He said to him: “What is written in the law? How readest thou?” He answering, said: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbor as thyself.” And He said to him: “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” But he willing to justify himself, said to Iosa (YŌ-suh): “And who is my neighbor?” And Iosa (YŌ-suh) answering, said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, who also stripped him, and having wounded him went away, leaving him half dead. And it chanced, that a certain priest went down the same way: and seeing him, passed by. In like manner also a Levite, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by. But a certain Samaritan being on his journey, came near him; and seeing him, was moved with compassion. And going up to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine: and setting him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two pence, and gave to the host, and said: ‘Take care of him; and whatsoever thou shalt spend over and above, I, at my return, will repay thee.’ Which of these three, in thine opinion, was neighbor to him that fell among the robbers?” But he said: “He that shewed mercy to him.” And Iosa (YŌ-suh) said to him: “Go, and do thou in like manner.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

Tuesday before the 2nd Sunday Before the Nativity:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Thessalonians, the 1st Chapter, the 6th through the 10th Verses.

And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord; receiving the Word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Spirit: so that ye were made a pattern to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from thee was spread abroad the Word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia, and in Achaia, but also in every place; thy Faith which is towards God is gone forth, so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto thee; and how ye turned to God from idols, to serve the Living and True God. And to wait for His Son from Heaven (Whom He raised up from the dead) Iosa (YŌ-suh), Who hath delivered us from the wrath to come.

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 11th Chapter, the 1st through the 10th Verses. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

And it came to pass, that as He was in a certain place praying, when He ceased, one of His Disciples said to Him: “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” And He said to them: “When ye pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’” And He said to them: “Which of ye shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and shall say to him: ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me, and I have not what to set before him.’ And he from within should answer, and say: ‘Trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.’ Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to thee, although he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise, and give him as many as he needeth.

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

Wednesday before the 2nd Sunday Before the Nativity:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Thessalonians, the 2nd Chapter, the 1st through the 8th Verses.

For of thyselves ye know, brethren, our entrance in unto thee, that it was not in vain: but having suffered many things before, and been shamefully treated (as ye know) at Philippi (fī-LIP-pī), we had confidence in our God, to speak unto thee the Gospel of God in much carefulness. For our exhortation was not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in deceit: But as we were approved by God that the Gospel should be committed to us: even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God, Who proveth our hearts. For neither have we used, at any time, the speech of flattery, as ye know; nor taken an occasion of covetousness, God is Witness: Nor sought we glory of men, neither of thee, nor of others. Whereas we might have been burdensome to thee, as the apostles of Christ: but we became little ones in the midst of you, as if a nurse should cherish her children: so desirous of thee, we would gladly impart unto thee not only the Gospel of God, but also our own souls: because ye were become most dear unto us.

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 11th Chapter, the 9th through the 13th Verses. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

And I say to thee, “Ask, and it shall be given thee: seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to thee.” For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. And which of ye, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion? If thou then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to thy children, how much more will thy Father from Heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask Him?

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

Thursday before the 2nd Sunday Before the Nativity:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Thessalonians, the 2nd Chapter, the 9th through the 13th Verses.

For ye remember, brethren, our labor and toil: working night and day, lest we should be chargeable to any of thee, we preached among thee the Gospel of God. Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily, and justly, and without blame, we have been to ye that have believed: As ye know in what manner, entreating and comforting thee, (as a father doth his children,) We testified to every one of thee, that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called thee unto his Kingdom and Glory. Therefore, we also give thanks to God without ceasing: because, that when ye had received of us the word of the hearing of God, ye received it not as the word of men, but (as it is indeed) the Word of God, Who worketh in ye that have believed.

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 11th Chapter, the 14th through the 23rd Verses. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

And He was casting out a devil, and the same was dumb: and when he had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke: and the multitudes were in admiration at it: but some of them said: “He casteth out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils.” And others tempting, asked of Him a sign from Heaven. But He seeing their thoughts, said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself, shall be brought to desolation, and house upon house shall fall. And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because ye say that through Beelzebub I cast out devils. Now if I cast out devils by Beelzebub; by whom do thy children cast them out? Therefore they shall be thy judges. But if I by the Finger of God cast out devils; doubtless the Kingdom of God is come upon thee. When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth. But if a stronger than he come upon him, and overcome him; he will take away all his armour wherein he trusted, and will distribute his spoils. He that is not with Me, is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me, scattereth.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

Friday before the 2nd Sunday Before the Nativity:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Thessalonians, the 2nd Chapter, the 14th through the 19th Verses.

For ye, brethren, are become followers of the churches of God which are in Judea, in Iosa (YŌ-suh) the Christ: for ye also have suffered the same things from thine own countrymen, even as they have from the Jews, who both killed the Lord Iosa (YŌ-suh), and the Prophets, and have persecuted us, and please not God, and are adversaries to all men; prohibiting us to speak to the Gentiles, that they may be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the Wrath of God is come upon them to the end. But we, brethren, being taken away from thee for a short time, in sight, not in heart, have hastened the more abundantly to see thy face with great desire. For we would have come unto thee, I Paul indeed, once and again: but Satan hath hindered us. For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of glory? Are not ye, in the Presence of our Lord Iosa (YŌ-suh) the Christ at His coming?

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 11th Chapter, the 23rd through the 26th Verses. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

He that is not with Me, is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me, scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest; and not finding, he saith: “I will return into my house whence I came out.” And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

Saturday before the 2nd Sunday Before the Nativity:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians, the 8th Chapter, the 1st through the 5th Verses.

Now we make known unto thee, brethren, the Grace of God, that hath been given in the churches of Macedonia. That in much experience of tribulation, they have had abundance of joy; and their very deep poverty hath abounded unto the riches of their simplicity. For according to their power (I bear them witness), and beyond their power, they were willing. With much entreaty begging of us the grace and communication of the ministry that is done toward the saints. And not as we hoped, but they gave their own selves first to the Lord, then to us by the Will of God.

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 8th Chapter, the 16th through the 21st Verses. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

Now no man lighting a candle covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it upon a candlestick, that they who come in may see the light. For there is not any thing secret that shall not be made manifest, nor hidden, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how ye hear. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given: and whosoever hath not, that also which he thinketh he hath, shall be taken away from him.” And His mother and brethren came unto Him; and they could not come at him for the crowd. And it was told Him: “Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without, desiring to see Thee.” Who answering, said to them: “My mother and My brethren are they who hear the Word of God, and do it.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

The 2nd Sunday Before the Nativity,
Commonly called “Rose Sunday”:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians, the 3rd Chapter, the 4th through the 11th Verses.

When the Christ shall appear, Who is thy life, then ye also shall appear with Him in Glory. Mortify therefore thy members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, lust, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is the service of idols. For which things the Wrath of God cometh upon the children of unbelief, in which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now put ye also all away: anger, indignation, malice, blasphemy, filthy speech out of your mouth. Lie not one to another: stripping thyselves of the old man with his deeds, and putting on the new, him who is renewed unto knowledge, according to the Image of Him that created him. Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. But the Christ is all, and in all.

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 14th Chapter, the 16th through the 24th Verses. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

He said to him: “A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servant at the hour of supper to say to them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things are ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him: ‘I have bought a farm, and I must needs go out and see it: I pray thee, hold me excused.’ And another said: ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to try them: I pray thee, hold me excused.’ And another said: ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ And the servant returning, told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant: ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the feeble, and the blind, and the lame.’ And the servant said: ‘Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.’ And the Lord said to the servant: ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. But I say unto thee, that none of those men that were invited, shall taste of my supper.’”

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

Monday before the Sunday Before the Nativity:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Thessalonians, the 2nd Chapter, the 20th Verse, through the 3rd Chapter, the 8th Verse.

Ye are our glory and joy. For which cause, forbearing no longer, we thought it good to remain at Athens alone: and we sent Timothy, our brother, and the Minister of God in the Gospel of the Christ, to confirm thee and exhort ye concerning thy Faith: that no man should be moved in these tribulations: for thyselves, know that we are appointed thereunto. For even when we were with thee, we foretold thee that we should suffer tribulations, as also it is come to pass, and ye know. For this cause also, I, forbearing no longer, sent to know thy Faith: lest perhaps he that tempteth should have tempted thee, and our labor should be made vain. But now when Timothy came to us from thee, and related to us thy Faith and Charity, and that ye have a good remembrance of us always, desiring to see us as we also to see thee; therefore we were comforted, brethren, in thee, in all our necessity and tribulation, by thy Faith, because now we live, if ye stand in the Lord.

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 11th Chapter, the 29th through the 33rd Verses. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

And the multitudes running together, He began to say: “This generation is a wicked generation: it asketh a sign, and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign to the Ninivites; so shall the Son of Man also be to this generation. The queen of the south shall rise in the judgment with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them: because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold more than Solomon here. The men of Niniveh shall rise in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas; and behold more than Jonas here. No man lighteth a candle, and putteth it in a hidden place, nor under a bushel; but upon a candlestick, that they that come in, may see the light.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

Tuesday before the Sunday Before the Nativity:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Thessalonians, the 3rd Chapter, the 9th through the 13th Verses.

For what thanks can we return to God for thee, in all the joy wherewith we rejoice for thee before our God, night and day more abundantly praying that we may see thy face, and may accomplish those things that are wanting to thy Faith? Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Iosa (YŌ-suh) the Christ, direct our way unto thee. And may the Lord multiply thee, and make thee abound in charity towards one another, and towards all men: as we do also towards thee, to confirm your hearts without blame, in holiness, before God and our Father, at the coming of our Lord Iosa (YŌ-suh) the Christ, with all His Saints. Ameinn.

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 11th Chapter, the 34th through the 41st Verses. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

“The light of thy body is thine eye. If thine eye be single, thy whole body will be lightsome: but if it be evil, thy body also will be darksome. Take heed therefore, that the light which is in thee, be not darkness. If then thy whole body be lightsome, having no part of darkness; the whole shall be lightsome; and as a bright lamp, shall enlighten thee.” And as He was speaking, a certain Pharisee prayed Him, that He would dine with him. And He going in, sat down to eat. And the Pharisee began to say, thinking within himself, why He was not washed before dinner. And the Lord said to him: “Now ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but thine inside is full of rapine and iniquity. Ye fools, did not He that made that which is without, make also that which is within? But yet that which remaineth, give alms; and behold, all things are clean unto thee.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

Wednesday before the Sunday Before the Nativity:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Thessalonians, the 4th Chapter, the 1st through the 12th Verses.

For the rest therefore, brethren, we pray and beseech thee all in the Lord Iosa (YŌ-suh), that as ye have received from us, how ye ought to walk, and to please God, so also ye would walk, that ye may abound the more. For ye know what precepts I have given to thee by the Lord Iosa (YŌ-suh). For this is the Will of God, thy sanctification; that ye should abstain from fornication; that every one of thee should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor: not in the passion of lust, like the Gentiles that know not God: And that no man overreach, nor circumvent his brother in business: because the Lord is the Avenger of all these things, as we have told thee before, and have testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto sanctification. Therefore, he that despiseth these things, despiseth not man, but God, Who also hath given His Holy Spirit in us. But as touching the charity of brotherhood, we have no need to write to thee: for ye thyselves have learned of God to love one another. For indeed ye do it towards all the brethren in all Macedonia. But we entreat thee, brethren, that ye abound more: and that ye use thine endeavor to be quiet, and that ye do thine own business, and work with thine own hands, as we commanded thee: and that ye walk honestly towards them that are without; and that ye want nothing of any man’s. And we will not have thee ignorant, brethren, concerning them that are asleep, that ye be not sorrowful, even as others who have no hope.

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 11th Chapter, the 42nd through the 46th Verses. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

“But woe to thee, Pharisees, because ye tithe mint and rue and every herb; and pass over judgment, and the Charity of God. Now these things ye ought to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Woe to thee, Pharisees, because ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the marketplace. Woe to thee, because ye are as sepulchres that appear not, and men that walk over are not aware.” And one of the lawyers answering, saith to Him: “Master, in saying these things, Thou reproachest us also.” But He said: “Woe to thee lawyers also, because ye load men with burdens which they cannot bear, and ye thyselves touch not the packs with one of thy fingers.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

Thursday before the Sunday Before the Nativity:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Thessalonians, the 5th Chapter, the 1st through the 8th Verses.

But of the times and moments, brethren, ye need not that we should write to thee; for ye thyselves know perfectly, that the Day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, peace and security; then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as the pains upon her that is with child, and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake thee as a thief. For all ye are the children of light, and children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do; but let us watch, and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that are drunk, are drunk in the night. But let us who are of the day be sober, having on the Breastplate of Faith and Charity, and for a helmet the Hope of Salvation.

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 11th Chapter, the 47th verse, through the 12th Chapter, the 1st Verse. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

Woe to thee, who build the monuments of the Prophets: and thy fathers killed them. Truly ye bear witness that ye consent to the doings of thy fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres. For this cause also the Wisdom of God said: I will send to them prophets and apostles; and some of them they will kill and persecute. That the blood of all the Prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, who was slain between the Altar and the temple: Yea I say to thee, It shall be required of this generation. Woe to thee, lawyers, for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye thyselves have not entered in, and those that were entering in, ye have hindered.” And as He was saying these things to them, the Pharisees and the lawyers began violently to urge Him, and to oppress His mouth about many things, lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch something from His mouth, that they might accuse Him. And when great multitudes stood about Him, so that they trod one upon another, He began to say to His Disciples: “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

Friday before the Sunday Before the Nativity:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Thessalonians, the 5th Chapter, the 9th through the 28th Verses.

For God hath not appointed us unto wrath, but unto the purchasing of Salvation by our Lord Iosa (YŌ-suh) the Christ, Who died for us; that, whether we watch or sleep, we may live together with him. For which cause comfort one another; and edify one another, as ye also do. And we beseech thee, brethren, to know them who labor among thee, and are over thee in the Lord, and admonish thee: That ye esteem them more abundantly in Charity, for their works sake. Have peace with them. And we beseech thee, brethren: rebuke the unquiet, comfort the feeble minded, support the weak, be patient towards all men. See that none render evil for evil to any man; but ever follow that which is good towards each other, and towards all men. Always rejoice. Pray without ceasing. In all things give thanks; for this is the Will of God in Iosa (YŌ-suh) the Christ concerning ye all. Extinguish not the spirit. Despise not prophecies. But prove all things; hold fast that which is good. From all appearance of evil refrain thyselves. And may the God of peace himself sanctify thee in all things; that thy whole spirit, and soul, and body, may be preserved blameless in the coming of our Lord Iosa (YŌ-suh) the Christ. He is faithful Who hath called thee, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Salute all the brethren with a holy kiss. I charge ye by the Lord, that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren. The Grace of our Lord Iosa (YŌ-suh) the Christ be with thee. Ameinn.

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 12th Chapter, the 2nd through the 12th Verses. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed: nor hidden, that shall not be known. For whatsoever things ye have spoken in darkness, shall be published in the light: and that which ye have spoken in the ear in the chambers, shall be preached on the housetops. And I say to thee, my friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will shew thee whom ye shall fear: fear ye him, who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into Hell. Yea, I say to thee, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? Yea, the very hairs of thine head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. And I say to thee, whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of Man also confess before the Angels of God. But he that shall deny Me before men, shall be denied before the Angels of God. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him: but to him that shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven. And when they shall bring thee into the synagogues, and to magistrates and powers, be not solicitous how or what ye shall answer, or what ye shall say; for the Holy Spirit shall teach thee in the same hour what ye must say.

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

Saturday before the Sunday Before the Nativity:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, the 3rd Chapter, the 8th through the 12th Verses.

And the scripture, foreseeing, that God justifieth the Gentiles by faith, told unto Abraham before: In thee shall all nations be blessed. Therefore they that are of Faith shall be blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law, are under a curse. For it is written: Cursed is every one, that abideth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that in the law no man is justified with God, it is manifest: because the just man liveth by Faith. But the law is not of Faith: but, He that doth those things, shall live in them.

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Luke, the 13th Chapter the 18th through the 29th Verses. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

He said therefore: “To what is the Kingdom of God like, and whereunto shall I resemble it? It is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and cast into his garden, and it grew and became a great tree, and the birds of the air lodged in the branches thereof.” And again He said: “Whereunto shall I esteem the Kingdom of God to be like? It is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” And He went through the cities and towns teaching, and making His journey to Jerusalem. And a certain man said to Him: “Lord, are they few that are saved?” But He said to them: “Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to thee, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able. But when the master of the house shall be gone in, and shall shut the door, ye shall begin to stand without, and knock at the door, saying: ‘Lord, open to us.’ And he answering, shall say to thee: ‘I know ye not, whence ye are.’ Then ye shall begin to say: ‘We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.’ And he shall say to thee: I know thee not, whence ye are: depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.’ There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and all the Prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and ye thyselves thrust out. And there shall come from the east and the west, and the north and the south; and shall sit down in the Kingdom of God.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

The Sunday Before the Nativity:
The 1st Reading is taken from Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, the 11th Chapter, the 9th through the 23rd Verses.

By faith he abode in the land, dwelling in cottages, with Isaac and Jacob, the co-heirs of the same Promise. For he looked for a city that hath foundations; whose Builder and Maker is God. By Faith also Sarah herself, being barren, received strength to conceive seed, even past the time of age; because she believed that He was Faithful Who had promised, for which cause there sprung even from one (and him as good as dead) as the stars of heaven in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. All these died according to Faith, not having received the promises, but beholding them afar off, and saluting them, and confessing that they are pilgrims and strangers on the earth. For they that say these things, do signify that they seek a country. And truly if they had been mindful of that whence they came out, they had doubtless time to return. But now they desire a better, that is to say, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city. By Faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered Isaac: and he that had received the promises, offered up his only begotten son; (to whom it was said: In Isaac shall thy seed be called.) Accounting that God is able to raise up even from the dead. Whereupon also he received him for a parable. By Faith also of things to come, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau. By Faith Jacob dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and adored the top of his rod. By Faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the going out of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. By Faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months by his parents; because they saw he was a comely babe, and they feared not the king’s edict.

Here endeth the Epistle. Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel is taken from +++ the Gospel according to St. Matthew, the 1st Chapter, the 1st through the 25th Verses. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

The book of the generation of Iosa (YŌ-suh) the Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac. And Isaac begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Judas and his brethren. And Judas begot Phares and Zara of Thamar. And Phares begot Esron. And Esron begot Aram. And Aram begot Aminadab. And Aminadab begot Naasson. And Naasson begot Salmon. And Salmon begot Boaz of Rahab. And Boaz begot Obed of Ruth. And Obed begot Jesse. And Jesse begot David the king. And David the king begot Solomon, of her that had been the wife of Urias. And Solomon begot Roboam. And Roboam begot Abia. And Abia begot Asa. And Asa begot Josaphat. And Josaphat begot Joram. And Joram begot Ozias. And Ozias begot Joatham. And Joatham begot Achaz. And Achaz begot Ezechias. And Ezechias begot Manasses. And Manasses begot Amon. And Amon begot Josias. And Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren in the transmigration of Babylon. And after the transmigration of Babylon, Jechonias begot Salathiel. And Salathiel begot Zerubbabel. And Zerubbabel begot Abiud. And Abiud begot Eliacim. And Eliacim begot Azor. And Azor begot Sadoc. And Sadoc begot Achim. And Achim begot Eliud. And Eliud begot Eleazar. And Eleazar begot Mathan. And Mathan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Iosa (YŌ-suh), Who is called the Christ. So all the generations, from Abraham to David, are fourteen generations. And from David to the transmigration of Babylon, are fourteen generations: and from the transmigration of Babylon to the Christ are fourteen generations. Now the birth of the Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Spirit. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: “Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name YESHUA (which most now say “Jesus”, but we in the Celtic Church say “Iosa (YŌ-suh)”). For He shall save His people from their sins.” Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the Prophet, saying: “Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name ‘Emmanuel’, which being interpreted is, ‘God with us’.” And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the Angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife. And he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son: and he called His name YESHUA.

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

The Eve of the Nativity
The 1st Reading is taken from the 1st Book of Moses, being the Book of Genesis; the 1st Chapter, the 1st through the 13th Verses:

In the beginning God created heaven, and earth. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God moved over the waters. And God said: “Be light made.” And light was made. And God saw the light that it was good; and He divided the light from the darkness. And He called the light Day, and the darkness Night; and there was evening and morning, one day. And God said: “Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide the waters from the waters.” And God made a firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament, and it was so. And God called the firmament, Heaven; and the evening and morning were the second day. God also said: “Let the waters that are under Heaven be gathered together into one place: and let the dry land appear.” And it was so done. And God called the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And He said: “Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth.” And it was so done. And the earth brought forth the green herb, and such as yieldeth seed according to its kind, and the tree that beareth fruit, having seed each one according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Here endeth the Reading. Thanks be to God.

The 2nd Reading is taken from the 4th Book of Moses, being the Book of Numbers; the 24th Chapter, the 2nd through the 19th Verses:

And lifting up his eyes, he saw Israel abiding in their tents by their tribes: and the Spirit of God rushing upon him, he took up his parable and said: “Balaam the son of Beor hath said: ‘The man hath said, whose eye anger stopped up: the hearer of the words of God hath said, he that hath beheld the vision of the Almighty, he that falleth, and so his eyes are opened: how beautiful are thy tabernacles, O Jacob, and thy tents, O Israel! As woody valleys, as watered gardens near the rivers, as tabernacles which the Lord hath pitched, as cedars by the waterside. Water shall flow out of his bucket, and his seed shall be in many waters. For Agag his king shall be removed, and his kingdom shall be taken awry. God hath brought him out of Egypt, whose strength is like to the rhinoceros. They shall devour the nations that are his enemies, and break their bones, and pierce them with arrows. Lying down he hath slept as a lion, and as a lioness, whom none shall dare to rouse. He that blesseth thee, shall also himself be blessed: he that curseth thee shall be reckoned accursed.’” And Balac being angry against Balaam, clapped his hands together and said: “I called thee to curse mine enemies, and thou on the contrary hast blessed them three times. Return to thy place. I had determined indeed greatly to honor thee, but the Lord hath deprived thee of the honor designed for thee.” Balaam made answer to Balac: Did” I not say to thy messengers, whom thou sentest to me: ‘If Balac would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the Word of the Lord my God, to utter any thing of mine own head either good or evil: but whatsoever the Lord shall say, that I will speak?’ But yet going to my people, I will give thee counsel, what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.” Therefore taking up his parable, again he said: “Balaam the son of Beor hath said: ‘The man whose eye is stopped up, hath said: ‘The hearer of the words of God hath said, who knoweth the doctrine of the Highest, and seeth the visions of the Almighty, who falling hath his eyes opened: I shall see Him, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not near. A STAR SHALL RISE out of Jacob and a sceptre shall spring up from Israel: and shall strike the chiefs of Moab, and shall waste all the children of Seth. And He shall possess Idumea: the inheritance of Seir shall come to their enemies, but Israel shall do manfully. Out of Jacob shall He come that shall rule, and shall destroy the remains of the city.’”

Here endeth the Reading. Thanks be to God.

The 3rd Reading is taken from the Book of the Prophet Micah, the 4th Chapter, the 6th Verse, through the 5th Chapter, the 4th Verse:

“In that day”, saith the Lord, “I will gather up her that halteth: and her that I had cast out, I will gather up: and her whom I had afflicted. And I will make her that halted, a remnant: and her that hath been afflicted, a mighty nation: and the Lord will reign over them in mount Sion, from this time now and forever. And thou, O cloudy tower of the flock, of the daughter of Sion, unto thee shall it come: yea the first power shall come, the kingdom to the daughter of Jerusalem. Now, why art thou drawn together with grief? Hast thou no king in thee, or is thy counsellor perished, because sorrow hath taken thee as a woman in labor? Be in pain and labor, O daughter of Sion, as a woman that bringeth forth: for now shalt thou go out of the city, and shalt dwell in the country, and shalt come even to Babylon, there thou shalt be delivered: there the Lord will redeem thee out of the hand of thine enemies. And now many nations are gathered together against thee, and they say: ‘Let her be stoned’: and ‘let our eye look upon Sion.’ But they have not known the thoughts of the Lord, and have not understood His Counsel: because He hath gathered them together as the hay of the floor. Arise, and tread, O daughter of Sion: for I will make thy horn iron, and thy hoofs I will make brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many peoples, and shalt immolate the spoils of them to the Lord, and their strength to the Lord of the whole earth. Now shalt thou be laid waste, O daughter of the robber: they have laid siege against us, with a rod shall they strike the cheek of the judge of Israel. AND THOU, BETHLEHEM Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Juda: out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel: and his going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. Therefore will he give them up even till the time wherein she that travaileth shall bring forth: and the remnant of his brethren shall be converted to the children of Israel. And he shall stand, and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the height of the Name of the Lord his God: and they shall be converted, for now shall he be magnified even to the ends of the earth.”

The 4th Reading is taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, the 11th Chapter, the 1st through the 10th Verses:

And there shall come forth a Rod out of the Root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his Root. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him: the Spirit of Wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of Counsel, and of Fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge, and of Godliness. And He shall be filled with the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord. He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears. But He shall judge the poor with justice, and shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: land He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. And Justice shall be the girdle of His loins: and Faith the girdle of His reins. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb: and the leopard shall lie down with the kid: the calf and the lion, and the sheep shall abide together, and a little child shall lead them. The calf and the bear shall feed: their young ones shall rest together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp: and the weaned child shall thrust his hand into the den of the basilisk. They shall not hurt, nor shall they kill in all my Holy Mountain, for the earth is filled with the Knowledge of the Lord, as the covering waters of the sea. In that day the Root of Jesse, Who standeth for an ensign of the people, Him the Gentiles shall beseech, and His Sepulchre shall be Glorious.

The 5th Reading is taken from the Book of the Prophet Baruch, the 3rd Chapter, the 36th Verse, through the 4th Chapter, the 4th Verse:

This is our God, and there shall no other be accounted of in comparison of Him. He found out all the way of knowledge, and gave it to Jacob His servant, and to Israel His beloved. Afterwards he was seen upon earth, and conversed with men. This is the book of the Commandments of God, and the law, that is forever: all they that keep it, shall come to life: but they that have forsaken it, to death. Return, O Jacob, and take hold of it, walk in the way by its brightness, in the presence of the light thereof. Give not thine honor to another, nor thy dignity to a strange nation. We are happy, O Israel: because the things that are pleasing to God, are made known to us.

The 6th Reading is taken from the Book of the Prophet Daniel, the 2nd Chapter, the 31st through the 45th Verses:

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold there was as it were a great statue: this statue, which was great and high, tall of stature, stood before thee, and the look thereof was terrible. The head of this statue was of fine gold, but the breast and the arms of silver, and the belly and the thighs of brass: and the legs of iron, the feet part of iron and part of clay. Thus thou sawest, till a stone was cut out of a mountain without hands: and it struck the statue upon the feet thereof that were of iron and of clay, and broke them in pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of a summer’s threshing floor, and they were carried away by the wind: and there was no place found for them: but the stone that struck the statue, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. This is the dream: we will also tell the interpretation thereof before thee, O king. Thou art a king of kings: and the God of Heaven hath given thee a kingdom, and strength, and power, and glory: and all places wherein the children of men, and the beasts of the field do dwell: He hath also given the birds of the air into thine hand, and hath put all things under thy power: thou therefore art the head of gold. And after thee shall rise up another kingdom, inferior to thee, of silver: and another third kingdom of brass, which shall rule over all the world. And the fourth kingdom shall be as iron. As iron breaketh into pieces, and subdueth all things, so shall that break and destroy all these. And whereas thou sawest the feet, and the toes, part of potters clay, and part of iron: the kingdom shall be divided, but yet it shall take its origin from the iron, according as thou sawest the iron mixed with the miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall be mingled indeed together with the seed of man, but they shall not stick fast one to another, as iron cannot be mixed with clay. But in the days of those kingdoms the God of Heaven will set up a Kingdom that shall never be destroyed, and His Kingdom shall not be delivered up to another people, and it shall break in pieces, and shall consume all these kingdoms, and itself shall stand forever. According as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and broke in pieces, the clay, and the iron, and the brass, and the silver, and the gold, the great God hath shewn the king what shall come to pass hereafter, and the dream is true, and the interpretation thereof is faithful.

Here endeth the Reading. Thanks be to God.

The 7th Reading is taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, the 9th Chapter, the 6th through the 7th Verses:

For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace. His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace: he shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom; to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever: the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.

The 8th Reading is taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, the 7th Chapter, the 10th Verse, through the 8th Chapter, the 10th Verse:

And the Lord spoke again to Achaz, saying: “Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above.” And Achaz said: “I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord.” And He said: “Hear ye therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for thee to be grievous to men, that ye are grievous to my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give thee a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel. He shall eat butter and honey, that He may know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good. For before the child know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good, the land which thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of the face of her two kings. The Lord shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon the house of thy father, days that have not come since the time of the separation of Ephraim from Judah with the king of the Assyrians. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall hiss for the fly, that is in the uttermost parts of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. And they shall come, and shall all of them rest in the torrents of the valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all places set with shrubs, and in all hollow places. In that day the Lord shall shave with a razor that is hired by them that are beyond the river, by the king of the Assyrians, the head and the hairs of the feet, and the whole beard. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep. And for the abundance of milk he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that shall be left in the midst of the land. And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place where there were a thousand vines, at a thousand pieces of silver, shall become thorns and briers. With arrows and with bows they shall go in thither: for briars and thorns shall be in all the land. And as for all the hills that shall be raked with a rake, the fear of thorns and briers shall not come thither, but they shall be for the ox to feed on, and the lesser cattle to tread upon. And the Lord said to me: ‘Take thee a great book, and write in it with a man’s pen. Take sway the spoils with speed, quickly take the prey.’ And I took unto me faithful witnesses, Urias the priest, and Zacharias the son of Barachias. And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived, and bore a son. And the Lord said to me: ‘Call his name, Hasten to take away the spoils: Make haste to take away the prey. For before the child know to call his father and his mother, the strength of Damascus, and the spoils of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of the Assyrians. And the Lord spoke to me again, saying: ‘Forasmuch as this people hath cast away the waters of Siloe, that go with silence, and hath rather taken Basin, and the son of Romelia: therefore behold the Lord will bring upon them the waters of the river strong and many, the king of the Assyrians, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and shall overflow all his banks, and shall pass through Judah, overflowing, and going over shall reach even to the neck. And the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Emmanuel. Gather thyselves together, O ye people, and be overcome, and give ear, all ye lands afar off: strengthen thyselves, and be overcome, gird thyselves, and be overcome. Take counsel together, and it shall be defeated: speak a word, and it shall not be done: because God is with us.’”

For the Liturgy
The Epistle is taken from Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, the 1st Chapter, the 1st through the 12th Verses:

God, who, at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the Prophets, last of all, in these days hath spoken to us by His Son, whom He hath appointed Heir of all things, by Whom also He made the world. Who being the Brightness of His Glory, and the Figure of His Substance, and upholding all things by the Word of His Power, making purgation of sins, sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high. Being made so much better than the Angels, as He hath inherited a more excellent Name than they. For to which of the Angels hath He said at any time, “Thou art My Son, today have I begotten Thee?” And again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son?” And again, when He bringeth in the First-Begotten into the world, He saith: “And let all the Angels of God adore Him.” And to the angels indeed He saith: “He that maketh His Angels spirits, and His Ministers a flame of fire.” But to the Son: “Thy Throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre of justice is the Sceptre of Thy Kingdom. Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” And: “Thou in the beginning, O Lord, didst found the earth: and the works of Thy Hands are the heavens. They shall perish, but Thou shalt continue: and they shall all grow old as a garment. And as a vesture shalt Thou change them, and they shall be changed: but Thou art the selfsame, and Thy years shall not fail.”

The Holy Gospel is taken from the +++ Gospel according to St. Luke, the 2nd Chapter, the 1st through the 20th Verses: Glory be to Thee, O Lord.

And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock. And behold an Angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear. And the Angel said to them: “Fear not; for, behold, I bring thee good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: for, this day, is born to thee a Saviour, Who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto thee. Ye shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host, praising God, and saying: “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.” And it came to pass, after the Angels departed from them into Heaven, the shepherds said one to another: “Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us.” And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.

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