extol the power of the mystery!

People of God, holy nation, sacred gathering! Let us revere our paternal memory; let us extol the power of the mystery! Each of us, in the measure given by grace, let us offer a worthy gift for the present feast. Fathers—a prosperous lineage; mothers—fine children; the unbearing—the not- bearing of sin; virgins—a twofold prudence, of soul and of body; betrothed—praiseworthy abstinence. If anyone of you be a father, let him imitate the father of the Virgin; and if anyone be without child—let them make harvest of fruitful prayer, cultivating a life pleasing to God. The mother, feeding her children, let her rejoice together with Anna, raising her Child, given to her in infertility through prayer. She that is barren, not having given birth, lacking the blessing of a child, let her come with faith to the God-given Offshoot of Anna and offer there her barrenness. The virgin, living blamelessly, let her be a mother by discourse, adorning by word the elegance of soul. For a betrothed—let her offer mental sacrifice from the fruits of prayer. All together rich and poor, lads and maidens, old and young (Ps 48:2, 148:12), priests and Levites—let all together keep the feast in honor of the Maiden, the Mother of God and the Prophetess: from Her hath issued forth the Prophet, foretold of by Moses, Christ God and Truth (Dt 18:15). Amen.

~St. Andrew of Crete on the Nativity of the Theotokos

hat tip: Sunday Bulletin of Holy Theophany Orthodox Church

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