Tone 4 Troparion of the Forefeast
Mary was of David’s seed,
so she went with Joseph to register in Bethlehem.
She bore in her womb the Fruit not sown by man.
The time for the birth was at hand.
Since there was no room at the inn,
the cave became a beautiful palace for the Queen.//
Christ is born, raising up the image that fell of old.
What shall we call you, O full of grace;
Heaven, for from you shone forth the Sun of Righteousness;
Paradise, for you have budded forth the flower of immortality;
Virgin, for you have remained undefiled;
Pure Mother, for you have held in your arms the Son, Who is God of all?
Beseech Him to save our souls!
Stichera at the First Hour
Tone 8 (by Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem)
Make ready, O Bethlehem!
Let the manger be prepared!
Let the cave show its welcome!
The Truth comes, and the shadow flees.
God is born of a Virgin and is revealed to men.
He is clothed in our flesh and makes it divine.
Therefore Adam is renewed and cries out with Eve:
“Your favor has appeared on earth, O Lord,//
for the salvation of the human race.”
v. God shall come from Teman, and the Holy One from the mountain
overshadowed by the forest. (Habakkuk 3:3)
Now the prophecy approaches its fulfillment,
for it had mystically proclaimed:
“You, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means the least among Judah’s rulers.
Prepare your cave!
From you the Ruler of the nations comes to me in the flesh:
Christ our God, born of a young virgin.
He will feed His flock, the new Israel.”//
Let us all give Him glory!
v. Lord, I have heard what You have done, and am filled with awe.