[Note the use of “Today” to recognize that by Faith, we enter into the Eternal Event ever present: Christ comes to us now, presenting Himself to us through the Holy Virgin, for our personal adoration and corporate worship of His Nativity in the Body of Christ, His Orthodox Christian Church.]
Readings from Canon of Preparation: Ode 3
when the Creation beheld Thee born in a cave, Thou Who hung the whole earth in the void above the waters, it was seized with amazement and cried out: There is no one holy but Thee, O Lord!
Thou didst wish to bear the robe of a slave in order to snatch me from slavery to the Evil One; O Word co-eternal with the Father, I sing of Thy love: glory to Thy work of salvation!” The Virgin is on her way to the cave to give birth to the Lord: O Magi, make haste! Fathers, hurry! Angels, sing your hymns from the heights of heaven: the redemption of Mankind is appearing!
Seeking the wandering sheep, O Lord, and seeing me fruitless in my works..Thou hast come to the cave so that the Virgin may give birth to Thee today. O Word, Lover of Mankind, glory to Thy coming! Ode 4: Foreseeing Thy coming from a Virgin, the Prophet Habakkuk cried out in wonder: O Deliverer, Thou hast come in the flesh from Teman, to call back Adam from his exile!”
The Light-bearing Cloud is coming, so that Christ may dawn from her maternal womb, as the Sun of Justice, enlightening the whole world with His Divine Splendor. Behold Christ is born in the city of Bethlehem in order to open to us the gates of Paradise, which were once closed by the seduction of the serpent. Let us celebrate this Feast in the presence of God!
Orthros Readings Let us keep festival, O faithful, observing the Forefeast of Christ’s Nativity! As is right, let us all go forth to meet Him! Like the Magi, let us bring as gifts ourselves and our virtues, and sing the new song of the angels to our God, Who is born in Bethlehem without seed from the child of God, Maiden Mary [Mariam]. Let all things glorify Him!
In the strength of Thy Godhead, Thou hast been joined with mortal men, through a union without confusion, O Savior, in the likeness of the flesh of Adam. In thus assuming human nature, Thou hast bestowed upon us immortality and salvation! Thou hast come forth from the Virgin, not an angel nor an ambassador, but the Lord Himself made flesh; and Thou hast brought salvation to me, a human. Therefore I cry out to Thee Glory to Thy power, O Lord!”