On the Eve of the Feast of Nativity

I love the Royal Hours service that is given on the morning of Christmas Eve.  In our parish the youth are the choir.  This is from last year.  I’m looking forward to hearing them this morning.

Youth in the Choir 2011


The songs of the day for this service speak from Joseph’s point of view.  He moves from disbelief and anger at Mary for “doing this to him” to Joseph declaring that he is convinced that Mary will give birth to God.

Tone 8
Joseph said to the virgin:
What has happened to you, O Mary?
I am troubled; what can I say to you?
Doubt clouds my mind; depart from me!
What has happened to you, O Mary?
Instead of honor, you bring me shame.
Instead of joy, you fill me with grief
Men who praised me will blame me.
I cannot bear condemnation from every side.
I received you, a pure virgin in the sight of the Lord.
What is this I now see?

The Kontakion (short hymn honor a saint or event) for the day is in tone 3. We’ll sing this repeatedly this morning:

Today the virgin comes to the cave
Where she will give birth to the Eternal Word.
Hear the glad tidings and rejoice O universe!
With the angels and shepherds glorify Him who reveals Himself:
The Eternal God, a little child!

I love Christmas Eve (both the day and the evening).  I love the building anticipation and the bubbling joy of my children.  Yes we’re excited for good food and presents but those things are merely outward manifestations of the anticipation of the birth of the Redeemer who will save His people from their sins.


  1. I hope you had a wonderful time at church today. Love the idea of thinking about Joseph's point of view.


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