Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
If you live in New Zealand or Australia or surrounding islands, Christmas Day is being celebrated on the Gregorian calendar this day. If you live in the United States, this is Christmas Eve Day for those who follow the same. If you are following the Julian calendar, the Feast of Christ’s Holy Nativity is not far off. For all those who love Christ anywhere in the world, whatever location or following either calendar—holy joy to each and every one during this very special season of the year!
This morning I had opportunity to open the Book of Akathists, volume II which is published by Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York. The monastery publishes two volumes of akathists, all of which are beautiful and meaningful.
The second volume has an Akathist Hymn to the Nativity of Christ which I prayed this morning. I looked for it on the NET, wondering if it had been made available “out there,” but did not come across it. I would encourage everyone to consider buying this volume of akathists as it is very rich in content. One thing that impressed me was the closing prayer for the Akathist to the Nativity of Christ which follows:
Prayer to Our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ
On the Day of His Holy Nativity
O great and unapproachable God, unoriginate Father, Son Who art equally without beginning, and Spirit Who art equally eternal, Who givest being to things which were not in existence, Who savest the perishing, Who givest life to the dead, Who doest what Thou willest among the hosts of heaven and in Thine earthly habitation, and directest all according to Thy wondrous providence! Incline Thine ear from the heights of Thy holiness, and accept from us, Thy lowly and unworthy servants, to whom Thou hast revealed Thy great salvation from misfortunes and plague, these grateful supplications, confessions and glorifications, which we offer to Thee with heart and mouth. For Thou has not dealt with us according to our iniquities, O Lord, neither hast Thou rewarded us according to our sins. Thou didst say of old to the children of Israel that if they would not act to keep Thy words and all Thy commandments, Thou wouldst bring against them a nation of unashamed countenance, which would assail them in their cities until the walls thereof were broken. And we have come to realize that this dread sentence hath been directed against us and our fathers as well. For failing to fear Thy threat and paying no heed to Thy loving-kindness, we have forsaken the path of Thy righteousness and walked in the will of our own hearts, and have made no attempt to hold Thee, the God of men’s understanding and hearts, in our mind. Moreover, treating the traditions of our fathers as of no import, we have abandoned Thee for others. For these reasons, grievous ill fortune overtook us, as it did the children of Israel of old, and because we paid no heed to their lessons, mindless and savage-minded foes have come against us. But do Thou, O compassionate and merciful Lord God, Who art long-suffering, greatly merciful and true, Who maintainest justice and workest mercy among the thousands, Who takest away iniquities, injustices and sins, having abandoned us for a little time, have mercy upon us according to Thy great mercy, and having visited our unrighteousness with the rod, as a compassionate father doth his children, so do Thou spare us. For thou hast looked down on our tribulation, and upon our entreaties which, trusting not in our own righteousness, but upon Thy many compassions, we cast at Thy feet O Lord; and Thou hast shown us the back of our ungodly adversaries, for melting away before the face of Thy Christ, Thine enemies have vanished like smoke, and those who love Thee shine forth like the rising of the sun in their power. We have seen, O Lord, we have seen, and in us all nations have seen, that Thou art God, and there is none other besides Thee. Thou slayest and makest to live, Thou smites and healest, and there is no one who can deliver from Thy hand. Wherefore, our heart hath been established in our Lord, our horn hath been lifted up in our God, and we have been gladdened in Thy salvation. We thank Thee, O Lord, that, chastising us, Thou has chastened us but a little, lest Thou give us over utterly unto death. Grant, O Lord, that we may hold the memory of this, Thy glorious visitation, firmly and continually within us, that made steadfast in Thee by filial fear, faith and love and protected by Thy might, we may ever, as we do today, hymn and glorify Thy holy name. Confirm Thy blessing also upon our civil authorities, that Thy good Spirit may continually rest upon them. In our land grant holiness unto pastors, judgment and justice to those who govern, peace and tranquility to the people, efficacy to the laws and advancement to the Faith. O Lord of all loving-kindness, extend Thy mercy unto those who know Thee; and reveal Thyself even unto those who seek Thee not; turn the hearts even of our enemies unto Thee; and make Thyself known to all nations and people in Thy true Christ: that from the rising of the sun, even unto the setting thereof, all nations may with one heart cry out to Thee with a voice of rejoicing: Glory to Thee, the God and Saviour of all, unto the ages of ages! Amen.
May each of you find peace and joy in the celebration of our Lord’s Holy Nativity this year.