On this day we begin the forefeast of the Nativity of Christ. It should be known that from December 20 until January 14, when we take leave of the feast of Theophany, all the services are taken from the Menaion. The Octoechos is not sung, except on Sundays, and we do not sing the Inter-Hours or the canon of the Theotokos at Compline.
Great Vespers: Blessed is the man.
Lord I have Cried, on 10, Tone 1: Forefeast: 3 (Let us celebrate the forefeast); Hieromartyr: 3 (O ye people); Saint 4 (Having set aside all the things of this world); G: Saint (Thou didst believe in righteousness); N: Forefeast (Receive, O Bethlehem).
Entry; O Gladsome Light; Prokimenon of the day, Tone 8: Behold now, bless ye the Lord. 3 Readings for the Saint.
Litia: Sticheron of the
Aposticha: Forefeast (Lo!
the time of our salvation); G: Saint (It was not our fathers that told us); N: Forefeast (O
Lord, having come to
Troparia: Saint (O wonderworker, who livest in Christ forever) x2; Forefeast (Make ready, O Bethlehem) x1.
Matins: God is the Lord, Tone 4; Troparia: Forefeast; Hieromartyr (As thou didst share in the way of the Apostles); G: Saint; N: Forefeast.
After each Kathisma: Sessional hymns of the Saint and Forefeast.
Polyeleos and Magnification of the Saint: We magnify thee, O holy and righteous father John, and we honor thy holy memory, for thou dost pray for us to Christ our God. Psalm verse: Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord.
Sessional hymn of the Saint (A fiery minister of the Word of God); G/N: Forefeast (As the shepherds were piping songs).
Hymns of Ascents, First Antiphon, Tone 4: From my youth.
Prokimenon of the Saint, Tone 4: Thy priests shall be clothed with righteousness.
Matins Gospel: Luke 6:17-23 (§24).
Psalm 50; G: Through the prayers of righteous John; N: Through the prayers of the Theotokos; Have mercy on me, O God; Sticheron of the Saint in the Menaion (O earthly angel). Save, O God, Thy people.
Canon: Forefeast 4 Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.
Hieromartyr 4 Holy hieromartyr Ignatius, pray to God for us.
Saint 6 Holy righteous father John, pray to God for us.
Irmos of the Forefeast: Let us all chant a hymn.
After Ode 3, Kontakion (Today the Virgin cometh) and Ikos of the Forefeast; Kontakion (The luminous day) and Ikos of the Hieromartyr; Sessional Hymn of the Saint (O blessed John, lamp of Kronstadt); G: Hieromartyr (Guided by Christ God); N: Forefeast (The Word of God).
After Ode 6, Kontakion (O father John, namesake of grace) and Ikos of the Saint.
At Ode 9, More Honorable.
Exapostilarion: Hieromartyr (The all-unoriginate Word); G: Saint (Performing thy priestly ministry); N: Forefeast (Adorn thyself, O Bethlehem).
Praises, Tone 6, on 8: Forefeast 4 (Go before us, ye angelic hosts); Saint 4 (O most joyous tidings; with the doxasticon (Bowing down before the holy icons), and the final two psalm verses: He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor, his righteousness abideth unto ages of ages. & His heart is ready to hope in the Lord); G: Hieromartyr (Thine annual festival, O God-bearer Ignatius); N: Forefeast (Adorn thyself well, O cave). After the Great Doxology: Troparion of the Hieromartyr; G: Saint; N: Forefeast; the two remaining Litanies and Dismissal; First Hour.
Hours: Troparion: Forefeast; G: Hieromartyr & Saint, alternating; Kontakion: Forefeast &Saint, alternating.
Liturgy: Beatitudes on 12: Forefeast: 4, from Ode 3; Hieromartyr: 4, from Ode 3; Saint: 4 from Ode 6.
After the entrance: Troparia Forefeast, Hieromartyr, Saint; Kontakia: Hieromartyr; G: Saint; N: Forefeast.
Prokimenon, Tone 7: The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him.
Epistle: Heb. 4:14-5:6 (§311); I John 4:7-11 (§73).
Alleluia, Tone 4.
Gospel: Mark 9:33-41 (§41); Luke 6:31-36 (§26).
Communion Hymn: In everlasting remembrance.