The Eve of Nativity / The Nun-Martyr Eugenia

Vespers: Kathisma 15.

Lord I have Cried, Tone 5, on 6: Forefeast: 3 (O Thou Who art most perfect); Nun-Martyr 3 (Forsaking the beauty of the world); G/N: Forefeast (Behold, the time of our salvation hath drawn nigh).

There is no entrance; O Gladsome Light; Prokimenon of the day, Tone 6: My help cometh from the Lord.

Vouchsafe, O Lord; Litany: Let us complete our evening prayer.

Aposticha: Forefeast (Bearing gifts of frankincense, myrrh and gold); G/N: Forefeast (Hold festival, O Zion).

Troparia: Forefeast (Once Mary, being with child by a seedless conception).

Litany: Have mercy on us, O God.

Usual ending for daily vespers; Dismissal of the day.


Small Compline: Canon of the Forefeast (Herod seeketh to slay Him).

After the Trisagion prayers, the Kontakion of the Forefeast (Today the Virgin cometh).


Matins: God is the Lord, Tone 4; Troparia: Forefeast, x2 G/N: Forefeast.

After each Kathisma: Small Litany, Sessional hymns Forefeast. Psalm 50.


Canon:                  Forefeast               8              Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

                Nun-martyr           4              Venerable martyr Eugenia, pray to God for us.

                Irmos (twice): Overwhelming power.

                Katavasia: The Irmos of the Canon of the Nun-martyr, after Odes 3, 6, 8, and 9 only.


After Ode 3, Sessional hymns of the Nun-martyr (Confining thyself to feats of struggle); G/N: Forefeast (Today the earth hath been shown forth as heaven for me).

After Ode 6, Kontakion and Ikos of the Forefeast.

At Ode 9, More Honorable.


Exapostilaria: Forefeast (He Who dwelleth in light unapproachable) G/N: Forefeast (O ye faithful, let us offer hymnody to the Virgin Mary).

Praises: Forefeast 4 (A Star out of Jacob hath shone forth in the cave); G: Forefeast (Come, O Bethlehem); N: Forefeast (O blessed womb of the divine Maiden).

The Small Doxology is read; Litany: Let us complete;

Aposticha: Forefeast (Thou hast been shown to be); G/N: Forefeast (Glory to Thee, O Father, O Son and Spirit).

It is good; Trisagion; Troparion: Forefeast; Litany: Have mercy on us; Dismissal of the day.


The First Hour is not joined to Matins, but is read with the other hours the following morning.


Royal Hours: At about 8 o’clock (the second hour of the day according to the ecclesiastical time), the priest, vested in a phelonion, brings out the Gospel through the Royal Doors and sets it upon an analogion in the middle of the Church. Priest: Blessed is our God. Reader: Amen. O Heavenly King; Trisagion to Our Father; Lord, have mercy x12; G/N: O come let us worship.

Psalms of each hour (At each hour there are two special psalms and one that is usually read). During the reading of the Psalms there is a censing, beginning at the analogion on which the Gospel was placed. At the First Hour, there is a full censing (i.e. the altar and the whole temple), which is done by the priest; at the Third and Sixth Hour there is a lesser censing, done by the deacon; and at the Ninth Hour there is a full censing done by the priest. After the psalms, troparion of the forefeast (Once Mary, being with child by a seedless conception), the usual Theotokion, and then the special stichera (troparia with refrains). Let us attend; Prokimenon and the Old Testament Reading; Epistle reading.

After the reading of the Epistle: Priest: Peace be unto thee. Reader: And to thy spirit. Deacon: Wisdom! Aright! Let us hear the Holy Gospel. Priest: Peace be unto all. Choir: And to thy spirit. Priest: The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to St. N. Choir: Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to thee. Deacon: Let us attend. And the Gospel is read by the priest; then we continue with the reading of the hour (i.e., at the First Hour we read: My steps do Thou direct; at the Third Hour: Blessed is the Lord God; etc).

At all the hours, we chant the Kontakion of the Forefeast (Today the Virgin cometh).

At the Ninth Hour, the last sticheron (Today He Who in essence is God intangible) is first chanted solemnly, and during its last words the priest, reader and people make three bows from the waist; G/N: and the same sticheron again (Today He Who in essence is God intangible).

After the completion of the reading of the Gospel at the Ninth Hour, it is taken into the altar. Then the royal doors are closed, and the priest removes his phelonion.

After the prayer of the Ninth Hour (O Master, Lord Jesus Christ our God) we begin Typika with Psalm 102 (Bless the Lord, o my soul) and Psalm 145 (Praise the Lord, O my soul), and the rest according to the usual order. 

After The choir of Holy angels and archangels, at Both now… we read: Remit, pardon, forgive.*

Our Father; Kontakion: Forefeast; Lord, have mercy  x40; O All-Holy Trinity.

Priest: Wisdom!

Choir: It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, Ever blessed and most blameless, and Mother of our God (making a bow from the waist).

Priest: O Most holy Theotokos, save us.

Choir: More honorable than the Cherubim.

Priest: Glory to Thee, O Christ God, our Hope, glory to Thee.

Choir: G/N: Lord, have mercy x3; Father (Master), Bless.

And the priest gives the lesser dismissal.


*Since on this day a Liturgy is served, we do not read I believe, Blessed be the name of the Lord or Psalm 33 (I will bless the Lord at all times), as would otherwise be the usual order for Typika.


Vespers with the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great: At 1:00 o’clock (the seventh hour of the day according to the ecclesiastical time):

Priest: Blessed is the Kingdom.

Choir: Amen.

Reader: Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee; O Heavenly King; The Trisagion, etc.; O come let us worship; Psalm 103; Great Litany; Blessed is the man is not sung

Lord I have Cried, Tone 2, on 8: Feast 8 (Come let us rejoice in the Lord); G/N: Feast (When Augustus reigned alone upon the earth).

Entrance with the Gospel; O Gladsome Light.

The Great Prokimenon, Tone 7: What God is as great as our God; and 8 Readings of the Feast

After the 3rd reading the Royal doors are opened, and the reader intones the Troparion: Thou wast born, with its verses, and the choir sings a refrain after each verse; at the conclusion, the reader sings the same refrain. The Royal doors are closed.

After the 6th reading the Royal doors are opened, and the reader intones the Troparion: Thou hast shone, with its verses, and the choir sings a refrain after each verse; at the conclusion, the reader sings the same refrain. The Royal doors are closed. After the 8th reading, the royal doors are opened.

Small litany with the exclamation: For holy art Thou.


Prokimenon, Tone 1, The Lord said unto me.

Epistle: Heb. 1:1-12 (§303).

Alleluia, Tone 5.

Gospel: Luke 2:1-20 (§5).

And then we continue with the Liturgy of St. Basil, as usual.

At the Supplicatory Litanies (i.e. Let us complete our prayer & Having called to remembrance) and the Litany of Thanksgiving (i.e. Aright! Having partaken) instead of “the whole day” we say “the whole evening”.

Instead of It is truly meet, we sing: All creation rejoiceth in thee.

Communion hymn: Praise the lord from the heavens.


After the dismissal a candle is placed in the center of the Church, and the chanters come to the center of the Church and sing the Troparion of the Feast (Thy Nativity, O Christ our God), G/N: and the Kontakion of the Feast (Today the Virgin giveth birth).