Sunday, December 25, 2022: Christmas
Ss Cyril & Methodius Orthodox Church Ss Cyril & Methodius Orthodox Church
An Orthodox Christian community on the campus of UW-Madison
1020 Regent St
(Lower Level)
Madison, WI 53715

Weekly Services:

Vespers: 5:00 PM Saturday
Divine Liturgy: 9:30 AM Sunday

Confessions: before and after Saturday Vespers or by appointment.

www.madisonorthodox.com

Click above to send names of those to be commemorated at Liturgy.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Nativity of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ

 

Council of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA

Archpastoral Letter for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord

CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!

Our hearts are filled with joy on this Great Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and all creation exalts in praise for Him – our Savior!  This is our Faith, and it gives all meaning to our lives – that God the Father in His abiding Love for us, has sent to us His Only-Begotten Son, who has united with our humanity, so that we might become one with Him through all eternity!  He has descended to us so that we might ascend with Him.  

In all our joy, however, each day as we listen to the news and read our newspapers, we are overwhelmed by the events of unrest and chaos that seem to plague our world. Protests, corruption, rebellions, and political unrest seem to dominate the airwaves. The invasion of Ukraine continues to devastate not only totality of Ukrainian people, but entire the worldwide community as well. We still face the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences for millions of us. We still suffer from the divisions artificially created in society by those personal power and authority. We still endure what appears to be a culture of death that fails to comprehend the sanctity of life as created by God.  One might ask what is happening to our world? Will this turmoil ever cease?  These questions are thought provoking and important especially today. We seek some peace and comfort in our lives and yet we are surrounded by noise discomfort. This applies not just to the world around us, but also at times to our personal lives. Where will we find our peace and comfort?

In the story of the Nativity of Christ and in the weeks of Philip’s Fast as we prepared to celebrate this important Feast, we ask the Lord to instill some sense of peace and comfort within us even during all the turmoil and busy-ness that mark this time of the year. Today, a Heavenly Light unlike the light of this world – the Star over Bethlehem - shines upon us, giving witness to the Nativity of the Christ Child and reveals Him to be the Savior of the world. This Heavenly Light fills our hearts with peace and comfort defining the path to fulfilment in our daily lives. This Light of Christ fills our hearts, minds, souls, homes and our love for God and for our neighbor.  

We pray that you all know that this Light fills us with that true love for each of you, that you may be filled with this Light enabling you to redefine your relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the relationships with every person-neighbor in your life.  May your appreciation and gratitude for the abundant blessings – the greatest “Christmas Gifts of all from God Himself, may be manifested in your life by the way you strive to be and are a blessing to your neighbors.

In the birth of Jesus Christ, creation received the Divine and humanity received perfection.  In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the world received redemption. The world still shows its brokenness and new scars are added each day, but because of Jesus Christ, the Child in a manger Who became the man on the cross, evil has been defeated and death has been conquered for all who have faith in Him.  A world of division and hatred is offered a path of healing and reconciliation.  Broken hearts are restored.  Lives weighed down by the burden of despair are renewed and filled with hope.  The darkness of sin and death has forever been shattered by a Light that cannot be extinguished.  Through the Savior’s nativity, life, death and resurrection, the world has been saved from the consequences of our own making.  The Nativity of Jesus Christ has changed the world!  Therefore, amid life’s turmoil, noise, discomfort and even impatience, let us allow that Light to shine upon us and through us upon the world.

We assure you of our unending prayers for you before God in the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – that your ability to rise above all the noise and discomfort around you will enable you, through your inner peace and comfort, to share the Light, Love, Joy and Hope of the Christ Child with at least one person in your life each day who needs Him most.

CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!

+ ANTONY

By the Grace of God, Metropolitan

 

+ JEREMIAH

By the Grace of God, Archbishop

 

+ DANIEL

By the Grace of God, Archbishop

Glory to Jesus Christ!

 

The Christmas schedule is below. You have probably heard by now that there is a winter storm watch Thursday and Friday. As of right now, I'm planning to celebrate all the services as scheduled. If that changes, I will notify you by email and text. Given the likely path of the storm, please check your email BEFORE coming to services Thursday, Friday, or Saturday morning.

 

In Christ,

 

Fr Gregory

This Week at Ss Cyril & Methodius

 

Wednesday, December 21

  • 11 AM-3 PM: Office Hours/Confessions

Thursday, December 22

  • 6:00 PM: Vespers

Friday, December 23

  • 9:00 AM: Royal Hours
  • 11:00 AM: Confessions

Saturday, December 24 (Christmas Eve)

  • 9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom
  • 11:00 AM: Confessions
  • 4:00 PM: Confessions 
  • 5:00 PM: Vespers
  • 6:00 PM: Confessions

Sunday, December 25 (Christmas Day)

  • 9:00 AM: Hours/Pre-Communion Prayers
  • 9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great

Looking Ahead

Wednesday, December 28

  • 11 AM-3 PM: Office Hours/Confessions

Thursday, December 29

  • 11 AM-3 PM: Office Hours/Confessions

Saturday, December 31 (New Year's Eve)

  • 11:00 AM: Baptism of Ryan (Raphael) Sipes
  • 4:00 PM: Confessions 
  • 5:00 PM: Vespers
  • 6:00 PM: Confessions

Sunday, January 1 (Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord/St Basil the Great)

  • 9:00 AM: Hours/Pre-Communion Prayers
  • 9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great

Christmas Day Liturgy

 

THE FIRST ANTIPHON, Tone 2

V.: I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; / I will make all Thy wonders known.

R.: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.

V.: In the company of the upright, in the congregation, / great are the works of the Lord.

R.: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.

V.: They are studied by all / who have pleasure in them.

R.: Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.

V.: His work is glory and beauty, / and His righteousness endures forever.

R.:  Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, / now and ever, and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

R.:  Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us.

 

THE SECOND ANTIPHON, Tone 2

V.: Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, / who greatly delights in His commandments.

R.: O Son of God, born of the Virgin, / save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

V.: His descendants will be mighty in the land, / the generation of the upright will be blessed.

R.: Son of God, born of the Virgin, / save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

V.: Glory and wealth are in His house, / and His righteousness endures forever.

R.: O Son of God, born of the Virgin, / save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

V.: Light rises in the darkness for the upright; / the Lord is merciful, compassionate and righteous.

R.: O Son of God, born of the Virgin, / save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, / now and ever, and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

 

THE THIRD ANTIPHON, Tone 4

V.: The Lord said to my Lord: 'Sit at my right hand!'

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, / has shone to the world the light of wisdom! / For by it those who worshiped the stars, / were taught by a star to adore Thee, / the Sun of Righteousness, / and to know Thee, the Orient from on high. // O Lord, glory to Thee!

V.: Until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool!

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, / has shone to the world the light of wisdom! / For by it those who worshiped the stars, / were taught by a star to adore Thee, / the Sun of Righteousness, / and to know Thee, the Orient from on high. // O Lord, glory to Thee!

V.: The Lord sends forth from Zion Thy mighty scepter.  Rule in the midst of Thy foes.

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, / has shone to the world the light of wisdom! / For by it those who worshiped the stars, / were taught by a star to adore Thee, / the Sun of Righteousness, / and to know Thee, the Orient from on high. // O Lord, glory to Thee!

V.: Authority shall be with Thee on the day of Thy power, among the splendor of Thy holy ones!

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, / has shone to the world the light of wisdom! / For by it those who worshiped the stars, / were taught by a star to adore Thee, / the Sun of Righteousness, / and to know Thee, the Orient from on high. // O Lord, glory to Thee!

 

Small Entrance:

Out of the womb, before the morning star, have I begotten Thee!  The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind.  Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

 

(“O Son of God” is NOT SUNG)

Hymns After the Small Entrance

 

Troparion, Feast

Tone 4

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, / has shone to the world the light of wisdom! / For by it those who worshiped the stars, / were taught by a star to adore Thee, / the Sun of Righteousness, / and to know Thee, the Orient from on high. // O Lord, glory to Thee!

 

Glory... now and ever...

Kontakion, Feast

Tone 3

Today the Virgin gives birth / to the transcendent One, / and the earth offers a cave / to the unapproachable One! / Angels with shepherds glorify Him! / The wise men journey with the star! / Since for our sake the eternal God // was born as a little child.

 

INSTEAD OF "HOLY GOD..."

As many as have been baptized into Christ / have put on Christ. // Alleluia.

 

Sunday Readings


Epistle: Galatians 4:4-7

 

Brethren: When the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir of God through Christ.

Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying,  "Where is He Who has been born king of the Jews?  For we have seen His star in the East, and have come to worship Him."  When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;  and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.  They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet:  'And thou, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from thee shall come a ruler who shall govern my people Israel.'"  Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared;  and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when ye have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him."  When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy;  and going into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him.  Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.  And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 INSTEAD OF "IT IS TRULY MEET...", 

Tone 1

Magnify, O my soul, / the Most Pure Virgin Theotokos, // more honorable and more glorious than the heavenly hosts.

It would be easier for us, because free from all danger, / to keep silence in fear: / while it is hard indeed, O Virgin, in love / to devise songs harmoniously put together. / But do thou, O Mother, // give us strength that so we may fulfill our good intent.

COMMUNION VERSE

The Lord has sent redemption to His people.

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

By the age of 25, about 60% of those baptized as infants will no longer consider themselves members of the Orthodox Church. A parish on a university campus is an important witness not only to the surrounding community but also to high school age and younger parishioner. Establishing a parish on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison helps remind young people that graduating high school doesn't mean "graduating" from the Church. Please consider joining those who have committed their time, treasure and talent in establishing an Orthodox community on the Isthmus. Help us reach your children and grandchildren with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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