Troparia and kontakia for December 20

Sunday before the Nativity

Troparion — Tone 2

Great are the accomplishments of faith, / for the Three Holy Youths rejoiced in the flames as though at the waters of rest, / and the prophet Daniel appeared, / a shepherd to the lions as though they were sheep. / So by their prayers, O Christ God, save our souls!

Kontakion — Tone 1

(For when the Sunday before the Nativity falls on December 20-24) Rejoice, Bethlehem! Prepare yourself, O Ephratha! / The Lamb is on her way to give birth to the Chief Shepherd she carries in her womb. / The God-bearing forefathers will rejoice, beholding Him, / and with the shepherds, they will glorify the Virgin nursing Him.

Kontakion — Tone 6

(For when the Sunday before the Nativity falls on December 18-19) / You did not worship the graven image, / O thrice-blessed ones, / but armed with the immaterial Essence of God, / you were glorified in a trial by fire. / From the midst of unbearable flames you called on God, crying: / Hasten, O compassionate One! / Speedily come to our aid, / for You are merciful and able to do as You will.

Forefeast of the Nativity of our Lord

Troparion — Tone 4

Prepare, O Bethlehem, for Eden has been opened to all! / Adorn yourself, O Ephratha, for the tree of life blossoms forth from the Virgin in the cave! / Her womb is a spiritual paradise planted with the Divine Fruit: / If we eat of it, we shall live forever and not die like Adam. / Christ comes to restore the image which He made in the beginning!

Kontakion — Tone 3

Today the Virgin comes to the cave / to give birth to the Eternal Word. / Hear the glad tidings and rejoice, O universe! / Glorify with the angels and the shepherds / the Eternal God, who is willing to appear as a little child!

Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-Bearer, Bishop of Antioch

Troparion — Tone 4

By sharing in the ways of the Apostles, / you became a successor to their throne. / Through the practice of virtue, you found the way to divine contemplation, O inspired one of God; / by teaching the word of truth without error, you defended the Faith, even to the shedding of your blood. / Hieromartyr Ignatius, entreat Christ God to save our souls.

Kontakion — Tone 3

The stirring celebration of your victorious fight / Is an announcement of the One who is to be born of the Virgin. / In your eagerness to possess Him forever, / You hastened to be devoured by the wild beasts. / Therefore, O glorious Ignatius, you were called the bearer of God!

Repose of Saint John of Kronstadt

Troparion — Tone 1

As a zealous advocate of the Orthodox faith, / As a caring Solicitor for the land of Russia, / Faithful to the rules and image of a pastor, / Preaching repentance and life in Christ, / An awesome servant and administer of God’s sacraments, / A daring intercessor for people’s sake, / O Good and righteous Father John, / Healer and wonderful miracle-worker, / The praise of the town of Kronstadt / And decoration of our Church, / Beseech the All-Merciful God / To reconcile the world and to save our souls!

Troparion — Tone 4

With the apostles your message has gone out to the ends of the world, / And with the confessors you suffered for Christ! / You are like the hierarchs through your preaching of the word; / With the righteous you are radiant with the grace of God. / The Lord has exalted your humility above the heavens / And given us your name as a source of miracles. / O wonder-worker, living in Christ for ever, / Have mercy on those beset by troubles; / And hear us when we cry out in faith, O our beloved shepherd John!

Kontakion — Tone 3

This day the pastor of Kronstadt / Appears before the throne of God / Praying fervently on behalf of the faithful / To the chief pastor Christ, who has promised: / “I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it!”