Troparia and kontakia for December 23

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!

10 Holy Martyrs of Crete

Troparion — Tone 3

Let us show forth our great praise of Crete / That brought forth these precious Christians: the pearls of Christ! / And these blessed ten, the offspring of martyrs, / Who though few in number, overcame all the deceits of powerful demons. / Therefore these martyrs of Christ have been crowned with victory!

Kontakion — Tone 3

The noble struggle of the martyrs / Shines forth as the morning star, / Shedding brilliant light for us / On the One who was born in the cave / To whom the Virgin gave birth without human seed.