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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Daily Reading:

Wednesday November 25th/December 8th
28th Week After Pentecost
NATIVITY FAST

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In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:

Illumine my heart, O Master who lovest mankind, with the pure light of Thy divine knowledge. Open Thou the eyes of my mind to the understanding of Thy Gospel teachings. Implant also in me a love for Thy blessed commandments. Grant me the grace to overcome all my carnal desires, so that I may enter more completely into a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well pleasing to Thee. For Thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, together with Thine all-holy, good and life-creating Spirit; now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


O Lord Jesus Christ, open Thou the eyes of my heart, that I may hear Thy word and understand and do Thy will, for I am a sojourner upon the earth. Hide not Thy commandments from me, but open mine eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of Thy law. Speak unto me the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom. On Thee do I set my hope, O my God, that Thou shalt enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of Thy knowledge, not only to cherish those things which are written, but to do them; that in reading the lives and sayings of the Saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my restoration, enlightenment and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting. For Thou art the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness, and from Thee cometh every good deed and every gift. Amen.

By the intercessions of Thine All-immaculate Mother and of all Thy Saints, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen


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2 Timothy 4:9-22



Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren. The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.


Luke 20:1-8


And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon Him with the elders, And spake unto Him, saying, "Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? Or who is he that gave Thee this authority?" And He answered and said unto them, "I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?" And they reasoned with themselves, saying, "If we shall say, 'From heaven'; he will say, 'Why then believed ye him not?' But and if we say, 'Of men;' all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet." And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. And Jesus said unto them, "Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things."


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LEAVETAKING OF THE FEAST OF THE ENTRY OF THE MOTHER OF GOD INTO THE TEMPLE
GREAT MARTYR KATHERINE
GREAT MARTYR MERCURIUS



Troparion of the Mother of God Tone 4
Today is the prelude of God's goodwill/ and the prophecy of the salvation of men./ The Virgin appears openly in the temple of God/ and foretells Christ to all./ So let us cry to her with loud voices:/ Rejoice, thou who art the fulfillment/ of the Creator's providence.

Troparion of Great Martyr Katherine Tone 5
Let us praise Katherine, protectress of Sinai,/ Bride of Christ and our helper./ With the sword of the Spirit she silenced the wisdom of the wicked./ She is crowned as a martyr and asks mercy for us all.

Troparion of Great Martyr Mercurius Tone 4
Partaker of heavenly light,/ an Angel was thy guide to manifest glory./ Thou didst contest as a warrior for the Immortal King:/ O blessed Mercurius,/ save those who come to thee.

Kontakion of the Feast Tone 4
The most pure Temple of the Saviour,/ the most precious bridal chamber and Virgin,/ the sacred treasury of the glories of God,/ today enters into the house of the Lord,/ bringing with her the grace that is the Divine Spirit./ And the Angels of God sing of her:/ This is the heavenly tabernacle.

Kontakion of Great Martyr Katherine Tone 2
You lovers of martyrs raise a chorus now/ in honour of wise Katherine./ She preached Christ in the stadium/ and spat on the knowledge of philosophers.

Kontakion of Great Martyr Mercurius Tone 4
Putting on Christ's might as a holy breastplate/ thou didst excel as an Athlete and dost enlighten those who cry:/ Rejoice, O Mercurius: thou art the glory of the martyrs.



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The Holy and Great Martyr Katharine.

The daughter of King Constus, she lived with her mother in Alexandria after her father's death. Her mother was secretly a Christian and, through her spiritual father, brought Katharine to
the Christian faith. In a vision, St Katharine received a ring from the Lord Jesus Himself as a sign of her betrothal to Him. This ring remains on her finger to this day. Katharine was greatly gifted by God, exceptionally well-educated in Greek philosophy, medicine, rhetoric and logic, and added great physical beauty to this. When the wicked Emperor Maxentius offered sacrifice to idols and ordered everyone to do the same, St Katharine came with daring before him and denounced his idolatrous errors. The Emperor, seeing that she surpassed him in wisdom and leaming, summoned fifty of the wisest men, to dispute with her about faith and put her to shame, but Katharine was wiser than they, and put them to shame. The furious Emperor commanded that all fifty wise men be burned. These wise men, at St Katharine's prayers, all confessed the name of Christ at the moment of death, and proclaimed themselves Christians. When the martyr was in prison, she brought Porphyrius the general, with two hundred of his soldiers, to the Faith, and also the Empress, Augusta- Vasilissa. They all suffered for Christ. At St Katharine's martyrdom, an angel of God appeared to her, stopping and breaking the wheel on which she was being tortured, and after that the Lord Christ Himself appeared to her, strengthening her. After many tortures, Katharine was beheaded with the sword at the age of
eighteen, on November 24th, 310. Milk flowed from her body in place of blood. Her wonderworking relics are preserved on Sinai.

The Prologue From Ochrid -

of St. Nikolai (Velimirovic) Bishop of Zhicha