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Daily Scripture Readings, Troparion and Kontakion

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Monday, December 20, 2004

Daily Reading:

Monday December 7th/20th
30th 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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Monday

LITURGY

Hebrews 8:7-13


For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.


Mark 8:11-21


And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question Him, seeking of Him a sign from heaven, tempting Him. And He sighed deeply in His spirit, and saith, "Why doth this generation seek after a sign? Verily I say unto you, there shall no sign be given unto this generation." And He left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side. Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf. And He charged them, saying, "Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod." And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have no bread." And when Jesus knew it, He saith unto them, "Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand? Have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? And do ye not remember? When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?" They say unto Him, "Twelve." "And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?" And they said, "Seven." And He said unto them, "How is it that ye do not understand? "



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OUR FATHER AMONG THE SAINTS AMBROSE, BISHOP OF MILAN
ST ANTHONY OF SIYA
ST NIL THE ANCHORITE OF STOLBEN ISLAND
ST BUITHE


Troparion of St Ambrose Tone 1
O Ambrose, wonderworker and champion of the Church,/ Godbearing Hierarch:/ thou didst work miracles by thy faith and love for God;/ therefore we the earthborn glorify thee and cry out:/ Glory to Him Who has glorified thee; glory to Him Who has crowned thee;/ glory to Him Who through thee works healings for all.

Troparion of St Anthony of Siya Tone 1
O Anthony, thou didst renounce the world in fervour of spirit,/ and seek the one God with thy whole heart./ Thou didst retreat to a far wilderness near waters,/ in tears and labours living the angelic life./ Thou didst gather a multitude of monks in thy wisdom;/ visit them and cease not to entreat the Holy Trinity to deliver us from every evil and to save our souls.

Troparion of St Nil of Stolben Tone 4
Thou didst appear as a bright light on the island of Lake Seliger./ Thou didst take Christ's Cross on thy shoulder from thy youth/ and follow Him zealously, O Father Nil./ By thy purity thou didst approach the divine likeness/ and wast enriched with the gift of miracles./ We run to thy relics and cry with compunction:/ Entreat Christ our God that He may save our souls.

Troparion of St Buithe Tone 8
Great wonderworker and ascetic, O Father Buithe,/ who by the power of thy prayers didst restore the slain to life,/ intercede with Christ our God that He will grant us life eternal in the realms of the blessed.

Kontakion of St Ambrose Tone 3
Thou didst shine with divine doctrine/ and blacken the error of Arius;/ working miracles in the power of the Spirit/ thou didst heal various passions./ O Ambrose, shepherd and teacher, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion of St Anthony of Siya Tone 8
From thy youth thou didst exhaust thy flesh by fasting and prayers, and take up thy cross and follow Christ./ Thou didst complete thy journey to heaven with joy, and dost stand with the Saints before the Trinity./ Now visiting thy flock remember those who honour thee, that all may cry with thanksgiving;/ Rejoice, O wise and righteous Anthony, guide of desert-dwellers.

Kontakion of St Nil of Stolben Tone 8
Thou didst leave thy fatherland and dwell in the wilderness upon the island of Lake Seliger./ Thou didst live in hardship and amaze men by thy virtues, and receive Christ's gift of working miracles./ Remember us who honour thy memory, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father Nil.


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St Ambrose, Bishop of Mediolanum (Milan)


This great Father of the Orthodox Church was of eminent parentage. His father was the imperial governor of Gaul and Spain, and a pagan, while his mother was a Christian. While he was still in his cradle, a swarm of bees once settled on him, left some honey on his lips and flew off; and, while still a child, he thrust out his hand and said prophetically: 'Kiss it, for I shall be a bishop!' On the death of his father, the Emperor made him governor of Liguria, of which province Milan was the chief city. When the bishop of Milan died, there was great dissention between the Orthodox Christians and the heretical Arians about the choice of a new bishop. Ambrose went into the church to keep order, this being his responsibility. Thereupon, a child at its mother's breast cried out: 'Ambrose for bishop!' All the people took this to be the voice of God, and unanimously elected Ambrose as their bishop, although it was against his will. Ambrose was baptised, and passed through all the necessary ranks in one week, and was consecrated bishop. In this capacity, he strengthened the faith of the Orthodox, restrained heretics, adorned churches, spread the Faith among the pagans, wrote many instructive books and was an example of a true Christian and a true shepherd. He also composed the Te Deum, the great hymn of thanksgiving. This renowned hierarch, who was visited by people from distant lands for his wisdom and gracious words, was very austere in his personal life, being no stranger to toil and full of good works. He slept little, worked and prayed constantly and fasted every day except Saturday and Sunday. God therefore permitted him to witness many of His wonders, and to perform many himself He discovered the relics of Ss Protasius, Gervasius, Nazarius and Celsus (see Oct. 14th). Humble before lesser men, he was fearless before the great. He reproached the Empress Justina for heresy, cursed Maximus for tyranny and murder and forbade the Emperor Theodosius to enter a church until he had repented of his sin. He refused to meet the powerful Eugenius, the self-styled Emperor. God granted this man, who was so pleasing to Him, such grace that he could raise the dead, drive demons from men, heal the sick of every ailment and see into the future. He died peacefully at daybreak on Easter Day in the year 397.

The Prologue From Ochrid-
St. Nikolai (Velimirovic) Bishop of Zhicha