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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Daily Reading:

Wednesday December 9th/22nd
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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Wednesday

LITURGY

Hebrews 10:1-18


For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.


Mark 8:30-34

And He charged them that they should tell no man of him. And He began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He spake that saying openly. And Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him. But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, "Get thee behind Me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men." And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, "Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. "


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CONCEPTION OF ST ANNA, THE MOTHER OF THE MOTHER OF GOD
ST BUDOC


Troparion of St Anna Tone 4
Today the bonds of barrenness are loosed;/ for God listened to Joachim and Anna./ He promised them - although it was beyond hope -/ that they should bear a divine child./ From this child was born incarnate the Infinite God,/ Who told the Angel to cry to her:/ Rejoice, full of grace; the Lord is with thee.

Troparion of St Budoc Tone 4
Thou wast miraculously preserved from the ocean's fury/ and being sustained by the hand of God,/ thou didst devote thyself to His service, O Hierarch Budoc./ Being showered with both temporal and spiritual honours both in Armagh and in Dol,/ thou didst labour to win souls for Christ,/ therefore, we implore thine aid,/ begging Christ our God that He will save our souls.

Kontakion of St Anna Tone 4
Today creation celebrates Anna's conception which was effected by God./ For she conceived the Maiden who conceived the Word/ Who is beyond all words.




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The Conception by St Anna of the Most Holy Mother of God.


Righteous Joachim and Anna were childless for fifty years of their married life. In their old age, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to them, to each one separately, and told them that God had heard their prayer and that a daughter would be born to them. Then St Anna conceived by her husband and, after nine months, bore a daughter blessed by God and all generations of men: the most holy Virgin Mary and Mother of God. There is a fuller account of all this on September
9th.




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St Hannah, Mother of the Prophet Samuel.



Hannah was the wife of Elkanah from Ramathaim-Zophim, or Arimathea (I Sam. 1). She had had no child, being barren, and she wept and grieved bitterly for this. But God in His mercy took pity on her, and removed her barrenness in response to her ceaseless prayers and sighs. Hannah bore a son, Samuel, and dedicated him to God from his childhood.Samuel was a great leader of the nation of Israel, and a prophet who anointed two kings, Saul and David. St Hannah sang a hymn of thanksgiving to God, a hymn wonderful in its wisdom and beauty, which is used to this day in church services (I Sam. 2:1).


From the Prologue of Ochrid-
by St. Nicholai Velimirovic