Color: White; Intent: Incarnation of the Redeemer
O Father, true God, Who leadest us out of the darkness, we bless Thee, the adored of souls granting us blessed vision and instruction. Thou, our Father, art the root of all wisdom; through Thy will, the beloved Logos has spread out over us the mighty gift of the knowledge of holy things; he has taught us what used to be, what are, and what shall be; he has rescued us from darkness. We thank Thee Father, for all the great messengers of the Light Thou hast sent to us, in whom Thy holy Word had been made flesh. All the mysteries are fulfilled in Thee, our Father, and Thou fulfillest them in us. Amen.
The Lesson is taken from the words of the Holy Prophet Mani:
Jesus, Thy burden is light for him who can carry it. Many are the marvels of Thy nativity, O Jesus; yet when we say “Thy nativity,” who could have created Thee, O Lord Jesus, Thou who art eternally life from life? The Son of God cast into a humble womb; he who is the all, in whom the all exists. He came down to the flesh, he put on the vesture of humanity. God became man; he went about in the land, he took a man’s likeness, the raiment of a slave. He came for all the sheep of his flock, because he knew there was no other to rescue them. He had come without a body, yet his apostles declared of him that he took the form of a boy, an appearance like that of us, men; he came down and manifested in the world among the people of the Jews.
The Gospel is taken from the second chapter of the Gospel according to St. Luke:
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the house and lineage of David: to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of goodwill.”