Moleben on Nativity

Dec 25

After the Divine Liturgy, the clergy leave the Altar, and, standing in the midst of the church, make 3 bows and begin thus:

Deacon: Bless, Master.

Celebrant: Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-creating and Undivided Trinity, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Choir: Amen. O Heavenly King... (sung in the 6th Tone)

Reader: Holy God, Holy Mighty... (through the Our Father).

After the exclamation, the Reader continues with:

Reader: Amen. Lord have mercy (12) , Glory, Both now... O come let us worship...

Then "God is with us" ("S nami Bog") is sung with the same form and verses as at Great Compline:

"For God is with us"

Choir: God is with us, understand, O ye nations, and submit yourselves: for God is with us. (2x)

Reader (or celebrant): Hearken ye unto the ends of the earth.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: O ye powerful, submit yourselves.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: For if ye again strengthen yourselves, ye shall again be vanquished.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: And whatsoever counsel ye shall take, the Lord shall bring it to nought.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: And the word, whatsoever ye speak, shall not remain with you.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: And of your fear we shall be neither afraid nor in dread.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: But the Lord our God, Him will we hallow, and He shall be fear unto us.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: And if I be trusting in Him, He shall be unto me sanctification.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: And I will be hoping in Him, and shall be saved by Him.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: Behold, I and the children which god hath given me.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: The people that walk in darkness have seen a great light.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: Ye that dwell in the region and shadow of death, a light shall shine upon you.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given.

Choir:

For God is with us.

Reader: Whose government is upon His shoulder.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: And of His peace there is no end.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: And His name shall be called angel of great counsel.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: Wonderful Counselor.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: Mighty God, Ruler, Prince of Peace.

Choir: For God is with us.

Reader: Father of the age to come.

Choir: For God is with us.

Choir: God is with us, understand, O ye nations, and submit yourselves: for God is with us. (2x)

Reader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Choir: God is with us.

Reader: Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Choir: God is with us. For God is with us.

After the Choir sings the final repetition, the Reader continues again with:

Reader: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, Glory to Thee, O God ( 3 times)

Then the Deacon intones the Great Litany: In peace let us pray to the Lord...

After the petition "For those who travel by sea, by land...", the following petitions are said:

Deacon: That this our prayer may rise up as incense before God our Savior, and that this sacrifice of the hearts and lips of us who confess the Lord in the day of salvation, may be acceptable to Him who hath heard us in the time of trouble, let us pray to the Lord.

Deacon: That in His mercy and kindness, He will regard His Holy Church, and those who lay the garlands of victory at the feet of Him Who hath the nations for His inheritance and the ends of the earth in His sway, the


King of Kings and Lord of Lords, falling down to Him let us all pray.

Deacon: That He will grant us His Grace from henceforth and forevermore, that in faith and love we may proclaim the salvation, and the might, and the Kingdom of our God, and the domain of His Christ, Who hath given power to His dominion, and restored in us the joy of His salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

Deacon: For our deliverance... (and the rest, as usual)

Celebrant: For to Thee belongeth...

"God is the Lord" is sung in Tone 6:

Deacon: In the 6th Tone: God is the Lord and hath appeared unto us. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Stichos (before the choir chants the first time): O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endureth forever.

Choir: God is the Lord ...

Stichos: Surrounding me they compassed me, and by the name of the Lord I warded them off.

Choir: God is the Lord ...

Stichos: I shall not die but live, and I shall tell of all the works of the Lord.

Choir: God is the Lord ...

Stichos: The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Choir: God is the Lord ...

And then the following Troparia:

First Choir: Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth peace: today, Bethlehem receiveth Him that sitteth ever with the Father: today, the Angels glorify the newborn Child as becometh God; Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill among men.

The Second Choir, in the Same Tone: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace: Behold, the Lamb of Bethlehem, having trampled down the lion and serpent for us, hath granted peace to the world. Therefore with the Angels let us bring forth glory as becometh God, to the Infant that hath world dominion: Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill among men.

Glory, Tone 1:

O Lord save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance: granting victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries, and by Thy Cross upholding Thy community.

Both now and ever, Theotokion, Tone 1:

Let us praise the Virgin Mary, glory of all the world, and doorway to heaven, who begotten of man hath borne the Lord: and who, adornment of the faithful, is sung by the Angelic Hosts. For she hath been shewn forth


as Heaven, and Temple of the Godhead. She it is, who breaking down the middle wall of enmity, ushered in peace, and threw the Kingdom open. Therefore with her as anchor of our faith, we, in the Lord born of her,


have a Defender. Make bold therefore ye people of God, make bold, for He, the Almighty, will defeat your enemies.

Deacon: Let us attend.

Celebrant: Peace be unto all.

Reader: And with thy spirit.

[And the following Prophecy is read. And be it known, that if there be several Deacons, a Deacon shall read it, and not an ordinary Lector].

Elder Deacon: Wisdom.

Diaconal Reader: The Reading of the Prophecy of Isaiah.

Prophecy: Isaiah 14: 13-18, 24-27.

Then the Great Prokeimenon, T. 7:


Who is the Great God, but our God: Thou art God, Who workest wonders.


[With its verses, as in the Sluzhebnik for Pascha Vespers].

Epistle: Hebrews 11:32-35, 12:1-2.

Alleluia, T. 7: The Lord shall give strength to His people, the Lord shall bless His people with peace.

Deacon: And that we may be granted to hear the holy Gospel reading...

Gospel: Matthew 24:6-8, 21-23.

Litany: Let us all say...

And these petitions:

Deacon: Furthermore we pray that the Lord our God will accept the confession and thanks of us His unworthy servants, for He hath not acted unto us according to our iniquities, neither hath He given us return according to our sins, but in the time of temptation which came upon the whole world, He hath delivered us, and when our enemies circled us round about, He hath shewn us His salvation.

Deacon: O Thou that acceptest Abraham's tithe from the hand of Melchizedek, after the bringing down the four kings and restoring the captives, and Who didst hearken unto the songs and timbrels and dances of Moses and Mariam from the Pillar of the Cloud after drowning the Pharaoh and his armies in the Red Sea; and Who didst teach David the King after Thine heart, to write songs of victory unto Thee alone: Thyself, O Lord of Hosts, Who hast destroyed the enemy and avenger, so as to confirm Thy Church, accept now as if from the mouths of infants, this our praise, as it were a burnt offering; making us to praise, as is pleasing unto Thee; hearken unto the voice of our joy, and make our future days free from sorrow, we heartily beseech Thee, and have mercy.

Deacon: Furthermore we pray for Orthodox leaders and soldiers, for all those zealous for the Faith and truth, who in the time of tribulation give their souls for their brethren, that the King of Glory may, on the day of His righteous Judgment, give them life eternal and crowns incorruptible, and confirm us all in their spirit and faith, and in oneness of mind.

Exclamation: Hear us, O God our Savior...

Deacon: Let us attend, and in heartfelt humility, bowing to the Lord let us pray.

Prayer:

Celebrant: O great and inscrutable God, Father without beginning, co-unoriginate Son, and coeternal Spirit, Who makest to exist that which was not, Who savest those that perish, Who makest the dead to live, Who doest according to Thy will in Heavenly power and earthly habitation, and by Thy wondrous providence rulest all things! Bend down Thine ear from Thy holy height, and accept from us Thy humble and unworthy servants, to whom


Thou hast shewn Thy great salvation from troubles and ruin, this prayer of thanksgiving raised up from hearts and lips. For Thou hast not acted towards us according to our iniquities, O Lord, neither hast Thou given us


return according to our sins.

Thou hast said of old to the sons of Israel, that, unless they hearken unto Thy voice, so as to keep and do all Thy commandments, Thou wouldest bring upon them a nation of shameless countenance that would crush them in their cities, until their walls were ruined: and we have known this fearsome word in ourselves and our fathers; yet, fearing not Thy curse, and being careless of Thy mercy, we have left the path of Thy truth and walked in the willfulness of our hearts, and have sought not to have in our reason and hearts Thee, the God of reason and hearts, and have set at nought the traditions of our fathers, provoking Thee in those alien. For which cause, like the children of Israel of old, a dread state hath taken hold of us.

But Thou, O generous and merciful God, long in patience and great in mercy, righteous, and keeping truth, Who doest mercy unto thousands, Who takest away iniquities, and falsehoods, and sins, having for a short time left us [to suffer], hast with great mercy pardoned us, and having visited our errors with Thy staff, as a Father is gracious to His sons, so hast Thou been gracious unto us. For Thou hast regarded our sorrow, and our prayers, which we poured out before Thee, hoping not on our righteousness, but on Thy great compassion, O Lord: and Thou hast made Thine enemies to vanish as doth the smoke from the face of the fire, and those that love Thee to rejoice, from the rising of the sun, in Thy power.

We have seen , O Lord, and all nations have seen in us, that Thou art God, and there is none other than Thee, Who makest to die and makest to live, Who strikest down and healest, and there is none that shall deliver from Thy hand.

For this cause our heart is made strong in our Lord, our horn is exalted in our God, we have rejoiced in Thy salvation. We give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, for that Thou hast punished us a little, so as not to give us over for ages unto death. Grant us, O Lord, firmly to keep the memory of Thy visitation, so that, confirmed in Thee by fear and by faith, and by love, and guarded by Thy might, we may ever, as today, sing and glorify Thy holy name. Confirm Thy blessing upon us; and may Thy Spirit abide ever in Thy people. Grant holiness to Thy priests, to those in authority justice and truth, to Thy people peace and tranquillity, strength in Thy law and growth in the faith. O most merciful Lord! Extend Thy mercy unto those that know Thee; but be manifest also to them that seek Thee not, and turn as well the hearts of Thine enemies to Thee; and be Thou known in Thy


One Christ to all nations and tribes. Thus may all peoples, from the East to the West, in one heart, cry out to Thee in the voice of exultation:

[And he exclaims in a great voice:]

Glory to Thee, O God, the Savior of all, for ages of ages!

Choir: Amen.

And they sing either the Great Doxology, or the Hymn of St. Ambrose of Milan:

Hymn of St. Ambrose of Milan - Tone 4

We praise Thee, O God: we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.

All the earth doth worship Thee, the Father everlasting.

To Thee all Angels cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therein.

To Thee, Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth. Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of Thy glory.

The glorious company of the Apostles praiseth Thee; the goodly fellowship of the Prophets


praiseth Thee.

The white-robed army of Martyrs praiseth Thee.

The Holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge Thee: The Father of infinite Majesty, Thine honorable, true and only Son: Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ. Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father, When Thou camest to deliver man, Thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.

When Thou hadst overcome the sting of death, Thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.

We believe that Thou shalt come to be our Judge.

We therefore pray Thee: help Thy servants, whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious Blood.

Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints, in glory everlasting.

O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance.

Govern them, and lift them up forever.

Day by day we magnify Thee, and we worship Thy name ever, for ages of ages.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin. Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us. O Lord, let Thy mercy lighten upon us, as we have hoped in Thee. O Lord, in Thee have we trusted, let us never be put to shame.

Amen.

The Great Doxology

Glory to God in the highest, / and on earth peace, good will among men. / We praise Thee, we bless Thee, / we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, / we give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory. / O Lord, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty; / O Lord, the Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ; and O Holy Spirit. / O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, / that takest away the sin of the world, have mercy on us; / Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; / Thou that sittest at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. / For Thou only art holy, / Thou only art the Lord, O Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen. / Everyday will I bless thee and I will praise Thy name forever, yea forever and ever. / Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin. / Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, / and praised and glorified is Thy name unto the ages. Amen. / Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us according as we have hoped in Thee; / Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes. / Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes. / Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach me Thy statutes. / Lord, Thou hast been our refuge in generation and generation. / I said: O Lord, have mercy on me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee. / O Lord, unto Thee have I fled for refuge, teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God; / For in Thee is the fountain of life, in Thy light shall we see light. / O continue Thy mercy unto them that know Thee.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. / Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. / Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. / Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. / Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. / Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

And the usual dismissal sequence

Dismissal: May He, Who lay as a lamb in the manger of Bethlehem, having destroyed the enemy's power as a Lion, and set His faithful sheep on the path of truth and salvation, Christ our True God...

And the Many Years.

Provided by Fr John Shaw, via email, with additions

Comments of Fr John:


This Moleben for the feast of the Lord's Nativity was printed in the Jordanville calendar for 1988, by photo-offset from the Moscow edition of 1900. This service is, in my opinion, a little gem. It was designed in honor of the victory over Napoleon, but is very "Christmassy" in form and content. It has a structure characteristic of the Russian Molebens such as those for travelers or the sick. If the defeat of Napoleon seems a distant past, one might remember that Napoleon symbolizes the onslaught of many of the forces still besetting the Church all over the world.

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