To the Supersubstantial

Detail of Icon with the Theotokos Virgin Mary holding our Lord Jesus Christ – Greece 2017

Christ is Born!

Happy 4th Day of Nativity today!

I love this short, sweet, and sublime 5th century Nativity Kontakion (Hymn) by St. Romanus the Melodist. This a cappella recording was sung by our parish in 2014.

Our parish a cappella recording 2014

The Kontakion of the Nativity bursts with the Numinous Essence of the Feast!

Today a Virgin bringeth forth the Supersubstantial, and earth offereth a cavern to the Unapproachable. Angels together with shepherds sing praises, the Wise Men journey on with the Star. For, for our sakes, God, Who is before all the ages, is born a little Child. ~ Nativity Kontakion by St. Romanus the Melodist (5th century)

A Tour Inside the Ancient Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem, built over where Jesus Christ was born.

Inside the Church of the Nativity


Lastly, here is an early pre-greeting, for tomorrow’s
5th Day of Nativity commemorating the Holy Innocents.

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus! ~ Ekaterina (memory eternal)

Glorify Him!

Hail the Blest Morn!

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Happy Second Day of Nativity!

Sharing our parish choir’s women’s (a cappella) recording of this beautiful carol – Star of the East. ⭐️

Parish Recording 2014

Hail the blest morn, see the great Mediator,
Down from the regions of glory descend.
Shepherds, go worship the Babe in the manger,
Lo, for His guard the bright angels attend.

Refrain:
Brightest and best, of the stars of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid.
Star in the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our Infant Redeemer was laid.

Cold on His cradle the dewdrops are shining,
Low lies His bed, with the beasts of the stall.
Angels adore Him, in slumbers reclining,
Wise men and shepherds before Him do fall.

Say, shall we yield Him in costly devotion
Odours of Eden and offerings divine,
Gems from the mountain and pearls from the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest and gold from the mine.

Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gold, we His favour secure,
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration,
Nearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

Text by Reginald Heber (1783-1826)
Musical Arrangement by John H. Hickok (1832
)

Meriġe Crīstesmæsse
Blessed Christmastide!

Past Nativity Posts’ Resource

Church Bells in Ayia Napa, Cypress – Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

May the Light of Bethlehem’s Star illuminate and warm our hearts on this coming Bright Feast of Christ’s Holy Nativity!

National Public Radio NPR Broadcast with Blisswood on Orthodox Christmas Published January 6, 2023

Our Little Nativity Creche Published by issuu magazine 2022

Re-Gift Boomerang Published by issuu magazine 2022

Christ is Born! Posted January 6, 2022

Christ is Born! Glorify Him! Posted January 7, 2021

Happy 2nd Day of Christmas Posted January 8, 2022

Happy 3rd Day of Christmas Posted January 9, 2022

4th Day of Nativity Posted January 10, 2022

5th Day of Nativity – the Holy Innocents Posted January 11, 2022

6th Day of Nativity Posted January 12, 2022

Apodosis of Nativity Posted January 13, 2022

St. Basil’s Feast Day Posted January 14, 2022

St. Basil’s Day Cake Recipe Posted January 14, 2021

Greetings on St. Basil’s Day Posted January 14, 2021

Holy Theophany Posted January 19, 2022

St. Sophia Voices of Faith Hope and Love – Youth Choir Virtual Nativity Concert 2020

St. Sophia Voices of Faith Hope and Love – Youth Choir Virtual Nativity Tropar 2020

St. Sophia Adult Choir Sing the 16th Century Coventry Carol – 2014 Concert (In Honour of the Holy Innocents)

It’s Nativity Poem/Song

Little Pine Tree Poem/Song

The Holly Poem

The Candy Cane Poem/Song

St. Sophia Adult Choir Sing Little Pine Tree – 2014 Concert

Prayerfully wishing you God’s Blessings of good health, strength of spirit, and peaceful joy!

With Love in Christ.

Peace on Earth

With heartfelt support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church during these turbulent times, painted rocks with Slava Ukraini (Glory to Ukraine), adorn a Canadian Orthodox Church garden.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
~ St. Matthew 5:9

Let us pray to the Lord… Stop the war that destroys lives and homes, give repentance to the oppressors, comfort the afflicted, guide the wandering, and plant peace and blessing in the hearts of Your servants. For the uprooting of hatred, enmity, and the desire for domination from the hearts of those who oppress the innocent, to bring among them unfeigned love, understanding, and peaceful co-existence, and put an end to war, disturbance, and human suffering, let us pray to the Lord. That He may deliver the oppressed from distress by the onslaught of armies, and turn the oppressors from evil and lead them to peace and love, that no one may perish, and that peace may reign on earth, unto the joy of His Church and people, let us pray to the Lord. Lord Jesus Christ, our God, who art the Source of life and peace in heaven and on earth, pour out the grace of your peace on a world troubled by war and hatred. Extinguish the differences and enmity between humans and pour into the hearts of all humility, peace, and goodness… Let us pray to the Lord. ~ Special Petitions for Peace; Romanian Orthodox Church

…There is no greater sin than war. ~ St. Sophrony the Hagiorite

As we draw nigh unto the Bright Feast of Christ’s Holy Nativity, may we seek and find the True, Healing Peace from Above, within the Bethlehem of our hearts.

Prayer for Peace

5th Day of Nativity – the Holy Innocents

Image by mamkaklass from Pixabay

Christ is Born!

January 11 / December 29

Today we commemorate the 14,000 Infants slain by Herod at Bethlehem, and its surroundings. The relics of these little saints rest in the Grotto of the 4th Century Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem.

It was shocking to hear and understand the “Christmas” Coventry Carol for first time, when I was but a child.

Why on earth would people want to sing this, when all the other Christmas carols were warm, cozy, pockets of peace and joy? “Why? It’s ugly! Terrible!”

Mom agreed. “It is. But, they’re in heaven now, and we sing to remember this was part of what happened at Jesus’ birth.”

Even as an older youth it was painful to ponder, and still is… especially hearing the Carol now, with a grandmother’s ear. It’s a lullaby of lament… a dissonant dirge of restrained anguish. How could it not be?

Although there is great beauty in the world, this is also a world with warts and all. Earth isn’t heaven, and that’s why Christ is born… to reunite the created with the Creator.

The Coventry Carol was also my godmother’s favourite Christmas piece. She was an exceptional, amazing woman, Memory Eternal Eve! Through her, I learned to embrace the deep significance and bright sadness of this carol.

Below is a recording from a public Nativity Concert in 2014, at St. Sophia Orthodox Church, Canada.

St. Matthew 2: 16 – 18 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

St. Matthew 2: 13-14 …describes how St. Joseph was warned in a dream by an angel to flee Bethlehem and go to Egypt.

I came across this moving YouTube Video Tour: Grotto of the Holy Innocents at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The doves in Bethlehem murmured since the serpent destroyed their offspring. The eagle fled to Egypt to go down to receive the promises. ~ St. Ephraim the Syrian

Glorify Him!

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