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!

A Blessed Christmas! Meriġe Crīstesmæsse!

Detail of the Nativity Icon brings to mind the Nativity Kontakion (Short Hymn of a Feast): Today a Virgin giveth birth unto 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. ~ 5th Century St. Romanus the Melodist

Christ is Born! Happy First Day of the Nativity!

Meriġe Crīstesmæsse is an ancient salutation from pre-12th century Old English, which meant a Blessed Christ’s Mass.” Today Meriġe Crīstesmæsse has morphed into the joyful Seasonal Greeting of Merry Christmas, or Happy Christmas!

Thy Nativity O Christ our God, hath arisen upon the world as the Light of Wisdom. For at it, those who worshipped the stars, were, by a Star, taught to adore Thee. The Sun of Righteousness and to know Thee, the Orient from on high. O Lord, glory to Thee! ~ Nativity Tropar (Longer Hymn of the Feast) Composed by 5th century St. Romanus the Melodist

Christ is Born! Give ye glory! Christ comes from heaven meet ye Him! Christ is on earth be ye exalted, O all the earth sing unto the Lord, and sing praises in gladness O ye people, for He hath been glorified. ~ Ode 1 of the Nativity Canon

In keeping with the situation… Here is a beautiful, a cappella Nativity Folk Carol, “Heaven and Earth” as recorded by our parish in 2014.

Heaven & Earth

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.

With Expectant Hope

Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade by Stevan Aksentijevic from Pixabay

With expectant hope,
Come – gentle, quiet, New Year,
With Peace from Above!

Beneath the blue veil
Of night, wisdom traverses
By Star, to Wisdom.

Patiently we wait.
Six silent nights remaining –
Until the manger.

Thank you for visiting Blisswood.

Happy Civil New Year! Happy New You! Happy New Us!

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. ~ Numbers 6:24-26

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.

With Love in Christ.

Splendour of Three

Spring, flowers, and sunshine… Brighter days ahead!

No sooner do I conceive of the one than I am illumined by the splendour of the three; no sooner do I distinguish them than I am carried back to the one. When I think of any one of the three I think of him as the whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking escapes me. I cannot grasp the greatness of that one so as to attribute a greater greatness to the rest. When I contemplate the three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the undivided light. ~ St. Gregory the Theologian

How Glorious is God
How great our Lord on high in Zion,
Our mortal tongue cannot convey;
Beneath His throne the stardust flying,
Is one with windswept grasses’ sway.
Throughout the Universe His glory
By day and night is bright and holy.
O Lord, Thy Lamb of golden haloes
Reflects Thy face for our eyes;
With psalter-sounds we send our prayers,
Like smoke from censers, to the skies.
Accept, Lord God, from Thy creation
Incense and songs of adoration.
Thy radiance to us revealing,
Thy love transcends a father’s care;
While feeding us, our ailments healing,
Thou showest us Thy Kingdom fair.
Sweet mercy Thou to sinners sendest –
Their hunger with Thy substance endest.

By M.M Kheraskov (1733-1807); English Translation by Alexander F. Beck

4th Day of Nativity

Beautiful Nativity Prayer to Share With You

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

From Orthodox Life

by Empress St. Alexandra, the Last Tsarina of Russia, (granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England)

I pray

That Christ the Xmas King may stoop to bless,

And guide you day by day to holiness,

Your Friend in joy, your Comfort in distress;

I pray

That every cloud may lead you to the light,

And He may raise you up from height to height,

Himself the Day-Star of your darkest night;

I pray

That Christ, before whose Crib you bend the knee,

May fill your longing soul abundantly,

With grace to follow Him more perfectly.

(Alexandra, 1917 Tobolsk )

To the Moon & Back

Photo shared by Irena

Late tonight, and into the early morning hours of tomorrow (Friday, November 19), will be the longest partial lunar eclipse in almost 600 years! Wow!

Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. ~ Psalm 148:3

-and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ~ St. Matthew 28:20

In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. ~ Psalm 72:7

What Wondrous Love in His Promise!

Our Little Nativity Crèche

Published in Home For the Holidays issuu magazine November 25, 2022 (page 16)

Treasures of Christmases Past

Opening boxes of Christmas ornaments is like greeting old friends again. They’re all special, inspiring, and priceless.

Included in our treasure troves are two tattered cardboard circles, with glittery bits of Christmas cards glued to the greasy back of a pizza box. In my mind’s eye I see our toddlers deep in concentration, their puckered little mouths moving rhythmically to each opening and closing of the blunt scissors… a testament to earlier times when sparse finances and homemade adornments were inspired through necessity.

A Queen’s Guard Soldier lies cupped in the palm of my hand. Although his paint is faded, he stands ever at attention as a wooden clothes peg. Our daughter made him in kindergarten, and the threaded loop through his skewed black pom pom hat disintegrated ages ago. He will be stationed on a tree branch, propped up beside the inevitable paper plate sprinkled with dried macaroni, and spray painted gold.

My mom’s embroidered blue bird roosts next to the dainty satin butterfly from my mother-in-law.

Meanwhile, the Three Wise Men bauble our 7 year old hand-sewed himself, is whimsically suspended near a flock of his origami pterodactyls.

At the top of the tree, reposing beneath a chipped Christmas Star is the large, red, paper angel-card my husband made for me the first year we dated. Although the angel wings have long since curled up at the edges, the sparkly Merry Christmas card greeting remains divinely intact.

Of course we own a few store bought decorations. One of which was a gift, a little Christmas Crèche. Although it wasn’t something we’d have bought for ourselves, this sweet little manger scene with animals quickly joined the cherished seasonal entourage.

In keeping with the situation, the Crèche is reverently displayed on top of our piano… despite the fact that one of the sheep’s plastic legs was completely gnawed off by our teething son (who, coincidentally, later became vegan).

Decades later, the precious little lamb continues to defy the law of physics and nobly stands guarding the manger crib, along with the pristine ox, and donkey.

To me, he’s much more than a simple 3-legged plastic lamb.

He’s an unsung model of hope and perseverance in adversity.

God bless us, everyone!

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