Annunciation of the Mother of God
6th Hour – Reading from the Prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 66:10-24)
Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and all ye that love her hold in her a general assembly: rejoice greatly with her, all that now mourn over her: that ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breast of her consolation; that ye may milk out, and delight yourselves with the influx of her glory. For thus saith the Lord, ‘Behold, I turn toward them as a river of peace, and as a torrent bringing upon them in a flood the glory of the Gentiles: their children shall be borne upon the shoulders, and comforted on the knees. As if his mother should comfort one, so will I also comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And ye shall see, and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall thrive like grass: and the hand of the Lord shall be known to them that fear Him, and He shall threaten the disobedient. For, behold, the Lord will come as fire, and His chariots as a storm, to render His vengeance with wrath, and his rebuke with a flame of fire. For with the fire of the Lord all the earth shall be judged, and all flesh with His sword: many shall be slain by the Lord. They that sanctify themselves and purify themselves in the gardens, and eat swine’s flesh in the porches, and the abominations, and the mouse, shall be consumed together,’ saith the Lord. ‘And I know their works and their imagination. I am going to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see My glory. And I will leave a sign upon them, and I will send forth them that have escaped of them to the nations, to Tharsis, and Put, and Lud, and Mosoch, and to Tubal, and to Greece, and to the isles afar off, to those who have not heard My name, nor seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring your brethren out of all nations for a gift to the Lord with horses, and chariots, in litters drawn by mules with awnings, to the holy city Jerusalem,’ said the Lord, ‘as though the children of Israel should bring their sacrifices to Me with psalms into the house of the Lord. And I will take of them priests and Levites,’ saith the Lord. ‘For as the new heaven and the new earth, which I make, remain before Me,’ saith the Lord, ‘so shall your seed and your name continue. And it shall come to pass from month to month, and from sabbath to sabbath, that all flesh shall come to worship before Me in Jerusalem,’ saith the Lord. ‘And they shall go forth, and see the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against Me: for their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.’
Reading from Genesis (Genesis 49:33- 50:26)
When Jacob ceased giving charges to his sons, having lifted up his feet on the bed, he died, and was gathered to his people. And Joseph fell upon his fathers face, and wept on him, and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the embalmers to embalm his father; and the embalmers embalmed Israel. And they fulfilled forty days for him, for so are the days of embalming numbered; and Egypt mourned for him seventy days. And when the days of mourning were past, Joseph spoke to the princes of Pharaoh, saying, ‘If I have found favour in your sight, speak concerning me in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, “My father adjured me, saying, ‘In the sepulchre which I dug for myself in the land of Canaan, there thou shalt bury me;’ now then I will go up and bury my father, and return again.”’ And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Go up, bury thy father, as he constrained thee to swear.’ So Joseph went up to bury his father; and all the servants of Pharaoh went up with him, and the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt. And all the household of Joseph, and his brethren, and all the house of his father, and his kindred; and they left behind the sheep and the oxen in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him also chariots and horsemen; and there was a very great company. And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan; and they bewailed him with a great and very sore lamentation; and he made a mourning for his father seven days. And the inhabitants of the land of Canaan saw the mourning at the floor of Atad, and said, ‘This is a great mourning to the Egyptians;’ therefore he called its name, ‘The mourning of Egypt,’ which is beyond Jordan. And thus his sons did to him. So his sons carried him up into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the double cave, which cave Abraham bought for possession of a burying place, of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre. And Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brethren, and those that had gone up with him to bury his father. And when the brethren of Joseph saw that their father was dead, they said, ‘Let us take heed, lest at any time Joseph remember evil against us, and recompense to us all the evils which we have done against him.’ And they came to Joseph, and said, ‘Thy father adjured us before his death, saying, “Thus say ye to Joseph, ‘Forgive them their injustice and their sin, forasmuch as they have done thee evil; and now pardon the injustice of the servants of the God of thy father.’”’ And Joseph wept while they spoke to him. And they came to him and said, ‘We, these persons, are thy servants.’ And Joseph said to them, ‘Fear not, for I am God’s. Ye took counsel against me for evil, but God took counsel for me for good, that the matter might be as it is today, and much people might be fed.’ And he said to them, ‘Fear not, I will maintain you, and your families:’ and he comforted them, and spoke kindly to them. And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his brethren, and all the family of his father; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. And Joseph saw the children of Ephraim to the third generation; and the sons of Machir the son of Manasseh were born on the sides of Joseph. And Joseph spoke to his brethren, saying, ‘I die, and God will surely visit you, and will bring you out of this land to the land concerning which God sware to our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ And Joseph adjured the sons of Israel, saying, ‘At the visitation with which God shall visit you, then ye shall carry up my bones hence with you.’ And Joseph died, aged an hundred and ten years; and they prepared his corpse, and put him in a coffin in Egypt.
Reading from Exodus (Exodus 3:1-8)
Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he brought the sheep nigh to the wilderness, and came to the Mount of Horeb. And an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the bush, and he saw that the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, ‘I will go near and see this great sight, why the bush is not consumed.’ And when the Lord saw that he drew nigh to see, the Lord called him out of the bush, saying, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘What is it?’ And He said, ‘Draw not nigh hither: loose thy sandals from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.’ And He said, ‘I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses turned away his face, for he was afraid to gaze at God. And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people that is in Egypt, and I have heard their cry caused by their taskmasters; for I know their affliction. And I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that land, and to bring them into a good and wide land, into a land flowing with milk and honey.’
Reading from Proverbs (Proverbs 8:22-30)
The Lord hath made me the beginning of His ways for His works. He established me before time was in the beginning, before He made the earth: even before He made the depths; before the fountains of water came forth: before the mountains were settled, and all the hills, He begetteth me. The Lord made countries and deserts, and the highest inhabited parts under the heavens. When He prepared heaven, I was present with Him; and when He prepared His throne upon the winds: and when He strengthened the clouds above; and when He secured the fountains of the earth: and when He strengthened the foundations of the earth: I was by Him, arranging all things, I was that in which He took delight; and daily I rejoiced in His presence continually.
Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Hebrews (2:11-18)
Brethren: Both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of One, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, ‘I will declare Thy name unto My brethren; in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee.’ And again, ‘I will put My trust in Him.’ And again, ‘Behold I and the children whom God hath given Me.’ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death — that is, the devil — and deliver those who all their lifetime were subject to bondage through fear of death. For verily He took not on Himself the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Therefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered, being tempted, He is able to succor those who are tempted.
Holy Gospel according to Luke (1:24-38)
In those days, Elisabeth, the wife of Zechariah, conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, ’Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein He looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.’ And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her and said, ‘Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.’ And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying and cast about in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, ‘Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end.’ Then said Mary unto the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that Holy Being who shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin Elizabeth: she hath also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.’ And the angel departed from her.
Troparion of the Annunciation (Tone 4)
Today is the crown of our salvation and the revelation of the mystery which is from before the ages! The Son of God becometh the Son of the Virgin, and Gabriel announceth the glad tidings of grace. Wherefore, with him let us cry out to the Theotokos: Rejoice, O thou who art full of grace! The Lord is with thee!
Kontakion of the Annunciation (Tone 8)
To thee, the champion leader, we, thy servants, dedicate hymns of victory and thanksgiving, as ones delivered from evils, O Theotokos; but in that thou hast invincible might, free us from all misfortunes, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, O Bride unwedded!