The Witness (December 18th – 27th)

SERVICES AND EVENTS
Saturday, December 18, 6:30pm 
Vespers
Sunday, December 19, 9am Matins 10am Divine Liturgy
Wednesday, December 22, 6:30pm Advent Paraklesis
Friday, December 24, 8am Royal Hours 6:30pm Nativity Vespers followed by Carols 
Saturday, December 25, 8am Nativity Matins 9am Nativity Liturgy
Sunday, December 26, 9am Matins 10am Divine Liturgy 6:30pm Vespers for Feast of St. Stephen followed by Game Night
Monday, December 27, 10am Divine Liturgy for Feast of St. Stephen

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Game Night 
after Vespers for Feast of St. Stephen, Sunday December 26.
No Church School for Littles/Middles for the remainder of December. Church School will resume after the first of the year.
Confession Sign Up is online at this link https://tinyurl.com/38pwa783 or on bulletin board.

Tone 1 Troparion (Resurrection)
When the stone had been sealed by the Jews,
while the soldiers were guarding Your most pure body,
You rose on the third day, O Savior,
granting life to the world.
The powers of heaven therefore cried to You, O Giver of Life: “Glory to Your Resurrection, O Christ!
Glory to Your Kingdom!//
Glory to Your dispensation, O Lover of mankind!”

Tone 2 Troparion (Holy Fathers)
Great are the accomplishments of faith,
for the three Holy Youths rejoice in the fountain of flames as though in the waters

of rest;
and the Prophet Daniel appeared
a shepherd to the lions as though they were sheep.// So by their prayers, O Christ God, save our souls!

Tone 6 Kontakion (Holy Fathers)
You did not worship the graven image,
O thrice-blessed ones,
but armed with the immaterial Essence of God,
you were glorified in a trial by fire.
From the midst of unbearable flames you called on God, crying:

“Hasten, O compassionate One!
Speedily come to our aid,//
for You are merciful and able to do as You will!”

Tone 4 Prokeimenon (Holy Fathers)
Blessed are You, O Lord God of our fathers, / and praised and glorified is Your

Name forever! (Song of the Three Holy Children, v. 3)
V. For You are just in all that You have done for us! (v. 4)

Hebrews 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40 (Epistle)

By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command. And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

Tone 4

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

V. We have heard with our ears, O God, for our fathers have told us. (Ps. 43:1a)

V. For You have saved us from them that oppose us, and hast put to shame them that hate us. (Ps. 43:8)

Matthew 1:1-25 (Gospel)

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.
Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa.
Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, ‘God with us.’” Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.

Communion Hymn

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest! (Ps. 148:1) Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous; praise befits the just! (Ps. 32:1) Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!