Troparia and kontakia for December 21

Sunday before the Nativity

Troparion — Tone 2

Great are the accomplishments of faith, / for the Three Holy Youths rejoiced in the flames as though at 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!

Kontakion — Tone 1

(For when the Sunday before the Nativity falls on December 20-24) Rejoice, Bethlehem! Prepare yourself, O Ephratha! / The Lamb is on her way to give birth to the Chief Shepherd she carries in her womb. / The God-bearing forefathers will rejoice, beholding Him, / and with the shepherds, they will glorify the Virgin nursing Him.

Kontakion — Tone 6

(For when the Sunday before the Nativity falls on December 18-19) / 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.

Forefeast of the Nativity of our Lord

Troparion — Tone 4

Prepare, O Bethlehem, for Eden has been opened to all! / Adorn yourself, O Ephratha, for the tree of life blossoms forth from the Virgin in the cave! / Her womb is a spiritual paradise planted with the Divine Fruit: / If we eat of it, we shall live forever and not die like Adam. / Christ comes to restore the image which He made in the beginning!

Kontakion — Tone 2

He who holds the earth in the hollow of His hand / now is beheld in Bethlehem wrapped in swaddling bands. / We offer pre-festal hymns to His Mother, who maternally rejoices / having held to her bosom the Son of God.

Virginmartyr Juliana of Nicomedia

Troparion — Tone 4

All-blameless bride and venerable trophy-bearer, / You are wedded to the Word of the immortal Father, O glorious Juliana. / For having wisely disdained your mortal bridegroom, / You strove beyond nature to destroy the serpent, / And now you delight in the joys of your Bridegroom!

Kontakion — Tone 1

You were a beautiful virgin, wise Juliana, / and as your soul was wounded with divine love, / your body was also pierced with the wounds of martyrdom adorning you as a bride of Christ and His martyr. / Now as you dwell in the heavenly bridal chamber, / you pray for us all.