31st SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST — Tone 6.
Afterfeast of the Nativity of Christ. Sunday after Nativity. Holy Righteous Ones: Joseph the Betrothed, David the King, and James the Brother of the Lord. Virgin Martyr Anysia at Thessalonica (285-305). Martyr Zoticus, Keeper of Orphans (4th c.). Apostle of the Seventy, Timon the Deacon (1st c.). Martyr Philoterus of Nicomedia (311). Ven. Theodora of Cæsarea in Cappadocia (8th c.). Ven. Theodora of Constantinople (10th c.). Monk Martyr Gideon of Karakallou (Mt. Athos—1818). St. Makáry, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia (1563).
The Holy Virgin Martyr Anysia lived in the city of Thessalonica during the reign of the the co-Emperor Maximian (286-305). Upon the death of her parents, who had raised her in Christian piety, Saint Anysia sold everything she owned, distributing her riches to the poor, and she began to lead a strict life of fasting, vigil, and prayer.
During his persecution against Christians, Maximian issued an edict stating that anyone had the right to kill Christians with no fear of punishment. Soon there were many bodies to be found in cities, towns, and by the roadside. Once, when Saint Anysia was on her way to church, a pagan soldier stopped her and demanded that she come along to the festival of the sun to offer sacrifice. Saint Anysia gently pulled herself away from him. When the soldier boldly grabbed her and attempted to tear the veil from her head, she shoved him, spit in his face and said, “My Lord Jesus Christ forbids you!”
In anger, the soldier ran her through with his sword. Those gathering over her body wept and loudly complained against the cruel emperor for issuing an edict that resulted in the death of many innocent people. Christians buried the martyr near the city gates, and a chapel was built over her grave.
TROPARIA AND KONTAKIA
Troparion of the Sunday, tone 6
The angelic powers were at Thy tomb; the guards became as dead men. Mary stood by Thy grave, seeking Thy most pure Body. Thou didst capture hell, not being tempted by it. Thou didst come to the Virgin, granting life. O Lord, Who didst rise from the dead: glory to Thee!
Troparion of the Nativity, tone 4
Your Nativity, O Christ our God, Has shone to the world the Light of wisdom! For by it, those who worshiped the stars, Were taught by a Star to adore You, The Sun of Righteousness, And to know You, the Orient from on High. O Lord, glory to You!
Troparion of the Sunday after Nativity, tone 2
Proclaim the wonder, O Joseph, to David, the ancestor of God: you saw a Virgin great with Child, you gave glory with the shepherds, you worshiped with the Magi, you received the news from the angel. / Pray to Christ God to save our souls!
Kontakion of the Sunday after Nativity, tone 3
Today godly David is filled with joy; Joseph and James offer praise. The glorious crown of their kinship with Christ fills them with great joy. They sing praises to the One ineffably born on earth, and they cry out: “O Compassionate One, save those who honor You!”
Kontakion of the Nativity, tone 3
Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, And the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One! Angels with shepherds glorify Him! The wise men journey with a star! Since for our sake the Eternal God was born as a Little Child!
Kontakion of the Sunday, tone 6
When Christ God, the Giver of Life, raised all of the dead from the valleys of misery with His mighty hand, He bestowed resurrection on the human race. He is the Savior of all, the Resurrection, the Life, and the God of all.
Galatians 1:11-19 (Epistle, Sunday After)
- But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
- For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
- For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.
- And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
- But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace,
- to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood,
- nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
- Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days.
- But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.
Matthew 2:13-23 (Gospel, Sunday After)
- Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
- When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt,
- and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
- Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.
- Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
- “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
- Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
- saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.”
- Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
- But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee.
- And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”