Hymns for the Pre-Feast of the Nativity

What Are These Hymns?

These Eastern Hymns are from worship services that take place a few days before Christmas. This time period coincides with the Western seasons of Advent and Christmas. 

Sunday Before Nativity Matins Hymn

The Virgin now comes to Bethlehem to give birth to Christ Who has become an infant in the flesh.
Christ has voluntarily become poor.
Christ has become visible.
Let heaven and earth rejoice!

The Rich One became poor,
Making poor those who have grown rich in evil.
God is revealed as a mortal man,
Born without change of a Maiden who has not known a man.
Let us all praise Him in song, for He has been glorified.

Sunday Before Nativity Vespers Hymn

Behold, the time of our salvation is at hand.
Prepare yourself, O cavern,
For the Virgin approaches to give birth to her Son.
Be glad and rejoice, O Bethlehem, land of Judah,
For from you our Lord shines forth as the dawn.
Give ear, you mountains and hills
And all lands surrounding Judea.
For Christ is coming to save the people
Whom He has created and whom He loves.

December 20 Vespers Hymn

Let us celebrate, O people
The prefeast of Christ's Nativity!
Let us raise up our minds on high,
Going up in spirit to Bethlehem,
Let us behold the great mystery in the cave,
For Eden is opened once again
When God comes forth from a pure Virgin,
Remaining the same perfect God and becoming perfect man.
Therefore let us cry out to Him:
Holy God, Father without beginning!
Holy Mighty, Incarnate Son!
Holy Immortal, the Spirit and Comforter!
O Holy Trinity, glory to Thee!

Come O faithful, Begin the celebration!
Sing with the wise men and the shepherds!
Salvation comes from the Virgin's womb,
Recalling the faithful to life.

December 20 Compline Hymn

Let us reject the corruption of passions,
Awaiting the visitation of Christ.
Let us come to our senses and receive knowledge,
The gift of the undefiled Lord Who comes to be clothed in our flesh
Refashioning us in godliness.

Beholding Christ, let us be exalted through humility.
Let us abandon earthly passions with zeal for good.
Let us learn though faith not to be proud of heart.
Let us humiliate ourselves in spirit,
That by good deeds we may exult Him who comes to be born

December 20 Matins Hymn

The most wise Lord comes to be born,
Receiving hospitality from His own creatures.
Let us also receive Him,
That this divine Child in the cave may make us His guests
In the paradise of delights!

Tropar of the Pre-Feast of Nativity

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 fruit divine;
If we eat of it, we shall live forever and not die like Adam.
Christ is coming to restore the image which He made in the beginning.

December 21 Matins Hymn

The Creator, the Wisdom of God, draws near,
The mist of the prophet's promise is dispersed.
Joy clears the skies;
Truth is resplendent;
The dark shadows are dispelled;
The gates of Eden are opened;
Adam dances in exultation:
Our Creator and God wills to fashion us anew.

Come, O Bethlehem,
Anoint the holy manger,
For the Master comes to you
Sanctifying your wood with His divinity.

December 23 Compline Hymn

Thou didst partake of human flesh, O Christ,
Offspring of the seed of Abraham.
Thou didst come to give grace upon grace,
Restoring Thy Image
And freeing us from corruption.
For the Father has sent Thee, the only-begotten Son,
As the atonement for the world.

December 23 Vespers Hymn

Make ready, O Bethlehem, for Eden is opened.
Prepare, O Ephratha, for Adam and Eve are renewed.
Salvation enters the world and the curse is destroyed.
Make ready, O hearts of righteous men,
Instead of myrrh, bring songs as an offering of wisdom.
Receive salvation and immortality for your bodies and souls.
Behold, the Master Who lies in a manger urges us to complete our spiritual songs.
Let us cry to Him without ceasing:
O Lord, glory to Thee.

Eve of Nativity Compline Hymn

O Lord my God, I will sing Thee a birthday song,
A hymn on the prefeast,
For by Thy Nativity, Thou didst give me a divine rebirth,
And lead me up to my first perfection.

Royal Hours

What shall we offer Thee, O Christ,
Who for our sakes hast appeared on the earth as a man?
Every creature which Thou hast made offers Thee thanks.
The angels offer Thee a song;
The heavens, their star;
The wise men, their gifts;
The shepherds, their wonder;
The earth, its cave;
The wilderness; the manger;
And we offer Thee a virgin mother.
O Pre-eternal God, have mercy on us!