Sunday of Forefathers (Ancestors) of Christ
Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Youths Ananias, Azarias and Mishael;
Dionysios of Zakynthos, the wonderworker; New Martyrs Paisios the hieromonkand his disciple Habakkuk the deacon of Belgrade
December 17, 2017
Troparion of the Resurrection Tone 3
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad, for the Lord hath done a mighty act with His own arm. He hath trampled down death by death, and become the first-born from the dead. He hath delivered us from the depths of Hades, granting the world the Great Mercy.
Troparion of The Forefathers Tone 2
Thou hast justified by faith the ancient Forefathers, and through them Thou hast gone before and betrothed unto Thyself the Church of the Gentiles. Let the saints, therefore, take pride in glory; for from their seed sprouted forth a noble fruit, and it was she who gave birth to Thee without seed. Wherefore, by their pleadings, O Christ God, save our souls.
Troparion of St Joseph Tone 2
Proclaim, O Joseph to David, the ancestor of God, the amazing wonder, for by the angel they were revealed unto thee. For thou hast seen a Virgin great with child, and thou gave glory with the shepherds and didst worship with the Magi. Wherefore, plead with Christ God to save our souls.
Kontakion of Preparation of Christs Nativity Tone 3
The Virgin cometh today to the cave to give birth, ineffably to bring forth the Word eternal. Therefore, rejoice, O earth at the message with the angels and shepherds give glory to him who shall appear by his own will as a young child, he who is eternity God.
Epistle Colossians 3:4-11
Brethren, when Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these, the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. In these you once walked, when you lived in them. But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator. Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.
Gospel Luke 14:16-24
The Lord spoke this parable: A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, Come; for all is now ready. But, one by one, they all began to make excuses. The first said to him, I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So the servant came and reported this to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame. And the servant said, Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room. And the master said to the servant, Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet. For many are called, but few are chosen.
The Sunday of the Holy Forefathers is the Sunday that falls between December 11-17, the second Sunday before the Nativity. The ancestors of Christ according to the flesh are remembered on this Sunday of the Nativity Fast.
All the great Fathers and Mothers and Prophets of the Old Testament, starting with Adam, Abraham, the Righteous Sarah, Isaac and Jacob, including Holy Prophet Elias and Daniel, and concluding with Holy Prophet Zechariah (Zachary), Joachim and Anna, Holy Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist and The Theotokos. They lived before the Law and under the Law, especially the Patriarch Abraham, to whom God said, "In thy seed shall all of the nations of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:3, 22:18).