December 2017

FROM THE FATHERS

“NOW then I pray you accept His Conception, and leap before Him; if not like John from the womb, yet like David, because of the resting of the Ark. Revere the enrolment on account of which thou wast written in heaven, and adore the Birth by which thou wast loosed from the chains of thy birth, and honour little Bethlehem, which hath led thee back to Paradise; and worship the manger through which thou, being without sense, wast fed by the Word. Know as Isaiah bids thee, thine Owner, like the ox, and like the ass thy Master’s crib; if thou be one of those who are pure and lawful food, and who chew the cud of the word and are fit for sacrifice. Or if thou art one of those who are as yet unclean and uneatable and unfit for sacrifice, and of the gentile portion, run with the Star, and bear thy Gifts with the Magi, gold and frankincense and myrrh, as to a King, and to God, and to One Who is dead for thee. With Shepherds glorify Him; with Angels join in chorus; with Archangels sing hymns. Let this Festival be common to the powers in heaven and to the powers upon earth. For I am persuaded that the Heavenly Hosts join in our exultation and keep high Festival with us to-day …because they love men, and they love God just like those whom David introduces after the Passion ascending with Christ and coming to meet Him, and bidding one another to lift up the gates.”

St. Gregory the Theologian (Nazianzus) + AD 391

“WHAT to say and what shalt I proclaim? To speak more concerning the Virgin Birth-Giver? To deliberate more on the miraculously new birth? It is possible only to be astonished, in contemplating the miraculous birth, since it overturns the ordinary laws and order of nature and of things. About the wondrous works (of God) one might say in brief, that they are more wondrous than the works of nature, since in nature nothing begets itself by its own will, though there be the freedom thereof: wondrous therefore are all the works of the Lord, Who hath caused them to be. O, immaculate and inexplicable mystery! That One, Who before the very creation of the world was the Only-Begotten, Without-Compare, Simple, Incorporeal, is incarnated and descends (into the world), clothed in a perishable body, so that He be visible to all. For if He were not visible, then by what manner would He teach us to keep His precepts and how would He lead us to the invisible reality? It was for this therefore that He became openly visible, to lead forth those of the visible world to the invisible. Far more so do people reckon their eyesight as more credible a witness than mere hearsay; they trust that which they see, and doubt that which they see not. God willed to be visible in body, to resolve and dispel the doubts.”

St. Gregory the Wonder-worker (Thaumaturgos) + c. AD 270

“Pure is the present night, in which the Pure One appeared, Who came to purify us! Let our hearing be pure, and the sight of our eyes chaste, and the feeling of the heart holy, and the speech of the mouth sincere! The present night is the night of reconciliation; therefore, let no one be wroth against his brother and offend him! This night gave peace to the whole world, and so, let no one threaten. This is the night of the Most Meek One; let no one be cruel! This is the night of the Humble One; let no one be proud! Now is the day of joy; let us not take revenge for offences! Now is the day of good will; let us not be harsh. On this day of tranquillity, let us not become agitated by anger! Today God came unto sinners; let not the righteous exalt himself over sinners! Today the Most Rich One became poor for our sake; let the rich man invite the poor to his table! Today we received a gift which we did not ask for; let us bestow alms to those who cry out to us and beg! The present day has opened the door of heaven to our prayers; let us also open our door to those who ask of us forgiveness! Today the Godhead placed upon Himself the seal of humanity, and humanity has been adorned with the seal of the Godhead!”

St. Ephraim the Syrian + c. AD 373

Friday 1st December 2017 (ƒ3)
Nativity Fast
Prophet Nahum (7th C. BC). Righteous Philaret the Merciful of Amnia (792). Holy Martyr Ananias of Persia. St. Porphyrios, patriarch of Antioch (413). St. Theoclites, archbishop of Lakedaimonia (870). SS Ananias and Solochonus, archbishops of Ephesus.
British Isles & Ireland: St. Grwst of Llanrwst (7th C).
Readings:
1 Timothy 4:4-8, 16; Luke 20:19-26.

Saturday 2nd December 2017 (ƒ1)
Nativity Fast
Prophet Avakkum [Habakkuk] (7th C. BC). Holy Martyrs Abibus the New and Myrope of Chios (251). St. Ioannicius of Devich, monk (1430). St. Cyril of Phileus (1110). SS John, Heraclemon, Andrew, and Theophilus of Egypt (4th C). St. Stephen-Urosh V, King of Serbia (1371) and St. Helen of Serbia. St. Ise [Jesse], bishop of Tsilkani in Georgia (6th C).
Readings:
Galatians 3:8-12; Luke 12:32-40.

Sunday 3rd December 2017 (ƒ1)
26th after Pentecost 14th of Luke – Tone 1 : Eothinon 4.
Nativity Fast
Prophet Sophonias [Zephaniah] (635 BC). St. John the Silent of St. Sabbas’ Monastery (558). Hieromartyr Theodore, archbishop of Alexandria (606). Holy Martyrs Agapius and Seleucius. St. Theodoulos, eparch of Constantinople (ca. 440). New Martyr Angelos of Chios (1813). Monk-martyr Cosmas of St. Anne’s Skete. St. Sabbas, abbot of Zvenigorod, disciple of St. Sergius of Radonezh (1406).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Birinus, bishop of Dorchester and Apostle of Wessex (650). St. Lucius of Britain (ca. 200). St. Ethernan (7th C). St. Sola, disciple of St. Boniface (794).
Readings:
Ephesians 5:8-19; Luke 18:35-43.

Monday 4th December 2017 (ƒ1)
Nativity Fast
Great Martyr Barbara and Martyr Juliana, at Heliopolis in Syria (306)
St. John the Righteous, of Damascus (776). New Hieromartyr Bishop Seraphim at the Phanar (1601). Holy Martyr Juliana of Heliopolis. New Martyrs Priest Alexander Khotovitsky of New York (1937), and Priest Alexis Benemansky of Tver (1937).
Readings:
1 Timothy 5:1-10; Luke 20:27-44.
For the Commemoration: Galatians 3:23-4:5; Mark 5:24-34.

Tuesday 5th December 2017 (ƒ1)
Nativity Fast
St Sabbas the Sanctified (532)
Holy Martyr Diogenes (435). Philotheos the Righteous of Mount Athos. St. Nectarius of Bitol (1500), and his Elder, St. Philotheus, of Karyes Skete. Commemoration of St. Cosmas of Vatopedi (1276) and the monks of Karyes Skete, martyred by the Latins. St. Gurias, archbishop of Kazan (1563).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Cawrdaf, monk and disciple of St. Illtyd (5th C). St. Justinian, hermit of Ramsey (560).
Readings:
1 Timothy 5:11-21; Luke 21:12-19.
For the Commemoration: Galatians 5:22-6:2; Matthew 11:27-30.

Wednesday 6th December 2017 (ƒ1)
Nativity Fast
St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, archbishop of Myra in Lycia (ca. 345)
St. Nicholas, bishop of Patara (ca. 3rd C). New Martyr Nicholas of Karamania in Asia Minor (1657). St. Theophilus, bishop of Antioch (181). Blessed Maximus, metropolitan of Kiev (1305).
British Isles & Ireland: SS Auxilius, Isserninus and Secundinus, workers with St. Patrick (5th C).
Readings:
1 Timothy 5:22-6:11; Luke 21:5-8, 10-11, 20-24.
For the Commemoration: Hebrews 13:17-21; Luke 6:17-23.

Thursday 7th December 2017 (ƒ2)
Nativity Fast
St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan (397). Holy martyr Athenodorus of Mesopotamia (304). St. Gregory the Silent of Serbia , founder of Grigoriou monastery, Mt. Athos (14th C). St. Nilus of Stolbensk Lake (1554). St. Anthony, abbot of Siya, Novgorod (1558). St. John, Faster of the Kievan Caves (12th C). Holy Martyr Philothea of Arges (13th C). Venerable Gerasimos.
British Isles & Ireland: St. Buithe, missionary (521). St. Diuma, bishop and missionary (658).
Readings:
1 Timothy 6:17-21; Luke 21:28-33.

Friday 8th December 2017 (ƒ3)
Forefeast of the Conception of the Theotokos; Nativity Fast
St. Patapius of Thebes (8th C). Holy Apostles of the Seventy: Sosthenes, Apollos, Cephas, Tychicus, Epaphroditus, and Onesiphorus (1st C). St. Sophronius, archbishop of Cyprus (6th C).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Gunthild of Wimborne (748).
Readings:
2 Timothy 1:1-2, 8-18; Luke 21:37-22:8.

Saturday 9th December 2017 (ƒ1)
Nativity Fast
The Conception by the Righteous Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos.
Prophetess Anna [Hannah], mother of the Prophet Samuel (1100 BC). Holy Martyr Narses of Persia. St. Stephen the “New Light” of Constantinople (912).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Budoc (7th C). St. Ethelgifu, abbess of Shaftesbury (896). St. Wolfeius, hermit of St. Benet Hulme, Norfolk (1000).
Readings:
Galatians 5:22-6:2; Luke 13:18-29.
For the Commemoration: Galatians 4:22-27; Luke 8:16-21.

Sunday 10th December 2017 (ƒ1)
27th after Pentecost 10th of Luke – Tone 2 : Eothinon 5.
Nativity Fast
Holy martyrs Menas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus of Alexandria (313). St. Thomas of Bithynia (10th C). St. Joasaph, bishop of Belgorod (1754). Holy Martyr Gemellus of Paphlagonia (361). Blessed John, King of Serbia (1503), and his parents Stephen (1468) and Angelina Brancovich (16th C).
Readings:
Ephesians 6:10-17; Luke 13:10-17.

Monday 11th December 2017 (ƒ3)
Nativity Fast
St. Daniel the Stylite of Constantinople (490). St. Luke the New Stylite of Chalcedon (980). St. Nikon the Dry of the Kievan Caves (12th C). Monk-martyr Barsabas, abbot of Ishtar and 10 companions in Persia (342). St. Leontius, Monk, of Monembasia in the Peloponnese (1450). Holy martyrs Acepsius and Aeithalas at Arbelus (534).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Cian the Hermit (6th C). St. Peris of Llanberis (6th C).
Readings:
2 Timothy 2:20-26; Mark 8:11-21.

Tuesday 12th December 2017 (ƒ1)
Nativity Fast
St Spyridon the Wonderworker, bishop of Tremithus (ca. 348)
St. John, metropolitan of Zichon, founder of the monastery of the Forerunner on Mt. Menikion (1333). Hieromartyr Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem (251). Holy martyr Synesius of Rome (275).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Finnian, bishop of Clonard and founder of Skellig Michael (ca. 549). St. Colman of Glendalough (659). St. Columba of Leinster (548). St. Cormac, abbot (6th C). St. Agatha of Wimborne (790).
Readings:
2 Timothy 3:16-4:4; Mark 8:22-26.
For the Commemoration: Ephesians 5:8-19; John 10:9-16.

Wednesday 13th December 2017 (ƒ3)
Nativity Fast
Virgin-martyr Lucy of Syracuse (304). Holy Martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, and Orestes, at Sebaste (4th C). Repose of St. Herman of Alaska (1836). St. Arsenios of Latros (9th C). Hieromartyr Gabriel I, patriarch of Serbia (1659).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Edburgh of Lyminge, virgin (7th C). St. Edburgh, abbess of Minster-in-Thanet (751).
Readings:
2 Timothy 4:9-22; Mark 8:30-34.

Thursday 14th December 2017 (ƒ2)
Nativity Fast
Holy Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucis and Callinicus of Apollonia (250). St. Venantius Fortunatus, hymnographer and bishop of Poitiers (7th C). Holy martyrs Apollonius, Philemon, Arianus, and Theoctychus of Alexandria (3rd C).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Hygbald, abbot of Hibaldstow (7th C). SS. Fingar and Phiala, and 770 other martyr companions (5th C).
Readings:
Titus 1:5-14; Mark 9:10-15.

Friday 15th December 2017 (ƒ1)
Nativity Fast
Hieromartyr Eleutherius, bishop of Illyria, and his mother, Martyr Anthia, and Corivus the Eparch (126)
Holy martyr Susanna the deaconess of Palestine (4th C). Monk-martyr Bacchus of Mar Sabba (8thC). St. Stepan [Stephen] the Confessor, bishop of Sourozh in the Crimea (790). St. Tryphon, of Pechenga (1583), and his martyred disciple Jonah. Venerable Paul of Latros (955).
British Isles & Ireland: Offa, King of Essex, monk (ca. 709). St. Florentius, abbot of Bangor (7th C).
Readings:
Titus 1:15-2:10; Mark 9:33-41.
For the Commemoration: 2 Timothy 1:8-18; Mark 2:23-3:5.

Saturday 16th December 2017 (ƒ1)
Nativity Fast
Prophet Aggaeus [Haggai] (520 BC). Hieromartyr Modestus II, patriarch of Jerusalem (634). Blessed Empress Theophania of Constantinople (894). St. Memnon, archbishop of Ephesus (5th C). St. Nicholas Chrysoberges, patriarch of Constantinople (10th C).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Beoc of Lough Derg (5th C).
Readings:
Ephesians 1:16-23; Luke 14:1-11.

Sunday 17th December 2017 (ƒ1)
29th after Pentecost 11th of Luke Sunday of the Holy and Righteous Ancestors of the Lord – Tone 3 : Eothinon 6.
Nativity Fast
Holy Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Children: Ananias, Azarias, and Misael (600 BC). St. Dionysius of Zakynthos, bishop of Aegina, the Wonderworker (1624). New Martyrs Paisus of Serbia, abbot, and Abbacum, deacon, of Serbia (1814).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Tydecho (6th C). St. Briach, disciple of St. Tudwal (6th C).
Readings:
Colossians 3:4-11; Luke 14:16-24; Matthew 22:14.

Monday 18th December 2017 (ƒ3)
Nativity Fast
Holy Martyr Sebastian at Rome and his companions, Nicostratus, Zoe, Castorius, Tranquillinus, Marcellinus, Mark, Claudius, Symphorian, Victorinus, Tiburtius, and Castulus (287). Our Holy Father Michael Syngellon the Confessor at Constantinople (845).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Winebald, abbot and missionary in England and Heidenheim (761). St. Samthan, foundress of Clonbroney Convent (6th C). St. Flannan, 1st bishop of Killaloe (7th C).
Readings:
Hebrews 3:5-11, 17-19; Mark 9:42-10:1.

Tuesday 19th December 2017 (ƒ2)
Nativity Fast
Holy martyr Boniface and his Companions, at Tarsus in Cilicia, and the Righteous Aglais [Aglaida] of Rome (290). Holy martyr Eutyches of Thessalonica and with him 200 men and 70 women. Righteous Gregentius, archbishop of Omirits in Ethipoia (552).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Manirus, bishop and Apostle of the north of Scotland.
Readings:
Hebrews 4:1-13; Mark 10:2-12.

Wednesday 20th December 2017 (ƒ3)
Forefeast of The Nativity of Christ; Nativity Fast
Hieromartyr Ignatius the Godbearer, bishop of Antioch (107). Repose of Righteous John of Kronstadt [7th December O.S.] (1908). St. Philogonius, bishop of Antioch (323). New Martyr John of the Isle of Thasos. St. Daniel II, archbishop of Serbia (1338).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Urscinus, disciple of St. Columbanus and abbot of St. Ursanne (625).
Readings:
Hebrews 5:11-6:8; Mark 10:11-16.

Thursday 21st December 2017 (ƒ2)
Forefeast of The Nativity of Christ; Nativity Fast
Virgin-Martyr Juliana of Nicomedia, and with her 500 men and 130 women (304). Repose of St. Peter, metropolitan of Moscow and Wonderworker of All Russia (1326). Holy martyr Theomistocles of Myra in Lycia (251).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Bernwald of Bampton (8th C).
Readings:
Hebrews 7:1-6; Mark 10:17-27.

Friday 22nd December 2017 (ƒ3)
Forefeast of The Nativity of Christ; Nativity Fast
Great Martyr Anastasia, “Deliverer From Bonds”, and her teacher, Martyr Chrysogonus, and with them Martyrs Theodota, Evodias, Eutychianus, and others, who suffered under Diocletian (304).
Readings:
Hebrews 7:18-25; Mark 10:24-32.

Saturday 23rd December 2017 (ƒ2)
Saturday before the Nativity of Our Lord
Forefeast of The Nativity of Christ; Nativity Fast
Holy Ten Martyrs of Crete: Theodulus, Saturninus, Euporus, Gelasius, Eunician, Zoticus, Pompeius, Agathopus, Basilides, and Evaristus (3rd C). Dedication of the Church of the Holy Wisdom (Agia Sophia) in Constantinople (360). St. Nahum of Ochrid, Enlightener of the Bulgarians (10th C). St. Paul, bishop of Neo-Caesarea (4th C). New Hieromartyrs John Piankov and Nicholas Yakhontov, priests (1918).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Frithebert, bishop of Hexham (766). St. Mazota of Abernethy (8th C).
Readings:
Galatians 3:8-12; Luke 13:18-29.

Sunday 24th December 2017 (ƒ2)
Sunday before the Nativity of Our Lord; Sunday of the Holy and Righteous Ones of the Old Covenant – Tone 4 : Eothinon 7.
Nativity Fast
Virgin-Martyr Eugenia of Rome, and with her the Martyrs Philip, her father, Protus, Hyacinth, Basilla and Claudia (ca. 262). New Martyr Achmed [Ahmet] the Calligrapher of Constantinople (1682).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Caran, missionary (7th C).
Readings:
Hebrews 11:9-10,32-40; Matthew 1:1-25.

Monday 25th December 2017
Liturgy of St Basil
THE NATIVITY ACCORDING TO THE FLESH OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST
The Commemoration of the Adoration of the Magi: Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar. The Commemoration of the Shepherds in Bethlehem who were watching their flocks and went to see the Lord. St. Constantine the Jew.
British Isles & Ireland: St. Alburgh of Wilton, nun (810).
Readings:
For the Commemoration: Galatians 4:4-7; Matthew 2:1-12.

Tuesday 26th December 2017
Afterfeast of The Nativity of Christ
Synaxis of Our Most Holy Lady, the Holy Theotokos and Ever-virgin, Mary
Hieromartyr Euthymius, bishop of Sardis (840). New Hieromartyr Constantine the Russian, at Constantinople (1743). St. Archelaus, bishop of Kaskhara in Mesopotamia (3rd C). St. Zenon, bishop of Maiuma in Palestine (4th C).
British Isles & Ireland: St. Tathai of Glamorgan (6th C). St. Maethlu of Anglesey (6th C).
Readings:
Hebrews 9:8-23; Mark 11:11-23.
For the Commemoration: Hebrews 2:11-18; Matthew 2:13-23.

Wednesday 27th December 2017
Afterfeast of The Nativity of Christ
Holy Protomartyr and Protodeacon Stephen (34). St. Theodore the Confessor, archbishop of Constantinople (686). St. Theodore Graptus [‘the branded’], Confessor and brother of Theophanes the Hymnographer (840).
Readings:
Hebrews 10:1-18; Mark 11:22-26.

Thursday 28th December 2017
Afterfeast of The Nativity of Christ
The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia including Glycerius the presbyter, Zeno, Theophilus, Dorotheus, Mardonius, Migdonius, Indes, Gorgonius, Peter, Euthymius, and the virgins Agape, Domna, Theophila and others (302). St. Nicanor the deacon, Apostle of the Seventy (38). St. Simon the Myrhh-streaming, founder of Simonopetra monastery on Mt Athos (14th C).
Readings:
Hebrews 10:35-11:7; Mark 11:27-33.

Friday 29th December 2017
Afterfeast of The Nativity of Christ
The 14,000 Infants (Holy Innocents) slain by Herod at Bethlehem. St. Marcellus, abbot of the monastery of the Unsleeping Ones (485). St. Anthony of Damascus, martyred at Ar-Raqqa (799). Righteous Father Thaddeus the Confessor (818). Commemoration of all Orthodox Christians who died from Hunger, Thirst, the Sword, and Freezing.
Readings:
Hebrews 11:8-16; Mark 12:1-12.

Saturday 30th December 2017
Saturday before the Theophany of Our Lord
Afterfeast of The Nativity of Christ
Virgin-Martyr Anysia at Thessalonica (305). St. Timon the deacon, of the Seventy (1st C). New Martyr Gideon of Karakallou, Mt. Athos (1818). Holy martyr Philoterus of Nicomedia, and with him Six Soldiers and One Count (311). Righteous Father Leondus the Archimandrite.
British Isles & Ireland: St. Egwin, bishop of Worcester and founder of Evesham Abbey (717).
Readings:
1 Timothy 3:13-4:5; Matthew 3:1-6.

Sunday 31st December 2017
Sunday before the Theophany of Our Lord – Tone 5 : Eothinon 8.
Leavetaking (Apodosis) of The Nativity of Christ
St. Melania the Younger, Nun, of Rome (439). Hieromartyr Zoticus, Guardian of the Orphans (4th C). St. Gelasius, monk, of Palestine (5th C). St. Theophylact of Ochrid (1126). St. Peter Mogila, metropolitan of Kiev (1646).
Readings:
2 Timothy 4:5-8; Mark 1:1-8.

Note:
Where there is more than one set of readings for the day, bold type shows the readings appointed by The Typikon to be used at the Divine Liturgy.

Fasting Guidelines:
f3 No animal products, oil or wine (sea foods such as squid, crab, roe and prawn are permitted)
f2 As f3 but wine and oil are permitted
f1 As f2 but fish also permitted cf Cheesefare: all foods, except meat products, permitted

A copy of this calendar, suitable for printing, is available here in Adobe Acrobat PDF format*.
For those with appropriate printing facilities a version is available here as an A5 booklet.
*If you need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF document you can get the latest version from here.

We wish to acknowledge the help given to us in compiling this monthly calendar from two sources:
Michael Purcell (of the Saint John (Maximovich) the Wonderworker Orthodox Church, Atlanta, GA.) for his very impressive software program Menologion.
Father Andrew Phillips whose web site Orthodox England, has, amongst its many jewels, a list of the Latin Saints of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome.
Thank you, both – and Many Years!