December 2018

FROM THE FATHERS

“IN this feast [the Nativity] the Epiphany, holy Pascha, the Ascension and Pentecost have their beginning and their purpose. For if Christ hadn’t been born according to the flesh, he wouldn’t have been baptized, which is Epiphany. He wouldn’t have been crucified, which is Pascha. He wouldn’t have sent the Spirit, which is Pentecost. So from this event, as from some spring, different rivers flow – these feasts of ours are born. But not only on this account would it be right to give precedence to this day, but also because what happened on it is much more awe-inspiring than all other days. I say this because the fact that Christ died after becoming human was the consequence of that: even if he didn’t commit sin, still he assumed a mortal body. And that too was an amazing fact: that, although God, he was willing to become human and to condescend to take so much on himself that not even the imagination can embrace. It’s this that is most awe-inspiring, and completely perplexing. Even Paul said in amazement: “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our piety” (1 Tim. 3:16). How great? “God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16). And again he says elsewhere: “For surely it’s not with angels that God is concerned, but with the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect” (Heb. 2:16-17). On this account especially I embrace and love this day, and put my ardent love on show to make you share in my affection for it. On this account I beg and entreat all of you to be present with much zeal and enthusiasm, each having vacated your own house, so that we may see our Master lying in the manger, dressed in swaddling-clothes – that awe-inspiring and miraculous sight”

St. John Chrysostom+ A.D. 407

“YOU will not see anyone who is really striving after his advancement who is not given to spiritual reading. And as to him who neglects it, the fact will soon be observed by his progress.”

St. Athanasius the Great + A.D. 373

“FOR to despise the present age, not to love transitory things, unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility to God and our neighbor, to preserve patience against offered insults and, with patience guarded, to repel the pain of malice from the heart, to give one’s property to the poor, not to covet that of others, to esteem the friend in God, on God’s account to love even those who are hostile, to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor, not to exult in the death of one who is an enemy, this is the new creature whom the Master of the nations seeks with watchful eye amid the other disciples, saying: ‘If, then, any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new’.”

St. Gregory Dialogos + A.D. 604

Fasting Guidelines:
On days designated strict fast we abstain from dairy products, meat, fish, oil and wine.
Some seafoods, e.g. squid, crab, roe and prawn, are permitted.

Readings in bold type are those appointed by the Typikon for use at the Liturgy

Saturday 1st December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
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 and Ireland: St. Grwst of Llanrwst (7th C)
Readings:
Galatians 5:22-6:2; Luke 12:32-40

Sunday 2nd December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
Tone 2 : Eothinon 5
27th after Pentecost : 14th of Luke
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:
Ephesians 6:10-17; Luke 18:35-43

Monday 3rd December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
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 and 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:
2 Timothy 2:20-26; Luke 20:27-44

Tuesday 4th December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
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:
2 Timothy 3:16-4:4; Luke 21:12-19
For the Commemoration: Galatians 3:23-4:5; Mark 5:24-34

Wednesday 5th December 2018
Nativity Fast: wine and oil allowed
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 and Ireland: St. Cawrdaf, monk and disciple of St. Illtyd (5th C). St. Justinian, hermit of Ramsey (560).
Readings:
2 Timothy 4:9-22; Luke 21:5-8,10-11,20-24
For the Commemoration: Galatians 5:22-6:2; Matthew 11:27-30

Thursday 6th December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
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 and Ireland: SS Auxilius, Isserninus and Secundinus, workers with St. Patrick (5th C).
Readings:
Titus 1:5-14; Luke 21:28-33
For the Commemoration: Hebrews 13:17-21; Luke 6:17-23

Friday 7th December 2018
Nativity Fast: strict 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 and Ireland: St. Buithe, missionary (521). St. Diuma, bishop and missionary (658).
Readings:
Titus 1:15-2:10; Luke 21:37-22:8

Saturday 8th December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
Forefeast of the Conception of the Theotokos
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 and Ireland: St. Gunthild of Wimborne (748).
Readings:
Ephesians 1:16-23; Luke 13:18-29

Sunday 9th December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
Tone 3 : Eothinon 6
28th after Pentecost : 10th of Luke
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 and Ireland: St. Budoc (7th C). St. Ethelgifu, abbess of Shaftesbury (896). St. Wolfeius, hermit of St. Benet Hulme, Norfolk (1000).
Readings:
Colossians 1:12-18; Luke 13:10-17
For the Commemoration: Galatians 4:22-27; Luke 8:16-21

Monday 10th December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
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:
Hebrews 3:5-11,17-19; Mark 8:11-21

Tuesday 11th December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
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 and Ireland: St. Cian the Hermit (6th C). St. Peris of Llanberis (6th C).
Readings:
Hebrews 4:1-13; Mark 8:22-26

Wednesday 12th December 2018
Nativity Fast: wine and oil allowed
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 and 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:
Hebrews 5:11-6:8; Mark 8:30-34
For the Commemoration: Ephesians 5:8-19; John 10:9-16

Thursday 13th December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
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 and Ireland: St. Edburgh of Lyminge, virgin (7th C). St. Edburgh, abbess of Minster-in-Thanet (751)
Readings:
Hebrews 7:1-6; Mark 9:10-15

Friday 14th December 2018
Nativity Fast: strict 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 and Ireland: St. Hygbald, abbot of Hibaldstow (7th C). SS. Fingar and Phiala, and 770 other martyr companions (5th C)
Readings:
Hebrews 7:18-25; Mark 9:33-41

Saturday 15th December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
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 and Ireland: Offa, King of Essex, monk (ca. 709). St. Florentius, abbot of Bangor (7th C)
Readings:
Ephesians 2:11-13; Luke 14:1-11
For the Commemoration: 2 Timothy 1:8-18; Mark 2:23-3:5

Sunday 16th December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
Tone 4 : Eothinon 7
29th after Pentecost : 11th of Luke Sunday of the Holy and Righteous Ancestors of the Lord
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 and Ireland: St. Beoc of Lough Derg (5th C)
Readings:
Colossians 3:4-11; Luke 14:16-24; Matthew 22:14

Monday 17th December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
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 and Ireland: St. Tydecho (6th C). St. Briach, disciple of St. Tudwal (6th C)
Readings:
Hebrews 8:7-13; Mark 9:42-10:1

Tuesday 18th December 2018
Nativity Fast: fish, wine and oil allowed
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 and 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 9:8-23; Mark 10:2-12

Wednesday 19th December 2018
Nativity Fast: strict 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 and Ireland: St. Manirus, bishop and Apostle of the north of Scotland
Readings:
Hebrews 10:1-18; Mark 10:11-16

Thursday 20th December 2018
Nativity Fast: wine and oil allowed
Forefeast of The Nativity of Christ
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 and Ireland: St. Urscinus, disciple of St. Columbanus and abbot of St. Ursanne (625)
Readings:
Hebrews 10:35-11:7; Mark 10:17-27

Friday 21st December 2018
Nativity Fast: strict fast
Forefeast of The Nativity of Christ
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 and Ireland: St. Bernwald of Bampton (8th C)
Readings:
Hebrews 11:8-16; Mark 10:24-32

Saturday 22nd December 2018
Nativity Fast: wine and oil allowed
Saturday before the Nativity of Our Lord
Forefeast of The Nativity of Christ
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:
Galatians 3:8-12; Luke 13:18-29

Sunday 23rd December 2018
Nativity Fast: wine and oil allowed
Tone 5 : Eothinon 8
Sunday before the Nativity of Our Lord; Sunday of the Holy and Righteous Ones of the Old Covenant
Forefeast of The Nativity of Christ
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 and Ireland: St. Frithebert, bishop of Hexham (766). St. Mazota of Abernethy (8th C)
Readings:
Hebrews 11:9-10,32-40; Matthew 1:1-25

Monday 24th December 2018
Nativity Fast: strict fast
Liturgy of St Basil
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 and Ireland: St. Caran, missionary (7th C)
Readings:
Hebrews 11:17-31; Mark 10:46-52

Tuesday 25th December 2018
THE NATIVITY ACCORDING TO THE FLESH OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST

Christ is born, glorify Him. Christ is come from heaven, receive Him. Christ is on earth, be ye elevated. Sing to the Lord, all the earth; and ye nations, praise Him with joy; for He hath been glorified. (katavaia of Ode 1, canon of the Nativity)

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 and Ireland: St. Alburgh of Wilton, nun (810)
Readings:
Hebrews 11:17-31; Mark 10:46-52
For the Commemoration: Galatians 4:4-7; Matthew 2:1-12

Wednesday 26th December 2018
Synaxis of Our Most Holy Lady, the Holy Theotokos and Ever-virgin, Mary
Afterfeast of The Nativity of Christ
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 and Ireland: St. Tathai of Glamorgan (6th C). St. Maethlu of Anglesey (6th C)
Readings:
James 1:1-18; Mark 11:22-26
For the Commemoration: Hebrews 2:11-18; Matthew 2:13-23

Thursday 27th December 2018
Holy Protomartyr and Protodeacon Stephen (34)
Afterfeast of The Nativity of Christ
St. Theodore the Confessor, archbishop of Constantinople (686). St. Theodore Graptus [‘the branded’], Confessor and brother of Theophanes the Hymnographer (840).
Readings:
James 1:19-27; Mark 11:27-33
For the Commemoration: Acts 6:8-7:5,57-60; Matthew 21:33-42

Friday 28th December 2018
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:
James 2:1-13; Mark 12:1-12

Saturday 29th December 2018
Saturday after the Nativity of Our Lord
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:
1 Timothy 6:11-16; Matthew 12:15-21

Sunday 30th December 2018
Tone 6 : Eothinon 9
Sunday After the Nativity 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 and Ireland: St. Egwin, bishop of Worcester and founder of Evesham Abbey (717)
Readings:
Galatians 1:11-19; Matthew 2:13-23

Monday 31st December 2018
Leavetaking 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:
James 2:14-26; Mark 12:13-17

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 the lists of commemorations 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!