Nativity Vigil

During the Vigil, we sing the Troparion and Kontakion of the feast with special hymns glorifying the Saviour's birth. There are also the special litanies of intercession and the solemn blessing of the five loaves of bread together with the wheat, wine, and oil. The faithful partake of the bread soaked in the wine and are also anointed with the oil. This part of the festal vigil, which is done on all great feasts, is called in Slavonic the litya and in Greek artoklasia, or the breaking of the bread.

The Troparion of the Feast:

"Thy 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 Thee, The Sun of Righteousness,
And to know Thee, the Orient from on high.
O Lord, glory to Thee!"

Kontakion of the Feast:

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!