Epistle Reading: Hebrews 11:9-10,17-23,32-40
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise as in a foreign
country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the
for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose
builder and maker is God.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and
he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called,"
accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the
dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to
By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons
of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the
departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months
by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were
not afraid of the king's command.
And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to
tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel
and the prophets:
who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness,
obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the
sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned
to flight the armies of the aliens.
Women received their dead raised to life again. And others
were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better
Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and
of chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were
slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins,
being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts
and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
And all these, having obtained a good testimony through
faith, did not receive the promise,
God having provided something better for us, that they
should not be made perfect apart from us.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 1:1-25
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David,
the Son of Abraham:
Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah
and his brothers.
Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and
Hezron begot Ram.
Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon
Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed
and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon
by her who had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah
Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram
Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot
Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot
Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they
were carried away to Babylon.
And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot
Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel.
Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim
Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud.
Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan
And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born
Jesus who is called Christ.
So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen
generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen
generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His
mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was
found with child of the Holy Spirit.
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting
to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of
the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not
be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her
is of the Holy Spirit.
"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His
name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."
Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was
spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and
they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."
Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of
the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,
and did not know her till she had brought forth her
firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.
Epistle Reading: Hebrews 1:1-12
God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time
past to the fathers by the prophets.
has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has
appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
who being the brightness of His glory and the express image
of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He
had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty
having become so much better than the angels, as He has by
inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son,
today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, and He
shall be to Me a Son"?
But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He
says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him."
And of the angels He says: "Who makes His angels spirits and
His ministers a flame of fire."
But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and
ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore
God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your
And: "You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the
earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands;
They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old
like a garment;
Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed.
But You are the same, and Your years will not fail."
Gospel Reading: Luke 2:1-20
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from
Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of
Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem,
because he was of the house and lineage of David,
to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with
So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed
for her to be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in
swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for
them in the inn.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the
fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the
glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I
bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
"For there is born to you this day in the city of David a
Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
"And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe
wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the
heavenly host praising God and saying:
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven,
that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see
this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."
And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the
Babe lying in a manger.
Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying
which was told them concerning this Child.
And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were
told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for
all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Saints and Feasts
Eugenia the Righteous Nun-martyr of Rome; Eve of the Nativity of Christ