Feast of St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan
O COME you who love the festivals,
Come gather and sing the praises of the fair beauty of bishops,
The glory of the fathers,
The fountain of wonders and great protector of the faithful.
Let us all say: Rejoice, O guardian of the people of Myra,
Their head and honored counselor,
The pillar of the Church which cannot be shaken.
Rejoice, O light full of brightness
That makes the ends of the world shine with wonders.
Rejoice, O divine delight of the afflicted,
The fervent advocate of those who suffer from injustice.
And now, O all-blessed Nicholas,
Never cease praying to Christ our God
For those who honor the festival of your memory
With faith and with love.
Make ready, O cave, for the Mother-Lamb comes
Bearing Christ in her womb.
Receive Him, O manger, who by a word released the dwellers on earth from all lawlessness.
You shepherds abiding in the fields,
Bear witness to the awesome wonder.
You wise men from Persia,
Offer the king your gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
For the Lord has appeared from the Virgin Mother,
And she, bending over Him as His handmaiden,
Worshipped Him as He lay in her arms, saying:
“How were You sown in me as a seed?
How have You grown in me?
My Redeemer and my God!”
O unwedded Virgin, from where have you come?
Who has given you birth?
Who is your mother?
How can you carry your Creator in your arms?
How is your womb free from corruption?
O Most Holy One,
We see great and awesome mysteries upon earth fulfilled in you.
We adorn the cave as a house worthy of you.
We ask the heavens to send us a star.
For behold, the wise men proceed from East to West,
Desiring to see the salvation of mortal men
Shining in your arms like a pillar of fire.
~Vespers of Feast of St Nicholas