The heavens, their star.
The wise men, their gifts.
The shepherds, their wonder.
The earth, its cave.
The wilderness, the manger.
And we offer You a Virgin Mother.
O pre-eternal God, have mercy on us!
The Nativity of Our Lord, December 25, Vespers.
Christ is Born! Glorify Him! During the twelve days of Christmas, read any of the following Orthodox and classic Christian stories with your children. I hope your childen enjoy them!
1. Prepare O Bethlehem: The Feast of the Nativity by Niko Chocheli. Niko’s beautiful illustrations grace the pages of all his children's books. This one celebrates the hymns of the prefeast and feast of the Nativity of our Lord.
2. The Nativity of Our Lord, from the Twelve Great Feasts for Children by Mother Melania. Mother Melania’s lyrical style of writing is sure to captivate children of all ages. This is one of twelve little books in the series about the twelve great feasts in the Orthodox Church.
3. A Perfect Christmas by Dennis Eugene Engleman, illustrated by Niko Chocheli. This book restores Saint Nicholas in children's imaginations in the form of an Orthodox Russian folk tale.
4. The Miracle of Saint Nicholas by Gloria Whelan, illustrated by Judith Brown. A beautiful story about a Russian village and a boy, a babushka and Saint Nicholas.
5. The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado, with Jenna, Andrea, and Sara Lucado, illustrated by Liz Bonham. Max Lucado wrote this delightful book with the help of his three daughters to remind us that God has a special place for those who are different.
6. The Story of Mary, the Mother of God by Dorrie Papademetriou. Dorrie’s book is lovingly written and illustrated, inspired by her travels through Greece and Turkey, and helps us understand who Mary was and why God chose her to be “the bridge between heaven and earth.”
7. St. Nicholas the Wonderworker by Lily Parascheva Rowe, illustrated by Roland J. Ford. This book tells the story of St. Nicholas’ life for young children in a concise way.
8. Saint Nicholas and the Three Girls by Egle-Ekaterine Potamitis. This little book is part of the Paterikon for Kids series and tells the story about St. Nicholas’ generosity for which he is most known and loved.
9. The Nativity of Christ by Egle-Ekaterine Potamitis. This book tells the story of Christ’s birth with lovely illustrations.
10. The Gifts of the Magi by Egle-Ekaterine Potamitis. This little book tells us about the precious gifts of the three Magi and how they are preserved at a Monastery on the Holy Mount Athos in Greece to this very day.
11. The Story of the Vasilopita by Egle-Ekaterine Potamitis. This story tells about the origin of Saint Basil’s cake, a New year celebration by Orthodox Christians.
12. The Theophany of Our Lord by Sister Elayne (Mother Melania), illustrated by Bonnie Gillis. This book is part of the Twelve Great Feasts for Children and celebrates Theophany, the appearance of God, also known as Epiphany.
“When Thou, O Lord wast baptized in the Jordan,
The worship of the Trinity was made manifest!
For the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee,
And called Thee His beloved Son!
And the spirit, in the form of a dove,
Confirmed the truthfulness of His word.
O Christ our God, who hast revealed Thyself
And hast enlightened the world, Glory to Thee!
Troparian of the Feast of the Theophany of Our Lord.