Nativity of the Theotokos
The Holy Virgin and Theotokos Mary was born to elderly and previously barren parents by the names of Joachim and Anna, in answer to their prayers. Orthodox Christians do not hold to the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, in which it is supposed that Mary was preserved from the ancestral sin that befalls us all as descendents of Adam and Eve, in anticipation of her giving birth to the sinless Christ. The Orthodox believe that Mary indeed received the ancestral sin, having been conceived in the normal way of humanity, and thus needed salvation like all mankind. Orthodox thought does vary on whether Mary actually ever sinned, though there is general agreement that she was cleansed from sin at the Annunciation.
- Your Nativity, O Virgin,
- Has proclaimed joy to the whole universe!
- The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God,
- Has shone from You, O Theotokos!
- By annulling the curse,
- He bestowed a blessing.
- By destroying death, He has granted us eternal Life.
Kontakion (Tone 4)
- By Your Nativity, O Most Pure Virgin,
- Joachim and Anna are freed from barrenness;
- Adam and Eve, from the corruption of death.
- And we, your people, freed from the guilt of sin, celebrate and sing to you:
- The barren woman gives birth to the Theotokos, the nourisher of our life!