Royal Hours – A Proclamation of the Nativity of Christ

With its exquisite and divinely-inspired liturgies, the Holy Church tenderly and mystically ushers us into the grand mystery of the Incarnation of the Son and Word of God, the anticipation of the nations, the longing of human hearts.

‘God shall come from Teman, and the Holy One from the mount of shaded leafy trees. His glory covered the heavens and the earth was full of His praise. His brightness shall be as the light; rays are in His hands, wherein His strength is hidden.’

In the spirit of these Old Testament prophecies and their New Testament fulfillments, majestically interwoven with festive hymnody, this morning the Holy Monastery of Bigorski, during the Christmas Royal Hours, glorified and honored the One Who comes to be born in Bethlehem of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, to ‘raise up the previously fallen image.’

The Royal Hours before the Nativity of Christ are among the most beautiful services of the Orthodox Church, rich with spiritual depth and mysticism. Hence, our monastic brotherhood, by the blessing of our Elder, His Grace Bishop Partenij of Antaniski, performs them with particular love and dedication. Gathered in prayer and thanksgiving around the Elder, the monks and the attending faithful prepare with due reverence for the coming of the King of kings, celebrating God’s love and mercy towards humanity. These Royal Hours, these divine moments, not only illuminate the historical truth of the Nativity of Christ but also reveal the eternal truth of Christ’s love, bestowed upon all people. They serve as an invitation for every believer to experience the Nativity of Christ not as a distant historical event, but as a living reality, renewed each year and every day in the hearts and souls of those who love and aspire towards the supreme Goodness.

In the spirit of pre-festive joy, a special place was held by the youngest from the region, who, through singing the Kalanda, delighted our beloved Elder and Bishop, Mr. Partenij, and announced to us all the all-radiant Nativity of Christ. The Elder warmly received them in his office with great joy and gifted them Christmas packages.

Today is born of the Virgin He Who holds all creation in His hand; in swaddling clothes, as one incarnate, is wrapped He Who is untouchable by nature; in a manger lies He Who in the beginning with His word established the heavens; from breasts He is nourished with milk, He Who in the wilderness gave manna to the people; the Bridegroom of the Church calls the Magi; their gifts are accepted by the Son of the Virgin. We worship Your Nativity, O Christ; we worship Your Nativity, O Christ; we worship Your Nativity, O Christ, show us also Your divine Theophanies!