Nativity of the Theotokos - 8th of September

The Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos is the first of the Great Feasts celebrated in the year of the Church.

It commemorates the birth of the Virgin Mary and is celebrated on the 8th of September.

According to Church tradition the Virgin Mary's parents were Joachim and Anna who were childless, a source of great grief to them but they retained their faith in God despite their prayers to God remaining unanswered.

One day Joachim went to the Temple to make an offering but was turned away by the High Priest who rebuked him for his lack of children.

Joachim feeling shame went to to live amongst the shepherds and their sheep in the hills away from Jerusalem.

As he was praying one day an angel appeared to him promising him a daughter whose name would be known throughout the ages. Simultaneously an angel appeared to Anna, at home in Jerusalem, who gave her the same message. Joachim returned to his wife in Jerusalem and In due course Mary was born.

Anna promised to dedicate her child to God.

In time Mary became the  Mother of Our  Lord  Jesus  Christ and  is given the title Theotokos or God Bearer in recognition of the Divinity of Christ.

This feast is celebrated with the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom

Hymns of the Feast

Apolytikion (Fourth Tone)


Your birth, O Theotokos, brought joy to the whole world, for from you dawned the sun of righteousness, Christ our God. Freeing us from the curse, He gave us His blessings. Abolishing death, He granted us eternal life.


Kontakion (Fourth Tone)

In your holy birth, Immaculate One, Joachim and Anna were rid of the shame of childlessness; Adam and Eve of the corruption of death. And so your people, free of the guilt of their sins, celebrate crying: "The barren one gives birth to the Theotokos, who nourishes our life."

Homily of the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos by St. Demetrius, Metropolitan of Rostov
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