Sunday of the Fathers
The Sunday of the Fathers is the Sunday before the Nativity of the Lord (December 18-24). On this day the Church honors all those who were well-pleasing to God from all ages, from Adam to St Joseph the Betrothed of the Most Holy Theotokos, those who are mentioned in the genealogy of Luke 3:23-38. The holy prophets and prophetesses are also remembered on this day, especially the Prophet Daniel and the three holy youths. The previous Sunday, the Sunday of the Forefathers, the Church commemorated all the righteous of the Old Testament who awaited the coming of Christ, this day remembers all those in the Old Testament who were related to Christ by blood and those who spoke of his birth as a man. This Sunday is part of the Forefeast of the Nativity, which strictly speaking begins on December 20.
Troparion (Tone 2)
- Great are the accomplishments of faith,
- for the Three Holy Youths rejoiced in the flames as though at the waters of rest,
- and the prophet Daniel appeared,
- a shepherd to the lions as though they were sheep.
- So by their prayers, O Christ God, save our souls!
Kontakion (Tone 1) - For when the Sunday before the Nativity falls on December 20-24
- Rejoice, Bethlehem! Prepare yourself, O Ephratha!
- The Lamb is on her way to give birth to the Chief Shepherd she carries in her womb.
- The God-bearing forefathers will rejoice, beholding Him,
- and with the shepherds, they will glorify the Virgin nursing Him.
Kontakion (Tone 6) - For when the Sunday before the Nativity falls on December 18-19
- You did not worship the graven image,
- O thrice-blessed ones,
- but armed with the immaterial Essence of God,
- you were glorified in a trial by fire.
- From the midst of unbearable flames you called on God, crying:
- Hasten, O compassionate One!
- Speedily come to our aid,
- for You are merciful and able to do as You will.