Bless the crown of the year

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Today is the first day of the ecclesiastical New Year.

The reading at Matins is Luke 1:39-49, 56, which includes the Song of Mary (above).

AND Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;

As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

At Vespers, the reading is from Isaiah 61:1-10, the reading which Jesus gave at the synagogue in Nazareth. (According to Orthodox tradition, September 1 was the day on which he delivered it.)

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An icon of Christ at the synagogue in Nazareth

An icon of Christ at the synagogue in Nazareth

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AND he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Luke 4:16-21.

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ONE with the Holy Spirit, O Word and Son without beginning, co-maker of all and co-creator of all things visible and invisible, bless the crown of the year, guarding in peace the multitudes of the Orthodox, at the prayers of the Mother of God and of all the Saints.

At Vespers, for September 1. Translation from Anastasis.

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