The Sunday after Christmas-Day.
I WILL lift up mine eyes unto the hills : from whence cometh my help.
2. My help cometh even from the Lord : who hath made heaven and earth.
3. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved : and he that keepeth thee will not sleep.
4. Behold, he that keepeth Israel : shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5. The Lord himself is thy keeper : the Lord is thy defence upon thy right hand.
6. So that the sun shall not burn thee by day : neither the moon by night.
7. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil : yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.
8. The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in: from this time forth for evermore.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
[Then shall follow the Collect of the Nativity, which shall be said continually unto New-year’s Eve.]
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 9.2-7
Psalter: Morning-2, 8; Evening-89
Epistle Reading: Galatians 4.1-7
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 1.18-25
St. Irenaeus: “On this account, therefore, the Lord Himself, who is Emmanuel from the Virgin, is the sign of our salvation, since it was the Lord Himself who saved them, because they could not be saved by their own instrumentality; and, therefore, when Paul sets forth human infirmity, he says: “For I know that there dwelleth in my flesh no good thing,” showing that the “good thing” of our salvation is not from us, but from God. And again: “Wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Then he introduces the Deliverer, [saying,] “The grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.” And Isaiah declares this also, [when he says:] “Be ye strengthened, ye hands that hang down, and ye feeble knees; be ye encouraged, ye feeble-minded; be comforted, fear not: behold, our God has given judgment with retribution, and shall recompense: He will come Himself, and will save us.” Here we see, that not by ourselves, but by the help of God, we must be saved” (“Against Heretics,” III.20.3).