Next in the series, I plan to write briefly about the major feasts of Mary in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. Many of the main ones are common to both traditions (which is hardly surprising since they were mostly one tradition for a thousand years). The Roman Catholic Church today has many more Marian feasts than Orthodoxy. I’m not familiar with all the Roman Catholic feasts, so I won’t even try to write about each and every one, but I will try to cover the major ones.
This feast is the first major feast of the traditional Church year on September 8th on both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic calendar. (I won’t discuss differences between the Gregorian and the Julian calendars in this series.) In the Catholic Church, this feast is called the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The feast celebrates the birth of Mary to her aged and previously barren parents, Joachim and Anna.
Here’s a short Orthodox hymn for this feast.
Your Nativity, O Virgin,
Has proclaimed joy to the whole universe!
The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God,
Has shone from You, O Theotokos!
By annulling the curse, He bestowed a blessing.
By destroying death, He has granted us eternal Life.
And a recording of the above troparion as well as some other hymns for this feast.