Make Ready, O Bethlehem - Orthodox Hymns of Christmas


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This recording does something other Christmas recordings have not attempted. It presents Orthodox hymnography from the liturgical year that foreshadows and prepares the Church
for the incarnation of Christ. Hymnography for Christmas does not first appear on the feast itself (December 25), but, in many ways, on Annunciation (March 25) when the Church proclaims in the festal troparion, “Today is the beginning of our salvation.”

Then, beginning with the feast of St. Andrew (November 30), the feast of St. Nicholas (December 6), and the prefestal days before Christmas, the services in the Church are sprinkled with hymns set to special melodies which point towards Christ’s coming.

Quite possibly, what is most interesting about this disc is that, in most cases, this is the first time many of the prefestal hymns have been recorded in English according their special melody.

In a very real way, this recording takes the listener on a liturgical journey from the Annunciation to Christmas by way of the Church’s hymnography.