“What shall we present unto Thee, O Christ,
For Thy coming to earth for us men?
Each of Thy creatures brings Thee a thank-offering:
The angels — singing; the heavens — a star;
The Wise Men — treasures; the shepherds devotion;
The earth — a cave; the desert — a manger;
But we offer Thee the Virgin-Mother. O Eternal God, have mercy upon us.”
—Orthodox Hymn (Stichera) of Patriarch Anatolios, Vespers of Christmas Eve