Feast of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
Troparion, Tone 2.
The memory of the just is celebrated with hymns of praise, but the Lord’s testimony is sufficient for thee, O Forerunner; for thou wast shown to be truly more venerable than the prophets, since thou wast granted to baptize in the river Him Whom they proclaimed, and then, after thou hadst joyfully suffered for the truth, thou didst announce to those in Hades the good tidings that God hath appeared in the flesh, taking away the sins of the world and granting us great mercy.
Glory. Now and ever.
Kontakion, Tone 4.
Herod wrought iniquity, O Forerunner, when he rendered to a woman thine honourable head, which we festively venerate, while Herodias doth weep and mourn with Herod and the dancing girl.
Prokeimenon, Tone 7.
Psalm 63:11, 2.
The just shall rejoice in the Lord: and shall hope in Him.
Verse: Hear, O God, my prayer: when I make supplication to Thee.
The Lesson of the Acts of the Holy Apostles.
Acts §33 (13:25-32).
In those days: When John was fulfilling his course, he said: I am not He, Whom you think me to be: but behold, there cometh One after me, Whose shoes of His feet I am not worthy to loose. Men, brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you fear God, to you the word of this salvation is sent. For they that inhabited Jerusalem, and the rulers thereof, not knowing Him, nor the voices of the prophets, which are read every sabbath, judging Him have fulfilled them. And finding no cause of death in Him, they desired of Pilate, that they might kill Him. And when they had fulfilled all things that were written of Him, taking Him down from the tree, they laid Him in a sepulchre. But God raised Him up from the dead the third day: Who was seen for many days, by them who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who to this present are His witnesses to the people. And we declare unto you, that the promise which was made to our fathers, this same God hath fulfilled to our children, raising up Jesus.
Alleluia, Tone 4.
Psalm 91:13, 14.
Verse 1: The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus. Alleluia.
Verse 2: They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of the house of our God. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
The Lesson of the Holy Gospel according to Saint Mark.
Saint Mark §24 (6:14-30).
At that time: Hing Herod heard of Jesus, (for His name was made manifest,) and he said: John the Baptist is risen again from the dead, and therefore mighty works shew forth themselves in Him. And others said: It is Elias. But others said: It is a prophet, as one of the prophets. Which Herod hearing, said: John whom I beheaded, he is risen again from the dead. For Herod himself had sent and apprehended John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias the wife of Philip his brother, because he had married her. For John said to Herod: It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife. Now Herodias laid snares for him: and was desirous to put him to death, and could not. For Herod feared John, knowing him to be a just and holy man: and kept him, and when he heard him, did many things: and he heard him willingly. And when a convenient day was come, Herod made a supper for his birthday, for the princes, and tribunes, and chief men of Galilee. And when the daughter of the same Herodias had come in, and had danced, and pleased Herod, and them that were at table with him, the king said to the damsel: Ask of me what thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he swore to her: Whatsoever thou shalt ask I will give thee, though it be the half of my kingdom. Who when she was gone out, said to her mother, What shall I ask? But she said: The head of John the Baptist. And when she was come in immediately with haste to the king, she asked, saying: I will that forthwith thou give me in a dish, the head of John the Baptist. And the king was struck sad. Yet because of his oath, and because of them that were with him at table, he would not displease her: but sending an executioner, he commanded that his head should be brought in a dish. And he beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a dish: and gave it to the damsel, and the damsel gave it to her mother. Which his disciples hearing came, and took his body, and laid it in a tomb. And the apostles coming together unto Jesus, related to Him all things that they had done and taught.
The just shall be in everlasting remembrance: he shall not fear the evil hearing. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.