Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Troparion, Tone 4.
O Prophet and Forerunner of the coming of Christ, we who lovingly honour thee know not how to extol thee worthily; for thy mother’s barrenness and thy father’s muteness were ended by thy glorious and honourable birth; and the Incarnation of the Son of God is proclaimed to the world.
Glory. Now and ever.
Kontakion, Tone 3.
Today a barren woman giveth birth to the Forerunner of Christ; and he is the culmination of all prophecy; for when in the River Jordan he laid his hand upon Him Whom the prophets had proclaimed, he showed himself to be the Prophet and Preacher of God the Word and also His Forerunner.
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 Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Romans.
Romans §112 (13:11b-14:4).
Brethren: Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy: but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences. Now him that is weak in faith, take unto you: not in disputes about thoughts. For one believeth that he may eat all things: but he that is weak, let him eat herbs. Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not: and he that eateth not, let him not judge him that eateth. For God hath taken him to Him. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own lord he standeth or falleth. And he shall stand: for God is able to make him stand.
Alleluia, Tone 1.
Saint Luke 1:68, 76.
Verse 1: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: because He hath visited and wrought the redemption of His people. Alleluia.
Verse 2: And thou, child: shalt be called the prophet of the Most High. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
The Lesson of the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke.
Saint Luke §1 (1:1-25, 57-68, 76, 80).
Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a narration of the things that have been accomplished among us; according as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word: it seemed good to me also, having diligently attained to all things from the beginning, to write to thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mayest know the verity of those words in which thou hast been instructed. There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zachary, of the course of Abia; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth. And they were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame. And they had no son, for that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well advanced in years. And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order of his course before God, according to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer incense, going into the temple of the Lord. And all the multitude of the people was praying without, at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zachary seeing him, was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him: “Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John: and thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his nativity. For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias; that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people.” And Zachary said to the angel: “Whereby shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answering, said to him: “I am Gabriel, who stand before God: and am sent to speak to thee, and to bring thee these good tidings. And behold, thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be able to speak until the day wherein these things shall come to pass, because thou hast not believed my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time.” And the people were waiting for Zachary; and they wondered that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak to them: and they understood that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he made signs to them, and remained dumb. And it came to pass, after the days of his office were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days, Elizabeth his wife conceived, and hid herself five months, saying: “Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he hath had regard to take away my reproach among men.” Now Elizabeth’s full time of being delivered was come, and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and kinsfolks heard that the Lord had shewed his great mercy towards her, and they congratulated with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they called him by his father’s name Zachary. And his mother answering, said: “Not so; but he shall be called John.” And they said to her: “There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And demanding a writing table, he wrote, saying: “John is his name.” And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came upon all their neighbours; and all these things were noised abroad over all the hill country of Judea. And all they that had heard them laid them up in their heart, saying: “What an one, think ye, shall this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him.” And Zachary his father was filled with the Holy Ghost; and he prophesied, saying: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; because He hath visited and wrought the redemption of His people: and hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David His servant: And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Most High: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways.” And the child grew, and was strengthened in spirit; and was in the deserts until the day of his manifestation to Israel.
In the place of “It is truly meet.”
Magnify, O my soul, the venerable nativity of John, the Baptist and Precursor of Christ!
Irmos: In thee, O all-pure Virgin, is the hidden and ineffable mystery of God made manifest and perfect; for, in His loving-kindness, God took flesh of thee. Wherefore, we magnify thee as the Theotokos.
The just shall be in everlasting remembrance: he shall not fear the evil hearing. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.