Birth of Saint John the Baptist
From the womb of my mother the Lord hath called me by my name, and He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He hath protected me, and hath made me as a chosen arrow. Ps. It is good to give praise to the Lord, and to sing to Thy name, O Most High. Glory be to the Father.
O God, Who hast made this day honourable to us on account of the birth of blessed John, grant Thy people the grace of spiritual joys, and direct the minds of all the faithful in the way of eternal salvation. Through our Lord.
Isaias 49:1-3, 5-7
Give ear, ye islands, and harken, ye people from afar. The Lord hath called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother He hath been mindful of my name. Arid He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He hath protected me, and hath made me as a chosen arrow; in His quiver He hath hidden me. And He said to me: Thou art My servant Israel, for in thee will I glory. And now saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be His servant: Behold I have given thee to be the light of the Gentiles, that thou mayest be My salvation even to the farthest part of the earth. Kings shall see, and princes shall rise up, and adore for the Lord’s sake, and for the Holy One of Israel Who hath chosen thee.
Jeremias 1:5, 9
Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee. V. The Lord put forth His hand, and touched my mouth: and said to me.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest; thou shalt go before the Lord to prepare His ways. Alleluia.
Elizabeth’s full time of being delivered was come, and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had showed 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 that 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 a 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.
The just man shall flourish like the palmtree; he shall grow up like the cedar of Lebanon.
We heap Thine altars with gifts, O Lord, celebrating with fitting honour the nativity of him who heralded the coming of the Saviour, and pointed Him out when He had come, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son: Who liveth and reigneth.
Thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord, to prepare His ways.
May Thy Church, O God, be joyful at the birth of blessed John the Baptist: through whom she knew the Author of her regeneration, our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son: Who with Thee livest and reignest.