Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
Luke 1:13, 15, 14
Fear not, Zachary; thy prayer is heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John; and he shall be great before the Lord, and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb; and many shall rejoice at his birth. Ps. In Thy strength, O Lord, the king shall joy; and in Thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly. Glory be to the Father.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that Thy household may walk in the way of salvation and, by following the exhortations of blessed John the Precursor, may safely come unto Him Whom he foretold, even Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee liveth and reigneth
In those days the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 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, and made thee a prophet unto the nations. And I said, Ah, ah, ah, Lord God; behold I can not speak; for I am a child. And the Lord said to me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee; and whatever I shall command thee, thou shalt speak. Be not afraid at their presence; for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. And the Lord put forth His hand, and touched my mouth: and the Lord said to me, Behold I have given My words in thy mouth: lo, I have set thee this day over the nations, and over kingdoms, to root up, and to pull down, and to waste, and to destroy, and to build, and to plant; saith the Lord almighty.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came to bear witness of the light, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people.
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 func- tion, in the order of his course, before God, according to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer in- cense, 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 at his na- tivity. 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 Isræl 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 to the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just. to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people.
Thou hast crowned him with glory and honour, and hast set him over the works of Thy hands, O Lord.
Sanctify, O Lord, the gifts we offer, and, by the intercession of blessed John the Baptist, cleanse us through them from the stains of our sins. Through our Lord.
His glory is great in Thy Salvation; glory and great beauty shalt Thou lay upon him, O Lord.
May the glorious intercession of blessed John the Baptist go with us, O Lord, and may he obtain for us the mercy of Him Whose coming he foretold, even Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee liveth and reigneth.