Evening Prayer I
Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist
June 24

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One.
Have mercy on us (3x)

To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his career he said, ‘I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.’ - Acts 13:23-25

Lucernaria (anthem at candle lighting)
Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths.
Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths
He who is to come after me existed before me;
make straight his paths
Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths

Phos Hilaron
O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

Ut Queant Laxis (pdf)

Ut queant laxis resonare fibris
mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
solve polluti labiis reatum,
sancte Joannes.

Nuntius celso veniens Olympo,
te patri magnum fore nasciturum,
nomen, et vitae seriem gerendae,
ordine promit.

Ille promissi dubius superni
per didit promptae modulos loquelae;
sed reformasti genitus peremptae
organa vocis.

Laudibus cives celebrant superni
te, Deus simplex pariterque trine;
supplices ac nos veniam precamur:
parce redemptis.

Ventris obstruso recubans cubili,
senseras Regem thalamo manentem:
hinc parens, nati, meritis, uterque,
abdita pandit.

Sit decus Patri, genitaeque proli
et tibi, compare utriusque virtus,
Spiritus semper, Deus unus, omni
Temporis aevo. Amen.

Oh for your spirit, holy John to cleanse us
from all contentious and unholy speaking
that with lips chastened we may sing more fitly
your wondrous story
There by the altar at the hour of incense
God's great archangel came to Zechariah
your birth foretelling, and your name and calling
as Christ's forerunner.
Oh, may the power of your intercession,
all stony hardness from our heart expelling,
smooth the rough places and the crooked straighten
here in the desert.
Thus may our gracious Maker and Redeemer,
seeking a station for his hallowed footsteps,
find, when he comes here, temples unpolluted,
fit to receive him.
Praise to the Father, to the Sole-begotten,
and to the Spirit, with them both co-equal;
so we adore you, one and only Godhead,
through all the ages.  Amen.
Text: Holy Cross Monastery; Tune: Iste Confessor; Midi: Cyberhymnal

The Psalter

Ant. 1: Do not be afraid Zechariah, + your prayer has been heard;/ your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John.

    103    Benedic, anima mea
Bless the LORD, O my soul, *
     and all that is within me, bless his holy Name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, *
     and forget not all his benefits.
He forgives all your sins *
     and heals all your infirmities;
He redeems your life from the grave *
     and crowns you with mercy and loving-kindness;
He satisfies you with good things, *
     and your youth is renewed like an eagle's.
The LORD executes righteousness *
     and judgment for all who are oppressed.
He made his ways known to Moses *
     and his works to the children of Israel.

Ant. 1: Do not be afraid Zechariah, + your prayer has been heard;/ your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John.

Ant. 2: Your heart will thrill with joy + and many will be glad that he was born; / for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord.

The LORD is full of compassion and mercy, *
     slow to anger and of great kindness.
He will not always accuse us, *
     nor will he keep his anger for ever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, *
     nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, *
     so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west, *
     so far has he removed our sins from us.
As a father cares for his children, *
     so does the LORD care for those who fear him.
For he himself knows whereof we are made; *
     he remembers that we are but dust.
Our days are like the grass; *
     we flourish like a flower of the field;
When the wind goes over it, it is gone, *
     and its place shall know it no more.

Ant. 2:Your heart will thrill with joy + and many will be glad that he was born;/ for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord.

Ant. 3: From his very birth +he will be filled with the Holy Spirit / and he will bring back many Israelites to the Lord their God.

But the merciful goodness of the LORD endures for ever on those
                                who fear him, *
     and his righteousness on children's children;
On those who keep his covenant *
     and remember his commandments and do them.
The LORD has set his throne in heaven, *
     and his kingship has dominion over all.
Bless the LORD, you angels of his,
you mighty ones who do his bidding, *
     and hearken to the voice of his word.
Bless the LORD, all you his hosts, *
     you ministers of his who do his will.
Bless the LORD, all you works of his,
in all places of his dominion; *
     bless the LORD, O my soul.

Ant. 3: From his very birth +he will be filled with the Holy Spirit / and he will bring back many Israelites to the Lord their God.

FIRST READING           Ecclesiasticus 48:1-11
Then Elijah arose, a prophet like fire,
   and his word burned like a torch.
He brought a famine upon them,
   and by his zeal he made them few in number.
By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens,
   and also three times brought down fire.
How glorious you were, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds!
   Whose glory is equal to yours?
You raised a corpse from death
   and from Hades, by the word of the Most High.
You sent kings down to destruction,
   and famous men, from their sickbeds.
You heard rebuke at Sinai
   and judgements of vengeance at Horeb.
You anointed kings to inflict retribution,
   and prophets to succeed you.
You were taken up by a whirlwind of fire,
   in a chariot with horses of fire.
At the appointed time, it is written, you are destined
   to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury,
to turn the hearts of parents to their children,
   and to restore the tribes of Jacob.
Happy are those who saw you
   and were adorned with your love!
   For we also shall surely live.

CANTICLE           Benedictus es, Domine

Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; *
you are worthy of praise; glory to you.

Glory to you for the radiance of your holy Name; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; *
on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.

Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

Glory to you, beholding the depths; *
in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.

Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

SECOND READING          Luke 1:5-23
In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah.
His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord.
But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.
Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty,
he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense.
Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside.
Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.
When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him.
But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard.
Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.
You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,
for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink;
even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.
He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.
With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children,
and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’
Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.’
The angel replied, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.’

Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary.
When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak.
When his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

CANTICLE          Magnificat

Antiphon: Zechariah entered the temple of the Lord, and the angel Gabriel appeared to him, standing on the right of the altar of incense.

My soul magnifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

The promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Antiphon: Zechariah entered the temple of the Lord, and the angel Gabriel appeared to him, standing on the right of the altar of incense.

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
 hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
 thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
 and forgive us our trespasses
 as we forgive those that trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
 but deliver us from evil.

O Prophet and Forerunner of the presence of Christ, we who fervently honor you cannot worthily praise you. For by your revered and glorious birth the barrenness of your mother and the muteness of your father were unbound, and the incarnation of the Son of God is proclaimed to the world.


In the power of the Spirit and in union with Christ, let us pray to the Father, saying

                       Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.

Lord God, who promised Zechariah a son filled with the spirit and power of Elijah, to prepare a people fit for the Lord
  - we pray for reconciliation between all people. (R.)

Lord God, when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting the baby leapt in her womb
 -  may we bless among women she who believed your promise, and proclaim with joy the good news of your Christ. (R.)

Lord God, at John's birth Zechariah proclaimed he would be the prophet of the Most High
  - we pray for all who preach the Good News. (R.)

Lord God, when your Son came to the Jordan and was baptized by John he saw the heavens open and the Spirit descending as a dove
  - may we who are baptized into your Church faithfully proclaim in the world the words of your beloved Son. (R.)

Lord God, John proclaimed your Son as 'the Lamb of God' and John's disciples followed Jesus
  - help us to follow him too, and by our words and deeds to bring our families and friends closer to you. (R.)

Lord God, who sent John to witness to the light, to be the voice of one crying in the wilderness and to prepare the way of the Lord
  - comfort your people and bring your healing to the sick and needy, to the broken-hearted and the oppressed, to prisoners and captives. (R.)

Lord God, John preached the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins and suffered imprisonment and death for proclaiming your Law
  - we pray with and for all who have died in your service, joining our prayers with John the Baptist, and all the saints, and grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom. (R.)

In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us.
-Shine, Lord, on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death and guide our feet into the way of peace.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.


She that once was barren doth today bring forth Christ's Forerunner, John, the culmination and the crown of all the Prophets. For when he, in River Jordan, laid his hand on Him Whom the Prophets preached aforetime, he was revealed as God the Word's fore-chosen Prophet, His mighty preacher, and His Forerunner in grace

Almighty God, by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his teaching and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and, following his example, constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake.

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that your family may walk in the way of salvation
and, attentive to what Saint John the Precursor urged,
may come safely to the One he foretold,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
O God, you raised up the blessed John the Baptist to make ready a perfect people for Christ the Lord.
Give your people the grace of spiritual joy
 and guide the minds of all the faithful
 onto the path of salvation and peace.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
 who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 God for ever and ever.


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