Aug 29: Beheading of the Honourable and Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John
Text from “The Divine Liturgy: An Anthology for Worship”; Pg. 891
Troparion (Tone 2): The just man is remembered with praises, but for you the Lord’s testimony suffices, O Forerunner, for you truly became more honourable than the prophets and were deemed worthy to baptize the One foretold. Then you suffered for the truth and joyfully announced to those in Hades that God appeared in the flesh taking away the sin of the world and offering us great mercy.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Kontakion (Tone 5): The Forerunner’s glorious beheading came to be a form of dispensation divine that he might proclaim to those in Hades the message of the coming of the Saviour. Let Horodias shed tears of lament for a lawless murder that was her request; for she loved a false and transitory age rather than God’s law and the age of life.
Prokimenon (Tone 7): The just man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him (Ps 63:11).
verse: Hear, O God, my voice, when I make my petition to You (Ps 63:2).
Epistle: (Act 13:25-32) (Feast): Brethren, In those days, John was finishing his work, he said, “What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet.”
‘My brothers, you descendants of Abraham’s family, and others who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. Because the residents of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize him or understand the words of the prophets that are read every sabbath, they fulfilled those words by condemning him. Even though they found no cause for a sentence of death, they asked Pilate to have him killed. When they had carried out everything that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead; and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are now his witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to our ancestors
Alleluia: The just man shall flourish like the palm tree, and he shall grow like the cedar in Lebanon (Ps 91:13).
verse: They who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God (Ps 91:14).
Gospel: (Mk 6:14-30) (Feast): At that time: King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, ‘John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.’ But others said, ‘It is Elijah.’ And others said, ‘It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.’ But when Herod heard of it, he said, ‘John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.’
For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’ And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.’ And he solemnly swore to her, ‘Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What should I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the baptizer.’ Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, ‘I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.’ The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb. The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.
Communion Verse: The just man shall be in everlasting remembrance; of evil hearsay he shall have no fear (Ps 111:6-7). Alleluia! (3x)