Text from “The Divine Liturgy: An Anthology for Worship”; Pg. 845
Troparion (Tone 4): O Prophet and forerunner of the coming of Christ,* we, who lovingly honour you are at a loss to praise you worthily;* for your mother’s barrenness and your father’s silence* were both ended by your honoured and glorious birth,* and the incarnation of the Son of God* is preached to the whole world.
+Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Kontakion (Tone 3): She who once was barren gives birth today to the Forerunner of Christ,* who will fulfill every prophecy.* In the Jordan he placed his hand upon the One Whom the prophets foretold* and thus was shown to be the prophet, the herald,* and the Forerunner of the Word of God.
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 63:1).
Epistle: (Romans 13:11-14:4): Brethren, salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
Alleluia (Tone 1): Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
verse: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited His people and redemmed them (Lk 1:68).
verse: And you, O child, will be called the prophet of the Most High. (Lk 1:76).
Gospel: (Luke 1:1-25, 57-68, 76, 80): Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed. 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. After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, ‘This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favourably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.’ Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, ‘No; he is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘None of your relatives has this name.’ Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their neighbours, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, ‘What then will this child become?’ For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him. Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favourably on his people and redeemed them. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.
Instead of “It is truly…”: O my soul, magnify the precious birth of Christ’s baptist and forerunner John.
Irmos (Tone 4): Words cannot express the hidden, divine, ineffable mystery that is clearly fulfilled in you, Virgin immaculate, for because of His loving mercy God became flesh of you. And therefore as Mother of God, we magnify you.
Communion Verse: The just man shall be in everlasting remembrance; of evil hearsay he shall have no fear (Ps 111:6-7). Alleluia! (3x)
Great Vespers (Royaldoors.net):
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