O let thy power, holy John, now loosen
Tongues which are fetter'd, cleanse our lips polluted,
That we thy servants all thy wondrous actions
May sound forth meetly.
Lo! a swift herald from the heav'ns descending,
Brings to thy father tiding of thy greatness,
Thy name revealing, and thy life's high story
Doubting in spirit of the heav'nly message,
Straightway his tongue the pow'r of speech forsaketh,
But on the birthday thou his voice restorest,
At thine appearing.
Thou, while yet hidden, in the womb still cradled,
Knewest thy Monarch, in his bridal chamber:
Whence the two mothers, through their children's merits
Glory to God the Father in the highest,
And to the Sole-begotten Son be given,
Praise, too, to Thee, O great co-equal Spirit,
One God, forever. Amen.
Lesson, from the Prophet Isaias 49:
Give ear, ye islands, and hearken, 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. 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; 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.
Gradual, from Jeremiah:
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. The Lord put forth His hand, and touched my mouth: and said to me.
Alleluia, alleluia. (Luke 1.76). Thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest; thou shalt go before the Lord to prepare His was. Alleluia.
Gospel. Luke 1. 57-68:
Elizabeth's full time of being delivered was come, and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and kinsfolks heard that the Lord had shewed 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 this 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 an 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.