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Hieratikon

Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Menaion - June 24

The Birth of the Holy Forerunner

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LITURGY OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

Unless otherwise indicated, the texts of the prayers and hymns of the Divine Liturgy are from: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (© 2016), used with permission from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. This text was produced by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and approved by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Antiphon I. Mode 2.

Verse 1: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and everything within me, bless His holy name. [SAAS]

Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, Savior, save us. [GOA]

Verse 2: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His rewards. [SAAS]

Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, Savior, save us.

Verse 3: The Lord prepared His throne in heaven, and His Kingdom rules over all. [SAAS]

Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, Savior, save us.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, Savior, save us.

   

Antiphon II. Mode 2.

Verse 1: Praise the Lord, O my soul! I shall praise the Lord while I live; I shall sing to my God as long as I exist. [SAAS]

Save us, O Son of God, Who are wondrous in Your saints. We sing to You, Alleluia. [GOA]

Verse 2: Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob; his hope is in the Lord his God. [SAAS]

Save us, O Son of God, Who are wondrous in Your saints. We sing to You, Alleluia.

Verse 3: The Lord shall reign forever; your God, O Zion, to all generations. [SAAS]

Save us, O Son of God, Who are wondrous in Your saints. We sing to You, Alleluia.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Only begotten Son and Logos of God, being immortal, You condescended for our salvation to take flesh from the holy Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary and, without change, became man. Christ, our God, You were crucified and conquered death by death. Being one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit: Save us. [GOA]

   

Antiphon III.

Mode 4.

Verse 1: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people. [RSV]

Verse 2: And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways. [RSV]

Apolytikion.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4. Come quickly.

O Prophet and Forerunner of the appearance of Christ, * with longing we honor you, although we have not the means * of extolling you worthily. * Your birth, which was exalted * and most glorious, ended * the barrenness of your mother and the muteness of your father; * and unto the world it announced * the Incarnation of God the Word. [SD]

   

An optional alternative to the Antiphons are the Typika (Psalms 102 and 145), and the Beatitudes with the appointed troparia, which are provided here.

Psalm 102.

Psalm 145.

   

The Beatitudes.

Mode 4.

In Your kingdom. Remember us, O Lord, when You come in Your kingdom. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [RSV]

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. [RSV]

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. [RSV]

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. [RSV]

Canon 1 for the Forerunner.

Ode iii. Mode 4. N/M (Not in our wisdom.)

From Menaion - - -

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. [RSV]

The Master's birth is from a Virgin, ⁄ while the beloved servant's is from an aged and barren womb. ⁄ Yet, greatest of wonders, ⁄ he rightly goes before. [OCA]

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. [RSV]

An aged and barren mother kissed the Virgin, ⁄ having come to know without a doubt ⁄ that the bond of unfruitfulness would be undone ⁄ by her childbearing in the will of God. [OCA]

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. [RSV]

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. [RSV]

Theotokion.

You brought forth God incarnate while unwedded; ⁄ then establish me, for I am shaken by the assaults of passion. ⁄ There is no other help but you, undefiled one! [OCA]

Canon 2 for the Forerunner.

From Menaion - - -

Ode vi. Mode 4. (N/M O godly-minded believers.)

Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely [for my sake]. [RSV]

The warring enemy was thrust with a two-edged sword: ⁄ your own birth, Forerunner! ⁄ You told abroad of his destruction, ⁄ and of mankind's return to life. [OCA]

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven. [RSV]

Divine wealth drops down from divine heights ⁄ upon the universe, ⁄ for the herald of the adoption and grace of the human race ⁄ has been born today! [OCA]

Glory.

The wilderness spiritually poured forth sweet-smelling myrrh ⁄ at your birth from barrenness. ⁄ It is the revelation, John of great praise, ⁄ of the inexhaustible myrrh received from Christ. [OCA]

Both now. Theotokion.

The Divine Forerunner recognized you as the Mother of God! ⁄ He leaped beforehand in his mother's womb, ⁄ proclaiming your great things, pure Lady! [OCA]

   

Entrance Hymn. Mode 2.

Come, let us worship and bow down before Christ. Save us, O Son of God, Who are wondrous in Your saints. We sing to You, Alleluia. [GOA]

   

Hymns After the Small Entrance.

Apolytikion.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4. Come quickly.

O Prophet and Forerunner of the appearance of Christ, * with longing we honor you, although we have not the means * of extolling you worthily. * Your birth, which was exalted * and most glorious, ended * the barrenness of your mother and the muteness of your father; * and unto the world it announced * the Incarnation of God the Word. [SD]

Apolytikion of the Parish Church

(The text of the Apolytikion of the local church goes here.)

Kontakion. Mode 2.

O Protection of Christians that never falls, intercession with the Creator that never fails, we sinners beg you, do not ignore the voices of our prayers. O good Lady, we implore you, quickly come unto our aid, when we cry out to you with faith. Hurry to intercession, and hasten to supplication, O Theotokos who protect now and ever those who honor you. [SD]

   

THE TRISAGION HYMN

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (3) [GOA]

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

   

The Epistle

For the Forerunner.

Prokeimenon. Grave Mode. Psalm 63.

The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord. [SAAS]

Verse: Hear my voice, O God. [SAAS]

Rom. 13:11-14; 14:1-4

Brethren, salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions. One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats; for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for God is able to make him stand. [RSV]

   

Alleluia. Mode 1. Ode ix.

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

Verse 1: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people. [RSV]

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

Verse 2: And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways. [RSV]

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

The Gospel

For the Forerunner.

Lk. 1:1-25, 57-68, 76-80

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilos, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed. In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years. Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside 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 Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared." And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years." And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time." And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they wondered at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he made signs to them and remained dumb. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home. After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying, "Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men." Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zacharias after his father, but his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John." And they said to her, "None of your kindred is called by this name." And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all marveled. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways." And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel. [RSV]

   

Hymn to the Theotokos.

It is truly right to bless you, Theotokos, ever blessed, most pure, and Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption you gave birth to God the Logos. We magnify you, the true Theotokos. [GOA]

   

Communion Hymn. Psalm 111/112.

The righteous will be remembered for ever. Alleluia. [RSV]

Show Selected Verses.

Selected Psalm Verses for the Feast of the Holy Forerunner

1. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord; he will delight exceedingly in His commandments. (111:1) [SAAS]

2. His seed shall be mighty on earth. His righteousness continues unto ages of ages. (111:2) [SAAS]

3. For the upright, light springs up in darkness. (111:4) [SAAS]

4. A righteous man shall be in everlasting remembrance. (111:6) [SAAS]

5. His horn shall be exalted with glory. (111:9) [SAAS]

6. Now the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord. (36:39) [SAAS]

7. Light dawned for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart. (96:11) [SAAS]

8. The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him. (63:11) [SAAS]

9. The Lord swore to David this truth, and He shall not reject it. (131:11) [SAAS]

10. I shall set upon your throne one from the fruit of your loins. (131:11) [SAAS]

11. There I shall cause to spring up a horn for David; there I prepared a lamp for my anointed. (131:17) [SAAS]

12. Behold, I fled far away, and lodged in the wilderness. (54:8) [SAAS]

13. I have become like a pelican in a desert; I have become like an owl in a ruined house. (101:7) [SAAS]

14. I kept watch, and have become like a sparrow alone on a housetop. (101:8) [SAAS]

15. My knees were weak from fasting, and my flesh was changed because of the oil. (108:24) [SAAS]

16. He who walks blamelessly, and works righteousness. (14:2) [SAAS]

17. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High. (Ode 9b:8) [RSV]

18. For you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways. (Ode 9b:8) [RSV]

19. To give knowledge of salvation to his people. (Ode 9b:9) [RSV]

20. In the forgiveness of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God. (Ode 9b:9) [RSV]

21. I held to hard ways because of the words of Your lips. (16:4) [SAAS]

22. I declared Your truth and Your salvation. (39:11) [SAAS]

23. I did not hide Your mercy and Your truth from the great congregation. (39:11) [SAAS]

24. I said to those who transgress the law, "Do not transgress the law," and to those who sin I said, "Do not exalt yourselves." (74:5) [SAAS]

25. Behold, I shall not restrain my lips, O Lord, You know. (39:10) [SAAS]

26. And my tongue shall meditate on Your righteousness, and on Your praise all the day long. (34:28) [SAAS]

Hide Selected Verses.

   

Hymn after Holy Communion.

Mode 2.

We have seen the true light; we have received the heavenly Spirit; we have found the true faith, worshiping the undivided Trinity, for the Trinity has saved us. [GOA]

   

THE DISMISSAL

May Christ our true God, through the intercessions of His all-pure and all-immaculate holy Mother, the power of the precious and life-giving Cross, the protection of the honorable, bodiless powers of heaven, the supplications of the honorable, glorious prophet and forerunner John the Baptist, whose Birth we celebrate; of the holy, glorious, and praiseworthy apostles, of the holy, glorious, and triumphant martyrs, of our righteous and God-bearing fathers, (local patron saint); of the holy and righteous ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is good and loves mankind.

   

Fasting Rule

Wine: Wine and oil are allowed. Refrain from meat, fish, dairy, and eggs.

It is a minor feast.