Books - Sources

Menaion - June 24

The Birth of the Holy Forerunner

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MATINS

CHOIR

Mode 4.

God is the Lord, and He revealed Himself to us. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. [SAAS]

Verse 1: Give thanks to the Lord and call upon His holy name.

or: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever.

Verse 2: All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I defended myself against them.

Verse 3: And this came about from the Lord, and it is wonderful in our eyes.

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]

Glory. Repeat.

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]

Both now. Theotokion.

From Octoechos - - -

Mode 4.

O Theotokos, through you became manifest to us on earth the mystery, which was hid from eternity, and which the Angels themselves knew not: that God, uniting natures without confusion, becomes a man and accepts crucifixion for our salvation voluntarily. By virtue of this, resurrecting man whom He had first created, He saved our souls from death. [SD]

PRIEST

Again and again, in peace, let us pray to the Lord.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

(To You, O Lord.)

For Yours is the dominion, and Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

(Amen.)

CHOIR

Kathisma I.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 4. Joseph marveled.

Unto us now has the son * of Zacharias been born, * and he mystically gives joy * to the believers' minds. * He is the desert's ornament, and the pedestal of the Prophets. * And thus did he become * the Forerunner * who testifies the truth * of the coming of Christ. * So let us cry aloud unto the Baptist * singing in unison spiritual songs: * O intercede for our salvation, * Prophet and Herald of the truth. [SD]

Glory. Both now. Theotokion.

Mode 4. Automelon.

Joseph marveled as he saw that which transcended nature's bounds; * then he brought to mind the dew that had fallen on the fleece, * at your conception without seed, O Theotokos, * the bush that had remained unconsumed in fire, * Aaron's rod of old that had blossomed forth. * As your betrothed and guardian he witnessed * before the priests and he cried aloud: * "The Virgin gives birth, and after childbirth * still she remains a Virgin." [SD]

Kathisma II.

From Menaion - - -

Mode pl. 4. By conceiving the wisdom.

You were born in a truly uncommon way * as the first-fruits of the appearance of Christ, * O John, praised in all the world, * and the paramount of Prophets. * And as you were the voice of the Logos you cried aloud: * Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is nigh at hand. * Hence did you prepare the way of the Master, * becoming the Forerunner * of divine grace to all the world, * O Apostle and Baptist John. * Intercede with Christ our God * that He grant forgiveness of offences * to those who with longing observe your holy memory. [SD]

Glory. Both now. Theotokion.

Mode pl. 4. By conceiving the wisdom.

Holy Virgin and Mother of Christ our God, * I entreat you most earnestly now to cure * the passions that grieve my soul, * and to grant me forgiveness * for the sins and offences * that I committed mindlessly, * thus polluting my body, * wretched one that I am. * Oh! and how I shudder * at the thought of that hour * when Angels will separate * my soul from my body. * Then, alas! what shall become of me? * O Lady, hence I pray you will come* to my aid as an ardent patron then. * For I your unworthy servant * have you as my only hope. [SD]

Kathisma III.

From Menaion - - -

Mode pl. 4. When he perceived.

Exult, O father; and mother, now be joyous. * For you gave birth today on earth unto the Prophet * who by God is called Forerunner, even as was promised. * The barren one now is nursing her newborn babe * the Baptist; while Zacharias is overjoyed * by the childbirth, and says: "My tongue * has by your childbirth been loosed, * O Lamp of the great Light. This indeed * is a marvelous miracle." [SD]

Glory. Both now. Theotokion.

Mode pl. 4. Automelon.

When he perceived what had secretly been ordered, * to the abode of Joseph urgently reported * the unbodied one saying unto the Unwedded: * "The Lord who has bowed the heavens in His descent, * in you is contained completely and without change; * and beholding Him in your womb * taking the form of a slave, * astounded I cry out to you: * Rejoice, O unwedded Bride." [SD]

DEACON

Again and again, in peace, let us pray to the Lord.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

(To You, O Lord.)

PRIEST

For blessed is your name, and glorified is your kingdom, of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

(Amen.)

CHOIR

Antiphon I.

Mode 4.

Since my youth have many passions waged war against me. O my Savior, nonetheless help me and save me. (2) [SD]

You, the haters of Zion, be put to shame by the Lord, for like thatch in fire you will be completely dried up. (2) [SD]

Glory.

From the Holy Spirit every soul receives life, and through cleansing is lifted and brightened, in a hidden, sacred manner, by the trinal Monad. [SD]

Both now.

From the Holy Spirit do the streams of grace well forth; they irrigate everything created, so that life be engendered. [SD]

Prokeimenon. Ode ix.

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways. (2)

Verse: 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. [RSV]

DEACON

Let us pray to the Lord.

(Lord, have mercy.)

PRIEST

For you are holy, our God, who rest among the Saints, and to you we give glory, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

CHOIR

Amen.

Mode 2.

Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. (2) Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. [SAAS]

DEACON

Let us pray to the Lord our God that we may be made worthy to hear the holy Gospel.

(Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.)

DEACON

Wisdom. Arise. Let us hear the Holy Gospel.

PRIEST

Peace be with all.

(And with your spirit.)

PRIEST

The reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.

DEACON

Let us be attentive.

(Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You.)

PRIEST (from the gate)

Lk. 1:24-25, 57-68, 76, 80

At that time, Elizabeth, the wife of Zacharias conceived, and for five months 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]

(Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You.)

READER

Psalm 50 (51).

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your great mercy; and according to the abundance of Your compassion, blot out my transgression. Wash me thoroughly from my lawlessness and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my lawlessness, and my sin is always before me. Against You only have I sinned and done evil in Your sight; that You may be justified in Your words, and overcome when You are judged. For behold, I was conceived in transgressions, and in sins my mother bore me. Behold, You love truth; You showed me the unknown and secret things of Your wisdom. You shall sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be cleansed; You shall wash me, and I will be made whiter than snow. You shall make me hear joy and gladness; my bones that were humbled shall greatly rejoice. Turn Your face from my sins, and blot out all my transgressions. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with Your guiding Spirit. I will teach transgressors Your ways, and the ungodly shall turn back to You. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall greatly rejoice in Your righteousness. O Lord, You shall open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise. For if You desired sacrifice, I would give it; You will not be pleased with whole burnt offerings. A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, a broken and humbled heart God will not despise. Do good, O Lord, in Your good pleasure to Zion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be built; then You will be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, with offerings and whole burnt offerings; then shall they offer young bulls on Your altar. [SAAS]

From Menaion - - -

CHOIR

Glory. Mode 2.

At the intercession of Your Forerunner, O Lord of mercy, blot out my many offences. [SD]

Both now.

At the intercession of the Theotokos, O Lord of mercy, blot out my many offences. [SD]

Idiomelon. Mode 2.

Verse: Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your great mercy; and according to the abundance of Your compassion, blot out my transgression. [SAAS]

He who was sanctified from his mother's womb, and who received the fullness of prophecy, was born today from a barren woman. He is distinctly proclaiming the coming of the Lord, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." [SD]

DEACON

O God, save your people and bless your inheritance. Look upon your world with mercy and compassion. Raise the Orthodox Christians in glory, and send down upon us your rich mercies, through the intercessions of our most pure Lady the Theotokos and ever-Virgin Mary, the power of the precious and life giving Cross, the protection of the honorable, bodiless Powers of heaven, the supplications of the honorable and glorious prophet, and forerunner John the Baptist, whose Birth we celebrate; the holy, glorious, and praiseworthy Apostles, our Fathers among the Saints, the great hierarchs and ecumenical teachers, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom, Athanasios, Cyril, and John the Merciful, patriarchs of Alexandria; Nicholas, bishop of Myra, Spyridon, bishop of Trimythous, Nektarios of Pentapolis, the wonder-workers; the holy, glorious great Martyrs George the Victorious, Demetrios the Myrobletes, Theodore the Teron, and Theodore the General, Menas the Wonderworker, the Hieromartyrs Haralambos and Eleftherios; the holy, glorious, and victorious martyrs; the glorious great Martyr and all-laudable Euphemia; the holy and glorious Martyrs Thecla, Barbara, Anastasia, Katherine, Kyriake, Fotene, Marina, Paraskeve and Irene; of our holy God-bearing Fathers; (local patron saint); the holy and righteous ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, and of all your Saints. We beseech you, only merciful Lord, hear us sinners who pray to you and have mercy on us.

CHOIR

Lord, have mercy. (12)

PRIEST

Through the mercy, compassion, and love of mankind of your only-begotten Son, with whom you are blessed, together with your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

(Amen.)

From Menaion - - -

READER

Kontakion.

Mode 3. On this day.

On this day Christ's Forerunner is born from her who was barren; and of all the prophesy he is himself the fulfillment. On the head of God the Word, who was by the Prophets heralded, he laid his hand at the Jordan River. Thus he showed himself to be His Prophet and Herald and likewise Forerunner. [SD]

Oikos.

Let us now extol the Lord's Forerunner, whom Elizabeth bore to the priest, from a womb that was fruitless, but not without seed. Only Christ traversed the field that no one else traversed, that was truly without seed. John was borne of a barren woman, who bore him not without the agency of a man. Whereas Jesus was borne of a chaste Virgin, by the overshadowing of the Father and the divine Spirit. Yet the son of the barren one showed himself to be for the Son of the Virgin, Prophet and Herald, and likewise Forerunner. [SD]

Synaxarion.

From the Menaion.

On June 24 we celebrate the Nativity of the honorable and glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John.

By his holy intercessions, Christ God, have mercy on us. Amen.

Katavasias Odes 1-8

CHOIR

Katavasias of Theotokos

Ode i. Mode 4.

I open my mouth and pray the Spirit fill it, like David said, * to pour out a good word to the Queen and Mother of God. * I will celebrate * her feast with joy and gladness * and sing to her merrily, lauding her miracles. [SD]

Ode iii.

Establish your servants who extol you, * O Mother of God, for they have formed * a spiritual choir for you * the living and abundant fount; * and graciously in your divine glory give glorious crowns to them. [SD]

Ode iv.

When the Prophet Habakkuk heard the divine * and incomprehensible counsel of Your Incarnation * from the Virgin, O Most High, * considering, he cried aloud: * Glory to Your power, O Lord my God. [SD]

Ode v.

Amazed was the universe by your divine magnificence. * You who were perpetually virgin * carried the heavenly God of all in your womb * and gave birth to the eternal Son, * who awards salvation to all who sing hymns of praise to you. [SD]

Ode vi.

O godly-minded believers, come * and celebrate this sacred and venerable feast and thus extol * the Theotokos, and clap our hands, * and glorify our God who was truly born of her. [SD]

Ode vii.

Godly-minded three * did not adore created things in the Creator's stead; * rather, disdaining the threat * of fire, they trampled it, and joyfully they sang: * "O supremely praised * and most exalted Lord and God * of the fathers, You are blessed." [SD]

Ode viii.

We praise and we bless and we worship the Lord.

Guiltless were those Servants in the furnace. * The Son of the Theotokos went and rescued them. * He who was prefigured then, * having been incarnate now, * is gathering the whole wide world into His Church to sing: * "O all you works of the Lord, to all ages * sing praises to the Lord and exalt Him beyond measure." [SD]

DEACON

Let us honor and magnify in song the Theotokos and the Mother of the light.

CHOIR

Ode ix.

Megalynarion. Mode 4.

Verse: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. [NKJV]

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

Verse: For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. [NKJV]

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

Verse: For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. [NKJV]

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

Verse: He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. [NKJV]

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

Verse: He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. [NKJV]

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

Verse: He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever. [NKJV]

Greater in honor than the Cherubim, and in glory greater beyond compare than the Seraphim; you without corruption gave birth to God the Word, and are truly Theotokos. You do we magnify. [SD]

Ode 9: Katavasia

Ode ix. Katavasia. Mode 4.

All you born on earth, * with festival lamps in hand, in spirit leap for joy; * and all you the heavenly angelic orders, join in and celebrate; * and honoring the sacred wonders of the Mother of God, * sing the joyful salutation, "O rejoice, * Theotokos, all-blest, ever-virgin pure!" [SD]

DEACON

Again and again, in peace, let us pray to the Lord.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

(Lord, have mercy.)

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

(To You, O Lord.)

PRIEST

For all the powers of heaven praise You and give You glory, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages.

(Amen.)

CHOIR

Exaposteilarion.

From Menaion - - -

Mode 2. O Women, hearken.

The gladdening nativity * today of John the Forerunner * dispels the sadness attached to * the voicelessness of his father * and to his mother's childlessness. * Moreover it proclaims the joy * and exultation still to come. * Wherefore is all creation * celebrating it gaily. [SD]

Theotokion.

Mode 2. O Women, hearken.

The Prophets did proclaim of old, * and later the Apostles taught, * and godly-minded Martyrs * confessed distinctly, O Pure one, * your Son to be the God of all, * O Theotokos. And with them * we magnify you, for through you * O Virgin, we were redeemed from * the former condemnation. [SD]

Lauds. Mode pl. 4.

Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him in the highest. It is fitting to sing a hymn to You, O God. [SAAS]

Praise Him, all you His angels; praise Him, all you His hosts. It is fitting to sing a hymn to You, O God. [SAAS]

Show Stichologia

Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you stars and light.

Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens. Let them praise the Lord's name.

For He spoke, and they were made; He commanded, and they were created.

He established them forever and unto ages of ages; He set forth His ordinance, and it shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth, you dragons and all the deeps.

Fire and hail, snow and ice, stormy wind, which perform His word.

Mountains and all the hills, fruitful trees and all cedars.

Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds.

Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all judges of the earth.

Young men and maidens, elders with younger, let them praise the Lord's name, for His name alone is exalted.

His thanksgiving is in earth and heaven. And He shall exalt the horn of His people.

A hymn for all His saints, for the children of Israel, a people who draw near to Him.

Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of His holy ones.

Let Israel be glad in Him who made him, and let the children of Zion greatly rejoice in their King.

Let them praise His name with dance; with tambourine and harp let them sing to Him.

For the Lord is pleased with His people, and He shall exalt the gentle with salvation.

The holy ones shall boast in glory, and they shall greatly rejoice on their beds.

The high praise of God shall be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand.

To deal retribution to the nations, reproving among the peoples.

To shackle their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron.

To fulfill among them the written judgment: this glory have all His holy ones.

Praise God in His saints; praise Him in the firmament of His power.

Hide Stichologia

   

From Menaion - - -

Mode pl. 4. What a paradoxal.

Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to the abundance of His greatness. [SAAS]

What a paradoxal miracle! * The holy Forerunner John, * as the herald of God the Word, * hastens to come forth today * from his elderly mother's womb. * And by his birth he renders his father's tongue, * that had been fettered, distinctly eloquent. * Truly ineffable, * Master, is Your providence! By which, O Christ, * save our souls, as You alone * are One compassionate. [SD]

Praise Him with the sound of trumpet; praise Him with the harp and lyre. [SAAS]

What a paradoxal miracle! * He who is greater than those * born of women and Prophets all * for his mother now dispels * the indictment of barrenness, * as in the spirit and pow'r of Elias he comes, * going before the Lord to prepare His ways. * Truly unutterable, * Master, is Your tender love. By which, O Christ, * save our souls, as You alone * are One compassionate. [SD]

Praise Him with timbrel and dance; praise Him with strings and flute. [SAAS]

What a paradoxal miracle! * He who announced unto all * the kenósis of Christ the Lord * by the Master's voice is shown * to be greater than everyone. * And he releases Elizabeth's barrenness * by divine power, and Zachariah's voice. * Truly magnificent, * Master, are Your miracles. By which, O Christ, * save us who honor Your great * Baptist and Forerunner. [SD]

Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with triumphant cymbals; let everything that breathes praise the Lord. [SAAS]

What a paradoxal miracle! * He who had leapt in the womb * as the Prophet and Forerunner * now is shown to be the one * who is greatest among those born * of women, higher yet than the Prophets all, * and of the coming of Christ the messenger. * Great and magnificent, * loving Master, are Your gifts! By which, O Christ, * save our souls, as You alone * are the Almighty One. [SD]

Glory.

From Menaion - - -

Mode pl. 2.

Star of stars, the Forerunner, from a barren womb is born on earth today: John, yes, John loved by God. And he manifests the resplendent dawning of Christ, the Orient from on high, for the straight passage of the faithful. [SD]

From Octoechos - - -

Both now. Theotokion.

Theotokos, you are the true vine that produced the fruit of life. Lady, we fervently entreat you to intercede along with the Forerunner and all the saints, that our souls be treated mercifully. [SD]

Great Doxology

Glory be to You who showed the light. Glory in the highest to God. His peace is on earth, His good pleasure in mankind. [SD]

We praise You, we bless You, we worship You, we glorify You, we give thanks to You for Your great glory.

Lord King, heavenly God, Father, Ruler over all; Lord, only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; and You, O Holy Spirit.

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us, You who take away the sins of the world.

Accept our supplication, You who sit at the right hand of the Father, and have mercy on us.

For You alone are holy, You alone are Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Every day I will bless You, and Your name will I praise to eternity, and to the ages of ages.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, this day, that we be kept without sin.

Blessed are You, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is Your name to the ages. Amen.

Let Your mercy be on us, O Lord, as we have set our hope on You.

Blessed are You, O Lord. Teach me Your statutes.

Blessed are You, O Lord. Teach me Your statutes.

Blessed are You, O Lord. Teach me Your statutes.

Lord, You have been our refuge from generation to generation. I said: Lord, have mercy on me. Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.

Lord, I have fled to You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God.

For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we shall see light.

Continue Your mercy to those who know You.

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

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.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

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]