Birth of John the Baptist, EP I





 We light the EVENING CANDLE and say or sing:

Jesus Christ is the Light of the World!

~The Light no darkness can extinguish!


Among those born of woman, alleluia!

~There is none greater than John the Baptist, alleluia!



Watchman, tell us of the night, What its signs of promise are.

Traveler, o’er yon mountain’s height, See that  glory beaming star.

Watchman, does its beauteous ray Aught of joy or hope foretell?

Traveler, yes; it brings the day, Promised day of Israel.


Watchman, tell us of the night, Higher yet that star ascends.

Traveler, blessedness and light, Peace and truth its course portends.

Watchman, will its beams alone Gild the spot that gave them birth?

Traveler, ages are its own; See it bursts o’er all the earth.


Watchman tell us of the night, For the morning seems to dawn.

Traveler, darkness takes its flight, Doubt and terror are withdrawn.

Watchman, let your wanderings cease; Hasten to your desert home.

Traveler, lo the Prince of Peace, Lo the Son of God is come.

 Text: John Bowring  (1825). Tune: WATCHMAN, Lowell Mason,






He himself shall go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah,

to prepare for our God a perfect people.


Psalm 146/147

How good to sing God praise!

Sing to the One who is loving!

We cannot help but shout this praise!


Adonai rebuilds Jerusalem

and gathers  the exiles of Israel;

healing the broken-hearted,

and binding up all of their wounds.


God fixes the number of the stars

and calls each one by its name.

 Adonai is great and almighty;

wise beyond all telling:

For the Holy One raises the lowly and the poor,

while the wicked are humbled to the dust.


O sing to Adonai, giving thanks,

Sound the harp with psalms for our God,

Who stretches the heavens with clouds,

preparing rain for the Earth,

making mountains green with grass

and plants to serve everyone’s needs.


Adonai provides food for our cattle

and for young ravens when they call.

They are not impressed by the power of horses

nor by the  strength and speed of a warrior.

For Adonai takes delight in the reverent;

and those who trust God’s compassion.


Glory to the ONE and to the WORD

And to the BREATH of Love;

as always before,

so now and evermore. Amen.

He himself shall go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah,

to prepare for our God a perfect people.




READING          Acts 13: 23-25

According to the promise, God has brought forth from David’s descendants, Jesus, a savior for Israel.  John heralded the coming of Jesus by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.  As John’s career was coming to and end, he would say, “What you suppose me to be I am no. Rather, look for the one who comes after me.  I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals on his feet.”




R.  God spoke through the prophets,* Alleluia, Alleluia.

V. God sent John to prepare the way for our Lord* Alleluia, Alleluia.

V.  Glory to the Abba and the Word and the Holy Breath of Love.




When Zachary had entered the temple of Adonai,

the angel Gabriel appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense.

Canticle of Mary

My heart + is radiant with the Lord,

My whole being delights in God my Savior.


All people now will call me blessed

For God has loved this humble handmaid.

The Almighty has shown me great favor

Holy is the NAME,


Whose mercy embraces the faithful,

From one generation to the next.

The mighty arm of God,

Scatters the proud in their own conceit,


Pulls tyrants from their thrones

While lifting up the lowly:

Fills the famished with bounty,

And reveals the emptiness of riches.


Rescues lowly Israel,

Sharing such loving kindness,

As promised to our ancestors

To Abraham and Sarah, and their descendants forever.


Glory to the One and to the Word

And to the Breath of Love

As always before

So now and evermore. Amen

When Zachary had entered the temple of Adonai,

the angel Gabriel appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense.





 Litany of Intercession

You called John the Baptist from his mother’s womb to prepare the way of Jesus by calling people to share their possessions, to act with justice and to treat others with respect

~help us to work for justice and thus open the way for Jesus.


You called John the Baptist to live on a simple diet, and close to nature in the wilderness,

~help us to live more simply so that other people and species may flourish.


You called John the Baptist to challenge those who misused power and disregarded the dignity of others

~help us to speak the truth to power with love.


You called John the Baptist to celebrate the conversion of hearts and the return to the heart of the Torah by baptizing people in the Jordan River;

~help all those who have entered the waters of Baptism to live out the faith and love

they have professed.


You called John the Baptism to decrease so that the Lamb of God might increase

~help us to  recognize with humility and gratitude the special role each of us has in proclaiming and building your reign of justice and peace.


You called John the Baptist to give testimony to you by his life and even by his death,

~ help us to imitate his unceasing witness to your truth and the marvelous

gift of your love.


Prayer of Jesus

Our Father who art in heaven…


Closing Prayer

We bless and thank you, O Gracious God,

for you raised up John the Baptist to prepare your people

for the coming of Jesus, our Love.

Give your people joy in spirit

and guide all humanity into the ways of justice and on the paths to peace,

for yours is the glory and power of love now and forever.




May the tender compassion of our God

bless + us and guide our feet into the ways of peace,



Let us bless Adonai.

~Thanks be to God.


 the-birth-of-john-the-baptist Fra Angelico

 Those who wish may end evening prayer with the Salve Regina

Marian Antiphon

Mother of mercy, our Queen, we greet you! Our life, our hope, our happiness, we hail you.

We call to you as Eve’s own children, and exiles; To you we life our heart in sorrow and fear, in this valley of tears.  Turn then, our loving Advocate, and look with favor upon us.  And after our life in exile, show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.  O gracious, O loving, O Virgin benign, our Mother Mary.


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God;

~ That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Let us pray.  Holy, Mighty and Immortal God, through the working of the Holy Spirit, you prepared the body and soul of the glorious virgin Mother Mary, as a worthy dwelling for your Word; grant that we, who celebrate her memory each evening, may with the help of her prayers, be freed from ever-present evil, and come to share the fulness of life eternal.   Amen.