Fra Angelico naming of John

Invitation to  Worship

Our God speaks through the prophets, let us listen and adore!


O Holy One,+ open my lips.

~And my mouth will proclaim your praise.


Among those born of woman, alleluia!

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


Hymn for St. John the Baptist

The great forerunner of the morn,

The herald of the Word, is born;

And faithful hearts shall never fail

With thanks and praise his light to hail.


With heavenly message Gabriel came,

That John should be that herald’s name,

And with prophetic utterance told

His actions great and manifold.


John, still unborn, yet gave aright

His witness to the coming Light;

And Christ, the Sun of all the earth,

Fulfilled that witness at his birth.


Of woman-born shall never be

A greater prophet than was he,

Whose mighty deeds exalt his fame

To greater than a prophet’s name.


All praise to God the Abba be,

All praise, eternal Word, to thee,

Whom with the Spirit we adore

For ever and for evermore.  Amen.

Text: Venerable Bede (673-735) tr. J.M. Neale; Tune: WINCHESTER NEW, L.M.





His name shall be called, John,

and many will rejoice at his birth.

Psalm 138/139

You search me, Adonai, and you know me.

You know my resting and my rising,

You read my inmost thoughts;

You note when I walk or lie down,

all that I do is clear to you.


Before a word slips from my tongue,

You, Adonai, know what I will say.

You close in on me

pressing your hand upon me.

All of this is wonderful beyond words–

too much for me to understand!


Where can I hide from You?

How can I escape your presence?

If I scale the heavens, You are there!

If I plunge to the depths, You are there!


If I take wings and fly toward the dawn,

or settle far across the sea,

even there You hold me securely;

your right hand directs my life.


If I think that night will hide me

and darkness will give me cover,

It turns out that darkness is not dark;

for You night shines like the day:

darkness and light are one.


You created every part of me,

knitting me together in my mother’s womb.

For such handiwork, I  praise you:

How awesome is this great  wonder!

I see it now so clearly!


You watched every bone taking shape  in secret,

forming in the hidden depths.

You saw my body grow,

all according to your design.

You recorded all the days of my life,

before they ever began.


To me how mysterious your thoughts!

How vast and beyond all numbers.

If I count they are more than the sand;

to finish I mus t be eternal like You!


Search my heart and probe me, O God!

Test and judge my thoughts.

Watch lest I follow crooked paths,

Guide me in the way that  leads to life!


Glory to the ONE and to the WORD

and to the BREATH of Love.

As always before

so now and evermore. Amen.

His name shall be called, John,

and many will rejoice at his birth.



READING   Jeremiah 1:4-7

The word of Adonai came to me thus: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,

before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”

But I said: “Adonai Elohim, I do not know how to speak, I am too young!”

Adonai answered me, “Say not, ‘I am too young.’ To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak.  Have no fear before them, for I am with you to deliver you, says your God.”



R.  God spoke through the prophets, Alleluia, Alleluia!  V. And sent John to prepare the way for the Lord.  Alleluia, Alleluia!   V.  Glory to the Abba and the Word and the Holy Breath of Love.


Canticle of Zachariah


You, child, shall be called Prophet of the Most High.

You shall go before the Lord to prepare the way.

Blessed + be Adonai, the God of Israel,

Who visits this people to set us free

Raising for us a sign of salvation

In the house and family of David.


God promised throughout past ages

In words of holy prophets

To save us from our enemies,

And from the control of our oppressors.


Adonai favored our ancestors

And remembered the sacred covenant.

The pledge to Abraham and Sarah

Is now renewed for us;


That freed from the grip of our foes

We might worship without fear

And be both just and holy

For the rest of our days.


And you, child, called “prophet of the Most High,”

Will go ahead to prepare the way,

By teaching this people of salvation

Through forgiveness of their sins.


For the loving compassion of the Holy One

As the Rising Sun will shine upon us

To illumine the darkness and dispel death’s shadow

To Guide our feet on the way of peace.


Glory to the ONE and to the WORD

And to the BREATH of Love!

As always before,

so now and evermore.  Amen

You, child, shall be called Prophet of the Most High.

You shall go before the Lord to prepare the way.

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 Baptist 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 witness to your truth and and to 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.  Amen.



May the tender compassion of our God  bless + us and guide our feet in the ways of peace,  ~Amen.


Let us bless Adonai.   ~Thanks be to God.