GENERAL VIGIL SERVICE TO ST. JOHN, THE FORERUNNER, PROPHET AND BAPTIST OF THE LORD.

On "Lord, I have cried ...", the Stichera, In Tone VIII:

Spec. Mel.: O most glorious wonder.

   O blessed John the Forerunner, * sincere friend of the Lord, * who in the waters of the Jordan * touched with thy hand His all-purest crown, * by thy holy intercessions * do thou always with love elevate my humble soul to the Lord, * extinguishing the fire of things that feed my passions, * and leading me to the faithful execution of the divine commandments * truly cleansing the senses of my heart, * that I may glorify thee.

   O thou, offspring of barrenness * and the Lord's garden of purity, * ornament of all mankind, * Baptiser of the Lord, * all-praised John the Forerunner, * divine guardian of my humble soul, * do thou vouchsafe unto me God's grace through thine intercessions, * delivering me from the serpent, * and his crafty and wily slanders and attacks.

   Thou art the most compassionate of all mankind, * full of divine grace, * O ever-glorious Prophet, * making glad all those who come unto thee in faith, * sweetening our senses of both soul and body, * and effacing from us the bitterness of maladies and afflictions, * of attacks from the evil one, * and of all the soul destroying passions.

Glory ..., In Tone IV:

   Today appeared the great Forerunner, * who came forth from the barren womb of Elizabeth, * a Prophet, indeed the greatest of all the Prophets, * for there was no greater before, nor hath one arisen since. * The lamp that preceded the most resplendent Light, * that followed after the voice the Word, * the Bridegroom's harbinger. * He prepared the multitudes of the peoples for the Lord, * cleansing them with water in preparation for the cleansing of the Spirit; * Zacharia's offspring and a good pupil of wilderness living, * the preacher of repentance and cleansing of transgressions, * announcing unto those in Hades * the resurrection from the dead and ever interceding for our souls.

   If the Celebration does not coincide with a Resurrection Service, sing the following Dogmatic of In Tone IV [If the service is a Resurrection service sing the Dogmatic of the In Tone for that service ]:

Now & Ever ..., In Tone IV:

   Prophet David, the ancestor of God, * spoke of thee in song unto Him who hath done great things for thee. * For God was well pleased without father to become man from thee, * the Queen who stands at His right hand, * and He the source of life * declared thee to be His mother, * that he might refashion his own image, corrupted by passions. * O Theotokos, thy son Christ, * who is richly and abundantly merciful, * hath found the lost sheep wandering on the mountain and hath laid it upon his shoulders, * that he might bring it to his Father; * and by his own will unite it to the heavenly Powers * and thus save the world.

The Entrance. The Prokeimenon of the day. The 3 Readings

The Prophecy of Isaiah

   Thus saith the Lord: Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith the God. Speak ye, priests, unto the heart of Jerusalem, cry unto her that her humiliation is at an end, since her iniquity is pardoned, for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight the paths for our God. Get thee up into the high mountain, O Zion, that bringest good tidings; lift up thy voice with strength, O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift it up, be not afraid: I am the Lord God, I will hear the poor of Israel and will not forsake them, but will cause rivers to flow in high places and fountains in the midst of the fields. I will turn the wilderness into meadow and the dry land into water-springs. Let heaven above rejoice and let clouds sprinkle down righteousness; let the earth shine and let mercy shoot forth and let righteousness spring up together. With a voice of singing declare ye, and let it be heard, utter it even to the end of the earth, say ye: The Lord hath redeemed His servant Jacob, and if they thirst in the wilderness, He will cause water to flow out of the rock for them. Sing, O barren one, thou that didst not bear, break forth into singing and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail, for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife.

The Prophecy of Malachi

   Thus saith the Lord Almighty: Behold I will send My messenger before Thy countenance, and he shall prepare the way before Thee. And the Lord, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, but who may abide the day of His coming? for He shall come like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap, and He shall purify by consuming and purging as gold and silver. And He shall come unto you for judgment, and will be a swift witness against the evil ones, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that deprive the hireling of his wages, and against those that oppress the widows and push away the Fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Him, with the Lord Almighty, for I am the Lord your God and I will not change. And ye the sons of Jacob are gone away from the law and have not kept it. Wherefore return unto Me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord Almighty, and all nations shall call you blessed. Learn ye that I am the Lord that doth discern between the righteous and the wicked, in that day wherein I shall affectionately meet those that love Me. Learn then and remember ye the law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the Tishbite before the coming of the great and illustrious day of the Lord; and he shall turn the heart of the Father to his son and the heart of man unto his neighbor, lest I come and smite the earth swiftly, saith the Lord Almighty, the Holy God of Israel.

The Wisdom of Solomon

   The righteous man if he happen to die early shall be at rest, and the dying righteous man shall bring judgment unto the wicked living, for they will see the end of the righteous one and will not understand what is destined for him. And the Lord will hurl the wicked down voiceless and will remove them from their foundations, and they shall pass away unto the last in sorrow and their memory shall vanish, for they shall come in dread unto the realization of their sins, and their transgressions shall convict them to their faces. Then the righteous man will stand up in great boldness before those who offended him and despised his works. At the sight of him they will be agitated with great fear and will feel astonished at his glorious salvation; for, repenting and sighing from the oppression of the spirit, they shall speak within themselves, saying: this is he whom we laughed at and held in scorn; we were so foolish as to account his life as madness and his end dishonorable; how, then, is he now numbered unto the sons of God and his lot is cast among the holy? We have therefore wandered away from the right path, and the light of truth bath not illumined us, and the sun hath not shone unto us; we were full of the wicked ways and perdition, and walked in the unpassable paths, but did not comprehend God's ways.

At the Aposticha, these stichera: In Tone II:

   O proclaimer and Baptist of Christ, * Angel, Apostle, and Martyr, * Prophet, Forerunner, lamp, and nearest friend, * seal of the Prophets, * most honored among those born of men, * mediator between the old and the new covenants, * joyful voice of the Word, * by thy holy intercessions * be thou a prayerful advocate before the Merciful God * that He may hearken unto our supplications.

Stichos: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel. He hath visited and wrought deliverance unto His people.

   O blessed Forerunner, * upon seeing Christ walking upon the earth * thou didst cry out aloud * 'Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world'; * Him do thou entreat that those who honor thee * be granted the remission of their sins * for thou, O Baptist, dost truly possess great boldness * as the mediator of the law and grace.

Stichos: And thou, O youth, shalt be called blessed.

   I implore thee O glorious Prophet of the Lord, * make haste and snatch me away from temptations, * for in vain the bitter demons array themselves against me, * making war and seeking to seize the soul of thy servant like a helpless hatchling, * do not forsake me even unto the end, * but rather let them understand, O most blessed one, * that thou art my refuge.

Glory ..., In Tone IV:

   O Godly illustrious voice, * lamp of the Light, * Forerunner of the Lord, * testified to by Christ, * the first among the Prophets! * While interceding with thine supplications for the world, * do thou also remember thy flock and preserve it in safety.

Now & Ever ..., Theotokion of the Resurrection, In Tone IV:

   Mercifully regard the supplications of thy servants, * O all-immaculate one, * quelling the cruel uprisings of the demons against us, * delivering us from every sorrow; * for thee alone do we have as a steadfast and sure confirmation, * and having acquired thine intercession; * let not us who call upon thee be put to shame, * O Sovereign Lady. * Hasten thou to answer the entreaties of those who cry out to thee with faith: * Rejoice, thou help, joy and protection of all, * and the salvation of our souls!

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The General Troparion [Also for the Beheading], In Tone II:

   The memory of the just is celebrated with hymns of praise * but the Lord's testimony is enough for thee, O Forerunner, * for thou wast shown to be more wonderful than the Prophets * since thou wast granted to baptize in the running waters * Him Whom thou didst proclaim. * Then having endured great suffering for the Truth, * Thou didst rejoice to bring, even to those in hell * the good tidings that God Who had appeared in the flesh * takes away the sin of the world * and grants us the great mercy..

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., Theotokion, In Tone II:

   All of thy most glorious mysteries are beyond comprehension, * O Theotokos; * for, thy purity sealed and thy virginity intact, * thou art known to be a true Mother, * having given birth unto God. * Him do thou entreat, that our souls be saved.

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Troparion of the Conception of the Forerunner In Tone IV:

   Sing, O barren one that didst not bear, * for thou hast conceived the lamp of the Sun * Who is to enlighten the whole world suffering from blindness. * O Zacharias rejoice and shout: * "The Prophet of the Most High is to be born."

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., Theotokion, In Tone IV:

   The mystery hidden from all ages * and unknown to the ranks of Angels, * hath been revealed to those on earth through thee, O Theotokos: * God being made flesh in a union without confusion, * and willingly accepting the Cross for us * hath through it raised the first-formed man, * and thus saved our souls from death.

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Troparion of the Synaxis of the Forerunner: In Tone II:

   The memory of the just is celebrated with hymns of praise, * but the Lord's testimony is enough for thee, O Forerunner * for thou wast shown to be more wonderful than the Prophets * since thou wast granted to baptize in the running waters * Him whom thou didst proclaim. * Then having endured great suffering for the Truth, * thou didst rejoice to bring, even to those in hell, * the good tidings that God Who had appeared in the flesh * takes away the sin of the world and grants us the great mercy.

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., Theotokion, In Tone II:

   All of thy most glorious mysteries are beyond comprehension...

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Troparion for the Birth of the Forerunner: In Tone IV:

   O Prophet and Forerunner of the coming of Christ, * we honor thee lovingly but cannot extol thee worthily; * for by thy birth * thy mother's barrenness and thy Father's dumbness were unfettered; * and the Incarnation of the Son of God is proclaimed to the world.

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., Theotokion, In Tone IV:

   The mystery hidden from all ages ...

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Troparion for the 1st & 2nd Finding: In Tone IV:

   The head of the Forerunner has risen from the earth * and sends forth healing rays of incorruption to all the faithful. * In heaven it is mustering a host of Angels, * and on earth it is assembling mankind * to ascribe glory to our God.

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., Theotokion, In Tone IV:

   The mystery hidden from all ages ...

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Troparion for the 3rd Finding: In Tone IV:

   Christ has revealed thy head to us, O Prophet and Forerunner * as a divine treasure hidden in the earth. * We come with hymns to honor its discovery, * and praise the Savior Who saves us from corruption, * through thy intercessions.

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., Theotokion, In Tone IV:

   The mystery hidden from all ages ...

    The Dismissal:

AT MATINS

   At the Matins, for God is the Lord, the same Troparion [twice]. Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., The Theotokion.

After the 1st Kathisma, the Sedalion: In Tone IV:

Spec. Mel.: Amazed was Joseph.

   Today hath sprouted forth unto us the off-spring of Zachariah * bringing spiritually joyful thoughts unto the faithful, * an ornament of the desert and foundation of the Prophets, * wherefore he appeareth as the Forerunner of Christ * a true witness of His coming; * let us therefore with one voice cry out aloud * unto the Baptist in spiritual songs: * O Prophet and proclaimer of the Truth, intercede that we may be saved. [Twice]

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., Theotokion:

   O Mother of Christ God we hymn thee, * O Bride of God, * we glorify thine incomprehensible birth-giving, * by which we were delivered from the deceit of the devil * and from every misfortune. * therefore we cry unto thee in faith * O Sovereign Lady Theotokos: * ‘Have mercy upon thy flock, O all-hymned one’.

After the 2nd Kathisma, the Sedalion: In Tone II:

Spec. Mel.: Being of the mercy.

   O Good One through Thy compassionate mercy * thou hast descended from on high to save Thy creation, * in Thy descent bowing down the heavens, * wherefore hymning Thine awe-inspiring dispensation, * we cry aloud unto Thee, * Through the intercessions of Thy Forerunner O Christ, * grant us the cleansing of our sins, * as Thou alone art the only Compassionate One. [Twice]

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., Theotokion:

   O Theotokos, * thou art a fervent defense of Orthodox Christians, * ever entreat Thy Son, * that we may be rescued from every affliction * and evil deed of the persecutor, * and that by thy prayers He may grant us the remission of our sins * for the sake of His abundant and rich mercies, * O Mother and Virgin.

After Praise ye the name of the Lord, the following Megalynarion:

For the Nativity of the Forerunner: We magnify thee, * John the Forerunner of the Savior, * and honor thy most glorious birth * from the barren one.

Stichos: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel:

For the Conception: The same as above

For the Beheading: We magnify thee, * John the Forerunner of the Savior, * and all honor the beheading of thy venerable head.

Stichos: Blessed is the man that feareth God and puteth his hope in Him:

For the Findings: We magnify thee, * John the Forerunner of the Savior, * and all honor the finding of thy venerable head.

Stichos: Blessed is the man that feareth God and puteth his hope in Him:

For the Synaxis: We magnify thee, * John the Forerunner of the Savior, * and all honor thine all-venerable assembly.

Stichos: Blessed is the man that feareth God and puteth his hope in Him:

After the Polyeleos, the Sedalion: In Tone V:

Spec. Mel.: The Word Co-unoriginate.

   Let us praise loudly in hymns * him who from the womb was revealed as a Prophet of God * and a lamp of the world, * who came forth from a barren mother, * the Baptist of Christ and the victorious sufferer and Forerunner John, * for he ever entreats God * that our souls may be saved. [Twice]

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., Theotokion:

   O bride who knew not wedlock, * most pure Mother of God, * thou who hast changed Eve's sorrow into joy, * we ever hymn and glorify thee, * for thou hast delivered us from the first curse; * O all-hymned one * unceasingly entreat thy Son and God that He may save our souls.

If not a Resurrection Service, Sing the following for the Graduals.

The 1st Antiphon of the 4th Tone:

   From my youth * do many passions war against me; * but do Thou Thyself defend * and save me, O my Savior.

   Ye haters of Zion * shall be shamed by the Lord; * for like grass, by the fire * shall ye be withered.

   Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, * both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

   In the Holy Spirit, * every soul is quickened, * and, through cleansing, is exalted * and made radiant by the Triple Unity in a hidden sacred manner.

The Prokeimenon, In Tone VII:

The Prokeimenon: And thou, O youth, shalt be called Prophet of the Most High.

Stichos: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.

Let every breath.

The Holy Gospel according to Saint Mathew:

[Matt. 11, 2-15. ]

   At that time: John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, our do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is [he], whosoever shall not be offended in me. And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what went ye out for to see? A Prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a Prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the Prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

   After the 50th Psalm:

Glory ..., Through the intercessions of the Forerunner and Baptiser John..

Both now: Through the intercessions of the Theotokos…

Have mercy upon us:

Then the Sedalion:

In Tone I:

   O John the Prophet and Forerunner, * thou art the Proclaimer of the Word, the Lamb of God, * thou who beforehand foretold the future * and declared it unto the nations saying: * 'Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world * and granteth unto all peace and great mercy'.

The Canon of the Theotokos in 6, and of the Forerunner in 8.

In Tone IV:

ODE I

Irmos: Do Thou who wast born of the Virgin, * drown, I implore Thee, in the depth of dispassion * the triune nature of my soul, * the mighty strongholds of passion, * that in the mortification of the flesh * as on a tymbral I may play unto Thee * a triumphant hymn.

   Refrain: Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptizer of the Lord, John, pray to God for us.

   As a great star of the living Sun, O Forerunner thou hast illumined the earth with thy radiance; wherefore I call unto thee; enlighten also my heart O Baptist, blinded with the dark shadows of my numberless transgressions.

   O blessed one, as once thou loosed in thy birth the bonds of barrenness; I now implore thee, through thine intercessions, make my soul made desolate through the fruitlessness of passions, appear fruitful, and bring forth the offspring of the virtues.

   O most glorious Baptist, thou who prepared the way for the Deliverer, going before Him in the power of Elijah; do thou also lead Him to observe the condition of my soul, that through thine intercessions I may be delivered from every temptation and the flame of passions.

Theotokion: O cloud of light, dispel through thy bright mediations, the multitude of dark clouds that cover my soul, that I may see the dawn of Him Who shone forth from thee, and that I may through light receive the never-setting Light.

ODE III

Irmos: The bow of the mighty * hath been made impotent * and the infirm are now girded * with great strength; * wherefore my heart doth swell * strengthened in the Lord.

   Thou hast manifested every virtue, and every evil deed hast thou heartily hated, showing unto mankind the blessed path of penitence, O all-blessed one.

   Thou didst appear unto all as the great Forerunner of the incarnate Word; wherefore I implore thee to free me from the irrational influence of passions, by leading me to dispassion.

   Whilst still living in the flesh, O Forerunner, thou didst manifest in thyself the life of the bodiless ones, and now that thou, with them, dost approach the Divinity, O God-bearing one, do thou strengthen us by thine intercessions.

Theotokion: The world that through transgression became worthless, was pardoned through thee, O Mother and Virgin; wherefore it dutifully blesses thee in songs and hymns.

The Sedalion, In Tone I:

   In the wilderness thou didst dwell, * O Forerunner of Christ, * as also did Elijah; * wherefore, O all-blessed one, * do thou establish my heart. [Twice]

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., Theotokion:

   David proclaimed thee as the Queen and pure Virgin, * O most pure one; * wherefore I implore thee * to make me an heir of the heavenly Kingdom, * that I also may bless thee.

ODE IV

Irmos: For the sake of Thy love for mankind, * O dispassionate One, * Thou didst ascend the Cross * and the nations were moved * wherefore Thou, O Lover of mankind, * art my strength and my adulation.

   Like a dove that foretells unto the world the coming of spring thou also in the truest of words announced the coming of Christ, wherefore we bless thee, O ever-glorious Forerunner.

   I am Utterly devastated by the temptations of the deceitful one, do thou as the mediator of the old and the new covenant, wholly renew me who hymns thee, O Forerunner.

   O Thou who departed into the wilderness to lead an irreproachable life, do thou, O Forerunner, by thy divine intercessions summon my mind made desolate with many and varied transgressions.

Theotokion: Thy Son, O Virgin hath granted us to know cleansing and redemption; Him do thou entreat to save the souls of those who lovingly praise thee.

ODE V

Irmos: Do Thou send down upon us O Lord * Thine enlightenment, and free us * from the mists of transgression, * O Good One, * granting us Thy peace.

   O child of the wilderness, do thou bedew me who am assaulted in the spiritual wilderness and inflamed with the burning coals of the passions, and by thine intercessions preserve me from the noxious effects of their flames.

   O all-blessed one, under thy holy right hand, the Divine Right Hand of the Father was baptized, He who through thy holy intercessions saves us from the hand of the deceiver.

   O Forerunner, the whole world possesses in thee a refuge, a mighty shelter, and a great wall; do thou by thine intercessions deliver us from every oppression.

Theotokion: In thee O youthful Virgin hath God seen and loved the good qualities of Jacob, and through thee, adorns all that were darkened by the original transgression.  

ODE VI

Irmos: I have reached the very depths of the sea * and am submerged therein * by the storm of my many sins, * but do Thou O Greatly-merciful God, * raise up my life from the deep.

   In the rapids thou stood baptizing the Lord who taketh away the sins of all mankind; cease not therefore, O Forerunner, to entreat Him to have compassion on our souls.

   Thou wast revealed as a preacher of repentance; do thou also, O Forerunner, preserve my heart lacking healing and polluted with pernicious sins.

   Thou hast, O all-blessed one, proclaimed unto the souls in the impassable wilderness the Word that came down to thee from above; wherefore every Church with never-silent voices blesses thee.

Theotokion: The mysteries of the law were explained by thine awe-inspiring birth-giving, O Bride of God, and contemplating their fulfillment we worthily honor thee, O Sovereign-Lady.

   The Kontakion to be found in the Typicon or the Following:

The Beheading of St John the Baptist, In Tone V:

   The beheading of the glorious Forerunner * was a divine dispensation * that the coming of the Savior might be preached to those in hell. * Lament then, Herodias, * that thou didst demand a murder * despising the law of God and eternal life.

The Conception of St John the Baptist, In Tone I:

   Great Zacharias radiantly rejoices * together with Elizabeth: * she worthily conceived John the Forerunner whom the Angel announced with great gladness * and whom we honor as an initiate of grace.

The Synaxis of St John the Baptist, In Tone VI:

   Jordan turned back in fear at the sight of Thy bodily presence. * And having fulfilled his prophetic ministry, John drew back trembling. * The Angelic orders were amazed * to see Thee in the flesh baptized in the waters. * And all in darkness were illumined and praised Thee * Who had appeared and enlightened all creation.

The Birth of St John the Baptist, In Tone III:

   The formerly barren one today gives birth to the Forerunner of Christ * Who is the fulfillment of prophecy. * For the Prophet, Herald and Forerunner of the Word * submitted to Him Whom the Prophets foretold * by laying his hand on Him in the Jordan.

1st & 2nd Finding of the Glorious head of St. John the Baptist,In Tone II:

   O Prophet of God and Forerunner of Grace, * having obtained thy head from the earth as a most sacred rose, * we ever receive healings; * for still as of old in the world * thou preachest repentance.

3rd Finding of the Glorious head of St. John the Baptist, In Tone VI:

   The shining pillar on earth, the Forerunner, lamp of the spiritual Sun, * has revealed his radiant, holy head to the world. * He sanctifies those who venerate it and who faithfully cry: * O wise Baptist of Christ, save us all.

   But if there be none , or no Typicon, sing the following:

Kontakion In Tone VIII:

   I the unworthy one, sin more than all mankind * nevertheless I bring unto thee a hymn, * O John the Forerunner who art truly greater of all the saints, * and since thou hath boldness before the Lord, * I implore thee to free me from all misfortunes that can be, * that I may sing unto thee: * Rejoice thou the proclaimer of grace.

The Ikos:

   Beginning an ode unto thee, O God-hymned blessed John, I am full of joy and yet also full of dread, for I fear that I shall not find words, O Forerunner to worthily praise thee, but do thou thyself strengthen me and grant that I may worthily speak of thee saying:

   Rejoice, thou by whom gladness came;

   Rejoice, thou by whom the curse was destroyed;

   Rejoice, teacher of the ends of the world;

   Rejoice, proclaimer of Christ's wonders;

   Rejoice, height of conscience that reacheth unto the heavens;

   Rejoice, breadth of purity that cleanseth all the earth;

   Rejoice, since thou hast seen the Holy Trinity;

   Rejoice, thou who despised the deceit of fallen nature;

   Rejoice, star that revealeth the Sun;

   Rejoice, luminary that illuminates all that are under the sun;

   Rejoice, thou by whom Christ hath been proclaimed;

   Rejoice, thou by whom Satan was rejected;

   Rejoice, O proclaimer of grace.

ODE VII

Irmos: The youths of Abraham * having once trodden down the flame of the furnace in Babylon, * cried aloud in hymns: * 'O God of our Fathers, * blessed art Thou'.

   Thou didst appear greater than all those born of men, O Prophet; by thy lofty intercessions do thou therefore deliver me who sins greatly against God, from the great flame and the everlasting darkness.

   I appear like a barren fig-tree and am in fear of being cut down; By thine intercessions, O Forerunner of the Savior, establish me and make me fruitful, that I may bless thee.

   O Forerunner John, by thy watchful supplications unto the Deliverer of all subdue every storm of the enemy raised against those who in faith have recourse to thee.

Theotokion: Do thou, O Virgin deliver thy servants who ever glorify thee with their souls and tongues, from all attacks of the deceiver, from wickedness and from enslavement to the demons.

ODE VIII

Irmos: Thou, the Almighty Deliverer of all, * descended and bedewed the children in the midst of the flame, * encouraging their piety, * and teaching them to sing: * 'Bless ye the Lord and chant unto Him, all ye works of the Lord'.

   Held captive by the sleep of despair and darkened by the mist of malice, do thou, O Forerunner, restore me with thy bright intercessions and grant that I may worthily walk in the daylight of virtues.

   The winter of temptations holds me and the storm of passions troubles me, but do thou O Forerunner, reach hither with thy hand, and through thine intercessions lead the ship of my soul into the safe haven of penitence.

   O Thou who baptized in the waters of the river Him that taketh away the sins of the world, do thou, with the streams of thine intercessions dry up, O blessed John the Forerunner, the abyss of my evil deeds.

   Having seen the Holy Spirit, thou didst hear the voice of the Begetter testifying of Jesus Whom thou wast ineffably baptizing, O Forerunner; Him also entreat to save our souls.

Theotokion: O Theotokos and all-spotless Virgin, the Source of our atonement, do thou entirely renew me who am broken through the attacks of the serpent, that I may with faith and love bless thee.

ODE IX

Irmos: Eve by her disobedience brought about the curse, * but thee O Virgin Theotokos , * through the sprouting of the fruit of thy womb, * flowered forth blessing unto all the world, * wherefore we all magnify Thee.

   My strength and my song is Christ the Lord; do thou, O blessed Forerunner, entreat Him to fortify me against the passions and all attacks of the demons, and vouchsafe me to fulfill the divine will, that I may ever bless thee with love.

   O divine Forerunner, thou hast appeared as a beautiful turtle-dove, as a sweetly-spoken swallow, announcing Christ the Divine Spring; I implore thee do thou entreat Him to deliver me from the soul-corrupting wintry storm of sin.

   Having leaped for joy in thy mother's womb, thou hast announced Him that shone forth from the Virgin; entreat Him to mortify the destructive passions of my flesh, and to fill my heart with joy, that I may ever hymn thee, O divine Forerunner.

Theotokion: O greatly-loving Theotokos, thou who gavest birth to the greatly-loving God, entreat Him to deliver me from every evil and to make my heart inclined to desire Him and to be indisposed to fleshly pleasure, that I may magnify thee in song.

Expostilarion [Svetilen]:

   O blessed Forerunner, as a morning star * before the Sun of Glory * thou didst shine forth in a God-pleasing manner * from the aged and barren one and an elderly priest, * announcing the Lord's birth from the Virgin * for the redemption of mankind; * wherefore O Baptist we lovingly hymn and adore, * thy most honored [name of the event.]

Glory ..., Now & Ever ..., Theotokion:

   O most pure Theotokos, * the Prophets have announced, the Apostles have taught, * the martyrs have clearly and in a Divinely-wise manner * confessed thy Son, as the God of all, * Who through thee hath delivered us from the ancient condemnation; * together with them we magnify thee.

At the Aposticha, the Stichera. In Tone IV:

   Possessing boldness before God * and being the greatest of all men, * do thou, O Forerunner, ever entreat Him * for those that in faith call upon thee, * to grant us our requests for repentance * that being saved we may ever hymn thee. [Twice]

   O Forerunner, thou wast called a Prophet from thy mother's womb, * a preacher and Apostle from the bosom; * whereas I am given over to the demons * and am a slave to sin, * do thou as a powerful warrior, * deliver me from both, * that I may profess thy speedy intercession.

   Like unto a fan of the Divine Spirit, * blow away the chaff of passionate inclinations from my heart, * and like wheat gathered into the granary of God gather the harvest of divine works from me * that I may become acceptable unto the Lord, * O blessed one, * enriched by thine intercession, O Baptist of Christ.

Glory ..., In Tone VIII:

   Unto John the Baptist * it is befitting to offer sweet fragrances and beautiful hymns, * for when he leapt in his mother's womb he announced the commencement of our salvation, * and crying in the wilderness 'Repent ye for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand' * he was revealed as the Sovereign's warrior, * the Forerunner of grace who hath declared the Lamb * and entreats the Savior for our souls.

Now & Ever ..., Theotokion:

   O Sovereign-Lady, * accept the prayers of us thy servants * and deliver us * from every need and suffering.

   The Great Doxology, after which, if not a Resurrection service, we sing The Troparion for the feast [from above] or else:

The General Troparion [Also for the Beheading],

In Tone II:

   The memory of the just is celebrated with hymns of praise * but the Lord's testimony is enough for thee, O Forerunner, * for thou wast shown to be more wonderful than the Prophets * since thou wast granted to baptize in the running waters * Him Whom thou didst proclaim. * Then having endured great suffering for the Truth, * Thou didst rejoice to bring, even to those in hell * the good tidings that God Who had appeared in the flesh * takes away the sin of the world * and grants us the great mercy.

   The Dismissal:

 

AT THE LITURGY

Typika and Beatitudes.

   1. Thou hast manifested every virtue, and every evil deed hast thou heartily hated, showing unto mankind the blessed path of penitence, O all-blessed one.

   2. Thou didst appear unto all as the great Forerunner of the incarnate Word; wherefore I implore thee to free me from the irrational influence of passions, by leading me to dispassion.

   3. Whilst still living in the flesh, O Forerunner, thou manifest in thyself the life of the bodiless ones, and now that thou, with them approachest the Divinity, O God-bearing one, do thou strengthened us with thine intercessions.

   4. In the rapids thou stood baptizing the Lord who taketh away the sins of all mankind; cease not therefore, O Forerunner, to entreat Him to have compassion on our souls.

   5. Thou wast manifested as the preacher of repentance; therein do thou, O Forerunner, preserve also my heart polluted with pernicious sins and having no recuperation.

   6. Thou hast, O blessed one, proclaimed unto the souls in the impassable wilderness the Word that came down from above; wherefore every Church with never-silent voices blesseth thee.

   7. My strength and my song is Christ the Lord; do thou, O blessed Forerunner, entreat Him to fortify me against the passions and all attacks of the demons, and vouchsafe me to fulfill the divine will, that I may ever bless thee with love.

   8. O divine Forerunner, thou hast appeared as a beautiful turtle-dove, as a sweetly-spoken swallow, announcing Christ the Divine Spring; I implore thee do thou entreat Him to deliver me from the soul-corrupting wintry storm of sins

Troparia:

The General Troparion [Also for the Beheading], In Tone II:

   The memory of the just is celebrated with hymns of praise * but the Lord's testimony is enough for thee, O Forerunner, * for thou wast shown to be more wonderful than the Prophets * since thou wast granted to baptize in the running waters * Him Whom thou didst proclaim. * Then having endured great suffering for the Truth, * Thou didst rejoice to bring, even to those in hell * the good tidings that God Who had appeared in the flesh * takes away the sin of the world * and grants us the great mercy.

Troparion of the Conception of the Forerunner In Tone IV:

   Sing, O barren one that didst not bear, * for thou hast conceived the lamp of the Sun * Who is to enlighten the whole world suffering from blindness. * O Zacharias rejoice and shout: * "The Prophet of the Most High is to be born."

Troparion of the Synaxis of the Forerunner: In Tone II:

   The memory of the just is celebrated with hymns of praise, * but the Lord's testimony is enough for thee, O Forerunner * for thou wast shown to be more wonderful than the Prophets * since thou wast granted to baptize in the running waters * Him whom thou didst proclaim. * Then having endured great suffering for the Truth, * thou didst rejoice to bring, even to those in hell, * the good tidings that God Who had appeared in the flesh * takes away the sin of the world and grants us the great mercy.

Troparion for the Birth of the Forerunner: In Tone IV:

   O Prophet and Forerunner of the coming of Christ, * we honor thee lovingly but cannot extol thee worthily; * for by thy birth * thy mother's barrenness and thy Father's dumbness were unfettered; * and the Incarnation of the Son of God is proclaimed to the world.

Troparion for the 1st & 2nd Finding: In Tone IV:

   The head of the Forerunner has risen from the earth * and sends forth healing rays of incorruption to all the faithful. * In heaven it is mustering a host of Angels, * and on earth it is assembling mankind * to ascribe glory to our God.

Troparion for the 3rd Finding: In Tone IV:

   Christ has revealed thy head to us, O Prophet and Forerunner * as a divine treasure hidden in the earth. * We come with hymns to honor its discovery, * and praise the Savior Who saves us from corruption, * through thy intercessions.

Kontakia:

The Kontakion for the Beheading of St John the Baptist,:

In Tone V:

   The beheading of the glorious Forerunner * was a divine dispensation * that the coming of the Savior might be preached to those in hell. * Lament then, Herodias, * that thou didst demand a murder * despising the law of God and eternal life.

The Kontakion for the Conception of St John the Baptist, In Tone I:

   Great Zacharias radiantly rejoices * together with Elizabeth: * she worthily conceived John the Forerunner whom the Angel announced with great gladness * and whom we honor as an initiate of grace.

The Kontakion for the Synaxis of St John the Baptist, In Tone VI:

   Jordan turned back in fear at the sight of Thy bodily presence. * And having fulfilled his prophetic ministry, John drew back trembling. * The Angelic orders were amazed * to see Thee in the flesh baptized in the waters. * And all in darkness were illumined and praised Thee * Who had appeared and enlightened all creation.

The Kontakion for the Birth of St John the Baptist, In Tone III:

   The formerly barren one today gives birth to the Forerunner of Christ * Who is the fulfillment of prophecy. * For the Prophet, Herald and Forerunner of the Word * submitted to Him Whom the Prophets foretold * by laying his hand on Him in the Jordan.

Kontakion for the 1st & 2nd Finding of the Glorious head of

St. John the Baptist , In Tone II:

   O Prophet of God and Forerunner of Grace, * having obtained thy head from the earth as a most sacred rose, * we ever receive healings; * for still as of old in the world * thou preachest repentance.

The Kontakion for 3rd Finding of the Glorious head of

St. John the Baptist, In Tone VI:

   The shining pillar on earth, the Forerunner, lamp of the spiritual Sun, * has revealed his radiant, holy head to the world. * He sanctifies those who venerate it and who faithfully cry: * O wise Baptist of Christ, save us all.

   But if there be no Kontakion, sing the following:

Kontakion, In Tone VIII:

   I the unworthy one, sin more than all mankind * nevertheless I bring unto thee a hymn, * O John the Forerunner who art truly greater of all the saints, * and since thou hath boldness before the Lord, * I implore thee to free me from all misfortunes that can be, * that I may sing unto thee: * Rejoice thou the proclaimer of grace.

Prokeimenon In Tone I: [Psalm 109:4, 1] Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedech.

Stichos: The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies a footstool for thy feet.

The Acts of the Apostles

[Acts. 13: 25-32]

   Brethren: as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose. Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the Prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead: And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,

Alleluia, [Psalm 98:6, 96:11] Moses and Aaron among His priests, and Samuel among them that call upon His name.

Stichos: The Lord preserveth the souls of His saints, from the hand of the sinner shall He deliver them.

The Holy Gospel according to St. Mathew

[Math. 11:2-15]

   At that time: John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the Prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Communion Verse: [Psalm 111:6, 7] In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be; He shall not be afraid of evil tidings.