Menaion

September 23

Great DoxologyThe conception of the holy prophet, forerunner, and baptist John. On this day are celebrated God’s mercy, his wondrous deeds, and his wisdom. The story of the conception of Saint John is related in the first chapter of the Gospel according to Saint Luke.

At Vespers

music (samohlasen)

There are six stichera at "O Lord, I have cried". (At weekday Vespers, each is sung twice.)

Tone 4, special melody Zvannyj svyše byv.  When the prophet Zechariah * was officiating as priest within the temple, * offering up the petition of the people to the most loving Lord, * he beheld an angel, who cried out to him: * Your supplication and entreaty have been heard. * Be of good cheer, O elder, and do not disbelieve! * For you shall have a child, the Forerunner of God, * the greatest of all born of women, * who (in the power of Elijah) will go before Christ.

Your appearance is strange to me, * and your words are strange as well, Zechariah said. * For I have come to ask for the salvation of the people, * and not to obtain a child, as you maintain. * I find you contrary to my requests, * and I suspect you are far from the truth. * How can what you say even come to pass? * For Elizabeth is barren, * and I myself am an old man, as you well know.

Why do you not believe my words, O Zechariah? * Why do you say that I bring false tidings? * I am an archangel of God; * at his command, I speak to you during this appearance. * But because you have doubted rather than believed, * you will be mute and unable to speak * until you see the divine fulfillment of my words. * When Elizabeth brings forth your son, the Forerunner, * who will be the eminent spokesman for the Word, * then in a loud voice you will bless the Lord, the God of Israel.

Glory – Tone 2.   Today the fruit of prayer has taken root in a barren womb. Behold, the Forerunner, John! * Make merry, O desert, and join chorus with humanity: for lo! the preacher of repentence * comes forth to be incarnate in his mother's womb. * Come, O lovers of the feasts of the Church! * Rejoicing in his glorious conception this day, * let us form a choir and cry out: * O prophet, greatest of those born of women, * never cease to intercede * for the faithful who honor your holy conception, * that we might find the pardon of our sins and great mercy.

Now and ever – the dogmatikon of Saturday evening, in the same tone, or (on Friday night or Saturday night) in the Tone of the week

The aposticha are for the feast:

Tone 6, special melody Vsju otloživše.  As it is written, * a holy angel came to a holy priest and prophet in the Holy of Holies. * He addressed him, saying: * Your prayers have been heard; * the barrenness of Elizabeth has now come to an end. * She will give birth to a son in spite of her advanced age. * It will be the Forerunner John, the lampstand for the Sun, * the prophet of the Most High, * the Voice of the Word who will be raised up * from the Virgin Handmaiden of God.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High.

How can I know this? * Tell me clearly, replied the blessed old man to the angel. * For I am full of years, as you can see; * Elizabeth is barren. * How can you contradict nature in what you say to me? * In my misery, I suspect that you are lying. * Leave me now. * I am praying for the salvation of the people; * not to obtain the impossible, a child.

We should serve him devoutly and through all our days be holy in his sight.

I am an archangel of Almight God, * and my name is Gabriel, * the Bodiless One said to the old man. You shall keep silence since you have doubted what I have said. * When your wife brings forth for you the herald of the Word, * the Holy Spirit will loosen your tongue to you can say: * And you, O child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, * for you shall go before the Lord to prepare the path in grace * which is pleasing to him.

Glory – Tone 6.  You came forth from a barren womb as an angel, O Baptist; * from your earliest childhood, you made the desert your abode, * and have shown yourself as the prophets' seal; * for him, whom they foresaw in many hidden ways, * was worthily baptized by you in the Jordan's streams. * From heaven you heard the Father's voice, * bearing witness to his divine Sonship, * and you saw the Spirit, in the form of a dove, * drawing down the Voice upon the One baptized. * O greatest of the prophets, cease not to intercede * for us who celebrate your memory with faith.

Now and ever – the aposticha theotokion of Saturday evening, in the same tone.

The troparia:

Troparion,  Tone 4.  Joy to you, O barren one, unable to give birth; behold, you conceive today the one who is really a torch of the Sun, * who will enlighten the whole world that suffers from blindness. * Rejoice, O Zechariah, * and cry out in all confidence: * The one who will be born * is a prophet of the Most High!

Glory, now and ever – the festal theotokion of Saturday evening, in the same tone.

At the Divine Liturgy

music - see the September Menaion

Troparion,  Tone 4.  Joy to you, O barren one, unable to give birth; behold, you conceive today the one who is really a torch of the Sun, * who will enlighten the whole world that suffers from blindness. * Rejoice, O Zechariah, * and cry out in all confidence: * The one who will be born * is a prophet of the Most High!

Glory, now and ever – Kontakion, Tone 1.   Zechariah rejoices greatly with his wife Elizabeth, * for she has conceived John the Forerunner * whom the angel announced in gladness. * As for us, we honor him in witness of this blessing.

Prokeimenon, Tone 7 (Ps. 63:11,2). The just man will rejoice in the Lord * and will put his trust in him.
V. Hear my voice, O God, when I pray to you.

Epistle:  Galatians 4:22-31

Alleluia, Tone 4 (Ps. 91:13,14). Alleuia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
V. The just man will flourish like the psalm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon.

Gospel:  Luke 1:5-25

Communion Hymn (Ps. 111:6,7). The just man will be remembered forever; evil news he will not fear. Alleuia! Alleluia! Alleluia!