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While most Saints have their chief commemoration related to their death, St. John the Baptist has his associated with his Birth. St. Luke's Gospel records that he was a relative of Christ, as his mother (Elizabeth) and Jesus' (the Blessed Virgin Mary) were cousins. Like Jesus, John's Birth and purpose in life were foretold by the Archangel Gabriel to one of his parents, namely Zachariah, who was a temple Priest.

At the Mass

The following is taken from:

The Introit

Antiphon: Isaiah 49 From the womb of my mother the Lord hath called me by my name: and hath made my mouth as it were a sharp sword: Beneath the shadow of his hand hath he hidden me, and hath made me like to a polished arrow.

Verse: Psalm 92 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord: and to sing praises unto thy Name, O Most Highest.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Repeat the Antiphon From the womb of ...

The English Gradual: Part II - The Proper, Pages 184-186

The Collects

Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Saviour, by preaching of repentance: Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching, and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

With the following, for CANADA, if desired.

O God, who didst lead the fathers of our nation into this land of Canada, and hast increased us by thy favour: Grant, we beseech thee, that we who now enter into their inheritance, may prove ourselves a people mindful of thy mercies and ready to do thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1962), Page 278

The Lesson
Isaiah 40. 1.

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a high-way for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and it all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the Spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever. O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain: O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid: say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God. Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.


The Book of Common Prayer (1962), Pages 278-279

Gradual and Alleluia

Jeremiah 1 Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee. The Lord put forth his hand and touched my mouth: and spake unto me.

Alleluia. Alleluia. Among them that are born of women: a greater hath not risen than John the Baptist. Alleluia.

The English Gradual: Part II - The Proper, Pages 184-186

The Gospel
St. Luke 1. 57.

Elizabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing-table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them; and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill-country of Judaea. And all they that had heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be? And 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 hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us In the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, Which have been since the world began; That we should be saved from our enemies, And from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, And to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, Might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest: For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people, By the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God, Whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us; To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death; To guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit; and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel.


The Book of Common Prayer (1962), Pages 279-281

The Offertory

Psalm 92 The righteous shall flourish like a palm-tree: and shall spread abroad like a cedar in Libanus.

The English Gradual: Part II - The Proper, Pages 184-186

The Preface

Upon All Saints’ Day and other Festivals of Saints.

Who in the multitude of thy Saints hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses, that we, rejoicing in their fellowship, may run with patience the race that is set before us, and together with them may receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away. Therefore with Angels, etc.

The Book of Common Prayer (1962), Page 81

The Communion

St. Luke 1 And Thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord, to prepare his ways.

The English Gradual: Part II - The Proper, Pages 184-186

At the Offices


Psalm(s): 68 Pt 1
First Lesson: Malachi 3:1–6
Second Lesson: Matthew 3

Morning Prayer

Psalm(s): 82, 98
First Lesson: Judges 13:1–7
Second Lesson: Luke 1:5–25

Evening Prayer

Psalm(s): 29, 30
First Lesson: Malachi 4
Second Lesson: Matthew 11:2–19
Additional Mass

The following Collect, Epistle, and Gospel may be used on any day from that of St John the Baptist (anniversary of the landing of John Cabot in Newfoundland, 1497) to Dominion Day, July 1 (anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, 1867); or on the Accession Day, or on such other national occasions as may be appointed by proper authority, the Collect of the day always being used.

The Collect

O God, who providest for thy people by thy power, and rulest over them in love: Vouchsafe so to bless thy servant our Queen, and her Government in this Dominion of Canada, that thy people may dwell in peace and safety, and thy Church serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1962), Page 281

The Epistle
1 St. Peter 2. 11.

Dear beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. Let your conduct among the Gentiles be honourable; that, whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may, by your good works which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake; whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him, for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free men, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness; but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.


The Book of Common Prayer (1962), Pages 281-282

The Gospel
St. Matthew 22. 16.

And the Pharisees sent unto him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, what thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? show me the tribute-money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.


The Book of Common Prayer (1962), Page 282