The Beheading of St. John the Baptist

Beatitude Verses: 4 from Ode 3 of the 1st Canon; and 4 from Ode 6 of the 2nd Canon


1 & 2.  As mediator standing between the old and the new covenant of the Gospel preachings, thou didst denounce the iniquitous union of the tyrant, and, rejoicing, didst accept a glorious death.


3. Instructed beforehand by her iniquitous mother, the girl said unto Herod, who was befuddled with drunkenness: “Give me the head of John on a platter, that I may present to my mother the gift she desireth!”


4.  The shameless tyrant, unable to endure the reproof of thy God-bearing tongue, O glorious prophet, gave thy precious martyr’s head to the girl as a reward for her dancing.


5.  Honoring the decapitation of thine honored and most praised head, O forerunner of Christ, we glorify thine ever-laudable and universal memory, O all-blessed one.


6.  O the vile feast!  O the bitter birthday!  O the drunkenness of the abominable and iniquitous Herod!  For he was held fast by iniquity and, reviled, he was persuaded to slay the prophet.


7.  The new Egyptian woman, dancing wantonly in the midst of the feast, asked for the head which had denounced her mother, the paramour of Herod.


8.  The Son of the Virgin is now shown to have first been the Son of the Father, Who is not understood to be different in any fashion from the visible Son; and He hath remained One, perfect in both His natures.




Tone 2: The memory of the righteous is celebrated with hymns of praise, /

but the Lord's testimony is sufficient for thee, O Forerunner; /

for thou hast proved to be even more venerable than the prophets /

since thou wast granted to baptize in the running waters Him Whom they proclaimed. /

Wherefore, having contested for the truth, /

thou didst rejoice to announce the good tidings even to those in Hades; /

that God hath appeared in the flesh, //

taking away the sin of the world and granting us great mercy.                     


Glory… Both now…Tone 2: 

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.


The Epistle


Reader: The Prokimenon in the 7th tone: The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him.

Choir: The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord and shall hope in Him.

Reader:  Hearken, O God, unto my prayer, when I make supplication unto Thee.

Choir: The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord and shall hope in Him.

Reader:  The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord.

Choir: And shall hope in Him.


Reader: The Reading is from the Acts of the Holy Apostles: [Acts 13:25-33]


Reader: Alleluia in the 4th Tone:

Choir: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Reader:  The righteous man shall flourish like a palm tree, and like a cedar in Lebanon shall he be multiplied..

Choir: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Reader:  They that are planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of our God they shall blossom forth.

Choir: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!


Gospel [Mark 6:14-30]




Glory… Tone 5:  The glorious beheading of the Forerunner /

was part of God’s dispensation, /

that the coming of the Savior might also be preached to those in hades. /

Lament then, Herodias, that thou hast demanded a wicked murder, /

for thou didst love neither the law of God nor eternal life, //

but one false and fleeting.


Both now... Tone 6: O protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, /

O mediation unto the creator unfailing, /

disdain not the suppliant voices of sinners, /

but be thou quick, O good one, to help us who in faith cry unto thee; /

hasten to intercession and speed thou to make supplication, //

thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.


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