Evening Prayer Readings
Eve of St. John the Baptist

The First Lesson
The Second Lesson
The Collect
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The Psalter


Psalm 103


The One Hundred Third Psalm

Benedic, anima mea.


PRAISE the LORD, O my soul; * and all that is within me, praise his holy Name.
 
Praise the LORD, O my soul, * and forget not all his benefits:
 
Who forgiveth all thy sin, * and healeth all thine infirmities;
 
Who saveth thy life from destruction, * and crowneth thee with mercy and loving-kindness;
 
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, * making thee young and lusty as an eagle.
 
The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment * for all them that are oppressed with wrong.
 
He showed his ways unto Moses, * his works unto the children of Israel.
 
The LORD is full of compassion and mercy, * long-suffering, and of great goodness.
 
He will not alway be chiding; * neither keepeth he his anger for ever.
 
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; * nor rewarded us according to our wickednesses.
 
For look how high the heaven is in comparison of the earth; * so great is his mercy also toward them that fear him.
 
Look how wide also the east is from the west; * so far hath he set our sins from us.
 
Yea, like as a father pitieth his own children; * even so is the LORD merciful unto them that fear him.
 
For he knoweth whereof we are made; * he remembereth that we are but dust.
 
The days of man are but as grass; * for he flourisheth as a flower of the field.
 
For as soon as the wind goeth over it, it is gone; * and the place thereof shall know it no more.
 
But the merciful goodness of the LORD endureth for ever and ever upon them that fear him; * and his righteousness upon children's children;
 
Even upon such as keep his covenant, * and think upon his commandments to do them.
 
The LORD hath prepared his seat in heaven, * and his kingdom ruleth over all.
 
O praise the LORD, ye angels of his, ye that excel in strength; * ye that fulfil his commandment, and hearken unto the voice of his word.
 
O praise the LORD, all ye his hosts; * ye servants of his that do his pleasure.
 
O speak good of the LORD, all ye works of his, in all places of his dominion: * praise thou the LORD, O my soul.



 

The First Lesson


Ecclesiasticus 48:1-10


Then stood up Elias the prophet as fire, and his word burned like a lamp. He brought a sore famine upon them, and by his zeal he diminished their number. By the word of the Lord he shut up the heaven, and also three times brought down fire. O Elias, how wast thou honoured in thy wondrous deeds! and who may glory like unto thee! Who didst raise up a dead man from death, and his soul from the place of the dead, by the word of the most High: Who broughtest kings to destruction, and honorable men from their bed: Who heardest the rebuke of the Lord in Sinai, and in Horeb the judgment of vengeance: Who annointedst kings to take revenge, and prophets to succeed after him: Who was taken up in a whirlwind of fire, and in a chariot of fiery horses: Who wast ordained for reproofs in their times, to pacify the wrath of the Lord's judgment, before it brake forth into fury, and to turn the heart of the father unto the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob.



 

The Second Lesson


St. Luke 1:5-23

(Note: In the week of Trinity, read St. Matthew 21:23-27, below)

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.



 

The Collect

St. John the Baptist

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 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 the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



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