The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

Thursday, August 29, 2019Saturday, August 29, 2020Monday, August 29, 2022
The Collect: 

Rite I:
Almighty God, who didst call thy servant John to be the forerunner of thy Son our Lord both in life and death; grant, we beseech thee, that as we remember his faithfulness unto death, we may with boldness speak thy truth and with humility be ready to hear it; through Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead, who with Thee and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest one God, world without end. Amen.

Rite II:
Almighty God, who called your servant John the Baptist to go before your Son our Lord both in life and death; grant that we who remember his witness may with boldness speak your truth and in humility hear it when it is spoken to us, through Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns one God forever and ever. Amen.

First Lesson: 
2 Corinthians 4:5–11

5 For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. 11 For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh.

Psalm: 
Psalm 71:1–7

1 In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge; *
       let me never be ashamed.
2 In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free; *
       incline your ear to me and save me.
3 Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe; *
       you are my crag and my stronghold.
4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, *
       from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
5 For you are my hope, O Lord God, *
       my confidence since I was young.
6 I have been sustained by you ever since I was born;
   from my mother’s womb you have been my strength; *
       my praise shall be always of you.
7 I have become a portent to many; *
       but you are my refuge and my strength.

Gospel: 
Matthew 14:1–12

1 At that time Herod the ruler[a] heard reports about Jesus; 2 and he said to his servants, ‘This is John the Baptist; he has been raised from the dead, and for this reason these powers are at work in him.’ 3 For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 because John had been telling him, ‘It is not lawful for you to have her.’ 5 Though Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded him as a prophet. 6 But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and she pleased Herod 7 so much that he promised on oath to grant her whatever she might ask. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, ‘Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.’ 9 The king was grieved, yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he commanded it to be given; 10 he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 The head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who brought it to her mother. 12 His disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went and told Jesus.

The Old Testament, New Testament and Gospels readings are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.