The Birth Of John The Baptist
Then the woman got up and left
and came to another town,
into a house in which was
the wife of Zachary.
There the good women lived,
the purest mothers,
until God willed
that Elizabeth should give birth.
When she bore the child,
many people rejoiced at the birth.
Truly relatives and friends
gathered together there
and named him Zachary.
That name was changed very quickly;
his mother said to ask
that they name him John.
Then an argument arose about the name
among those who had come there.
They said: “That name is unusual;
in this clan no one is called that.”
Then Zachary made a sign
since he was well aware of it.
The man did not hesitate
but took a tablet in his hand.
He wrote the name of the child:
His name is John.
When the child was circumcised,
as was the custom in those times,
at that very hour,
his tongue was loosed.
Then Zachary spoke
—he was filled with the Holy Spirit—
and what he prophesied was
the psalm Benedictus.
At matins is sung that song of praise.
Now let us say: To God be thanks.