On Friday | June 24




The Readings from the Regular Cycle

The Epistle

Friday of the 2nd Week

The reading is from Paul's Letter to the Romans.

Rom. 5:17-21; 6:1-2

Brethren, if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous. Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? [RSV]

The Gospel

Friday of the 2nd Week of Matthew

The reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Mt. 9:14-17

At that time, the disciples of John came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guest mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. And no one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved." [RSV]



The Readings for the Commemoration


June 24

The Birth of the Holy Forerunner

The Readings from Vespers the Previous Evening

From Menaion - - -

Gn 17:15-17, 19; 18:11a, 12-14a; 21:1-2, 4-8

Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; and I will bless him, and he shall become nations; and kings of peoples shall be from him.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his mind, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old, and shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” Then God said, “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “I have not yet had a child until now, and my lord is old also?” Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh within herself, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ Is anything impossible with God?” Now the Lord visited Sarah as He said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in old age, at the set time, of which God had spoken to him. She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne a child in my old age.” So the child grew and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the same day Isaac was weaned. [SAAS]

Jdg 13:2-5a, 6a, 7-8, 13-14a, 17-18, 21a

Now there was a certain man from Zorah, from the tribe of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and could not give birth. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Indeed now, you are barren and have not given birth, but you shall conceive a son. Now therefore, be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, and do not eat anything unclean. For behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb.” So the woman went in and told her husband, saying, “A Man of God came to me, and His appearance was like the appearance of an Angel of God, very frightening. And He said to me, ‘Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. Now drink no wine or strong drink, and do not eat anything unclean, for the child shall be holy to God from the womb to the day of his death.’ ” Then Manoah prayed to the Lord and said, “Lord Adonai, please let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.” So the Angel of the Lord said to Manoah, “The woman will guard herself from everything I have told her. She may not eat anything that comes from the vine of wine, and let her not drink wine or similar strong drink, nor eat anything unclean.” Then Manoah said to the Angel of the Lord, “What is Your name, so when Your words come to pass we may honor You?” And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask My name, is it extraordinary?” When the Angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, Manoah knew this to be the Angel of the Lord. [SAAS]

Is 40:1-5, 9; 41:17b-18; 45:8; 48:20b-21a; 54:1

Thus says the Lord: "Comfort, yes, comfort My people," says God. "O priests, speak to the heart of Jerusalem, comfort her, for her humiliation is ended, her sin is pardoned; for she received from the Lord’s hand double for her sins." The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight the paths of our God. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill humbled; the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough places into plains. The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God; for the Lord has spoken." O you who bring good tidings to Zion, go into the high mountain; O you who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid. Say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God." I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. But I will open rivers in the mountain and fountains in the midst of the plains. I will make the desert into marsh-meadows, and the dry land into aqueducts. Let heaven above be glad, and let the clouds sprinkle righteousness. Let the earth bring forth mercy and righteousness together. Proclaim a voice of gladness and let it become well known. Proclaim it to the end of the earth, and say, "The Lord delivered His servant Jacob." If they shall thirst, He will lead them through the desert, and water shall flow from the rock for them. Be glad, O barren woman who does not bear; break forth and cry out, you who are not in travail, for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman. [SAAS]

The Epistle

For the Forerunner.

The reading is from Paul's Letter to the Romans.

Rom. 13:11-14; 14:1-4

Brethren, salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions. One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats; for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for God is able to make him stand. [RSV]

The Gospel

For the Forerunner.

The reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.

Lk. 1:1-25, 57-68, 76-80

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilos, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed. In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years. Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared." And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years." And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time." And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they wondered at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he made signs to them and remained dumb. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home. After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying, "Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men." Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zacharias after his father, but his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John." And they said to her, "None of your kindred is called by this name." And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all marveled. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For 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 has visited and redeemed his people. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways." And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel. [RSV]



It is appropriate to stand for the reading of the Synaxarion.


From the Menaion.

On June 24 we celebrate the Nativity of the honorable and glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John.

By his holy intercessions, Christ God, have mercy on us. Amen.



Fasting Rule

Wine: Wine and oil are allowed. Refrain from meat, fish, dairy, and eggs.

It is a minor feast.