The Introit

Shower, O heavens, | from above,*
and let the clouds rain down | righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may | bear fruit;*
let the earth cause them | both to sprout.

The heavens declare the glo- | ry of God,*
and the sky above proclaims his | handiwork.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Shower, O heavens, | from above,*
and let the clouds rain down | righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may | bear fruit;*
let the earth cause them | both to sprout.

The Collect of the Day

Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come and help us by Your might, that the sins which weigh us down may be quickly lifted by Your grace and mercy; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

 
Preaching of St. John the Baptist,   1738, Jean Moyreau, French, from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art

Preaching of St. John the Baptist, 1738, Jean Moyreau, French, from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Gradual

The LORD is near to all who | call on him,*
to all who call on | him in truth.
My mouth will speak the praise | of the LORD,*
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and | ever.

The Old Testament

Deuteronomy 18:15–19

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’

“And the Lord said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.

The Epistle

Philippians 4:4–7

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 
"Behold the Lamb of God..." (John Calling Christ the Lamb of God),   c. 1593-1600, Jacob de Weert, Flemish from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art

"Behold the Lamb of God..." (John Calling Christ the Lamb of God), c. 1593-1600, Jacob de Weert, Flemish from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Holy Gospel

John 1:19–28

Alleluia . You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!. Alleluia.

Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”

He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”

And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

And he answered, “No.”

Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”

He said: “I am

‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Make straight the way of the Lord,”’

as the prophet Isaiah said.”

Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”

These things were done in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.