|Beheading of St John the Baptist|
I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord." Psalm 122:1
I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all danger and harm. I ask you to preserve and keep me, this day also, from all sin and evil, that in all my thoughts, words, and deeds I may serve and please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the wicked one have no power over me. Amen.
Confession and Forgiveness
Dear Heavenly Father, we lower our heads before you and we confess that we have too often forgotten that we are yours. Sometimes we carry on our lives as if there was no God and we fall short of being a credible witness to You. For these things we ask your forgiveness and we also ask for your strength. Give us clear minds and open hearts so we may witness to You in our world. Remind us to be who You would have us to be regardless of what we are doing or who we are with. Hold us to You and build our relationship with You and with those You have given us on earth. Amen.
The First Reading is taken from 2 Samuel 2:1-11
After this David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?" The LORD said to him, "Go up." David said, "To which shall I go up?" He said, "To Hebron." So David went up there, along with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David brought up the men who were with him, every one with his household; and they settled in the towns of Hebron. Then the people of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. When they told David, "It was the people of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul," David sent messengers to the people of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, "May you be blessed by the LORD, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord, and buried him! Now may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you! And I too will reward you because you have done this thing. Therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant; for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them." But Abner son of Ner, commander of Saul's army, had taken Ishbaal son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim. He made him king over Gilead, the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and over all Israel. Ishbaal, Saul's son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. The time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
The Second Reading is taken from Acts 15:36-16:5
After some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Come, let us return and visit the believers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord and see how they are doing." Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul decided not to take with them one who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not accompanied them in the work. The disagreement became so sharp that they parted company; Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and set out, the believers commending him to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.
The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 6:14-29
[The Death of John the Baptist] King Herod heard of it, for Jesus' name had become known. Some were saying, "John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him." But others said, "It is Elijah." And others said, "It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old." But when Herod heard of it, he said, "John, whom I beheaded, has been raised." For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it." And he solemnly swore to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom." She went out and said to her mother, "What should I ask for?" She replied, "The head of John the baptizer." Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter." The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
Psalm 56 Miserere mei, Deus
1 Have mercy on me, O God, for my enemies are hounding me; all day long they assault and oppress me.
2 They hound me all the day long; truly there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
3 Whenever I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust and will not be afraid, for what can flesh do to me?
5 All day long they damage my cause; their only thought is to do me evil.
6 They band together; they lie in wait; they spy upon my footsteps; because they seek my life.
7 Shall they escape despite their wickedness? O God, in your anger, cast down the peoples.
8 You have noted my lamentation; put my tears into your bottle; are they not recorded in your book?
9 Whenever I call upon you, my enemies will be put to flight; this I know, for God is on my side.
10 In God the LORD, whose word I praise, in God I trust and will not be afraid, for what can mortals do to me?
11 I am bound by the vow I made to you, O God; I will present to you thank-offerings;
12 For you have rescued my soul from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living.
Psalm 57 Miserere mei, Deus
1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful, for I have taken refuge in you; in the shadow of your wings will I take refuge until this time of trouble has gone by.
2 I will call upon the Most High God, the God who maintains my cause.
3 He will send from heaven and save me; he will confound those who trample upon me; God will send forth his love and his faithfulness.
4 I lie in the midst of lions that devour the people; their teeth are spears and arrows, their tongue a sharp sword.
5 They have laid a net for my feet, and I am bowed low; they have dug a pit before me, but have fallen into it themselves.
6 Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, and your glory over all the earth.
7 My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and make melody.
8 Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp; I myself will waken the dawn.
9 I will confess you among the peoples, O LORD; I will sing praise to you among the nations.
10 For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
11 Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, and your glory over all the earth.
Psalm 58 Si vere utique
1 Do you indeed decree righteousness, you rulers? do you judge the peoples with equity?
2 No; you devise evil in your hearts, and your hands deal out violence in the land.
3 The wicked are perverse from the womb; liars go astray from their birth.
4 They are as venomous as a serpent, they are like the deaf adder which stops its ears,
5 Which does not heed the voice of the charmer, no matter how skillful his charming.
6 O God, break their teeth in their mouths; pull the fangs of the young lions, O LORD.
7 Let them vanish like water that runs off; let them wither like trodden grass.
8 Let them be like the snail that melts away, like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.
9 Before they bear fruit, let them be cut down like a brier; like thorns and thistles let them be swept away.
10 The righteous will be glad when they see the vengeance; they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 And they will say, "Surely, there is a reward for the righteous; surely, there is a God who rules in the earth."
Psalm 64 Exaudi, Deus
1 Hear my voice, O God, when I complain; protect my life from fear of the enemy.
2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the mob of evildoers.
3 They sharpen their tongue like a sword, and aim their bitter words like arrows,
4 That they may shoot down the blameless from ambush; they shoot without warning and are not afraid.
5 They hold fast to their evil course; they plan how they may hide their snares.
6 They say, "Who will see us? who will find out our crimes? we have thought out a perfect plot."
7 The human mind and heart are a mystery; but God will loose an arrow at them, and suddenly they will be wounded.
8 He will make them trip over their tongues, and all who see them will shake their heads.
9 Everyone will stand in awe and declare God's deeds; they will recognize his works.
10 The righteous will rejoice in the LORD and put their trust in him, and all who are true of heart will glory.
Psalm 65 Te decet hymnus
1 You are to be praised, O God, in Zion; to you shall vows be performed in Jerusalem.
2 To you that hear prayer shall all flesh come, because of their transgressions.
3 Our sins are stronger than we are, but you will blot them out.
4 Happy are they whom you choose and draw to your courts to dwell there! they will be satisfied by the beauty of your house, by the holiness of your temple.
5 Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness, O God of our salvation, O Hope of all the ends of the earth and of the seas that are far away.
6 You make fast the mountains by your power; they are girded about with might.
7 You still the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the clamor of the peoples.
8 Those who dwell at the ends of the earth will tremble at your marvelous signs; you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy.
9 You visit the earth and water it abundantly; you make it very plenteous; the river of God is full of water.
10 You prepare the grain, for so you provide for the earth.
11 You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges; with heavy rain you soften the ground and bless its increase.
12 You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths overflow with plenty.
13 May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing, and the hills be clothed with joy.
14 May the meadows cover themselves with flocks, and the valleys cloak themselves with grain; let them shout for joy and sing.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Prayer of the Day
Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart. Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.
The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray, Amen.
A Prayer for the Renewal of Life
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for Mission
O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Power of Your Love
Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, 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 New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.