Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty saviour,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Blessèd are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation,
eternal Creator of day and night,
to you be glory and praise for ever!
As we look for your coming in glory,
wash away our transgressions,
cleanse us by your refining fire
and make us temples of your Holy Spirit. By the light of Christ,
dispel the darkness of our hearts
and make us ready to enter your kingdom,
where songs of praise for ever sound,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Blessèd be God for ever!
— Celebrating common prayer.
Fra Angelico. The Naming of John the Baptist. (1435) San Marco Musuem, Florence
Benedictus, from W.A. Mozart, Great Mass in C minor. K427. Miah Persson (sop.), Ann Hallenberg (alto), Helge Rønning (ten.), Peter Mattei (bass). Royal Stockholm philharmonic orchestra and Monteverdi Choir, cond. John Eliot Gardiner, 2008.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.