September 5 Holy Prophet Zachariah and the Righteous Elizabeth, the Parents of St. John the Baptist

Read the Life of the Ss. Zachariah and Elizabeth here

The Holy Prophet Zachariah and the Righteous Elizabeth were the parents of the holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord, John. They were descended from the lineage of Aaron: St Zachariah, son of Barach, was a priest in the Jerusalem Temple, and St Elizabeth was the sister of St Anna, the mother of the Most Holy Theotokos

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of Zachariah and Elizabeth from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

By thy mediation, O prophet, impart unto me the grace of the Spirit, to help me praise thy memory, crying out: Let us chant unto our Deliverer and God!

Thy life was found to be blameless, and thou wast arrayed in the vesture of the priesthood and the luminous splendors of prophecy, O divinely eloquent and blessed one.

Having thy head adorned with the crown of the law, O Zachariah, thou wast shown to be sacred, crying out: Let us chant unto our Deliverer and God!

Thou didst have true love for God, O right loving Elizabeth, preserving His commandments; for he truly loveth God who keepeth His commandments. Wherefore, we magnify thee, the beloved of God, with praises.

We who are saved by grace must please God with virtues, just as Elizabeth walked in the commandments of the Lord blamelessly, whom let us bless with hymns, as is meet.

O God Who dost accomplish all things, Thou didst manifest Thine almighty mercy in the blessed Elizabeth. We offer thee thanks for all Thy works.

When thou didst offer the incense of the covenant, O high priest, then didst thou receive the prophetic proclamation of the Forerunner.

The priesthood anointed thee with oil to serve as priest, like Aaron. Wherefore, thou wast counted worthy to behold an angel.

Zachariah begat John, the dawn which announced to the whole world Thee, the noetic Sun, O Savior.

In the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit called thee and Zachariah righteous, O blessed Elizabeth, saying that ye were righteous in the sight of God. The Messiah is the truth for us from God, and therefore, by the Messiah wast thou justified. Who will not magnify thee with hymns of praise?

Not everyone who liveth is justified in God's sight; but thou wast righteous, O ever-memorable Elizabeth. The Lord Jesus is sanctification for all. Let each of us praise thee as holy.

O God Who art wondrous in Thy saints, Thou wast wondrous also in the blessed Elizabeth. We offer unto Thee, the Most Compassionate One, a hymn of thanksgiving.

Thy prophet, O Master, faithfully ministered unto Thee with the symbols of the law and was counted worthy of the grace to perceive Thy truth.

Thou, the most brilliant and all-blessed one, didst receive light through darkest light; for through the law grace hath now been added unto thee.

Announcing, the divine Gabriel, who standeth before God, revealed to thee the voice and Forerunner of the Word, O blessed one.

As the wife of Zachariah, thou didst walk blamelessly in all the commandments; but there were others, virgins, who possessed not the oil of the virtues. Better is thine appellation than their virginity. Let people of every age glorify thee!

Paul, betrothing the faithful to Christ, referred to the married as a pure virgin, saying: I have betrothed you a pure virgin to one Husband. How much more hath God joined to the wise virgins thee who hast walked in all His commandments, O divinely wise Elizabeth. Wherefore, we praise thee as is meet.

Thou, O God, hast shown the blessed Zachariah and Elizabeth, who walked in the commandments of the Lord, to be a model of how to please Thee, like unto the pillar of fire and the cloud when Israel was journeying to the promised land. Ineffable is Thy love for man- kind, O almighty Master!

Upon thy head, O prophet, was the mitre placed which bore the impress of the true and divine priesthood.

Creation rejoiceth in thine offspring, O high priest; for thou didst beget the preacher of repentance.

Thou didst lead a life adorned, for with Elizabeth thou didst keep all the commandments of the Lord.

To him whom God, through His angel, spake in the prophecy of Malachi, saying: "Behold, I will send Mine angel before Thy face", didst thou, a barren woman, give birth, O Elizabeth. We crown thee with worthy praises.

The voice of God crying in the wilderness is born of thee, O most honored Elizabeth. Wherefore, who will not praise thee as the mouth of God?

As once from a barren rock Thou didst pour forth water for Thy people, O God, so from the barren Elizabeth Thou hast given the preacher of repentance. O almighty Master, most glorious are all Thy works!

He who served the shadow of the law was shown to be a preacher of grace, O our Savior; for he was counted worthy to behold Thine incarnation.

Adorned with words of judgment, O sacred Zachariah, thou didst receive the ever-existing Word wearing flesh.

Thou wast shown to serve God in the temple as a right wondrous priest, O divinely inspired initiate of the mysteries of God.

When the voice of one crying in the wilderness came forth from the barren woman supernaturally, he loosed the bonds of thy tongue that thou couldst cry: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

The Forerunner, the beloved friend of the Bridegroom, was born of a barren woman, manifestly proclaiming the birthgiving of the Virgin unto those who cry out with faith: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

O thrice-blessed Zachariah, thou wast wholly a divine instrument of the Spirit, and didst proclaim thy son to be a prophet, who crieth: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, forever!

O divinely wise Elizabeth, thou teachest us to give thanks unto God, saying of thy birthgiving: "Thus hath the Lord dealt with me!" And therein thou wast a teacher instructed by God.

He whom the angel, within the sanctuary, told Zachariah to call John, thou didst thus name, instructed by God, when he was born of thee for all people. Thy tongue is like unto the angels', O ever-memorable Elizabeth.

As when God, making the heavens heavy with manna, let it fall upon His people in the wilderness, so hath He given us John, the herald of grace, through the blessed Elizabeth. Great is Thy mercy toward men, O God!

Thou wast shown to be a prophet of the truth, for thou didst prepare John the Forerunner to tread first the paths of Christ, O blessed high priest. Him do we exalt supremely for all ages.

Giving voice in speech, thou didst bless the Master, the Lord of glory Who hath bestowed salvation upon us, Who shone forth upon us in the flesh from David. Him do we exalt supremely for all ages.

Thou was counted worthy of great gifts, O divinely revealed one, begetting the Forerunner, the greatest of all the prophets, who hymneth and exalteth the Lord supremely for all ages.

As God said of His Church: "Thou art all-comely, my beloved, and there is no blemish in thee", so art thou also blameless, O righteous Elizabeth. In that the Lord Jesus is the sanctification of His faithful, we magnify thee as all comely.

The people saw thee, who didst walk in all the commandments of the Lord, freely justified by the grace of God, O right blessed Elizabeth. Wherefore, it is meet to glorify the mercy of God in thee.

Elizabeth was the first proclaimer of the mystery wrought in Thee, O Jesus, when she said: "Blessed is the Fruit of the Virgin's womb, Who is Lord and God!" Behold the working of Thy wisdom! Glory to Thy love for mankind!

Thou wast filled with the inspiration of the Comforter and didst begin to bless the Lord, O divinely wise initiate of the sacred mysteries, divinely blessed one.

Perceiving the fulfillment of the archangel's words, O all-praised and divinely eloquent one, thou didst straightway move thy tongue to blessing.

Thou wast adorned with crowns of suffering and the priesthood and with the enlightenment of prophecy, O all-blessed Zachariah, divinely eloquent one.

Believing the Messiah Who had come to be thy Lord, and keeping the commandments of the Lord, thou didst please Him well, O Elizabeth. Wherefore, entreat the all-good Master for those who bear thy name and all who praise thee, that their souls may be saved.

He who keepeth the commandments of God hath God promised to love and appear to him; wherefore, thou art loved by God, O Elizabeth, who didst walk in His commandments. Entreat the All-good One in behalf of those who bear thy name, that they may love God and be loved by His lovingkindness.

Elizabeth, the kinswoman of Mary, gaveth birth, though barren and bereft of children. Thou didst magnify Thy mercy with her, O God, and every good work is from Thee. Glory to Thine ineffable compassions!