August 29

The Beheading of St. John the Baptist


Double Major

   St. John reproached Herod with his unlawful union. The adulterous Herodias and her shameless daughter Salome forced Herod to behead the Precursor. The Gospel of the Mass describes his martyrdom.

INTROIT Ps. 118. 46, 47

Loquebar de testimoniis tuis in conspectu regum, et non confundebar: et meditabar in mandatis tuis, quae dilexi nimis. -- Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere Nomini tuo, Altissime. V.: Gloria Patri . . . -- Adeamus cum fiducia . . . I spoke of Thy testimonies before kings, and I was not ashamed; I meditated also on Thy commandments, which I loved exceedingly. -- (Ps. 91. 2). It is good to give praise to the Lord; and to sing to Thy name, O Most High. V.: Glory be to the Father . . . -- I spoke of Thy testimonies . . .


COLLECT.--May the holy festival of Thy Forerunner and Martyr, Saint John the Baptist, we beseech Thee, O Lord, afford us help unto salvation. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father . . .

   Commemoration of St. Sabina, a noble Roman widow who suffered martyrdom under the emperor Hadrian:
2nd COLLECT.--O God, who among the other marvels of Thy power, hast granted even to the weaker sex the victory of martyrdom: mercifully grant: that we who celebrate the heavenly birthday of blessed Sabina, Thy Martyr, may, by her example, draw nearer to Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth . . .


EPISTLE Jeremias 1. 17-19
Lesson from the Book of Jeremias.

[God encourages the prophet.]

In those days: The word of the Lord came to me, saying: Gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak to Juda all that I command thee. By not afraid in their presence; for I will make thee not to fear their countenance. For behold I have made thee this day a fortified city, and a pillar of iron, and a wall of brass, over all the land, to the king of Juda, to the princes thereof and to the priests, and to the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee, and shall not prevail: for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.


GRADUAL Ps. 91. 13, 14

Justus ut palma florebit: sicut cedrus Libani multiplicabitur in domo Domini. V.: Ad annuntiandum mane misericordiam tuam, et veritatem tuam per noctem.
   Alleluia, alleluia. V.: Justus germinabit sicut lilium: et florebit in aeternum ante Dominum. Alleluia.
The just shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus in the house of the Lord. V.: To show forth Thy mercy in the morning, and Thy truth in the night.
   Alleluia, alleluia. V.(Hos. 14. 6). The just shall spring as the lily, and flourish for ever before the Lord. Alleluia.


GOSPEL Mark 6. 17-29
† Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Mark.

[Herod puts John the Baptist to death.]

At that time: Herod sent and apprehended John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, the wife of Philip his brother, because he had married her. For John said to Herod: It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. Now Herodias laid snares for him, and was desirous to put him to death, and could not. For Herod feared John, knowing him to be a just and holy man, and kept him, and when he heard him, did many things; and he heard him willingly. And when a convenient day was come, Herod made a supper for his birthday, for the princes, and tribunes, and chief men of Galilee. And when the daughter of the same Herodias had come in, and had danced, and pleased Herod and them that were at table with him, the king said to the damsel, Ask of me what thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he swore to her: Whatsoever thou shalt ask, I will give thee; though it be the half of my kingdom. Who, when she was gone out, said to her mother: What shall I ask? But she said: The head of John the Baptist. And when she was come in immediately with haste to the king, she asked, saying: I will that forthwith thou give me in adish the head of John the Baptist. And the king was stuck sad; yet because of his oath, and because of them that were with him at table, he would not displease her; but sending an executioner he commanded that his head should be brought in a dish. And he beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a dish, and gave it to the damsel, and the damsel gave it to her mother. Which his disciples hearing, came and took the body, and laid it in a tomb.


OFFERTORY Ps. 20. 2, 3

In virtute tua, Domine, laetabitur justus, et super salutare tuum exsultabit vehementer: desiderium animae ejus tribuisti ei. In Thy strength, O Lord, the just man shall joy, and in Thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly: Thou hast given him his hear's desire.


SECRET.--We beseech Thee, O Lord, that the gifts which we bring to Thee in honor of the suffering of Thy holy Martyr, John the Baptist, may by his intercession profit us unto salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee . . .

   Commemoration of St. Sabina:
2nd SECRET.--Graciously receive, O Lord, the offerings consecrated to Thee by the merits of blessed Sabina, Thy Martyr, and grant that they may ever bring us help. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth . . .


The Common Preface

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus: per Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Coeli, coelorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti jubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes: It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them, we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:



Posuisti, Domine, in capite ejus coronam de lapide pretioso. O Lord, Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones.


POSTCOMMUNION.--May the festival of St. John the Baptist bring us grace, O Lord, both to venerate what is signified by the glorious Sacraments which we have received, and to rejoice at what they have wrought within us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son . . .

   Commemoration of St. Sabina:
2nd POSTCOMMUNION.--Filled with the Gifts of Thy divine bounty, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our God; that by the intercession of blessed Sabina Thy Martyr, we may partake thereof for evermore. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth . . .