05 September 2009

Commemoration of Zacharias and Elizabeth

Today our Synod commemorates the parents of St. John the Baptist, Sts. Zacharias and Elizabeth. From the Treasury and our Synod's website:

Zachariah and Elizabeth were “righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord” (Lk 1:6). Zechariah, a priest in the Jerusalem temple, was greeted by the angel Gabriel who announced that Zechariah and Elizabeth would become parents of a son. Initially Zechariah did not believe Gabriel's announcement because of their old age. For his disbelieve, Zechariah became unable to speak. After their son was born, Elizabeth named her son John. Zechariah confirmed his wife's choice and his ability to speak was restored. In response, he sang the Benedictus, a magnificent summary of God's promises in the Old Testament and a prediction of John's work as forerunner to Jesus (Lk. 1:68–79). Zechariah and Elizabeth are remembered as examples of faithfulness and piety.

The collect for the day begins: "O God, who alone knits all infants in the womb, You chose improbable servants - old and childless - to conceive and parent the forerunner of Christ, and, in so doing, demonstrated again Your strength in weakness..."

For Your servants, Zacharias and Elizabeth, O Lord, glory to You!

1 comment:

Father Robert Lyons said...

I've always found it quite odd that Elizabeth and Zechariah never got a consistent day on the Western calendar anywhere. Some calendars place them in All Saints-tide, others omit them completely. I guess for the most part people feel that the Nativity of S. John the Forerunner is enough.