On this major feast the Church observes the birth of the last of the prophets and the forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist. We celebrate six months minus one day from the date of Christmas, December 25, becasue Luke records that John was born six months before Jesus. This is also the anniversary feast of my diaconal ordination at Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis, so it's kind of a special day for me.
The Gospel for today's Eucharist proclaims John's birth to the aged Zechariah and Elizabeth, and then Zechariah's glorious song of praise to God and prophesy toward his infant son, after he had been struck dumb for disbelieving the archangel Gabriel, who had promised that he would have a son. So Zechariah had a lot to say! Here's a setting of that song, Benedictus Dominus, either by Alcaraz or sung by Alcaraz:
Almighty God, by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his teaching and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and, following his example, constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.