The Canticle of Zechariah
His father Zechariah, filled with the Holy Spirit, sang this Canticle: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has come and redeemed his people. He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour in the house of David his servant, as he promised throughhis prophets of old, salvation from our enemies and from the hand of those who hate us. He has shown mercy to our fathers and remembered his holy covenant, the oath he swore to Abraham, our father, to rescue us from our enemies, that we might serve him fearlessly as a holy and righteous people all the days of our lives. And you, my child, shall be called prophet of the Most High, for you shall go before the Lord to prepare the way for him and enable his people to know of their salvation when he comes to forgive their sins. This is the work of the mercy of our God, who comes from on high as the rising sun of our salvation, shining on those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, and guiding our feet into the way of peace.” As the child grew up, he was seen to be strong in the Spirit; he lived in the desert till the day when he appeared openly in Israel.