Category Archives: A — Z

Zechariah and Elizabeth

After the Virgin Mary learns that she is going to have a child, the Lord Jesus, she visits her sister Elizabeth’s house.  “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb.  And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  And why has this happened to me?  For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.  And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.'”  (Luke 1:41-5)

Zechariah, Elizabeth’s husband, receives a vision wherein the Archangel Gabriel informs him of the birth of John the Baptist.  “When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified, and fear overwhelmed him.  But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard.  Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.  You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.  He must never drink wine or strong drink, even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit.  He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.  With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.'”  (Luke 1:12-7)

Eight days after John the Baptist is born, on the day of his circumcision, Zechariah speaks this prophecy:  “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.  He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.  Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.  And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins.  By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  (Luke 1:68-79)

“Yellow Submarine”

Recorded at Abbey Road Studios in 1966, the Beatles taped the music and vocals first then returned a week later to dub on all the sound effects.  According to writer Ian MacDonald, “Lennon filled a bucket with water and blew bubbles in it while the group’s chauffeur Alf Bucknell rattled chains in the bath and Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones clinked glasses.”  This is also the theme for the animated film released in 1968.

“Rain”

Released in 1966 as the B-side to their single, “Paperback Writer,” the Beatles song, “Rain,” is considered by many to be among the group’s finest work.  This is also the track that Ringo Starr called his best recorded performance.  The drums are awesome, and so are the guitars, the bass, and the lyrics:
“Rain, rain, rain…  I don’t mind.
Shine, shine, shine…  The weather’s fine.”

Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name.  Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.

The Trisagion Prayer
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

The Jesus Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, present in all places and filling all things, treasury of blessings and Giver of Life, come and abide in us, cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Gracious Lord.

Prayers to Mother Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

In giving birth you retained your virginity, and in dormition you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos.  You were translated unto life, being the Mother of Life, and thus by virtue of your intercessions, you deliver our souls from death.

Another Good Prayer
O Christ our God, who at all times and in every hour, in heaven and on earth, are worshipped and glorified, who are long-suffering, merciful, and compassionate, who love the just and show mercy upon the sinner, who call all to salvation through the promise of blessings to come.  O Lord, in this hour receive our supplications, and direct our lives according to your commandments.  Sanctify our souls, hallow our bodies, correct our thoughts, cleanse our minds, deliver us from all tribulation, evil, and distress.  Encompass us with your holy angels, that guided and guarded by them, we may attain to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of your unapproachable glory, for you are blessed unto ages of ages.  Amen.

The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.  And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father, through whom all things were made.

Who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man.  And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried, and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father.  And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets.  And I believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.  I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins.  I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

Thank you!

Yoko Ono

Avant-garde artist, musician, and activist, Yoko Ono grew up in Tokyo and moved to the U.S. during World War II.  Her first name means “ocean child” in Japanese.  She and John Lennon first met in London in 1966, and were married on March 20, 1969.  For their honeymoon the couple flew to Amsterdam to protest the Vietnam War and to promote world peace.  Soon after, they went to Montreal to record the famous protest song, “Give Peace a Chance.”  John and Yoko had a son together, Sean Tara Ono Lennon, who is also a musician, and with whom Yoko still collaborates.  She’s done a lot of amazing work over the years, both musically and artistically, in service of causes like peace, love, and freedom.  Thanks, Yoko.