"Let us praise the Lord, the God of Israel!
He has come to the help of his people and has set them free.
He has provided for us a mighty Saviour, a descendant of his
He promised through his holy prophets long ago
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the power of all those who hate us.
He said he would show mercy to our ancestors
and remember his sacred covenant.
With a solemn oath to our ancestor Abraham
he promised to rescue us from our enemies
and allow us to serve him without fear,
so that we might be holy
and righteous before him all the days of our life.
"You, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High
You will go ahead of the Lord to prepare his road for him,
to tell his people that they will be saved
by having their sins forgiven.
Our God is merciful and tender.
He will cause the bright dawn of salvation to rise on us
and to shine from heaven
on all those who live in the dark shadow of death,
to guide our steps into the path of peace."
This reading is a very famous 'song' from Luke's Gospel - the
song of Zechariah who was the father of John the Baptist. The song
recalls words from the Old Testament and the promise of God. The
child mentioned in the song is John the Baptist. This song is
sometimes called the 'Benedictus' from the first word of the Latin
translation 'Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel' - 'Blessed be the Lord
God of Israel'