Monday 7pm=9pm vespers
Tuesday 8am-11am Matins and Divine Liturgy
On the 29 of August we celebrate the Beheading of the Forerunner St John the Baptist.
In the Gospel accounts of John’s death, Herod has John imprisoned for denouncing his marriage, and John is later executed by beheading. John condemned Herod for marrying Herodias, the former wife of his brother Philip, in violation of Old Testament Law. Later Herodias’ daughter Salome dances before Herod, who offers her a favor in return. Herodias tells her to ask for the head of John the Baptist, which is delivered to her on a plate (Mark 6:14-29).
The Gospels recall the teaching of John, that he called for Israel to purify herself through baptism (Matthew 3:1-12). So the Gospels’ description of John’s death focuses on the final reason Herod had for arresting John, which was religious. So it may have been that Herod wanted John arrested because he was a political threat, and John’s condemnations of Herod’s marriage was “the final straw”.
The Eastern Orthodox faithful believe that John was the last of the Old Testament prophets, thus serving as a bridge between that period of revelation and the New Covenant.