picture of zechariah holding baby John the Baptist

The Canticle of Zechariah


This rosary reflection contains the words Zechariah speaks after naming his son, John, who would become John the Baptist. The Canticle of Zechariah Reflection contains the full text of the Gospel passage, Luke 2:67-79.

The Gospel Account

Zechariah had became mute after doubting the Angel Gabriel’s message that his wife Elizabeth would conceive a child after many barren years. This canticle of praise was inspired by the Holy Spirit, as Zechariah prophesies after regaining his voice.

The Five Decades

When you pray the five decades of this Rosary Reflection, use these five moments from the Gospel passage. Read the Gospel verses for each decade and let the words sink in as you pray that decade.

First Decade: God Has Visited His People (Luke 2:67-70)

Then Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied saying, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited and brought forth redemption to his people. He has raised up a horn for our salvation within the house of David his servant, even as he promised through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old;

Second Decade:  God Remembers His Covenant (Luke 2:71-75)

“Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, to show mercy to our fathers and to be mindful of  his holy covenant and of the oath he swore to Abraham our father and to grant us that rescued from the hand of our enemies, without fear we might worship him in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”

Third Decade:  Blessing of John (Luke 2:76-77)

“And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,”

Fourth Decade: God’s Tender Mercy (Luke 2:78)

“Because of the tender mercy of our God by which the daybreak from on high will visit us,”

Fifth Decade:  Guiding into Peace (Luke 2:79)

“To shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

What to Remember

These Gospel verses reflect five moments in the Canticle of Zechariah, where he gives glory and praise to God for God’s faithfulness to bring salvation to Israel.

As a follower of Jesus, and child of God, you can pray this rosary reflection to give praise and glory to God for God’s faithfulness to you during all of the difficulties and challenges of life. You can ask Mary to give praise and glory to God with you for the tender mercy of God that is always with you.

What to Pray For

  • For greater awareness, praise and glory to God for God’s work in your life and the lives of your loved ones.
  • For deeper commitment for the Church to give praise and glory to God during each Mass and Eucharistic Adoration.
  • For those who are alienated from God that God’s tender mercy will be with them.
  • For peace for those who sit in darkness and in death’s shadow.

 Feel free to pray the rosary for a deeper experience of giving glory and praise to God.

Where This Gospel Appears

This Gospel account is found in Chapter 2 of the Gospel of St. Luke.

* Scripture passages are from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops website, https://usccb.org/bible

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