Canticle of Zachary

Also known as

  • The Benedictus


A song of thanksgiving beginning Benedictus Dominus, Deus Israel (Blessed be the Lord God of Israel), uttered by Zachary upon the birth of his son, John the Baptist (Luke, 1). It is one of the three “evangelical canticles,” is included in the Roman Breviary for Lauds daily throughout the year, and is also used at other liturgical functions, especially at the moment of interment at funerals.

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty savior born of the house of his servant David. Through his holy prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. You my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

MLA Citation

  • “Canticle of Zachary”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 5 September 2013. Web. 22 September 2020. <>