Morning Prayer 12.26.13: St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr

Error
This video doesn’t exist

Play or download this service to take with you!

And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables.”

The stoning of St. Stephen is a shocking thing, but well worth attending to closely, that the day after the joy of Christmas we are confronted with the horror of seeing someone murdered for Christ. But this reality is contained within the Christ Mass itself; the lections and songs are full of the love of God, but the Sacrament begins “On the night he was handed over to suffering and death.” Stephen was the first martyr for Christ, a joyful deacon and powerful preacher so near to the heart and mind of Jesus that he had to be killed too. It was the ultimate honor, which is why the Church calls this a “major feast day.” (artist unknown)

The stoning of St. Stephen is a shocking thing, but well worth attending to closely, that the day after the joy of Christmas we are confronted with the horror of seeing someone murdered for Christ. But this reality is contained within the Christ Mass itself; its lections and songs are full of the love of God, but the Great Thanksgiving begins, “On the night he was handed over to suffering and death.” Stephen was the first martyr for Christ, a joyful deacon and powerful preacher so near to the heart and mind of Jesus that authorities decided he had to be killed too. It was the ultimate honor, which is why the Church calls this a “major feast day.” (artist unknown)

We give thanks to the Father, who has made us worthy to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Colossians 1:12

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Psalm 100
Jubilate

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come before his presence with a song.

Know this: The Lord himself is God;
he himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and call upon his Name.

For the Lord is good;
his mercy is everlasting;
and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Psalm 28

O LORD, I call to you;
my Rock, do not be deaf to my cry; *
lest, if you do not hear me,
I become like those who go down to the Pit.
Hear the voice of my prayer when I cry out to you, *
when I lift up my hand to your holy of holies.
Do not snatch me away with the wicked or with the evildoers, *
who speak peaceably with their neighbors,
while strife is in their hearts.
Repay them according to their deeds, *
and according to the wickedness of their actions.
According to the work of their hands repay them, *
and give them their just deserts.
O LORD, they have no understanding of your doings,
nor of the works of your hands; *
therefore you will break them down and not build them up.
Blessed is the LORD! *
for you have heard the voice of my prayer.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; *
my heart trusts in you, and I have been helped;
Therefore my heart dances for joy, *
and in my song will I praise you.
You, O LORD, are the strength of your people, *
a safe refuge for your anointed.
Save your people and bless your inheritance; *
shepherd them and carry them for ever.

Psalm 30

I will exalt you, O LORD,
because you have lifted me up *
and have not let my enemies triumph over me.
O LORD my God, I cried out to you, *
and you restored me to health.
You brought me up, O LORD, from the dead; *
you restored my life as I was going down to the grave.
Sing to the LORD, you faithful servants; *
give thanks for the remembrance of God’s holiness.
For God’s wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye, *
God’s favor for a lifetime.
Weeping may spend the night, *
but joy comes in the morning.
While I felt secure, I said,
“I shall never be disturbed. *
You, LORD, with your favor, made me as strong as the mountains.”
Then you hid your face, *
and I was filled with fear.
I cried to you, O LORD; *
I pleaded with the Lord, saying,
“What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the Pit? *
will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?
Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me; *
O LORD, be my helper.”
You have turned my wailing into dancing; *
you have put off my sack-cloth and clothed me with joy.
Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing; *
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE LESSONS
2 Chronicles 24:17-22 (NRSV)

Now after the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and did obeisance to the king; then the king listened to them. They abandoned the house of the LORD, the God of their ancestors, and served the sacred poles and the idols. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs. Yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the LORD; they testified against them, but they would not listen.

Then the spirit of God took possession of Zechariah son of the priest Jehoiada; he stood above the people and said to them, “Thus says God: Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has also forsaken you.” But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the LORD. King Joash did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but killed his son. As he was dying, he said, “May the LORD see and avenge!”

Canticle: Song of Zechariah
Benedictus Dominus
Luke 1:68-79

Blessed are you, Lord, the God of Israel; *
you have come to your people and set them free.
You have raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of your servant David.
Through your holy prophets you promised of old
to save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.
To show mercy to our forebears, *
and to remember your holy covenant.
This was the oath you swore to our father Abraham, *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship you without fear, *
holy and righteous before you
all the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way,
To give God’s 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.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Acts 6:1-7 (NRSV)

Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

Canticle: You are God
Te Deum laudamus

We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
All creation worships you,
the Father everlasting.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
the cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you took our flesh to set us free
you humbly chose the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come to be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

(The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.)

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
Govern and uphold them, now and always.
Day by day we bless you;
We praise your Name for ever.
Lord, keep us from all sin today;
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
Lord, show us your love and mercy;
For we put our trust in you.
In you, Lord, is our hope;
And we shall never hope in vain.

Giacomo Cavedone: St. Stephen. Paul approved of his being stoned to death, but Stephen’s witness was a prime factor in Paul’s conversion; he found out how deadly wrong he was and spent the rest of his life atoning for his mistakes.

Giacomo Cavedone: St. Stephen. Paul approved of his being stoned to death, but Stephen’s witness was a prime factor in Paul’s conversion; he found out how deadly wrong he was and spent the rest of his life atoning for his mistakes.

Collect of the Day: St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr

We give you thanks, O Lord of glory, for the example of the first martyr Stephen, who looked up to heaven and prayed for his persecutors to your Son Jesus Christ, who stands at your right hand; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

A Prayer for My Friend
By Josh Thomas

Dear God, I give you praise and thanks for my friend N, who has graced my life with wisdom, love and laughter since we met. When my life is going well, I can’t wait to tell him; when I am hurting, he consoles me, and when I have failed, he accepts me. You have made my friend a bearer of your love for me; I see the light you made to shine in him. Shower my friend with blessings today, O Lord; make me worthy to receive the gifts he brings each time we’re together, and help me return in full measure the love I feel for him. You have made us one in your Spirit, O Lord; thanks be to God.

Thursday Morning Prayer List

In Places of Political Unrest & Violence
Thailand, South Sudan, Ukraine, Brazil, Kenya, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Mali, Israel, Palestine

For peace
For soldiers
For civilians in war zones
For police officers

For Prisoners
Kevin?
For all at Guantanamo
the innocent
the guilty
victims of crime
political prisoners
prison ministries and chaplains
Sr. Helen Prejean and other prison reformers

The Society of St. John the Evangelist, USA, writes, “The Brothers of the North American Congregation live at the Monastery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Harvard Square, and also keep a rural retreat center, Emery House, in West Newbury, Massachusetts. The Brothers live under a Rule of Life and, at profession, make vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience.”

The Society of St. John the Evangelist, USA, writes, “The Brothers of the North American Congregation live at the Monastery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Harvard Square, and also keep a rural retreat center, Emery House, in West Newbury, Massachusetts. The Brothers live under a Rule of Life and, at profession, make vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience.”

For Monastic Orders and Vocations

O Lord Jesus Christ, you became poor for our sake, that we might be made rich through your poverty: Guide and sanctify, we pray, those whom you call to follow you under the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, especially for the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, that by their prayer and service they may enrich your Church, and by their life and worship may glorify your Name; for you reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of Yukon, Canada

St. Paul’s, Dawson City, Yukon, is the former cathedral, and is noteworthy for its Carpenter Gothic design, after the ideas of architect Richard Upjohn, whose feast day we observed ten days ago. (Wikipedia)

St. Paul’s, Dawson City, Yukon, is the former cathedral, and is noteworthy for its Carpenter Gothic design, after the ideas of architect Richard Upjohn, whose feast day we observed ten days ago. (Wikipedia)

Prayer for Mission

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Glory to God whose power, working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.++

VIDEO: Good King Wenceslas – Loreena McKennitt

For information about the Society of St. John the Evangelist, click here.

About Josh

This site offers daily Morning and Evening Prayer in the Anglican tradition according to the Book of Common Prayer of The Episcopal Church, based in the USA. Each service includes psalms, Bible lessons, and prayers. This site is timed for the Eastern Hemisphere. We also have a site (dailyoffice.org, or see the Blogroll) timed for the West. These two sites offer the same prayers, but a few features differ. We serve all the nations of the world. We're glad you came and we invite your comments. May God bless you richly in our Savior Jesus Christ.
This entry was posted in Canada, Christianity, Christmas, Deacons, Jesus, Major Feast, Martyrs, Mission, prayer, Webcast. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Morning Prayer 12.26.13: St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr

  1. Don says:

    For the friendless, Lord have mercy. Don

    Like

  2. Thank you, Josh, for “A Prayer For My Friend.”

    Like

Comments are closed.