St. Stephen’s Day

Susan Cushman ChristChildandMaryIcon

Video caelos apertos, et Jesum stantem a dextris virtutis Dei:
Domine Jesu, accipe spiritum meum,

et ne statuas illis hoc peccatum, quia nesciunt quid factiunt. 

(Communion Antiphon : Acts 7: 56, 59-60)


Service of Light


 We light the Christmas Candles and say or sing:

Light and Peace in Jesus Christ our Lord!   ~Thanks be to God!

All the ends of Earth have seen, alleluia! ~The salvation of our God, alleluia!



O Christ, Redeemer of our race, And brightness of your Abba’s face,

Of whom and with whom ever One, Ere times and seasons had begun.


You are the very Light from light, Unfailing hope in darkest night,

Hear now the prayers your people pray The wide world o’er this blessed day.


Remember, Lord of  life and grace, How once in love you saved our race,

And did our human flesh assume In Mary’s virgin-mother womb.


Your Abba’s love sent you to come, to call us wayward children home.

On Earth let joy and praises ring, as with the saints your birth we sing.


All glory then we sing to you the Promised One the Virgin bore;

To Abba and the Spirit Blest, the Three-in-One forever more.



PSALM 129/130


With our God there is compassion and fullness of redemption. 

Out of the depths I cry to You!

in your mercy, hear my voice!

Let your ears be attentive

to the voice of my pleading!


If you recorded our sins,

Adonai, who could survive?

But because you are ready to forgive

we stand here in wonder and awe.


My soul is waiting for Adonai

I trust in God’s word.

My soul is longing for Adonai

more than watchmen for daybreak.

Let the watchman count on daybreak

and all of us count on Adonai!


Because with God there is compassion

And fullness of redemption.

God indeed will redeem us

From all our iniquity.


Glory to the ONE and to the WORD

And to the BREATH of Love;

as always before,

so now and evermore. Amen.

With our God there is compassion and fullness of redemption.

READING —  I John 1:5-7

God is light; in God there is no darkness.  If we walk in light, as God is the light, we will have fellowship with one another, and the love of the Son Jesus, cleanses us from all sin.


Silent Reflection

R. Christ, the image of God, is the Good News of God’s glory; * He has dawned upon us and brought us to light.  V.  Out of darkness God has made to shine within us the light of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ. *He has dawned upon us and brought us to light.

Canticle of Mary          Luke 1:46-55

Devout men buried Stephen, and many were grieved at his death.

It is customary to make the sign of the cross at the beginning of the Gospel Canticle.

My heart + is radiant with the Lord,

My whole being delights in God my Savior.


All people now will call me blessed

For God has loved this humble handmaid.

The Almighty has shown me great favor

Holy is the NAME,


Whose mercy embraces the faithful,

From one generation to the next.

The mighty arm of God,

Scatters the proud in their own conceit,


Pulls tyrants from their thrones

While lifting up the lowly:

Fills the famished with bounty,

And reveals the emptiness of riches.


Rescues lowly Israel,

Sharing such loving kindness,

As promised to our ancestors

To Abraham and Sarah, and their descendants forever.


Glory to the ONE and to  WORD

And to the BREATH of Love!

As always before,

so now and evermore.  Amen

 Devout men buried Stephen, and many were grieved at his death.



Litany of Intercession

Let us pray to the One born of Mary: ~reveal again your kindness and compassion.


You are holy, yet wished to be born in the midst of our sins–

the better to pardon us;  ~reveal again your kindness and compassion.


You are strong, yet wished to be born as a weak and vulnerable child–

in order to give us strength; ~reveal again your kindness and compassion.


You are immortal, yet emptied yourself into a mortal body–

in order to give us immortality: ~reveal again your kindness and compassion.


 Prayer of Jesus

Our Father…


Closing Prayer and Blessing.

God of endless love and compassion, we praise you for creating us in your own image and likeness and even more for restoring us in Christ Jesus, your living Word.  As we celebrate his birth, may we live his gospel, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God  forever and ever.  Amen.


All may make the sign of the Cross as we say:

May the birth of our God and Savior Jesus Christ + bring all humanity to salvation.  Amen.


Let us bless the world with peace.   ~And give thanks to God.



Those who wish may end evening prayer with the Marian Antiphon for Christmas.
Marian Antiphon


Loving Mother of our Savior, holding open heaven’s only hope, Star for steerage in this vastness, rise to help us, save the sinking.  Nature’s greatest  Wonder: you have borne your own true Maker, giving human life to him. Virgin ever, before and after, that Good News from Gabriel, Word of Life for living, tell it now: mercy to all people!


The angel of the Lord brought the message to Mary. ~ And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.


Let us pray.  We ask, O Lord, that we who have been privileged to receive the Good News of the Incarnation of Christ, you Son, may be prepared through his passion and cross to approach also the glory of his resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.  Amen.