Morning Prayer – December 26, 2020

INVITATORY – Psalm 100

L: Lord, open my lips.

A: And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

L: Come, let us worship the newborn Christ who has given the glorious crown to Saint Stephen.

S1: Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing for joy.

A: Come, let us worship the newborn Christ who has given the glorious crown to Saint Stephen.

S2: Know that he, the Lord, is God.
He made us, we belong to him,
we are his people, the sheep of his flock.

A: Come, let us worship the newborn Christ who has given the glorious crown to Saint Stephen.

S1: Go within his gates, giving thanks.
Enter his courts with songs of praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.

A: Come, let us worship the newborn Christ who has given the glorious crown to Saint Stephen.

S2: Indeed, how good is the Lord,
eternal his merciful love.
He is faithful from age to age.

A: Come, let us worship the newborn Christ who has given the glorious crown to Saint Stephen.

S1: Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:

A: as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

A: Come, let us worship the newborn Christ who has given the glorious crown to Saint Stephen.

Morning Prayer for the Feast of Saint Stephen, First Martyr

December 26, 2020

L: God, come to my assistance.

A: Lord, make haste to help me.

L: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

A: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

PSALM 63: 2-9

L: My soul has held fast to you, my God; for your sake I suffered death by stoning.

A; My soul has held fast to you, my God; for your sake I suffered death by stoning.

S1: O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.

S2: For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

S1: On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

S2: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

A: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

A: My soul has held fast to you, my God; for your sake I suffered death by stoning.

(PAUSE)

CANTICLE – Daniel 3:57-88, 56

L: Stephen saw the heavens open; he saw and entered in. Happy the man to whom the heavens opened.

A: Stephen saw the heavens open; he saw and entered in. Happy the man to whom the heavens opened.

S1: Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord.
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

S2: Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord.
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

S1: Let the earth bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

S2: O Israel, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord.
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

S1: Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

A: Stephen saw the heavens open; he saw and entered in. Happy the man to whom the heavens opened.

(PAUSE)

PSALM 149

L: Behold I see the heavens open, and Jesus standing at the right hand of the almighty God.

A: Behold I see the heavens open, and Jesus standing at the right hand of the almighty God.

S1: Sing a new song to the Lord,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker,
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music with timbrel and harp.

S2: For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

S1: to deal out vengeance to the nations
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained;
this honor is for all his faithful.

S2: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

A: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

A: Behold I see the heavens open, and Jesus standing at the right hand of the almighty God.

R: A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 6:2b-5a)

“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Look around your own number, brothers, for seven men acknowledged to be deeply spiritual and prudent, and we shall appoint them to this task. This will permit us to concentrate on prayer and the ministry of the word.” The proposal was unanimously accepted by the community.

SACRED SILENCE – A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

L: The Lord is my strength, and I shall sing his praise.

A: The Lord is my strength, and I shall sing his praise.

L: The Lord is my savior,

A: and I shall sing his praise.

L; Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

A: The Lord is my strength, and I shall sing his praise.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH – Luke 1:68 – 79

L: The gates of heaven opened out to blessed Stephen, and he was crowned first of martyrs.

A: 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.

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.

A: The gates of heaven opened out to blessed Stephen, and he was crowned first of martyrs.

L: Our Savior’s faithfulness is mirrored in the fidelity of his witnesses who shed their blood for the word of God. Let us praise him in remembrance of them: You redeemed us by your blood.

A: You redeemed us by your blood.

L: Your martyrs freely embraced death in bearing witness to the faith, give us the true freedom of the Spirit, O Lord.

A: You redeemed us by your blood.

L: Your martyrs professed their faith by shedding their blood, give us a faith, O Lord, that is constant and pure.

A: You redeemed us by your blood.

L: Your martyrs followed in your footsteps by carrying the cross, help us to endure courageously the misfortunes of life.

A: You redeemed us by your blood.

L: Your martyrs washed their garments in the blood of the Lamb, help us to avoid the weaknesses of the flesh and worldly allurements.

A: You redeemed us by your blood.

L: Let us now pray the petitions in our hearts. (PAUSE) Let us pray.

A: You redeemed us by your blood.

L: Now let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us.

A: Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

L: Grant,
Lord, we pray,
that we may imitate what we worship,
and so learn to love even our enemies,
for we celebrate the heavenly birthday of a man
who knew how to pray even for his persecutors.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

A: Amen.

L: The Lord be with you.

A: and with your Spirit.

L: May God bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

A: Amen

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