Universalis
Friday 26 December 2014    (other days)
Saint Stephen, the first Martyr
Feast

Vespers (Evening Prayer)


INTRODUCTION
O God, come to our aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
O Christ, the Father’s only Son,
Whose death for all redemption won,
Before the worlds, of God Most High,
Begotten all ineffably.
The Father’s Light and Splendour thou,
Their endless Hope to thee that bow;
Accept the prayers and praise today
That through the world thy servants pay.
Salvation’s Author, call to mind
Thou took’st the form of humankind,
When of the Virgin undefiled
Thou in man’s flesh becam’st a Child.
Thus testifies the present day
Through every year in long array,
That thou, salvation’s source alone,
Proceedest from the Father’s throne.
All honour, laud, and glory be,
O Jesu, Virgin-born, to thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete.

Psalm 109 (110)
The Messiah, king and priest
All authority and dominion are yours on the day of your strength; you are resplendent in holiness. From the womb before the dawn I begot you.
The Lord has said to my lord:
  “Sit at my right hand
  while I make your enemies your footstool.”
From Zion the Lord will give you a sceptre,
  and you will rule in the midst of your foes.
Royal power is yours in the day of your strength,
  among the sacred splendours.
  Before the dawn, I begot you from the womb.
The Lord has sworn, and he will not repent:
  “You are a priest for ever,
  a priest of the priesthood of Melchisedech.”
The Lord is at your right hand,
  and on the day of his anger he will shatter kings.
He will drink from the stream as he goes –
  he will hold his head high.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
All authority and dominion are yours on the day of your strength; you are resplendent in holiness. From the womb before the dawn I begot you.

Psalm 129 (130)
Out of the depths
With the Lord there is unfailing love. Great is his power to set men free.
Out of the depths I have cried to you, Lord:
  Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears listen out
  for the voice of my pleading.
If you took notice of our transgressions, Lord –
  Lord, who would be left?
But with you is forgiveness,
  and for this we revere you.
I rely on you, Lord,
  my spirit relies on your promise;
my soul hopes in the Lord,
  more than the watchman for daybreak.
More than the watchman for daybreak,
  let Israel hope in the Lord:
for with the Lord there is kindness
  and abundant redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
  from all its transgressions.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
With the Lord there is unfailing love. Great is his power to set men free.

Canticle(Colossians 1)
Christ, firstborn of all creatures and firstborn from the dead
The Word was God in the beginning and before all time. Today he is born to us, the Saviour of the world.
Let us give thanks to God the Father,
  who has made us worthy to share in the light that is the saints’ inheritance.
He has rescued us from the power of the shadows
  and brought us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption
  and the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God,
  the first-born of all creation,
for in him all things were created,
  in heaven and on earth,
  visible and invisible,
thrones and dominations,
  principalities and powers.
All things were created through him and for him:
  he is before all things,
  and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the Church.
  He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead,
  and so he is pre-eminent above all.
For it was the Father’s will that the fullness of God should dwell in him,
  and that through him all things should be reconciled to himself.
Through the blood of the Cross he brought peace to all things,
  both on Earth and in the heavens.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Word was God in the beginning and before all time. Today he is born to us, the Saviour of the world.

Short Reading1 John 1:5-7 ©
God is light; there is no darkness in him at all. If we say that we are in union with God while we are living in darkness, we are lying because we are not living the truth. But if we live our lives in the light, as he is in the light, we are in union with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Short Responsory
The Word became flesh.
The Word became flesh.
And he lived among us.
The Word became flesh.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
The Word became flesh.

CanticleMagnificat
My soul rejoices in the Lord
While the midnight silence reigned over all, and the night was now half spent, your almighty Word, O God, came down from his royal throne in heaven.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
  and my spirit rejoices in God, my salvation.
For he has shown me such favour –
  me, his lowly handmaiden.
Now all generations will call me blessed,
  because the mighty one has done great things for me.
His name is holy,
  his mercy lasts for generation after generation
  for those who revere him.
He has put forth his strength:
  he has scattered the proud and conceited,
  torn princes from their thrones;
  but lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
  the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel,
  he has remembered his mercy as he promised to our fathers,
  to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
While the midnight silence reigned over all, and the night was now half spent, your almighty Word, O God, came down from his royal throne in heaven.

Prayers and intercessions
We place all our trust in the Word of God who dwells within us and goes before us as our Saviour.
From all evil, Lord, deliver us.
By your coming in our flesh to live always for your Father:
  Lord, deliver us.
From all evil, Lord, deliver us.
By your days filled with work, preaching, and making friends with sinners:
  Lord, deliver us.
From all evil, Lord, deliver us.
By your suffering and crucifixion, by your death and burial:
  Lord, deliver us.
From all evil, Lord, deliver us.
By you resurrection and ascension, by the giving of your Spirit:
  Lord, deliver us.
From all evil, Lord, deliver us.
By your joy in being glorified:
  Lord, deliver the faithful departed.
From all evil, Lord, deliver us.

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.

Almighty God and Father,
  the human birth of your Only-Begotten Son
  was the beginning of new life.
May he set us free from the tyranny of sin.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

AMEN

The psalms and canticles here are our own translation. The Grail translation of the psalms, which is used liturgically in most of the English-speaking world, cannot be displayed on the Web for copyright reasons. The Universalis downloads do contain the Grail translation of the psalms.

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