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

Morning Prayer (Lauds)

If you have already recited the Invitatory Psalm today, you should use the alternative opening.


Lord, open our lips.
  And we shall praise your name.
Invitatory PsalmPsalm 94 (95)
Let us adore the new-born Christ; today he has crowned Saint Stephen.
(repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
  let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
  let us acclaim him with songs.
(repeat antiphon*)
For the Lord is a great God,
  a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
  and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
  and his hands formed the dry land.
(repeat antiphon*)
Come, let us worship and bow down,
  bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
  the sheep that follow his hand.
(repeat antiphon*)
If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
  “Do not harden your hearts
  as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
  when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
  although they had seen my works.”
(repeat antiphon*)
“For forty years they wearied me,
  that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
  they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
  they will never enter my place of rest.”
(repeat antiphon*)
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.
Let us adore the new-born Christ; today he has crowned Saint Stephen.*

* If you are reciting this on your own, you can choose to say the antiphon once only at the start of the psalm and not repeat it.


Hymn
All hail the power of Jesus’ name;
  Let Angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem
  To crown him Lord of all.
Crown him, ye Martyrs of your God,
  Who from his altar call;
Praise him whose way of pain ye trod,
  And crown him Lord of all.
Hail him, ye heirs of David’s line,
  Whom David Lord did call;
The God Incarnate, Man Divine,
  And crown him Lord of all.
Let every tribe and every tongue
  To him their hearts enthral,
Lift high the universal song,
  And crown him Lord of all.

Psalm 62 (63)
Thirsting for God
My soul clings to you, my God: for your sake my body was stoned.
O God, you are my God, I watch for you from the dawn.
My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you.
I came to your sanctuary,
  as one in a parched and waterless land,
  so that I could see your might and your glory.
My lips will praise you, for your mercy is better than life itself.
Thus I will bless you throughout my life,
  and raise my hands in prayer to your name;
my soul will be filled as if by rich food,
  and my mouth will sing your praises and rejoice.
I will remember you as I lie in bed,
  I will think of you in the morning,
for you have been my helper,
  and I will take joy in the protection of your wings.
My soul clings to you; your right hand raises me up.
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.
My soul clings to you, my God: for your sake my body was stoned.

CanticleDaniel 3
All creatures, bless the Lord
Stephen saw the heavens opened and he entered in there. Blessed is the man for whom the heavens stood open.
Bless the Lord, all his works,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you heavens;
  all his angels, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, you waters above the heavens;
  all his powers, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, sun and moon;
  all stars of the sky, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, rain and dew;
  all you winds, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, fire and heat;
  cold and warmth, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, dew and frost;
  ice and cold, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, ice and snow;
  day and night, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, light and darkness;
  lightning and storm-clouds, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, all the earth,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, mountains and hills;
  all growing things, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, seas and rivers;
  springs and fountains, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, whales and fish;
  birds of the air, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, wild beasts and tame;
  sons of men, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, O Israel,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, his priests;
  all his servants, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, spirits and souls of the just;
  all who are holy and humble, bless the Lord.
Ananias, Azarias, Mishael, bless the Lord,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Let us bless Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
  praise and exalt them for ever.
Bless the Lord in the firmament of heaven,
  praise and glorify him for ever.
Stephen saw the heavens opened and he entered in there. Blessed is the man for whom the heavens stood open.

Psalm 149
The saints rejoice
Behold, I see the heavens thrown open, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
Sing a new song to the Lord,
  his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker,
  and the sons of Zion delight in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing,
  sing to him with timbrel and lyre,
for the Lord’s favour is upon his people,
  and he will honour the humble with victory.
Let the faithful celebrate his glory,
  rejoice even in their beds,
the praise of God in their throats;
  and swords ready in their hands,
to exact vengeance upon the nations,
  impose punishment on the peoples,
to bind their kings in fetters
  and their nobles in manacles of iron,
to carry out the sentence that has been passed:
  this is the glory prepared for all his faithful.
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.
Behold, I see the heavens thrown open, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

Short ReadingActs 6:2-5 ©
‘It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food; you, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom; we will hand over this duty to them, and continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word’. The whole assembly approved of this proposal.

Short Responsory
The Lord is my strength. I will sing praise to him.
The Lord is my strength. I will sing praise to him.
He is my salvation.
The Lord is my strength. I will sing praise to him.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
The Lord is my strength. I will sing praise to him.

CanticleBenedictus
The Messiah and his forerunner
The gates of heaven were thrown open for Saint Stephen, who was the first follower of Christ to receive the martyr’s crown.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
  for he has come to his people and brought about their redemption.
He has raised up the sign of salvation
  in the house of his servant David,
as he promised through the mouth of the holy ones,
  his prophets through the ages:
to rescue us from our enemies
  and all who hate us,
to take pity on our fathers,
  to remember his holy covenant
and the oath he swore to Abraham our father,
  that he would give himself to us,
that we could serve him without fear
 – freed from the hands of our enemies –
in uprightness and holiness before him,
  for all of our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High:
  for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his path,
to let his people know their salvation,
  so that their sins may be forgiven.
Through the bottomless mercy of our God,
  one born on high will visit us
to give light to those who walk in darkness,
  who live in the shadow of death;
  to lead our feet in the path of peace.
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 gates of heaven were thrown open for Saint Stephen, who was the first follower of Christ to receive the martyr’s crown.

Prayers and intercessions
Let us give thanks for Saint Stephen, whose life on earth was lived in the service of Christ, and who came at his death to witness to Christ with his blood.
We give you thanks, O Lord.
For all who have found the freedom to lay down their lives for your sake:
We give you thanks, O Lord.
For all whose desire for you has brought them through death with a joyful heart:
We give you thanks, O Lord.
For all who have followed, through suffering, the way of the cross:
We give you thanks, O Lord.
For all who have undergone martyrdom for the gospel:
We give you thanks, O Lord.

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.

Give us grace, Lord, to practise what we worship.
Teach us to love our enemies
  as we keep the feast of Saint Stephen,
  who prayed even for the men who stoned him to death.
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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