Saint Stephen

Introit

Psalm 118:23, 86, 1

Princes met and talked against me, and the wicked persecuted me wrongfully; help me, O Lord my God, for Your servant meditates on Your statutes.

Happy are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.

Collect

Grant us, we beseech You, O Lord, to imitate what we celebrate, so that we may learn to love even our enemies; because we keep the anniversary of the death of Him Who knew how to plead even for His persecutors with our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

Epistle

Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-60

In those days, Stephen, full of grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. But there arose some from the synagogue which is called that of the Freedmen, and of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians and of those from Cilicia and the province of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to withstand the wisdom and the Spirit Who spoke. Now as they heard these things, they were cut to the heart and gnashed their teeth at him. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed upon him all together. And they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And while they were stoning Stephen he prayed and said, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, saying, Lord, do not lay this sin against them. And with these words he fell asleep.

Gradual

Psalm 118:23, 86; 6:5

Princes met and talked against me, and the wicked persecuted me wrongfully. V. Help me, O Lord my God: rescue me because of Your kindness. Alleluia, alleluia.

Alleluia

Acts 7:56

I see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing on the right hand of the power of God. Alleluia.

Gospel

Matt 23:34-39

At that time, Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees, Therefore, behold, I send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from town to town; that upon you may come all the just blood that has been shed on the earth, from the blood of Abel the just unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. Amen I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. Jerusalem, Jerusalem! you who kill the prophets, and stone those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you would not! Behold, your house is left to you desolate. For I say to you, you shall not see Me henceforth until you shall say, Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!

Offertory

Acts 6:5; 7:59

The Apostles chose Stephen to be a levite, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit: whom the Jews stoned, praying and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Alleluia.

Secret

Receive our offerings, O Lord, in memory of Your saints, that, as their passion has given them eternal glory, so may this sacrificial act free us from guilt. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.

Communion

Acts 7:56, 59-60

I see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing on the right hand of the power of God: Lord Jesus receive my spirit, and do not lay this sin against them.

Postcommunion

May the sacrament we have received aid us, O Lord; and by the intercession of blessed Stephen, Your Martyr, may it sustain us under Your everlasting protection. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.