December 26

St. Stephen, First Martyr

Red

2nd Class

[STATION AT ST. STEPHEN'S ON THE COELIAN HILL]

   Stephen, one of the seven Deacons, chosen by the Apostles amongst the most pious and holy disciples, to help them, received from them mission to organize the meals where the poor were fed in common. St. Stephen was renowned for his virtues and worked such great wonders and signs among the people that the Jews from five different synagogues became alarmed and summoned him before the Sanhedrin. The Jews stoned this holy Deacon, who invoked our Lord, saying: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit . . . Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." (He died in 36.) His name is inscribed in the Canon of the Mass.

INTROIT Ps. 118. 23, 86

   Sederunt principes, et adversum me loquebantur: et iniqui persecuti sunt me: adjuva me, Domine Deus meus, quia servus tuus exercebatur in tuis justificationibus. -- Beati immaculati in via, qui ambulant in lege Domini. V.: Gloria Patri . . . -- Sederunt principes . . .    Princes sat, and spoke against me: and the wicked persecuted me: help me, O Lord my God, for Thy servant was employed in Thy justifications. -- (Ps. 118. 1). Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. V.: Glory be to the Father . . . Princes sat, and spoke . . .

 

COLLECT.--Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so to imitate what we revere, that we may learn to love even our enemies: for we celebrate the heavenly birthday of him who knew how to pray for his very persecutors to our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .
   Commemoration of Christmas
2nd COLLECT.--Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that the new birth of Thine only-begotten Son in the flesh may set us free, who are held by the old bondage under the yoke of sin. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God . . .

 

EPISTLE Acts 6. 8-10; 7. 54-59
Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.

[St. Stephen, stoned by the Jews, asked pardon for his persecutors.]

   In those days Stephen, full of grace and fortitude did great wonders and signs among the people. Now there arose some, of that which is called the synagogue of the Libertines and of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen; and they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit that spoke. Now, hearing these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed with their teeth at him. But Stephen being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And he said: Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. And they crying out with a loud voice stopped their ears, and with one accord ran violently upon him. And casting him forth without the city, they stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And falling on his knees he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord.

 

GRADUAL Ps. 118. 23, 86, 117

   Sederunt principes, et adversum me loquebantur: et iniqui persecuti sunt me. V.: Adjuva me, Domine Deus meus: salvum me fac propter misericordiam tuam.
   Alleluia, alleluia. V.: Video coelos apertos, et Jesum stantem a dextris virtutis Dei. Alleluia.
   Princes sat, and spoke against me: and the wicked persecuted me. V.: Help me, O Lord my God: save me for Thy mercy's sake.
   Alleluia, alleluia. V.(Acts 7. 56). I see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing on the right hand of the power of God. Alleluia.

 

GOSPEL Matthew 23. 34-39.
† Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.

[Jesus had upbraided the Jews for having killed and stoned the prophets. Our Lord foretold to the Apostles their martyrdom for His Name's sake. The Jews fulfilled the words of the Savior, and Stephen is the first of the witnesses of Christ.]

   At that time Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees: Behold I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes, and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: that upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Zacharias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. Amen I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not? Behold your house shall be left to you desolate. For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth, till you say: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.

 

OFFERTORY Acts 6. 5; 7. 58

   Elegerunt Apostoli Stephanum Levitam, plenum fide et Spiritu Sancto: quem lapidaverunt Judaei orantem et discentem: Domine Jesu accipe spiritum meum, alleluia.    The Apostles chose Stephen to be a levitek, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost: whom the Jews stoned, invoking and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, alleluia.

 

SECRET.--Receive, O Lord, our gifts, in commemoration of Thy Saints: that as suffering made them glorious, so our devotion may render us innocent. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .
   Commemoration of Christmas
2nd SECRET.--Sanctify, O Lord, the gifts offered to Thee, by the new birth of Thine Only-begotten Son: and cleanse us from the stains of our sins. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God . . .

 

PREFACE
Preface of the Nativity

   Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus: Quia per incarnati Verbi mysterium nova mentis nostrae oculis lux tuae claritatis infulsit: ut, dum visibiliter Deum cognoscimus, per hunc in invisibilum amorem rapiamur. Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus, cumque omni militai coelestis exercitus, hymnum gloriae tuae canimus sine fine dicentes:    It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, for through the Mystery of the Word made flesh, the new light of Thy glory hath shone upon the eyes of our mind, so that while we acknowledge God in visible form, we may through Him be drawn to the love of things invisible. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Throne and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:

 

SPECIAL FORM OF COMMUNICANTES
Communicantes for Christmas

   Communicantes, et diem sacratissimum celebrantes, quo beatae Mariae intemerata virginitas huic mundo edidit Salvatorem: sed et memoriam venerantes, in primis ejusdem gloriosae semper Virginis Mariae, Genetricis ejusdem Dei et Domini nostri Jesu Christi: sed et . . .    Communicating, and keeping this most holy day, on which the spotless virginity of blessed Mary brought forth a Savior to this world; and also reverencing the memory first of the same glorious Mary, ever Virgin, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ: as also . . .

 

COMMUNION Acts 7. 55, 58, 59

   Video coelos apertos, et Jesum stantem a dextris virtutis Dei: Domine Jesu, accipe spiritum meum, et ne statuas illis hoc peccatum.    I see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing on the right hand of the power of God: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, and lay not this sin to their charge.

 

POSTCOMMUNION.--May the mysteries we have received, O Lord, help us, and through the intercession of blessed Stephen, Thy Martyr, establish us by Thine everlasting protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .
   Commemoration of Christmas
2nd POSTCOMMUNION.--Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that as the Savior of the world, born on this day, is the Author of our heavenly birth, so He may also be to us the Giver of immortality. Who with Thee . . .