ST. STEPHEN

Morning Prayer



Invitatory
The Invitatory opens the first Office of the day. If the Office of Readings is the first Office of the day, begin below.

Lord, open my lips.
 - And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Psalm 95 is the traditional Invitatory Psalm. Psalm 24, 67, or 100 may be substituted.

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





Morning Prayer

God, come to my assistance.
 - Lord, make haste to help me.
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. Alleluia.


HYMN
-
Stephen, first of Christian martyrs,
Let the Church in hymns proclaim;
Foll'wing close the Saviour's passion,
Thus he won immortal fame:
For his foes he prayed forgiveness
While they stoned him unto death,
To the Lord his soul commending
As he yielded up his breath.

Holy Spirit, gift of Jesus,
Shed thy light upon our eyes,
That we may behold with Stephen
That fair realm beyond the skies.
Where the Son of Man in glory
Waits for us at God's right hand,
King of saints and hope of martyr's
Lord of all the pilgrim band.

See him who went on before us
Heavenly mansions to prepare,
Who for us is ever pleading
By his wound of glory there;
In that blessed home of splendor
Christ our Saviour reigns above,
Calling us to share his rapture
In the Father's boundless love.

Or:

-
Christ, in whose passion once was sown
All virtue of all saints to be,
From the white field of these thy own
We praise the seed and sower, thee.

Thine was the first and holiest grain
To die and quicken and increase;
And then came these, and died again,
That spring and harvest should not cease.

From thee the martyrs, we from those,
Each in thy grace's measure, spring;
Their strength upon our weakness flows
And guides us to the goal we sing.

These were thy great ones: we, thy least,
One in desire and faith with them,
Called by the Lord to keep one feast,
Journey to one Jerusalem.

Melody: Mein Seel, O Gott, Muss Loben Dich, L.M.; Music: M. Praetorius, 1571-1621; Text: Walter Shewring


PSALMODY

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

Psalm 63:2-9

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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

Canticle Daniel 3:57-88, 56

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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

Psalm 149

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.

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,

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.

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.

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


READING                                                      Acts 6:2b-5a
"It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word." The proposal was acceptable to the whole community.


RESPONSORY          
The Lord is my strength and I shall sing his praise.
    -    The Lord is my strength and I shall sing his praise.
The Lord is my Savior,
    -    and I shall sing his praise
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
    -    The Lord is my strength and I shall sing his praise.


BENEDICTUS (Canticle of Zechariah)
Antiphon: The gates of heaven opened out to blessed Stephen, and he was crowned first of martyrs.


INTERCESSIONS
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.

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

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

Your martyrs followed in your footstep by carrying the cross,
- help us to endure courageously the misfortunes of life.

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


Our Father...


COLLECT
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.


May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.




The English translation of Psalm Responses, Alleluia Verses, Gospel Verses from Lectionary for Mass 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); the English translation of Antiphons, Invitatories, Responsories, Intercessions, Psalm 95, the Canticle of the Lamb, Psalm Prayers, Non-Biblical Readings from The Liturgy of the Hours 1973, 1974, 1975, ICEL; excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

 
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