INTROIT. Sederunt principes. Ps. 119.
Princes, moreover, did sit, and did witness falsely against me; and the ungodly pressed sore upon me; O Lord, my God, stand up to help me, for thy servant is occupied continually in thy commandments. Ps. ibid. Blessed are those that are undefiled in the way: and walk in the law of the Lord. V. Glory be.
Grant, O Lord, that, in all our sufferings here upon earth for the testimony of thy truth, we may stedfastly look up to heaven, and by faith behold the glory that shall be revealed; and being filled with the Holy Ghost may learn to love and bless our persecutors by the example of thy first Martyr Saint Stephen; who prayed for his murderers to thee, O blessed Jesus, who standest at the right hand of God to succour all those that suffer for thee, our only Mediator and Advocate. AMEN.
Then shall follow the Collect of the Nativity, which shall be said continually unto New Year's Eve
EPISTLE. Acts 7:55-6055 IN those days: Stephen, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
GRADUAL. Ps. 119. Princes also did sit and speak against me: and wicked men have persecuted me. V. Help me, O Lord my God: save me for thy mercy's sake,
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Acts 7. I see the heavens opened, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Alleluia.
¶ In Votive Masses after Septuagesima, instead of the Alleluia and verse following, is said the Tract from the Common of a Martyr. But in Eastertide, the Gradual is omitted, and in its place is said the Alleluia as above, and then the verse: Thou hast set a crown of pure gold upon his head, O Lord. Alleluia
GOSPEL. St. Matthew 23:34-39
34 BEHOLD, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. The Creed is said on account of the Octave.
OFFERTORY. Acts 6 & 7. The Apostles chose Stephen the Levite, a man full of faith and of the Holy ghost: whom the Jews had stoned calling upon God and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
Accept, O Lord, we pray thee, the gifts which we offer unto thee in remembrance of thy Saints: that like as they by suffering obtained thy crown of glory, so we by godly conversation may attain to innocence of life. Through.
Of the Nativity. SECRET.WE beseech thee, O Lord, that by this new Birth of thy only-begotten Son thou wouldest vouchsafe to sanctify these our oblations: and to cleanse us from the defilements of all our iniquities. Through the same.
PREFACE and CANON of Christmas.
COMMUNION. Acts 7. I see the heavens opened and Jesus standing at the right hand of the power of God: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, and lay not this sin to their charge, for they know not what they do.
Assist us mercifully, O Lord: that we, which have received these holy mysteries; may, at the intercession of thy blessed Martyr Saint Stephen, be stablished by thy everlasting protection. Through.
Of the Nativity. POSTCOMMUNION.GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that like as thy Son, born this day the Saviour of the world, hath been made the author of our heavenly birth; so he may bestow upon us the gift of everlasting life. Who liveth and reigneth with thee.