Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church
Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, August 15, 2020
Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Today’s Prayer: The Festal Menaion
Come, O gathering of those who love to keep the feasts,
come and let us form a choir.
Come, let us crown the Church with songs,
as the Ark of God goes to her rest.
For today is heaven opened wide as it receives
the Mother of Him who cannot be contained.
The Earth, as it yields up the source of Life,
is robed in blessing and majesty.
The host of angels,
present with the fellowship of the apostles,
gaze in great fear at her who bore the Cause of life,
now that she is translated from life to life.
Let us all venerate and implore her:
Forget not, O Lady, thy ties of kinship with us all!
-Hymn from Vespers for the Feast of the Dormition
Today is the Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Mary, a young Galilean woman of Nazareth, was engaged to a man named Joseph. One day, according to the Gospel of Luke, she was visited by the angel Gabriel, who was sent by God. The angel said unto her, “Hail, thou that art highly favored! The Lord is with thee.” After calming her fears Gabriel announced that she would conceive and bear a son named Jesus, who would be called ‘the Son of the most High.”
Mary was troubled by this news. Her life would be in danger because she was as yet unmarried. The angel assured her that she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that nothing is impossible with God. And so, Mary responded in faith: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord! Let it be with me according to thy word.”
It was in the space created by Mary’s faith – and not simply in her womb – that the Word became flesh. For this reason, she is called not only the Mother of Jesus but Mother of the Church. In the past it was common to emphasize the uniqueness of Mary – her being above and beyond the ordinary conditions of humanity – which, in a way, stressed the divinity of her Son. More recently there is a new emphasis on her status as a woman of the people and her solidarity with the rest of humanity – a woman rooted in the faith and struggles of her people, subject to the cruelties of the world, and an heir to the ancient hope for deliverance and salvation, which, in a way, emphasizes her Son’s humanity. All theology and beliefs about Mary, in some way, are meant to point to the mystery of the incarnation in her Son Jesus.
For him, every knee should bend in heaven and on earth and under the earth.
For her, on this day, in thanksgiving for her faith and witness may all creatures in heaven and on earth and under the earth hail Mary!
From Our Prayers of the People
Today, let us pray:
For the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.
For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus: for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.
For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.
For those on the Parish Prayer Chain: Sylvia, Irene, Jeanne, Chris, Theresa, Emily, Bridget, Josh, Amy, Sid, Edwina and her husband, Donald (names are rotated daily from the “Prayer Chain List” – if you have people for whom you would like us to pray, please contact Suzanne Taylor- firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-393-9035; Louise – peakelouise@gmail or 374-0480).
For those who are homebound: Stephen, Pauline, Joan, Janet and Marilyn.
Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady
Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader
Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.
For those in need of healing: Sid, Vicki, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Oke-Osun (Nigeria), Bukedi (Uganda), Katsina (Nigeria).
For all who have died: especially Justin, Scott, William, Elmer, Marilyn.
For one another.
Something to share: Sing we of the blessed Mother
Sing we of the blessed Mother who received the angel’s word,
And obedient to the summons bore in love the infant Lord;
Sing we of the joys of Mary at whose breast the child was fed
Who is Son of God eternal and the everlasting Bread.
Sing we, too, of Mary’s sorrows, of the sword that pierced her through,
When beneath the cross of Jesus she his weight of suffering knew,
Looked upon her Son and Savior reigning from the awful tree,
Saw the price of our redemption paid to set the sinner free.
Sing again the joys of Mary when she saw the risen Lord,
And in prayer with Christ’s apostles, waited on his promised word;
From on high the blazing glory of the Spirit’s presence came,
Heavenly breath of God’s own being, manifest in wind and flame.
Sing the chiefest joy of Mary when on earth her work was done,
And the Lord of all creation brought her to his heavenly home;
Where, raised high with saints and angels, in Jerusalem above,
She beholds her Son and Savior reigning as the Lord of love.
- Hymnal 1982, #278; George B. Timms
News & Updates
Chris Jones is back doing the Messenger! Thank you Chris! For the last 50 years the Messenger has been “a means of communicating church news and views” (quoted from the first Messenger, September, 1970). Please send ‘news & views’ to Chris email@example.com by August 20th for the September newsletter. Thank you.
Tomorrow morning August 16th at 9:00am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist at St. Stephen’s Church. To help you understand what to expect please click on this link: https://youtu.be/2iu_mbwXF4s.
Tomorrow morning, August 16th at 11:15am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral. This is another way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below, and it should take you to the service.
If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Morning Prayers as best we can.
If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer.
Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning. Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact me for the link: email@example.com)
Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am. Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. All other parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.
Remember – Dennie and I are here. Please keep us posted on how you are doing. Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.
Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.
James Ross McDonald
rector, St. Stephen’s Episcopal