Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, October 31, 2020

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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

O most merciful and mighty God, your son Jesus Christ was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary to bring us salvation and to establish your kingdom on earth: Grant that Michael and all your angels may defend your people against Satan and every evil foe, and that at the last we may come to that heavenly country where your saints for ever sing your praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Book of Occasional Services, p. 110

Today is the Eve of All Hallows. Happy Halloween!

Halloween (a contraction of Hallows’ Even or Evening) is a celebration observed in many countries on this day, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Saints’ (Hallows’) Day. It begins the three-day observance (October 31 – November 2) of remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.

One theory holds that many Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, which may have had pagan roots and that Samhain itself was Christianized as Halloween by the early Church. Other scholars believe that Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, separate from ancient festivals like Samhain.

In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular. Some Christians historically abstained from meat on Halloween, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain foods, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes, but probably not candy corn.

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 those affected by the wild fires in the west and Hurricane Delta in the south: for those who are grieving the loss of homes, possessions and loved ones, that their safety and security may be restored.

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 all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetuated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and the times we have failed to take action.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Sylvia, Irene, Jeanne, Bridget, Josh, Amy, Edwina and her husband, Donald, Mark, Cheryl, Marissa, Zeta, Paul, Karen, and Kevin.

For those who are homebound: Stephen, 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.

Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Budd,  Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Vera and Christopher – today is their birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Rio Grande (The Episcopal Church), Delaware (The Episcopal Church), Kurunegala (Ceylon).

For all who have died:  especially August, Helen, Earl, Pauline.

For one another.

Something to share

Special music for All Saints’ Day – Canzona will be played after the Epistle.  It was written by Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) to be played in church following the reading of the Epistle, prior to the Gospel. Jean Langlais (1907-1991) incorporated this tune from Frescobaldi into his work Epilogue. This will be played at the end of our worship.  Langlais was born in France and was blind since early childhood. He was the organist at the Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris from 1945-1988. Epilogue is played by pedals alone except for a few chords at the end. The challenging pedal part requires the organist to play up to four notes simultaneously (different notes on the heel and toe of each foot)!

Song of the Witches: “Double, double toil and trouble”

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the caldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt and toe of frog,

Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,

Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,

Then the charm is firm and good.

William Shakespeare, Macbeth: IV.i 10-19; 35-38

A Season of Prayer: For a Civil Election

O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth. Lord, keep this nation under your care.

To the President and members of the Cabinet, to Governors of States, Mayors of Cities, and to all in administrative authority, grant wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties.  Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To Senators and Representatives, and those who make our laws in States, Cities, and Towns, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To the Judges and officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

And finally, teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for the well-being of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name. For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Amen.

–    The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations

News and Updates

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – tomorrow morning —- Just  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ before 9am on Sunday the 1st and wait for the live stream to be posted. If you cannot join us at 9, the video will be posted once the service is complete.

If you plan to attend in person tomorrow morning, November 1st at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please watch the video below:

And/or, tomorrow morning, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral at 11:15am.  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.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – tomorrow morning and every morning.  Join our parishioners for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Allison de Kanel for tomorrow’s link: allisondek@aol.com)

All Souls Remembrance – St. Stephen’s will remember in a special way the departed. On Monday, November 2nd, we will post a slideshow of the names of the departed. 

Reminders                                

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

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 Becky Holder for the link  becky.holder@gmail.com)

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Our church campus is only partially open due to the current pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. All other parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice on our website.

Our new office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

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!

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he 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.