Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, April 3, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

 We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today is Holy Saturday

What Happened This Day?

Jesus’ body lay in the tomb.

The authorities reached out to Pontius Pilate and requested that a guard of soldiers be posted at the tomb to prevent anyone from stealing Jesus’ body. They feared people falsely claiming that Jesus had been raised from the dead. Pilate agreed with this request and sent a guard of soldiers to make the tomb as secure as possible. They secured the tomb by sealing the stone.

It was also the Sabbath. The women, who followed Jesus and had witnessed everything that had happened to him, observed the sanctity of the Sabbath according to the commandment.

Saturday’s events are recorded in Matthew 27:62-66 and Luke 23:56b.

Today’s Prayer

In the midst of life we are in death;

of whom may we seek for succor,

but of thee, O Lord,

who for our sins art justly displeased?

Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty,

O holy and most merciful Savior,

deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death.

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts;

shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer;

but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty,

O holy and merciful Savior,

thou most worthy Judge eternal.

Suffer us not, at our last hour,

through any pains of death, to fall from thee.

           – Book of Common Prayer, p.484

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.

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, and for those administering the vaccination, 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 perpetrated 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:  Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy, Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Warren, Steve.

For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop;  James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing:  Eunice, Marilyn, Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For June – today is their birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Bauchi – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Jos Province).

For all who have died:   Clark, Sara, William, Emma, Dorothy. 

For one another.

Something to share

God Speaks: Night, You are Holy

Night, you are holy, Night, you are great, Night, you are beautiful,

Night of the great mantle.

Night, I love you and I greet you, and I glorify you, and you are my big daughter and my creature.

O beautiful night, night of the great mantle, daughter of the starry mantle,

You remind me, even me, you remind me of that great silence there was

Before I had opened up the floodgates of ingratitude,

And you announce to me, even me, you announce the great silence there will be

When I will have closed them.

O sweet, o great, o holy, o beautiful night, perhaps the holiest of my

              daughters, night of the long robe, of the starry robe,

You remind me of that great silence there was in the world

Before the beginning of the reign of man.

You announce to me that great silence there will be

After the end of the reign of man, when I will have resumed my scepter.

And at times I think of it beforehand, for that man really makes a lot of noise.

But specially, Night, you remind me of that night,

And I shall remember it eternally:

The ninth hour had struck. It was in the land of my people Israel.

All was over. That enormous adventure.

From the sixth hour, there had been darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.

All was over. Let us not mention it any more. It hurts me.

That unbelievable coming down of my son among men,

In the midst of men,

When you think what they made of it,

Those thirty years during which he was a carpenter among men,

These three years during which he was a kind of preacher among men,

A priest,

Those three days during which he was a victim among men,

In the midst of men,

Those three nights during which he was a dead man among men,

In the midst of dead men,

Those centuries and centuries when he is a host among men.

All was over, that unbelievable adventure

By which I, God, have tied my arms for my eternity,

That adventure by which my Son tied my arms,

For eternally tying the arms of my justice, for eternally untying the arms of my mercy,

And against my justice inventing a new justice,

A justice of love, a justice of Hope. All was over.

That which was necessary. In the way that was necessary. In the way

              my prophets had announced it. The veil of the temple was

              rent in twain from top to bottom;

The earth did quake; the rock rents;

The graves were opened; and many of the bodies of the saints which slept arose.

And about the ninth hour, my Son uttered

The cry that will never be still. All was over. The soldiers returned to their barracks,

Laughing and joking because that duty was over,

One more guard duty they would not have to stand.

Only one centurion remained, with a few men,

A very small post to guard that unimportant gallows,

The gallows on which my Son was hanged.

A few women only had remained.

The mother was there.

And perhaps a few disciples too, and even so, one is not sure of that.

Now every man has the right to bury his son,

Every man on earth, if he has had the great misfortune

Not to have died before his son. And I alone, I, God,

Arms tied by that adventure,

I alone, at that moment, father after so many fathers,

I alone could not bury my son.

It was then, o night, that you came,

O my daughter, beloved among all, and I still see it, and I shall see that in my eternity.

It was then, o Night, that you came, and in a great shroud you buried

The centurion and his Romans,

The Virgin and the holy women,

And that mountain, and that valley on which evening was descending,

And my people Israel and the sinners, and together him who was dying, who had died for them,

And the men of Joseph of Arimathea who already were approaching,

Bearing the white shroud.

–   Charles Péguy

News and Updates 

Holy Week Schedule

Easter Vigil –April 3, 2021

Easter Vigil Liturgy video:  

Music for the Easter Vigil: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11vi_3HxOy9c2Wlo3puDduw6X6Eu_rA6pw5RAT_XQH6Q/edit?usp=sharing

Easter Vigil PowerPoint:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vQ0b-mp2Hptj2tJ6Y1pB13tpHob1VqXw8h9lPra6fWi65_08zVywJEWCSe38cYVXA/pub?start=true&loop=false&delayms=30000

Easter Vigil Readings: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Jzj32jGR1LqpWkiHM3BCAhj217-cLQhSYrPDPFSslj0/edit?usp=sharing

Easter Day – April 4, 2021

8:00 am Morning Prayer on Zoom

9:00 am Eucharist live on Facebook

Reminder

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 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/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until further notice.

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

We continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ for information, updates, and guidance

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

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.