Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, December 17, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Today’s Prayer

O Sapientia (O Wisdom)

O Wisdom

You came forth from the mouth of the Most High,

And reaching from the beginning to end

You ordered all things mightily and sweetly

Come, and teach us the way of prudence.

                –  The first of the “O” Antiphons

December 17th marks the beginning of the “O” Antiphons, an ancient rite dating back to the fourth century, one for each day until Christmas Eve. These antiphons address Christ with seven magnificent Messianic titles, based on scriptural passages. The antiphons implore God with mounting impatience to come and save the people. The order of the antiphons move through the history of Redemption.

In today’s antiphon, O Sapientia, we take a backward flight into the recesses of eternity to address Wisdom, the pre-existent Word of God.

As you may recognize, the “O” Antiphons are the verses for the ancient hymn O Come, O come Emmanuel. The first letter of the Messianic titles, in reverse order, spell out the Latin words “Ero cras”, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.”

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.  

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the deadly tornadoes devastating communities in six states this weekend.

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

For our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan; may God be with them and their families.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  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 as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus variants. 

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 recognize the times we have failed to take action. 

For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth. 

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Sharhonna, Chris, Louis, Philip, Rick, Louise, Clara, Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Warren, Steven, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sunny, people of Afghanistan

For those who are homebound:  Janet and Marilyn. 

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith, Assisting 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: Don, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Joe. 

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Ikwerre – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Niger Delta Province).

For all who have died:  Vera Anker, Dora Gardner,  Katherine Dorman, Hiola Henry.

Something to share

The Praise of Wisdom

I came forth from the mouth of the Most High,

           and covered the earth like a mist.

                        –  Sirach 24:3

The Nature of Wisdom

She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other,

     and she orders all things well.

                      –  Wisdom 8:1

O come, thou Wisdom from on high,

who orderest all things mightily;

to us the path of knowledge show,

and teach us in her ways to go.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

                       –  Hymnal 1982, #56 v. 2, Latin, ca. 9th cent.

News and Updates

Postponed Pageant – We will be postponing our pageant until Epiphany Sunday (January 9th) due to a COVID exposure and the need to quarantine  one of our little actors. Thank you for your flexibility.  We want all the kiddos to be able to be part of the pageant and enjoy all of their hard work!

CHRISTMAS EVE

4:00 p.m. Eucharist

CHRISTMAS DAY

9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer (Zoom)

FEAST OF ST. STEPHEN SUNDAY

December 26th

9:00 a.m. Eucharist

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 Daily Prayers as best we can: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am.Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume next year.

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

Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com) if you would like to have communion brought to you. We will make visits on Sunday after our regular Eucharist at church.

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.

For All Gatherings at the Church – Every individual on site NEEDS to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – not a bandana/gator/scarf).  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

Irish Blessing

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 God’s 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.

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