Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church 

Saint Stephen’s Weekly Prayers for the week of December 24, 2022


A note from our Senior Warden:

St. Stephens Family,

A quick update from the Vestry.  We are officially interviewing a candidate for Interim Rector.  We have had an initial phone interview and will be going forward with further interviews.  For now, we need to keep his/her identity confidential but I’ll provide more details when I can pass them along.

I also wanted to give an update about the fire system.  A couple Sundays ago we had quite the disruptive service and I want to assure you we are working on permanently fixing the problem.  The original cause of the malfunction has been fixed by our plumbed.  The fire system box needs to be replaced and we already have a quote and will be working with the vendor to get it fixed asap.

Thank you to Austin, Paul and Ron for working with our contractors and helping fix the issue

If you have any questions feel free to email me at:



Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

From Our Prayers of the People 

Anglican Cycle of Prayer:  The Anglican Church of Melanesia

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

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury; Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith and Carol Gallagher, Assisting Bishops; and Allison de Kanel, our lay reader

Those who are in need of strength and healing: Mary Ann Harrington, David Humphrey, Marilyn Causey, Eunice Chouffi, Mary Frances Hatfield, Vincent Avila, June Russell, Bill Frank, Chris Holder, Sal Belardo, Samantha Humphrey & the Humphrey Family, and Joe White

Those who celebrate birthdays this week: Ron Michelson, Denise Crates

Those who celebrate baptisms this week: Suzanne Taylor, Louise Peake, Tammy Ruscitto, Robert Bailey, Salvatore Belardo, Thomas Bennett, Marilyn Causey, Stephanie Grimason, Marilyn Humphrey, Marguerite MacDougall, Sara Palko, Linda Perregaux,  Paul Pratico, Marti Spang, Liz Stevens, Gillian Woodcock

Those who have died:Margaret Collins, Suzanne Fleischmann, Anna Kastensmith,  Solon Duff,  Helen Bradish, Lillian Peterson, Isabella Dewhurst, Burleigh Douglass,  Ida Rossiter

This week’s Lessons and Prayers

Christmas Eve 

The Collect and Scripture Readings for Christmas Eve


O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.


Isaiah 9:2-7

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness– on them light has shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.


1   Sing to the LORD a new song; *

      sing to the LORD, all the whole earth.

2   Sing to the LORD and bless his Name; *

      proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day.

3   Declare his glory among the nations *

      and his wonders among all peoples.

4   For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; *

      he is more to be feared than all gods.

5   As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols; *

      but it is the LORD who made the heavens.

6   Oh, the majesty and magnificence of his presence! *

      Oh, the power and the splendor of his sanctuary!

7   Ascribe to the LORD, you families of the peoples; *

      ascribe to the LORD honor and power.

8   Ascribe to the LORD the honor due his Name; *

      bring offerings and come into his courts.

9   Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness; *

      let the whole earth tremble before him.

10  Tell it out among the nations: “The LORD is King! *

he has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved;

       he will judge the peoples with equity.”

11  Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;

    let the sea thunder and all that is in it; *

      let the field be joyful and all that is therein.

12  Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy

    before the LORD when he comes, *

      when he comes to judge the earth.

13  He will judge the world with righteousness *

      and the peoples with his truth.


Titus 2:11-14

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all,

training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.


Luke 2:1-20

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see–I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a

child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And

suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly

host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest

heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Blessing of the Creche:

Celebrant:   Dear friends, as we meet to celebrate the birth of Christ, let us pray that God  will bless this creche, that all who worship his Son, born of the Virgin Mary, may come to share his life in glory. God our Father, on this night your Son Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary for is and for our salvation: Bless this creche, which we have prepared to celebrate that holy birth; may all who see it be strengthened in faith and receive the fullness of life he came to bring, who is alive and reigns for ever. Amen.

The Prayers of the People for Christmas Eve

Celebrant:  In peace let us pray to the Lord.

Leader:  Father, in this holy night your Son our Savior was born in human flesh. Renew your Church as the Body of Christ. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

There was no room for your Son in the inn. Protect with your love

those who have no home and all who live in poverty. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

 Mary, in the pain of labor, brought your Son to birth. Hold in your hand all who are in pain or distress. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

 Your Christ came as a light shining in the darkness. Bring comfort to all who suffer in the sadness of our world. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

 The angels sang, “Peace to God’s people on earth.” Strengthen those who work for peace and justice. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

 Shepherds in the field heard tidings of joy. Give us grace to preach the

Gospel of Christ’s redemption. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Strangers found the Holy Family and saw the baby lying in the manger.

Bless our homes and all those we love. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

 Heaven is come down to earth and earth is raised to heaven. Hold in your

Hand all those who have passed through death in the hope of your coming kingdom. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Christians the world over celebrate Christ’s birth. Open our hearts that he

may be born in us today. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Celebrant:  Father, angels and shepherds worshiped at the manger throne. Receive the worship we offer with Mary, Joseph, and all the saints through him who is your Word made flesh, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

*Note Christmas Day Lessons are the same as Christmas Eve except for the Collect which follows:


O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

News and Updates 

Music Today for Christmas Eve

Prelude              Joyous Christmas Medley                     Smith

                         Tim Olsen, piano       Susan Lohnas, organ                    

Opening Hymn                                             #96

Choral Anthem                     Baby In a Manger          Williams/Nolan

Offertory Hymn                    #111

Closing Hymn                                           #100

Postlude                                        Noel                                  D’Aquin

Lectors: Ryan and Sam Abel

Celebrant: Father Marshall Vang

Time: 5:00

Music Today for Christmas Day

Prelude                 He Shall Feed His Flock                  Handel                                       

Opening Hymn                                             #83

Sequence Hymn                               # 84

Offertory Hymn                                                                            # 101 

Closing Hymn                                             #107

Postlude                                In Dulci Jubilo                                  Bach

Lector: D Lohnas

Celebrant: Mother Sally Heiligman

Time: 9:30

Current Announcements

Celebrant / Officiant Update:   

1/1 – Father Marshall Vang

1/8 – Mother Sally Heiligman – Children’s service

1/15-Father Marshall Vang

1/22-Mother Sally Heiligman

1/29-Allison de Kanel – Morning Prayer

Advent Outreach –  During Advent we collected money for UNICEF to support the children of Ukraine.  Our goal was to raise $1,000 by Christmas.  To date we have raised $1,280! You may make final contributions by check or cash in the offering plate or in the box in the nave extension.  Make checks out to St. Stephen’s Church, marked for UNICEF.  Your donation will help UNICEF ensure that Ukraine’s children have access to safe water, nutrition, health care, education and protection.

Ongoing Covid and the addition of flu and RSV have us feeling as if pandemic precautions will never end. Due to change in the seasons and longer indoor exposures we invite you to consider masking at church if you feel vulnerable.  Masks are available from the ushers if anyone would like to use one.  Let’s keep strong and healthy.

Please join us in praying for Samantha Humphrey’s safe return and for the Humphrey family during this difficult time.

Christmas Flowers and Greens

The greens and poinsettias that adorn our church are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory and in Thanksgiving for God’s blessings

Given by

David & Suzanne Taylor 

Marilyn Hymphrey  – for Don & Samantha Humphrey

Millie Gittinger

Sal & Diana Belardo – in memory of  Anthony & Mary 

          Belardo, William & Mary Buckley, and loved ones

Father Marshall Vang – as a thanks offering for the people 

          of St. Stephen’s

Sara & Joe Palko – as a thanks offering for their

          grandchildren – Luke, Rece, Tate, Julia, Jamie &


Ongoing adult education opportunities

A weekly Healing Service in the Chapel of St. Michael and All Angels. After Communion, prayer teams locate throughout the chapel for ministry. Additional prayer ministry is offered by appointment.Lunches at Christ the King Center
 Cathedral In Bloom January 13-15, 2023 Cathedral in Bloom, the area’s premier flower show, is back! Enjoy the glory of the architecture of The Cathedral of All Saints combined with the talents of the some of the Capital Region’s and northeast’s floral artists. Regardless of the weather outside, it will be Spring inside the Cathedral! Dozens of floral displays, workshops and presentations will be offered by floral professionals. Guided and self- tours, a cafe, and a flower market will welcome you, along with organ recitals with music inspired by flowers. Special tickets for a Champagne Gala on Friday Evening and a Saturday Afternoon Tea are available and must be purchased days in advance. New in 2023 is a ticket for admission to all three days of the event, and a raffle. General and Senior Admission tickets are good for only one of any of the three days of the event and may be purchased at the door. Children under ten will be admitted for free. Tickets are nonrefundable and nontransferable. Questions: 


Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning – contact Becky Holder for the link:

Our office email is:

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.

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