Grant, O Lord, that in all our sufferings here upon earth, for the
testimony of thy truth, we may stedfastly look up to heaven, and
by faith behold the glory that shall be revealed; and, being
filled with the Holy Ghost, may learn to love and bless our
persecutors, by the example of thy first Martyr Saint Stephen,
who prayed for his murderers to thee, O blessed Jesus, who
standest at the right hand of God to succour all those that
suffer for thee, our only Mediator and Advocate. _Amen_.
Then shall follow the Collect of the Nativity, which shall be
said continually unto New-year's Eve_.
FOR THE EPISTLE. Acts vii. 55.
Stephen, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into
heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right
hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the
Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried
out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him
with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him:
and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet,
whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God,
and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down,
and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their
charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
THE GOSPEL. St Matth. xxiii. 34.
Behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and
some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall
ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to
city; that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon
the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of
Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and
the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come
upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest
the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee; how
often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen
gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold,
your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye
shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he
that cometh in the Name of the Lord.