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Prayer For The Feast of Saint Stephen The Martyr

For Use On December 26th or Other Occasions


Saint Stephen was the first Christian martyr. His name appropriately means "crown" from the Greek word stephanos, since the early Christians compared martyrdom to winning the prize in a race, and a crown of laurels was often the prize in such competitions. His message and martyrdom are recounted in Acts 6-7.

Saint Stephen's Day is associated with Christmas because it falls on December 26th, during Christmastide. It even gets a mention in the song "Good King Wenceslaus."

Saint Stephen painted by Luis De Morales

The Prayer
We give you thanks,
O Lord of glory,
for the example
of the first martyr Stephen,
who looked up to heaven
and prayed for his persecutors
to your Son Jesus Christ,
who stands at your right hand;
where he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, 1979


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