Evening Prayer Readings
St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr (of the Octave)
The First Lesson
The Second Lesson
An Independent Traditional 1928 BCP Ministry
I WILL magnify thee, O LORD; for thou hast set me up, * and not made my foes to triumph over me.
O LORD my God, I cried unto thee; * and thou hast healed me.
Thou, LORD, hast brought my soul out of hell: * thou hast kept my life, that I should not go down into the pit.
Sing praises unto the LORD, O ye saints of his; * and give thanks unto him, for a remembrance of his holiness.
For his wrath endureth but the twinkling of an eye, and in his pleasure is life; * heaviness may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be removed: * thou, LORD, of thy goodness, hast made my hill so strong.
Thou didst turn thy face from me, * and I was troubled.
Then cried I unto thee, O LORD; * and gat me to my LORD right humbly.
What profit is there in my blood, * when I go down into the pit?
Shall the dust give thanks unto thee? * or shall it declare thy truth?
Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me; * LORD, be thou my helper.
Thou hast turned my heaviness into joy; * thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness:
Therefore shall every good man sing of thy praise without ceasing. * O my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
IN thee, O LORD, have I put my trust; let me never be put to confusion; * deliver me in thy righteousness.
Bow down thine ear to me; * make haste to deliver me.
And be thou my strong rock, and house of defence, * that thou mayest save me.
For thou art my strong rock, and my castle: * be thou also my guide, and lead me for thy Name's sake.
Draw me out of the net that they have laid privily for me; * for thou art my strength.
Into thy hands I commend my spirit; * for thou hast redeemed me, O LORD, thou God of truth.
vs 7 I have hated them that hold of lying vanities, * and my trust hath been in the LORD.
I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy; * for thou hast considered my trouble, and hast known my soul in adversities.
Thou hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; * but hast set my feet in a large room.
Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble, * and mine eye is consumed for very heaviness; yea, my soul and my body.
For my life is waxen old with heaviness, * and my years with mourning.
My strength faileth me, because of mine iniquity, * and my bones are consumed.
I became a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours; * and they of mine acquaintance were afraid of me; and they that did see me without, conveyed themselves from me.
I am clean forgotten as a dead man out of mind; * I am become like a broken vessel.
For I have heard the blasphemy of the multitude, and fear is on every side; * while they conspire together against me, and take their counsel to take away my life.
But my hope hath been in thee, O LORD; * I have said, Thou art my God.
My times are in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, * and from them that persecute me.
Show thy servant the light of thy countenance, * and save me for thy mercy's sake.
Let me not be confounded, O LORD, for I have called upon thee; * let the ungodly be put to confusion, and be put to silence in the grave.
Let the lying lips be put to silence, * which cruelly, disdainfully, and despitefully speak against the righteous.
O how plentiful is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee, * and that thou hast prepared for them that put their trust in thee, even before the sons of men!
Thou shalt hide them in the covert of thine own presence from the plottings of men: * thou shalt keep them secretly in thy tabernacle from the strife of tongues.
Thanks be to the LORD; * for he hath showed me marvellous great kindness in a strong city.
But in my haste I said, * I am cast out of the sight of thine eyes.
Nevertheless, thou heardest the voice of my prayer, * when I cried unto thee.
O love the LORD, all ye his saints; * for the LORD preserveth them that are faithful, and plenteously rewardeth the proud doer.
Be strong, and he shall establish your heart, * all ye that put your trust in the LORD.
But though the righteous be prevented with death, yet shall he be in rest. For honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by number of years. But wisdom is the gray hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age. He pleased God, and was beloved of him: so that living among sinners he was translated. Yea speedily was he taken away, lest that wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul. For the bewitching of naughtiness doth obscure things that are honest; and the wandering of concupiscence doth undermine the simple mind. He, being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time: For his soul pleased the Lord: therefore hasted he to take him away from among the wicked. This the people saw, and understood it not, neither laid they up this in their minds, That his grace and mercy is with his saints, and that he hath respect unto his chosen.
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. And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.
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 who suffer for thee, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
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