S. Stephen's Church
in Providence
"Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." (Acts 7:56)
THE FIRST SUNDAY OF CHRISTMAS
27 December 20200
Nativity at Night (c. 1490) by Geertgen tot Sint Jans (c. 1465 - c. 1495) National Gallery, London.
Kalendar and Readings
THE FIRST SUNDAY OF CHRISTMAS (Year B)


Click the readings above for links to the RSV
Music
Organ: Noël sur les Flûtes, Louis-Claude d'Aquin (1694 - 1772)

Mass: Office of Holy Communion in F, Harold Darke (1888 - 1976)

Psalm 147, Tone VIII

Offertory: Myn Lyking, Richard Runciman Terry (1864 - 1938)

Organ: Noel Etranger, Louis-Claude d'Aquin
A Word From Fr. Benjamin
Dear Beloved in Christ,

Merry Christmas! Grace and peace be with you in these Twelve Days of Christmas.

The light of Christ has dawned upon us -- we have seen the light of the world lying in a manger, and like the shepherds who ran in haste to see this marvelous thing, we cannot help but be changed in some way. Like Mary, we are left with many things to ponder in our hearts as we meditate upon the mystery of the Incarnation and its implications for our lives.

It was so wonderful to see a good number of you at our outdoor liturgy on Christmas Eve and to celebrate the birth of our Savior together. While I sincerely hope we do not have to something like that next Christmas, it is a memory and an experience I shall treasure for a long time.

I pray this finds you all doing well, and having celebrated Christmas to the best of your abilities, despite the times we find ourselves in. While there is suffering and death in the world, the truth is that we are also called to celebrate and give thanks at all times when we can -- thanks to God for all that he has done for us, and all that he has given us, particularly in the gift of his Son.

He has also given us the senses of sight, touch, taste, and smell to be enjoyed. To that end, I hope you have all indulged in some form of celebration during these days. The medieval English truly knew now to celebrate Christmas, and both the church and the laity engaged in a serious amount of feasting and levity in the 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany. Is it any wonder then that the Puritan Reformers wanted to ban Christmas outright?

Pray for the needs of the world, and respond to them with generosity. But also take a moment to stop and enjoy the wonderful things God has given us, and to celebrate these next 12 days with good food and drink, and with the company of family and friends (as far as is possible). If you are alone, or if you know someone who is alone, I urge you to please call them or FaceTime with them -- let them know they are important to you, and that you have stopped to consider them this time of year. It will mean more than you can know.

Yours in the Love of our Incarnate Lord,

Fr. Benjamin +
Annual New Year's Day Dinner
Like so much else in 2020, our annual New Year's Day dinner in which we have traditionally welcomed the homeless or food insecure into our Guild House Hall will still take place, but look very different.

Food will be prepared in to-go containers and then distributed at the door or driven to shelters and other locations around Providence. Due to COVID restrictions, we can only accept 4 to 5 volunteers for the assembly of the containers, in addition to 2 volunteers to possibly drive the food to a drop off location.
Please email rector@sstephens.necoxmail.com or office@sstephens.necoxmail.com if you would like to help with this important service and gesture of kindness to our fellow brothers and sisters.
Sunday Livestreams
We have begun using a new streaming app for our Sunday 10:00 Mass. One thing we are unable to do is link to the Facebook “event” that we were previously creating, but if you go to our Facebook page you can easily see that we are going live and it should come up in your feed.
Giving to St. Stephen's
You can mail your pledge card or weekly/monthly offering to the church office, or pledge online here. Thank you for all the many ways in which you are already supporting S. Stephen’s. 
For your Prayers
Prayers have been requested for: Patti Barnes, Lola Campagna, Ruby Campagna, the Rev. Norman Catir, Diana Clarke, Sarah Clarke, Grace Deneault, Norman Gibbs Jr., Harrington Gordon, Joan Gordon, James Howley, the Rev. Jay C. James, Conrad Johnson, Ann Brooke Mason, Beverly Myers, Beverly Ryan, Rhoda Steinhart, Crystal Sylver, and Christopher Whittingham.

Birthdays this week: Katherine Rejto (12/27), Ethel Locke (12/28)

Anniversaries this week: Anniversary of Ordination to the Sacred Order of Deacons for Fr. William R. Locke (12/27).
 
The faithful departed: Year's mind: Mary Gowdy (12/27), Albert E. Godfrey (12/27), John Seville Higgons, bishop (12/28), Detlev Schumann (12/29), Laurie Palmer Thissell (12/29), Nancy Jean Donaldson Pettingell (1/2).

Anglican and Diocesan Cycles of Prayer: In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for Christians in other denominations and the work of the ecumenical movement, including His Holiness, Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome, His All Holiness Archbishop Bartholomew of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Bishop Ivan M Abrahams, General Secretary of the World Methodist Council, and the Reverend Chris Ferguson, General Secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, we are asked to pray for all people and clergy of our diocese.
This Week at St. Stephen's
EXTRA-PAROCHIAL EVENTS HOSTED AT S. STEPHEN’S
Saturday 2 January
Epiphany Soup Kitchen (Meal Pickup Only)  2:30-4 pm

LITURGICAL CALENDAR & SERVICE SCHEDULE
All Services Streamed on our Facebook Page

Sunday 27 December
THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
Sung Mass 10:00 am

Daily Office and Mass Lectionary

Monday 28 December
THE HOLY INNOCENTS
Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6:00 pm

Tuesday 29 December
Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1170
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Wednesday 30 December
Wednesday in the First Week after Christmas
Evening Prayer 5:30 pm
Low Mass 6 pm

Thursday 31 December
Thursday in the First Week after Christmas
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Friday 1 January
THE HOLY NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Noonday Prayer 12 noon
Low Mass 12:10 pm

Saturday 2 January
Saturday in the First Week after Christmas
Morning Prayer 9:30 am
Low Mass 10 am
Holy Rosary 10:45 am

Next Sunday
SECOND SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
Sung Mass 10:00 am