Feast of St Stephen 2017
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Parishes around the Diocese of Nottingham marked the Feast of St Stephen with special Masses for Altar Servers and their families and Mass offered for the Intentions of the Guild of St Stephen. More commonly known as Boxing Day, the 26th December is the patronal feast day of Altar Servers and Deacons, marking St Stephen the first Martyr.
In some parishes, as well as roles of thurifer, crucifer, acolyte candles and cruets during Mass, Servers also read the lectionary and sang the Responsorial Psalm. In the reading from Acts of the Apostles, it tells the story of St Stephen:
But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’
The day also provides opportunity for the Altar Servers to renew their commitment within their parish communities, and for new members to be enrolled into the guild of St Stephen. Some servers may opt to receive silver medals on the 26th Dec or at the Annual Guild Mass at the Cathedral. As images and posts from around the diocese were received into the Guild Facebook Group newsfeed, James Noakes, Director of the Guild said:
“Congratulations to everyone being enrolled into the guild. Special congratulations to all those receiving their silver medal for 10 years of serving. Well done, good and faithful servers!”
Images Left to Right: Altar Servers at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Leicester (Facebook/B. Hickey). Altar Servers celebrating Saint Stephen’s Day in Stamford (Facebook/Fr. S. Gillespie). Servers at Nottingham Cathedral (Facebook/R. Procter). Three Altar Server teams gathered in Grismby (Facebook/Fr. A. Cole). Servers in Whitwick (Facebook/G. Freeman)