Christ is Born!
St. Stephen was one of the seven original deacons of the Church, ordained by the Apostles to care for widows and the poor.
The eastern church observes St. Stephen’s Day on the third day of Nativity, and not on the second day, as western churches do. Since times of antiquity, on this day the Church Collection Boxes, of cash, food and clothing hampers were opened and given to the poor and needy... the Original meaning of Boxing Day!
Of course, it’s spiritually beneficial to distribute alms in the memory of a loved one, not only at Christmas, but on any day of the year. …Ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing! Many have heard about the “Feast of St. Stephen” from “Good King Wenceslas” a carol set to a 13th century melody.
An Everyday Carol below – by 9th century St. Joseph the Hymnographer… can be sung to the 13th century melody we know as Good King Wenceslas!
Christian friends, your voices raise, wake the day with gladness.
God Himself to joy and praise, turns our human sadness:
Joy that martyrs won their crown, opened heaven’s portal,
When they laid the mortal down, for the Life Immortal.
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!