On the Second Day of Christmas: St. Stephen (Music by Magpie Lane)
To celebrate the Feast of St. Stephen on the second day of Christmas, here's a rousing traditional carol performed by the Oxford, UK group Magpie Lane.
Saint Stephen was a holy man Endued with heavenly might, And many wonders he did work All in the people’s sight; And by the holy Spirit of God, Which did his heart inflame, He spared not, in every place, To preach God’s holy Name.
O man, do never faint nor fear, When God the truth shall try; But mark how Stephen, for Christ’s sake, Was a-willing for to die.
Before the elders he was brought, His answer for to make, But they could not the spirit withstand Whereby this man did speak. While this was told, the multitude Beholding him aright, His comely face began to shine Most like an angel bright.
Then Stephen did put forth his voice, And he did first unfold The wond’rous works which God had wrought E’en for their fathers old; That they thereby might plainly know Christ Jesus should be he That from the burden of the law Should quit us frank and free.
But, oh! quoth he, you wicked men, Which of your fathers all Did not the prophets persecute, And keep in woeful thrall? But when they heard him so to say, Upon him they all ran, And there without the city gates They stoned this holy man.
There he most meekly on his knees To God did pray at large Desiring that he should not lay This sin unto their charge; Then yielding up his soul to God, Who had it dearly bought, He lost his life, and his body then To the grave was seemly brought.