26 Dec: St. Stephen the Protomartyr, his Archconfraternity, the Octave

In addition to Boxing Day, and the day good King Wenceslaus went out, it is the feast of St Stephen. I hope all your snow is neat and crisp and even.

For my part I was content with 50 and green.

St. Stephen’s feast has been celebrated this day since the earliest centuries of the Church’s life.

We are also in the Octave of Christmas. Octaves are mysterious. For Holy Church time is suspended so that we can rest in the mystery of the feast.  In her wisdom, Holy Church “stops” her clock so that we contemplate the mystery of the feast from different angles, through different lenses.

St. Stephen reminds us of the consequences of discipleship.  He is usually depicted surrounded by people who are beating him to death with rocks.

Today, agents serving the “mystical body of Satan” – witting and unwitting – use Twitter to do that.

As I said, there are consequences of discipleship.

Are you ready for consequence in the days remaining to you?   Consequences can be more or less dramatic.  I think we need to get our heads into mental places wherein we can imagine even dire consequences.

I also congratulate all the members of the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen!  This is a guild of altar boy that started in England.  The first chapter ever outside of England was at my home parish of St. Agnes, in St. Paul.  In the sacristy there was a letter from the Archbishop of Westminster approving the chapter and each year on this day the new boys were enrolled.

I am enrolled!  Just after I entered the Church.

We asked the Archbishop of Westminster for permission to start one here as well.  Hopefully, this new year will see it rise up!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. ex seaxe says:

    It looks as though the Archconfraternity in your USA is mostly in EF communities. But in its English home the Guild is widespread in ordinary parishes, and for some time has included both boys and girls. (As is evident if you scroll down the page). A slight irony since the foundation was at a Girl’s Convent School, and presumably intended to find boys to serve Mass there and shield them from contact with the girls (and/or vive versa)

  2. ex seaxe says:

    Apologies, I spotted the spelling error after my finger was already moving – vice versa.

  3. PostCatholic says:

    In Ireland, Boxing Day is called Stephen’s Day.

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