The (Western) Church
Celebrates the Feast of Stephen - One of the first Deacons* (Acts 6), Stephen was stoned to death (Acts 7) and commemorated today.
Many people know of the feast, even if subliminally, thanks to the carol: 'Good King Wenceslaus'
* people selected to 'wait at tables and deliver charity so that the Apostles could get on with their job
The Western World
Today is a day set aside for other worshippers to gather together in search of close fellowship and a sprit of camaraderie and joy as they seek that elusive bargain and return the stuff they received yesterday!
They're not doing Boxing Day as they are still having a 'lockdown' to try and address the Ebola crisis - in fact Christmas didn't happen this year for many!
Merciful Lord, we thank you for the signs of your mercy revealed in birth and death:
save us by the coming of your Son,
and give us joy in honouring Stephen, first martyr of the new Israel;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.