New Birth and Freedom in Christ

geertgen_tot_sint_jans2c_the_nativity_at_night2c_c_1490Almighty God,
grant that the new birth
of your Son in the flesh
redeems us from the old slavery
under the yoke of sin,
so we may receive him with joy
as our Redeemer,
and that when when he comes to judge
we may see Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
forever and ever.

Source:  Wilehelm Loehe, Agende für christliche Gemeinden des lutherischen Bekenntnisses, 1844

Original in German:

Allmächtiger Gott, wir bitten Dich, verleihe, daß die neue Geburt Deines Sohnes im Fleische uns erlöse, welche die alte Dienstbarkeit unterm Joch der Sünden gefangen halt, auf daß wir Ihn als einen Erlöser mit Freuden aufnehmen, auch, wenn Er zum Gericht kommen wird, sicher mögen anschauen JEsum Christum, unsern Herrn, der mit Dir in Einigkeit des heiligen Geistes lebt und herrschet, wahrer Gott, immer und ewiglich! Amen.

This is a German translation of the Gelasian collect for Christmas Day:

Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, ut Unigeniti tui nova per carnem nativitas liberet quos sub peccati iugo vetusa servitus tenet; per…


A Mozarabic Christmas Blessing

geertgen_tot_sint_jans2c_the_nativity_at_night2c_c_1490May our Lord Jesus + Christ, who this day revealed his glory to the shepherds from the manger, bless us.

May he, who in mercy took the form of a human infant, protect and defend us in all things.

May he, who is our Lord and Redeemer, preserve us with his favor forever.

Through the mercies of our God.

Source: Breuiarum Gothicum, p. 46.

Original in Latin:

Mozarabic Christmas Blessing

Our Immanuel

We thank you,
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
that you are the Word
and living image of the eternal Father,
our Immanuel.
You took on yourself our human nature,
and you support and protect
your Christendom
against your enemy, the devil.
Give us us the light of your holy Word.
Forgive us our sins and give us eternal life.
Be our mediator and intercessor,
and plead for us.
Hear and help us as you have promised:
“Come to me, all who labor
and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.”
Have mercy on us.
Pray for us before your everlasting Father,
sanctify and rule in us with your Holy Spirit.
Protect us against all treachery and terror,
and the lies and murder of the devil
so that with pure and joyful hearts
we may serve you;
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
you live and reign
forever and ever.

Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 284. Translated for A Collection of Prayers.

“Word” is a reference to John 1:1

“living image of the eternal Father” may be a reference to Colossians 1:15 or Hebrews 1:3

“Immanuel” is a reference to Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23.

“Mediator” and “Pray for us before your everlasting Father” is a reference to Hebrews 9:15.

“Intercessor” is a reference to Hebrews 9:24.

“Come to me,…” is a reference to Matthew 11:28.

“lies and murder of the devil” is based on John 8:44.

Original in German

Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christe, du Sohn des lebendigen Gottes, der du bist das Wort und Ebenbild des ewigen Vaters und unser Immanuel, daß du menschliche Natur hast angenomme, und erhältst und beschirmst deine Christenheit, wider die Teufel, deine Feinde, gibst uns und erhältst das Licht deines heiligen Worts, vergibst uns unsere Sünde und gibst uns das ewige Leben und bist unser Mittler, Fürbitter, und Fürsprecher und willt uns erhören und helfen wie du gesprochen hast; Kommet her zu mir Alle die ihr mühselig und be laden seid ich will euch erquicken; wir bitten dich, erbarme dich unser, bitte für uns deinen ewigen Vater, heilige und regiere uns mit deinem heiligen Geiste, beschirme uns wider alle List und Gewalt, Lügen und Mord des bösen Geistes, auf daß wir mit einem reinen und fröhlichen Herzen dir allezeit dienen mögen, der du mit dem Vater und dem heiligen Geiste lebest und regierest von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit, Amen.

Christmas Communion Prayer

Light, Holy Communion, Church, Fair, Bible, Bread, Wine

O merciful God,
open the depths of our souls
that we may receive
the immortality of our spirits
through the new birth of your Son
by the power of his body
and precious blood;
for he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God,
forever and ever.

Source:  Wilehelm Loehe, Agende für christliche Gemeinden des lutherischen Bekenntnisses, 1844

Original in German:

O gütiger Gott, eröffne uns den Abgrund unsrer Seelen, daß wir die Unsterblichkeit unsers Gemüthes mögen vernehmen durch die neue Geburt Deines Sohnes, in der Kraft Seines Fleisches und theuern Blutes, der mit Dir lebt und herrschet…

Merry (and Blessed) Christmas from A Collection of Prayers

When I began a searchable blog of classic prayers, I didn’t really know what it would be or who would use it. For me it was just the start of a collection.

Now, a year and a half later, it has grown into a database with over a thousand prayer entries that is visited about a hundred times a day by readers from all over the world. It’s led me to some new friendships, the publishing of some of the prayers as collections in books, and to some new duties that I consider a high responsibility and privilege.

So thank you, readers, for reading, sharing, and praying with me. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes, who opened up the way for prayer to us by his death for our sins, and ‘lives to plead for us above.’

O God,
you once lit up the sky
with the heavenly host of angels
singing your praises,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”
Open our ears to hear their good tidings of great joy,
join our voices with them in praise,
and move our hearts to constant prayer,
that in the course of our daily lives
we may see your light shining in the darkness,
and that we also may shine like the stars in the universe,
reflecting the brightness of the true Light;
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul C. Stratman,
Christmas Eve, 2017

Christmas Acclamation

KAPraise and adoration
be to our God,
for he is good.
His grace and mercy
fill the heavens and earth.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving,
and joyfully praise
our creator.

As a father,
he loves us,
his children.
Sing his praises
with joyful thanks
in love and devotion!
Let us love him
who has loved us
since the world began.
Who would not
love God from the heart?

We can not give him
adequate praise.
Still, in heaven
he receives with goodwill
our joyful songs of praise
and pours much joy into our souls,
whenever we thank him,
whenever we live in him.

Sing to Jesus Christ
praise, thanks and glory,
for he came from heaven
to destroy sin and death for us
and by his precious, willing sacrifice,
restored innocence and peace.

Already here on earth
he renews joy and life to us
by his grace.
Still greater bliss is prepared there
for those who love him
when one day they will be renewed in his image,
made new and holy,
and awakened from death.

Let us rejoice in our holy God!
Let us rejoice in our eternal God!
How blessed it is to praise him
here, and then in heaven.
He is our holiness!
He is our life!
He always loves us, his children.

Source: Schleswig-Hosteinsche Kirchen-Agende, 1797, Am Feste der Geburt Jesu,  p. 62-64, translated for A Collection of Prayers.




A New Birth for Us

gerard_van_honthorst_001Lord God, dearest Father,
help us to take part
in the new birth
of your beloved Son Jesus Christ
in the flesh,
and to set aside
our old sinful birth;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,

Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 283. Translated for A Collection of Prayers. Also attributed to Martin Luther. [Die Gebete Luthers, #11]

Original in German:

Hilf, lieber Herr Gott Vater, daß wir der neuen leiblichen Geburt deines lieben Sohns Jesu Christi theilhaftig werde nnd bleiben und von unser alten sündlichcn Geburt entlediget werden, durch denselbigcn deinen, Sohn Jesum Christnm unsern Herrn, Amen.

Based on this Gelasian collect for Christmas Day:

Almighty God, grant that the new birth of your only Son in the flesh may set us free from our old slavery under sin; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. Gelasian