Light in Darkness

O Lord,
with me there is always doubt.
With you there never is.
The darkness was long,
too long,
and it all came from within me–
from my doubts and fears,
from me, looking inward,
seeking self.
Your light was there,
guiding and correcting,
and pointing me to your Son,
his goodness,
holiness,
and pure light.
Please,
shine in my heart,
with your most precious Light.
Send your holy Spirit
to turn on the light
when I hear
even the shortest
promises in your Word–
even when I hear
what I’ve heard
so many times before,
because that does not
make it any less precious,
but more precious.
Keep shining
and enlightening.
Restore to me the joy!
Amen.

Source: Anonymous, 21st Century

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I Believe

This creed is similar to the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. It is found in the Antiphonary of Bangor, a book of canticles, responses and prayers, written in Ireland around A.D. 680.

I believe in God the Father almighty, invisible, creator of all things visible and invisible.

I believe also in the Lord Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, God almighty, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified and buried and descended into hell, the third day he rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe also in the Holy Spirit, God almighty, of one substance with the Father and the Son. I believe in the holy catholic church, the forgiveness of sins, the communion of saints, and the resurrection of the body.

I believe in life after death, and eternal life in the glory of Christ. All this I believe in God. Amen.

Source: The Antiphony of Bangor, #35; translated by Paul C. Stratman for A Collection of Prayers.

Original in Latin:

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, invisibilem, omnium creaturarum visibilium et invisibilium conditorem.

Credo et in Jesum Christum, Filium ejus unicum, Dominum nostrum, Deum omnipotentem, conceptum de Spiritu Sancto, natum de Maria Virgine, passum sub Pontio Pilato, qui crucifixus et sepultus descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit in coelis, seditque ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, exinde venturus judicara vivos ac mortuos.

Credo et in Spiritum Sanctum, Deum omnipotentem, unam habentem substantiam cum Patre et Filio. Sanctam esse ecclesiam catholicam, abremissam peccatorum, sanctorum communionem, carnis resurrectionem.

Credo vitam post mortem, et vitam aeternam in gloria Christi. Haec omnia credo in Deum. Amen.

To You, Trinity We Give Praise and Thanks

We worship you, eternal Father.
We call on you, eternal Son.
We confess you, Holy Spirit, dwelling in one divine unity.

To you, Trinity we give praise and thanks.
To you, one God, we sing in endless praise.

To you, Father unbegotten,
to you, the only-begotten Son,
to you, Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, we confess with our hearts,
to you beyond all thought, surpassing all understanding, to the all-powerful God we give thanks; who reigns, now and forever. Amen.

Source: The Antiphony of Bangor, #125; translated by Paul C. Stratman for A Collection of Prayers.

Original in Latin:

Te Patrem adoramus seternum.
Te sempiternum Filium invocamus.
Teque Spiritum Sanctum in una divinitatis substantia manentem confitemur.
Tibi Trinitati laudes et gratias referimus.
Tibi uni Deo incessabilem dicimus laudem.
Te Patrem ingenitum,
Te Filium unigenitum.
Te Spiritum Sanctum a Patre et Filio procedentem corde credimus.
Tibi inaestimabili, incomprehensibili, omni potens Deus, gratias agimus. Qui regnas in saecula, &c.

The Holy Spirit

O Holy Spirit, Love of God,
pour out your grace,
and descend plentifully into my heart.
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling,
and scatter there your cheerful beams.
Dwell in that soul that longs to be your temple.
Water that barren soil, overrun with weeds and briars,
and lost for lack of cultivating,
and make it fruitful with your dew from heaven.
Come, refreshment of those who languish and faint.
Come, Star and Guide of those who sail in the tempestuous sea of the world. You are the only Haven of the tossed and shipwrecked.
Come, Glory and Crown of the living, and only Safeguard of the dying.
Come, Holy Spirit, in your great mercy, and make me fit to receive you. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo, Fourth Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

Litany of the Holy Spirit (2)

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

God the Father in heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
Spirit of counsel and might,
Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord,
Spirit of love,
Spirit of joy,
Spirit of peace,
Spirit of patience, kindness and goodness,
Spirit of faith, humility and chastity, have mercy on us.

Holy Spirit, who who probes minds and hearts.
Dispenser of heavenly grace,
Joy of the angels,
Comfort of the sorrowing,
Light of the prophets,
Wisdom of the apostles,
Victory of the holy martyrs,
Anointing of the saints, have mercy on us.

Be gracious to us, Spare us, Good Lord.
Be gracious to us, Help us, Good Lord.

From every sin,
from the crafts and assaults of the Devil,
from heresy and pernicious doctrine,
from envy and ill-will to the brethren,
from impurity of body and soul,
from indifference in the service of God,
and from all evil spirits, deliver us, good Lord.

You proceed from the Father and the Son,
you overshadowed the Blessed Virgin.
you descended on the Son of God in the form of a dove,
you were poured out on the holy apostles,
you regenerated us in holy baptism,
you dwell in us,
you  intercede for us through wordless groans. help us, good Lord.

We poor sinners pray, hear us, good Lord.

To cleanse and sanctify all the members of your holy Church,
to adorn the Bride of Christ with abundant gifts,
to bless and protect our synod [church body], together with all its clergy and institutions,
to grant all of us the spirit of prayer and sincere worship,
to govern and sanctify our thoughts, words and actions,
to adorn our lives with patience and humility,
to kindle in us love and mercy,
to clothe us with purity,
to work in us the peace of God,
to keep us in your grace and to bring us to everlasting life, hear us, good Lord.

Lord God, Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Lord God, Son of the Father, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; grant us your peace.

O Christ, hear us.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. 

Our Father in heaven…

Source: Loehe’s Agenda, in Liturgy for Christian Congregations of the Lutheran Faith, by William Loehe, Third Edition edited by
J. Deinzer, 1902.

Litany of the Holy Spirit (1)

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

God the Father in heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Spirit,
by your power, you worked the incarnation of our Lord in the virgin’s womb,
you teach us all things and guide us into all truth,
you intercede for us groans that cannot be expressed in words,
you have given us new birth and have made us heirs of eternal life,
you help us in our weakness,
you bring us to life and purify our hearts with faith,
you judge the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, have mercy on us.

From all evil. Deliver us, Holy Spirit.
Be merciful to us. Spare us, Holy Spirit.
Be merciful to us. Hear us, Holy Spirit.

From all sins of thought, word, and action,
from the crafts and assaults of the devil,
from pride and despair,
from unbelief and hardness of heart,
from uncleanness of heart and life,
from anger, hatred and ill will,
from impurity of body and soul,
from obstinacy and impenitence,
from indifference to the service of God, deliver us, Holy Spirit.

You proceed from the Father and the Son,
you overshadowed the virgin,
you descended on the Son in the form of a dove,
you were poured out on the holy apostles,
you are the Spirit of love,
you are the Spirit of joy,
you are the Spirit of peace,
you dwell in us, help us, good Lord.

By your inward anointing,
by the abundance of your grace, hear us, good Lord.

We sinners pray, hear us, Holy Spirit.

To cleanse and sanctify all members of your holy Church,
to adorn the Bride of Christ with abundant gifts,
to bless and protect our synod [church body], together with all its clergy and institutions,
to grant all of us the spirit of prayer and sincere worship,
to adorn our lives with patience and humility,
to kindle love and mercy in us,
to clothe us with purity,
to help us so that we do not grieve you, Holy Spirit, for you have sealed us for the day of redemption,
to work in us your grace and bring us to eternal life, hear us, Holy Spirit.

Lord God, Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; grant us your peace.

O Christ, hear us.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. 

Our Father in heaven…

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

Almighty God, send the Holy Spirit into our hearts that he may rule and direct us according to your will, comfort us in all temptations and afflictions, defend us from all error, lead us into all truth, keep us steadfast in the true faith, and help us increase in love and in all good works, that in the end we obtain eternal life; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Loehe’s Agenda, in Oremus, ed. Paul Zeller Strodach, 1925.