Your Words Are Channels of Grace into Our Hearts

Lord,
inspire us to read your Scriptures
and to meditate upon them day and night.
We beg you to give us real understanding of what we need,
that we in turn may put its precepts into practice.
Yet we know that understanding and good intentions are worthless,
unless rooted in your graceful love.
So we ask that the words of Scriptures
may also be not just signs on a page,
but channels of grace into our hearts.

Source: Origen (ca. 185-254)

Source of this version: https://shadowsofaugustine.blogspot.com/2008/11/prayer-before-reading-scripture.html

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Mozarabic Epiphany Prayer

Image result for epiphany starYou, O Lord,
are the Star of truth, who rises out of Jacob,
and the man who rises from Israel.
In the new Star you show yourself as God,
and lying in the crib as God and Man
we confess you to be the one Christ.
In your great mercy
grant us the grace of seeing you,
and show us the radiant sign of your light,
and put all the darkness of our sins to flight,
that we who languish with the desire of seeing you,
may be refreshed with the enjoyment of that blissful vision. Amen.

Source: Attributed to the Mozarabic Breviary

Source of this version: Freely modified from https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=963

Shine Your Bright Light into Our Hearts

wise-mens-giftsLord God,
you are the light of all the Gentiles,
and on this day
you revealed your only Son
to the Gentiles
by the leading of a star.
Grant that your people
may rejoice in your unending peace
and shine your bright light
into our hearts,
just as you blessed the Wise Men
and their children;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

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

Original in German:

Herr Gott, Du Licht aller Heiden, der Du am heutigen Tage Deinen Eingebornen den Heiden durch Leitung des Sterns offenbart hast, verleihe Deinen Völkern, sich in beständigem Frieden zu freuen, und gieß auch in unsre Herzen das helle Licht aus, welches Du den Weisen und ihren Geschlechtern vergönnt hast, durch Jesum Christum, unsern Herrn. Amen.

Keep Us Safe, Lead Us Home

Dear God,
lead us with the Wise Men
by the star of your holy Word
to your Son, Christ Jesus,
and always protect us
from every attack.

Then we will return
to our home country
by another route,
that is, to God
by whom we are created,
and finally come to the source again,
as in a great golden ring.

God help us,
through Christ,
our King and Priest,
forever and ever.
Amen.

Source: Martin Luther, translated for A Collection of Prayers from  Gebetbuch, enthaltend die sämtlichen Gebete und Seufzer Martin Luther’s, ….Evangelischer Bücher-Verein, 1866, #575.

Original in German:

Lieber Gott, führe uns mit den Weisen durch den Stern deines heiligen Worts zu deinem Sohn Christo Jesu, und bewahre uns vor allem Anstoß in Ewigkeit, so kommen wir recht in unser Vaterland, da wir herkommen sind, das ist zu Gott, von dem wir geschaffen sind, und kommt das Ende mit dem Ursprung wieder zusammen, wie ein goldener Ring; das helf uns Gott durch Christum, unsern König und Priester in Ewigkeit. Amen.

Epiphany: Chalking the Door

CMB

On or before the Epiphany, January 6, family and friends gather at the main entrances to homes or apartments and ask God’s blessing on their dwellings and on all who live or visit there. 

Peace be to this house and to all who enter here.

A reading from Proverbs.
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:3-4)

Let us pray.
Gracious God, as a shining star once guided the magi to the birthplace of the infant Jesus, so enable those who dwell here to be your light in the world; through Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen. 

Using chalk, inscribe the horizontal frame above the door with the inscription shown below. The letters C M B come from the traditional (9th century) names for the “three kings”–Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. Some also suggest “Christus Mansionem Benedicat,” which means “May Christ bless this dwelling.” The numbers stand for the year 2018. 

Each person receives a turn to make one or more of the marks:

20 + C + M + B + 18

A reading from Isaiah.
And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust  forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. (Isaiah 32:17-18).

People may join hands or extend their hands outward and upward (orans) for the prayers.

Let us pray.
Sovereign God, we pray that you will bless this home and all who live here with your gracious presence, that your love may be our inspiration, your wisdom our guide, your truth our light, and your peace our benediction; through Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.

Lord, remember your children and teach us to pray:
Our Father… 

People may make the sign of the cross in remembrance of their baptism.

The Lord will keep our going out and our coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121:8)
Amen.

Source: Modified from http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/2000/12/chalking-the-door.aspx#Qh3a4iy2HKPKIKkE.99

Scripture from the English Standard Version.

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.
Amen.

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…