Keep Us in Faith, that We May Serve You

antiquariat-1829823_640Almighty and eternal God,
you sanctify and govern all Christendom
through your Holy Spirit.
Hear us, by your grace,
and keep your church
and all its members
in the true faith,
that we may faithfully serve you;
through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Attributed to an old Lutheran Church Order, found in Allgemeines evangelisches Gesang- und Gebetbuch zum Kirchen und Hausgebrauch, Hamburg, 1846, p. 437#2.

The adjective “faithfully” was added both because it is implied, and it gives a more satisfactory conclusion.

Allmächtiger, ewiger Gott, der Du durch Deinen heiligen Geist die ganze Christenheit heiligest und regierest: Erhöre unser Gebet, und gieb uns gnädiglich, daß sie mit allen ihren Gliedern, in reinem Glauben durch Deine Gnade Dir diene: um Jesu Christi, Deines lieben Sohnes, unsers Herrn willen. Amen.

Trinitarian Doxology

Praise be to God the Father who made us.
Praise be to God the Son who redeemed us.
Praise be to God the Holy Spirit who sanctified us.
Praise to the the holy and glorious Trinity, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Rambachs Handbüchlein (Johann Jakob Rambach 1693-1723), translated for A Collection of Prayers from  Gebetbuch, enthaltend die sämtlichen Gebete und Seufzer Martin Luther’s, ….Evangelischer Bücher-Verein, 1866, #48(c).

Ehre sei Gott, dem Vater, der uns erschaffen hat.
Ehre sei Gott, dem Sohn, der uns erlöset hat.
Ehre sei Gott, dem heiligen Geist, der uns geheiliget hat.
Ehre sei der heiligen und hochgelobten Dreieinigkeit von nun an bis in Ewigkeit. Amen.

Translation note:

Ehre is translated as “praise” so that hochgelobten can be translated as “glorious” without redundancy.

Walk as a Child of the Light

candle-2038736_960_720O my Lord Jesus,
be my light!
Enlighten my heart
so that I walk
as a child of the light,
flee and and shun
the works of darkness,
and serve you this whole day.
Amen.

Source: Nürnberger Handbuch, Translated for A Collection of Prayers. German source: Gebetbuch, enthaltend die sämtlichen Gebete und Seufzer Martin Luther’s, ….Evangelischer Bücher-Verein, 1866, #28.

Original in German

Ach mein Herr Jesu! sei du mein Licht, erleuchte mein Herz, daß ich diesen Tag als ein Kind des Lichts wandle, die Werke der Finsterniß fliehe und scheue, und diesen ganzen Tag dir dienen möge. Amen.

Two Wedding Prayers

O eternal God,
creator and preserver of all mankind,
giver of all spiritual grace,
author of everlasting life,
send your blessing on
this man and this woman
whom we bless in your name.
Help and empower them
to live faithfully together,
and to keep the promises
made to each other and to you.
Keep them in your love and peace together,
and guide them with your holy Word;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

O God,
you established and blessed marriage,
and you use it as a picture
of the spiritual marriage and unity
between Christ and his Church.
Look mercifully on this man and woman
that they may love, honor, and cherish each other,
and live together in faithfulness and patience,
in wisdom and true godliness,
that their home may be
a haven of blessing and of peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Modified and adapted from the 1928 U.S. Book of Common Prayer.  Both prayers are shortened from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

I Have Sinned…

PommeranianAgendaI, a poor sinful person,
confess to you, O almighty God,
my maker and redeemer,
that I have sinned,
not only with thoughts, words and actions,
but that I am by nature unclean,
conceived and born in sin,
and inclined to all evil.
I have not earned anything but your wrath,
and for this I am sorry with all my heart,
that I have provoked you,
O God, my Lord.
But I have access to your steadfast love,
O God, my heavenly Father.
I seek and desire your grace
for the sake of your dear Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, be merciful to me, a poor sinner.
Forgive my sins and give me your Holy Spirit,
that I may obey your divine will,
and in my station in life
produce much fruit to your glory.
Amen.

Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 75

Original in German:

Ich armer sündiger Mensch bekenne vor Dir, o allmächtiger Gott meinem Schöpfer und Erlöser, daß ich gesündiget habe, nicht allein mit Gedanken, Worten und Werken, sondern daß ich auch von Natur unrein bin, in Sünden empfangen und geboren, zu allem Bösen geneigt, und nichts verdiene, denn eitel Zorn,– und ist mir von Herzen leid, daß ich Dich, o Gott, mein Herr, erzürnet habe. Ich habe aber Zuflucht zu Deiner grundlosen Barmherzigkeit, o Gott, mein himmlischer Vater; ich suche und begehre Gnade, um Deines lieben Sohnes, unsers Herrn Jesu Christi willen. Herr, sei mir armen Sünder gnädig; vergib mir meine Sünde, und gib mir Deinen heil Geist, daß ich Deinem göttlichen Willen gehorsam sei und in meinem Amte viel Frucht schaffe zu Deinen Ehren. Amen.

Evangelisches Brevier, herausg. von G. C. Dieffenbach und C. Müller, prayer 117.

“by nature unclean, conceived and born in sin, and inclined to all evil” is a reference to Psalm 51:5Genesis 6:5 and Genesis 8:21

“Steadfast love” in the original is “grundlosen Barmherzigkeit,” (boundless mercy) but the wording was chosen to give a reference to Psalm 51:1

“Lord, be merciful to me, a poor sinner” is a reference to Luke 18:13

“produce much fruit” is a reference to John 15:8

O Lord, Hedge Up My Way

Launcelot Andrews (1555-1626)
O Lord,
hedge up my way with thorns,
that I may find no path
for following vanity.
Hold me in
with bit and bridle,
lest I fall away from you.
O Lord, compel me
to come to you:
to bruise the serpent’s head,
to remember my life’s end,
to cut off opportunities for evil,
to be alert,
not to sit idle,
to shun what is evil,
to cling to what is good,
to look at no worthless things,
to bring my body into subjection,
to devote myself to prayer,
to search my heart with penitence.

Source: Adapted from Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) for A Collection of Prayers from The devotions of Lancelot Andrewes (The Hedge of the Law).