For Right Blessings

Basil of Caesarea.jpg

O Lord our God,
teach us to ask you for the right blessings.
Steer the vessel of our life toward yourself,
the tranquil haven of all storm-tossed souls.
Show us the course we should go.
Renew a willing spirit within us.
Let your Spirit curb our wayward senses
and guide and empower us to our true good,
to keep your laws,
and in all we do always rejoice in your glorious, joyful presence;
for yours is the glory and praise from all your saints forever and ever. Amen.

Source: Basil of Caesarea, d. 379

Source of this version: Freely modified from  Prayers of the Early Churched.  J. Manning Potts,  The Upper Room, Nashville, Tennessee, © 1953 (Public domain in the U.S.)

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A Prayer of St. Augustine

220px-sandro_botticelli_050Lord, when I look on my own life it seems
you have led me so carefully, so tenderly,
that you have attended to no one else;
but when I see how wonderfully
you have led the world and are still leading it,
I am amazed that
you have time to attend to such as I.

Source: Augustine of Hippo, 354-430, possibly from his Confessions.

Give Us What Is Good, Make Us Ready, Unite Us

O gracious King of ages,
Master of all creation,
receive your Church that approaches you through Christ.
Give each of us what is good,
bring us all to completeness
and make us ready by your sanctifying grace.
Unite us together in your Holy Church,
which you purchased with the precious blood of your only Son,
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;
with him, and with your all-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit,
you are blessed and glorified forever.

Source: Liturgy of St. James, freely modified from  Ancient Collects, ed. William Bright, p. 130.1

Benignant

Sanctify, Calm, Cleanse, Strengthen

christ-898330_640Lord God,
Father of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ,
your name is great,
your nature is wonderful,
your goodness is inexhaustible,
you are God and Master of all things,
and are blessed forever.
You sit between the cherubim,
and are glorified by the seraphim.
Before you stand thousands of thousands
and ten thousand times ten thousand,
the hosts of holy angels and archangels.
Sanctify our souls and bodies and spirits,
calm our fears
cleanse our consciences,
and drive out every evil thought,
every selfish desire,
envy, pride, hypocrisy,
falsehood, deceit, anxiety,
covetousness, arrogance, laziness,
malice, anger, grudges,
blasphemy, deeds or thoughts
that are contrary to your holy will.
O Lord, since you love us all,
give us the strength to boldly call on you
in the freedom of Christ,
without condemnation,
with a pure heart and a contrite soul,
with undivided attention
and with sanctified lips,
as our holy God and Father in heaven.

Source:  Liturgy of St. James, from Ancient Collects, ed. William Bright, p. 1#1.

“…in the freedom of Christ” was an addition for doctrinal reasons and for emphasis.

“between the cherubim” may be a reference to Exodus 25:22

“glorified by the seraphim” may be a reference to Isaiah 6:2

“ten thousand times ten thousand” may be a reference to Jude 1:14 or Revelation 5:11

“drive out every evil thought…” and what follows resembles Galatians 5:19-21

“pure heart” may be a reference to Psalm 24:42 Timothy 2:22 or Hebrews 10:22

“sanctified lips” may be a reference to Isaiah 6:7

 

Awaken Us from the Grave of our Sins

christ-898330_640Merciful, holy and faithful Lord Jesus Christ,
you died for our sins
and were raised for our justification,
in view of your resurrection,
we ask that you would awaken us also
from the grave of our sins and iniquities,
and grant us your grace
that we may partake
in your resurrection
at the final resurrection of all the dead.

Source: Attributed to St. Augustine, 354-430, in Allgemeines evangelisches Gesang- und Gebetbuch zum Kirchen und Hausgebrauch, Hamburg, 1846, p. 818#57

Du gütiger, frommer und getreuer Herr Jesu Christ, der du unserer Sünden halben gestorben bist und unserer Gerechtigkeit wegen bist wieder auferstanden: ich bitte dich durch deine heilige Auferstehung, daß du mich auch wollest erwecken aus dem Grabe der Sünden und Missethat, und mir deine Gnade verleihen, daß ich in der Auferstehung der Todten auch deiner Auferstehung möge theilhaftig werden. Amen.

The Nicene Creed

The Emperor Constantine with bishops at the Council of Nicea. Nicholas of Myra is second from the right.

The Nicene Creed was written at the Council of Nicea in A. D. 325, and completed in close to its present form at the Council of Constantinople in A. D. 381. (Sometimes it is called the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.) It was written as a response to confusion about the doctrines of the Trinity and the dual nature of Christ as God and man. It draws heavily from Scripture. You can see a reflection of John chapter 1 in the second article about the dual nature of Christ. It has always been used as a creed of the church, and so it begins “We believe.” The Apostles’ Creed was originally a personal confession of faith at a person’s baptism, and so it begins “I believe.” The Nicene Creed is a part of the Divine Service as the congregation’s response to the Word. “We have heard… and so, we believe.” Later translations changed the first words of each article to the singular “I,” but modern practice has been to return to the original wording and intent of the creed as the confession of the assembled church.

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became fully human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who in unity with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Source: English Language Liturgical Consultation, altered slightly.

Below is the text from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer:

I BELIEVE in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried: And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

Although this is a confession of faith and a doctrinal statement, the Nicene Creed has been set to music. Here it is in Latin as a Gregorian Chant:

Here it is, also in Latin, from Mass in C by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:

Since the Reformation, it was the practice in Germany to sing the Creed in the form of a hymn. Here is Luther’s ‘Wir glauben all an einen Gott, Vater…”

 

Help Us This Day

Sulpicius SeverusHelp us this day,
O Lord,
to serve you devoutly
and the world busily.
May we do our work wisely,
give help secretly,
go to our meal with appetite
and dine moderately.
May we please our friends duly,
go to bed merrily
and sleep soundly.
in the joy
of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Sulpicius Severus (363-425) from several sources.