Mary, Mother of Our Lord.

On August 15, the Christian Church remembers Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. The prayer from the Pomeranian Agenda emphasizes her humility. Her answer to the annunciation was, “May it be to me as you have said.” In her Magnificat, she sang, “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior… …The Lord has looked with favor on his lowly servant.”

bartolomc3a9_esteban_murillo_the_annunciationLord God, heavenly Father,
we thank you for all your benefits,
physical and spiritual,
that you so richly have poured out on us.
By the example of the dear virgin Mary,
protect us against arrogance and false security,
that no wisdom, strength or power
can help those who do not fear you.
Give us, rather, true humility and holy fear,
so that we may hold on to your Word,
always remain in your mercy and blessing
and finally be saved;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 293#2 (The Visitation), Translated for A Collection of Prayers.

For the Commemoration of Musicians

Written for the commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach, 1750; Heinrich Schütz, 1672; George Frederick Handel, 1759; musicians, July 28. 

Paul C. Stratman at the Bach statue near St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany

Jesus, help us
as we work to sing your praise,
not just for beauty,
but for the instruction
and edification of our neighbor
with the message of your holy Gospel.
We give thanks
for the many artists,
musicians and poets
who keep your Word
before our eyes
and in our ears.
Even though many of them
now enjoy the eternal pleasure
of singing  your praise
at your right hand,
their songs of praise to you
are still heard here on earth.
When we make music,
help us to put away
all thoughts of competition,
jealousy, and glory for ourselves.
Instead, turn our thoughts to
doing all of our work,
striving for excellence,
bearing your message,
and making all of our music
to the glory of God alone.

© 2016 Paul C. Stratman

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Prayer for the Commemoration of Musicians by Paul C. Stratman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.

“Jesus, help us” recalls Johann Sebastian Bach’s practice of writing “J. J.” or “Jesu, juva,” “Jesus, help” on the top of his manuscripts.

“for the instruction and edification of our neighbor” recalls Bach’s preface to his Orgelbüchlein.

“now enjoy the eternal pleasure…” is a reference to Psalm 16:11

“turn our thoughts to…” is a reference to 1 Corinthians 10:31

“to the glory of God alone” recalls Johann Sebastian Bach’s practice of writing “S. D. Gl.” or “Soli Deo gloria,” “to the glory of God alone” on the bottom of his manuscripts.

St. James

On July 25 the Christian Church remembers St. James the Elder. He was the first of the twelve apostles to die for preaching about Christ (See Acts 12:1-2).

File:El Greco - Apostle St James the Greater - WGA10594.jpg
St. James the Greater, by El Greco

Grant, O Lord,
that as your holy apostle Saint James,
as soon as he was called,
left the ship and his father,
and followed your Son Jesus Christ with all his heart,
so we may always willingly and gladly
obey your commandments;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Source: Mozarabic Collects.


Remembering Jan Hus

Jan Hus (John Huss) was burned at the stake on July 6, 1415. About a hundred years before Luther, Hus was defending the authority of Scripture, and declaring that where the Word is, the true church is. According to legend, when he was about to be executed he said, “Today you roast a goose. (Hus is the Bohemian word for goose.) But in a hundred years a swan will sing whom you will not be able to silence.” A few of his prayers from the time of his execution have been preserved for us: 

Lord Jesus Christ, I wish to bear most patiently and humbly for your Gospel’s sake and the preaching of your Word, this dire, ignominious, and cruel death.

Have mercy on me, O God, and in you, O Lord, do I put my trust.

O Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me.

Lord, into your hands I commend my spirit.


Sources: “Lord Jesus Christ, … John Huss, His Life and Teaching after 500 yearsp. 257

“Have mercy on me…” John Huss, His Life and Teaching after 500 yearsp. 256

“O Christ, Son of the living God…” The Life and Times of John Huss, p. 72

“Lord, into your hands…” John Huss, His Life and Teaching after 500 yearsp. 258


Nunc Dimittis and Prayer

now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.
Luke 2:29-32 (ESV)

Almighty and eternal God,
we humbly pray,
grant that we may know
and praise your dear Son
as holy Simeon did,
who took him up in his arms,
spiritually knew and confessed him;
through the same, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source of the prayer: Martin Luther   [Die Gebete Luthers#12, #309]

Source of this version:

See also Luther’s Works (American Edition), Volume 53, p. 132.

The Nunc Dimittis sung to the tune from the Pomeranian Agenda.


from Book of Hymns (WELS, 1920, 1931)

Original prayer in German:

Allmechtiger ewiger Gott, wir bitten dich herzlich, gib uns, das wir deinen lieben Sohn erkennen und preisen wie der heilige Simeon in leiblich in die armen genommen und geistlich gesehen und bekant hat, durch denselben deinen son Jesum Christum, unsern Herrn.

Source: Die Kirchenordnung. Albertinisches Sachsen. Die Evangelischen Kirchenordnung des XVI.  Jahrunderts

John the Baptist

Dear Lord God,
we thank and praise you
for giving us
the blessed John the Baptist
and for his joyful preaching
and blessed pointing
to Christ the Lamb of God,
that we may know
where to find salvation
and eternal life
so that we may have
comfort and redemption
against sin and death
and that God’s goodness sand grace
may comfort us forever.
God grant this to us all.

Source: Martin Luther in Gebetbuch, enthaltend die sämtlichen Gebete und Seufzer Martin Luther’s… p. 388-389.    [Die Gebete Luthers, #677] Translated for A Collection of Prayers.

Wir danken dir, lieber Herr Gott, und loben dich, daß du uns den lieben Johannes gegeben, und durch ihn das fröhliche Wort und den seligen Finger hast kommen lassen, welcher auf Christum, das Lamm Gottes, gewiesen, daß wir wissen, wo wir Seligkeit und ewiges Leben finden sollen, daß wir wider die Sünde und Tod Trost und Erlösung haben, und Gottes Güte und Gnade uns in Ewigkeit trösten mögen. Das verleihe Gott uns allen. Amen.

John the Baptist

The Christian Church remembers St. John the Baptist on his ‘birthday,’ June 24, and also on the commemoration of his death, August 29.

Lord God, dearest Father,
through St. John the Baptist
you have pointed us all
to our one true comfort,
that Jesus Christ, Son of Mary,
is the true Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world.
May we always rejoice in his preaching
and find our comfort in it,
and finally receive eternal blessedness
with John the Baptist and all believers;
through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 293#2. Translated for A Collection of Prayers.

Original in German:

Herr Gott, lieber Vater, der du durch den heiligen Taufer Johannen, uns Allen zu Trost hast bezeugen lassen, daß Jesus Christus, Marien Sohn, das wahre unschuldige Lamm Gottes sei, welches der ganzen Welt Sünde tragen sollte; gib uns, daß wir allezeit solches seines Zeugnisses uns von Herzen freuen und trösten und endlich mit Johanne dem Täufer und allen Gläubigen die ewige Seligkeit erlangen mögen, durch den selbigen deinen Sohn, u.