The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church

csblcThe Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church was published in several editions, text only and text with music in 1917 and 1918. It is freely available through Google Books (text, text with music) and Archive.org (text, text with music). It was put together by the United Lutheran Church in America and several other American Lutheran bodies. Because of the date of publication, it is now in the public domain.

Other worship books like The Lutheran Hymnary (Norwegian Synods, 1913), Evangelical-Lutheran Hymn Book (LCMS, 1918), Book of Hymns (WELS, 1931) and The Lutheran Hymnal (LCMS-WELS-ELS Synodical Conference, 1941) drew from earlier versions of the rites when the Common Service was researched and compiled in 1888. Service Book and Hymnal (1958) built on the work of the Common Service Book and in many areas expanded the options in its services. 

csbThe services of the Common Service Book are in the tradition of the Western Rite. Roman Catholics will recognize these services as very similar to the texts of the Mass and the liturgies of the hours. Anglicans/Episcopalians will see common elements to the Book of Common Prayer. 

The Common Service Book used Scripture texts from the King James Version of the Bible, used British spellings (Saviour, honour, etc.), and capitalized pronouns referring to the Deity, including Who/Whom, along with other words such as Name when referring to the name of God.

For this electronic edition, different editions were consulted, so the files below may not be exactly the same as any one print edition. These files were made by modifying and correcting the texts that were generated by the pdf files of the original books and putting them into a usable format. Headings and rubrics were put in red, even though they were printed black in the original books.

To properly display the docx files, you will need the fonts Old English Text MT and Liturgy. Updated contemporary versions also use the Liturgikon symbol font (embedded in the docx documents).

CSB.pngThe Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church

  1. The Calendar [pdf] [docx]
  2. The Service [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  3. Matins [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  4. Vespers [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  5. Introits, Collects, Epistles, Graduals and Gospels  [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated versions of the introits, collects and graduals and lessons (ESV), prepared for the LCMS Lutheran Service Book are available at www.sanctus.org.
  6. Sentences for the Seasons [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  7. Invitatories, Antiphons and Responsories [pdf] [docx]
  8. Collects and Prayers [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  9. The Litany [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  10. The Suffrages [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  11. The Bidding Prayer [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  12. The General Prayers [pdf] [docx]
  13. The Canticles [pdf] [docx]
    • Biblical texts from ESV and other texts updated in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  14. The Occasional Services  [pdf] [docx]
  15. General Rubrics [pdf] [docx]

The hymns of the Common Service Book with Hymnal are available at Hymnary.org.

The Historic Collects

This edition of the historic collects is based in small part on the translations of the historic collects in the older liturgy books (Book of Common Prayer 1928, The Lutheran Hymnal, Service Book and Hymnal), but does not rely entirely on the old versions. The prayers were checked against the original prayers in their (mostly) Latin sources which are available in Luther Reed’s The Lutheran Liturgy. Reed’s comments on each prayer were also noted.

This work combines all the prayers from The Lutheran Liturgy/Service Book and Hymnal and The Lutheran Hymnal, along with a few from Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996). The newer translations and versions in Lutheran Book of Worship and Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal were also consulted, along with the work of Rev. Bosco Peters, who also has fresh translations of Latin based prayers in the Book of Common Prayer at his website, Liturgy: Spirituality that Works for People (http://liturgy.co.nz/).

The redundancies and other elements that were added in older English translations have been removed, along with a few of the redundancies inherent in the prayers. As with my previous projects, the goal is to focus on the meaning of the prayers and to make them useful and understandable to the modern reader.

Download here: THE HISTORIC COLLECTS

Also available through Academia.edu: https://www.academia.edu/28073230/The_Historic_Collects 

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

csblcO almighty God,
to know you is eternal life.
Teach us to know your Son Jesus Christ
as the Way, the Truth, and the Life;
that following him
we may steadfastly walk
in the way that leads to eternal life;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Modified from Book of Common Prayer, St. Philip and St. James

Source of this version: Freely modified from The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church, United Lutheran Church in America © 1918, #27

“…as the Way, the Truth, and the Life…” is a reference to John 14:6

Let the Brightness of Your Glory Shine

Almighty God,
let the brightness of your glory shine on us,
and let the Light from Light by your Holy Spirit
shine in the hearts of all who have been born again by your grace;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Roman Mass for the Vigil of Pentecost

Source of this version: Freely modified from The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church, United Lutheran Church in America © 1918, #8

Original in Latin:

PRÆSTA, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, ut claritatis tuæ super nos splendor effulgeat; et lux tuæ lucis corda eorum, qui per gratium tuam renati sunt, Sancti Spiritus illustratione confirmet. Per Dominum.

“let the brightness of your glory shine on us” may be a reference to Numbers 6:25 and Psalm 67:1

“Light from Light” is a reference to the Nicene Creed, and is referring to Jesus Christ

“shine in the hearts of all  is a reference to 2 Corinthians 4:6

“let the brightness of your glory shine on us” may have been the source of the lines from Luther’s hymn, “Come Holy Ghost, God and Lord,”

“Lord, by the brightness of your light
In holy faith your church unite”

Guard Our Hearts

Almighty God,
our heavenly Father,
you feed the birds and clothe the flowers,
and you care for us as a father for his children.
Guard our hearts against faithlessness and anxiety.
By your Holy Spirit, help us
to live to the hallowing of your name,
the coming of your kingdom,
and the doing of your will,
so that we may cast all our cares on you
and in unwavering faith, trust in you;
through your Son,  Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Austria, 1571. Translation by Paul Zeller Strodach for Common Service Book.

Source of this version: Modified from The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church,  United Lutheran Church in America © 1918, #30

“You feed the birds and clothe the flowers” is a reference to Matthew 6:26-28

“To live to the hallowing of your name…” is a reference to Matthew 6:9-13

“cast all our cares on you” is a reference to 1 Peter 5:7

“Faithlessness and anxiety” in the original is “distrust and vain over-carefulness”

This prayer is very similar to a prayer in A Book of Collects in Two Parts by John Wallace Suter, Freedom from Anxious Care:

ALMIGHTY GOD, who dost feed the birds and clothe the flowers, and who carest for us as a father for his children; Graciously guard us, we beseech thee, against distrust and vain over-carefulness, that casting all our care on thee, we may abide in thy love, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord.

Help and Shield Us

O God,
you justify the ungodly,
and you do not desire the death of the sinner.
Graciously help and shield your servants who trust in your mercy,
that no temptations may separate us from you,
and that we may serve you without ceasing;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Unknown

Source of this version: Modified from  The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church,  United Lutheran Church in America © 1918, #22

“You justify the ungodly” is a reference to Romans 4:5

“You do not desire the death of the sinner” is a reference to Ezekiel 33:11

Steadfast Love, Pure Desires

O God,
you make all things to work together for the good of those who love you:
Pour such steadfast love toward you into our hearts
that the pure desires your Spirit has stirred up in us
may not be turned aside by any temptation;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Unknown

Source of this version: Freely modified from The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church,  United Lutheran Church in America © 1918, #14

The prayer quotes Romans 8:28