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.


Canticle: Worthy Is the Lamb

The canticle Dignus est agnus, (Worthy is the Lamb) is taken from Revelation 5:12-13b, 15:3b, 19:5b-6

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!

To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might
forever and ever!

Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!

Who will not fear, O Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.

Praise our God, all you his servants,
you who fear him, small and great.

Alleluia! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
Alleluia, Alleluia! Amen.

Source: Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church, revised using phrases from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.

The canticle Dignus est agnus seems to have its origins in American Lutheranism in the late 19th century. It appeared in several service books beginning with the General Synod’s Church Book of 1868.


It appears on p. 122 of The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) without music. Earlier books prescribed its use as an option for the main canticle in Matins and Vespers (in place of the Te Deum or Magnificat). Later books suggested it as an alternative song of praise in the Common Service (in place of the Gloria in Excelsis).

An article on Dignus est agnus by John Warwick Montgomery can be read here:

The text of this canticle has been reworked into a new canticle, This Is the Feast of Victory / Worthy Is Christ, by poet John W. Arthur. It first appeared as an anthem for choir, Festival Canticle: Worthy Is Christ with music by Richard W. Hillert, and made its first appearance in a hymnal in Lutheran Book of Worship as an alternative to the Gloria in Excelsis in the Divine Service.

This is the feast of victory for our God.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

1 Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain,
whose blood set us free to be people of God. [Refrain]

2 Power, riches, wisdom and strength,
and honor, blessing and glory are his. [Refrain]

Short interlude…

3 Sing with all the people of God
and join in the hymn of all creation.

4 Blessing, honor, glory and might
be to God and the Lamb forever. Amen. [Refrain]

For the Lamb who was slain
has begun his reign. Alleluia. [Refrain]

© 1978 Lutheran Church in America, The American Lutheran Church, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod


Parts of this canticle are identical with the introit for Christ the King in the Roman rite. This is the Latin text:

Dignus est Agnus, qui occisus est, accipere virtutem, et divinitatem, et sapientiam, et fortitudinem, et honorem.
Ipsi gloria et imperium in saecula saeculorum.
Deus, judicium tuum Regi da: et justitiam tuam Filio Regis.


Gracious King, Forgive, Intercede, Restore

19_x_Grunewald_Resurrection-615x1024.jpgO Lord Jesus Christ,
true God and true man,
you died for our sins on the cross,
and you rose again from death,
and live and reign forever
as our mediator and gracious King.
Graciously forgive us our sins,
intercede for us poor sinners,
make us righteous
and sanctify and reign in us
with your Holy Spirit
to bring us to eternal life.
Gather now your eternal church
from every land.
Give us good government,
and protect us
from the power of the evil foe;
for you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
forever and ever.

Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 289-290

“as our mediator and gracious King” in the original is “as our mediator and mercy seat,” which is a reference to the lid of the ark of the covenant, which was Luther’s translation of hilasterion in Romans 3:25. Most English translations render hilasterion it as ‘propitiation’ or ‘sacrifice of atonement.’

Original in German:

O Herr Jesu Christe, wahrer Gott und Mensch, der du für unsre Sünde am Kreuz gestorben bist und wiederum vom Tode auferstanden, lebest und regierest in Ewigkeit, und bist zum Mittler und Gnadenstuhl verordnet: wir bitten dich, du wollest uns gnädiglich unsre Sünden vergeben und für uns arme Sünder Fürbitter sein und uns gerecht machen, und mit deinem heiligen Geist zum ewigen Leben heiligen und regieren. Du wollest auch zu allen Zeiten in diesen Landen dir eine ewige Kirche sammeln und gut Regiment geben und uns wider des bösen Feindes Gewalt bewahren, der du mit dem Vater und dem heiligen Geist lebest und regierest von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit. Amen. Pommersche Agende.


Increase Our Faith, Certainty and Hope

19_x_Grunewald_Resurrection-615x1024.jpgDear God,
through Jesus Christ
give us your Holy Spirit
that we may rightly be comforted
by your resurrection,
and day by day increase
in such faith
and certainty and hope,
and finally be saved.

Source: Martin Luther

Source of this version: Translated for A Collection of Prayers. German source: Gebetbuch, enthaltend die sämtlichen Gebete und Seufzer Martin Luther’s, ….Evangelischer Bücher-Verein, 1866, #606.

Original in German:

Lieber Gott, verleihe uns durch Jesum Christum deinen heiligen Geist, daß wir solcher deiner Auferstehung uns recht trösten, und in solchem Glauben und Zuversicht und Hoffnung von Tage zu Tage zunehmen, und endlich dadurch selig werden. Amen. Luther.


Easter Peace, Easter Gladness

The day of resurrection has dawned on us,
the day of true light and life,
in which Christ, the life of believers,
arose from the dead.
Let us give abundant thanks and praise to God,
that while we solemnly celebrate the day
of our Lord’s resurrection,
he may be pleased to bestow on us
quiet peace and special gladness,
so that being protected from morning to night
by his favoring mercy,
we may rejoice in the gift of our Redeemer.

Source: Mozarabic Rite

Source of this version: Modified  from Ancient Collects, Ed. William Bright, 1902, p. 13 #1


You Destroyed Sin and Death


Almighty God,
through the death of your Son,
you destroyed sin and death,
and restored innocence and eternal life
through his resurrection,
so that we might be saved
from the power of the devil,
and live in your kingdom.
Grant that we may believe this with all our heart,
and in such steadfast faith
continually praise you,
and give thanks to you;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Martin Luther   [Die Gebete Luthers, #15]

Source of this version: Translated for A Collection of Prayers. German source: Gebetbuch, enthaltend die sämtlichen Gebete und Seufzer Martin Luther’s, ….Evangelischer Bücher-Verein, 1866, #605.

Also in Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 289. Translated for A Collection of Prayers.

Original in German:

Allmächtiger Gott, der du durch den Tod deines Sohnes die Sünde und den Tod zunichte gemacht, und durch sein Auferstehen Unschuld und ewiges Leben wieder gebracht, hast auf daß wir von der Gewalt des Teufels erlöset, in deinem Reiche leben: verleihe uns daß wir solches alles von ganzem Herzen glauben, und in solchem Glauben beständig dich allezeit loben und dir danken durch denselben deinen Sohn, Jesum Christum, unsern Herrn. Amen. Luther.


By Remembering Christ, We Endure

19_x_Grunewald_Resurrection-615x1024.jpgAlmighty and eternal God,
merciful Father,
you gave your Son
for our sins,
and raised him up again
for our righteousness.
Through him you have overcome death
and have opened up for us the way to eternal life.
Through your Holy Spirit,
grant that we may rely on this in true faith,
that our bodies also will arise
with Christ to eternal life,
and that by remembering this comfort
we may endure
all kinds of sorrow in this life
with patience
through the power of the resurrection
of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
who with you and the Holy Spirit
lives and reigns,
forever and ever.

Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda,  p. 289, #2, Martin Luther, [Die Gebete Luthers, #13]

Original in German:

Allmächtiger ewiger Gott, barmherziger Vater, der du deinen Sohn um unsrer Sünde willen dahin gegeben und zu unsrer Gerechtigkeit auferwecket, durch ihn den Tod überwunden, und uns den Zugang zum ewigen Leben geöffnet hast: wir bitten dich, gieb uns durch deinen Geist, daß wir in wahrem Glauben uns hierauf verlassen, und unsre Körper mit Christo auch zum ewigen Leben erwecket werden, und daß wir in Betrachtung dieses Trostes allerlei Ungemach dieses Lebens mit Geduld mögen ertragen, durch die Kraft der Auferstehung deines Sohnes, unsers Herrn Jesu Christi, der mit dir und dem heiligen Geiste lebet und regieret von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit. Amen. Pommersche Agende.