For the Commemoration of Musicians

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

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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.
Amen.

© 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.

Move Us to Thanks for Jesus’ Suffering

matthiasgrunewald_thecrucifixion2Almighty Father, eternal God,
for us you sent your Son
and let him suffer
the pain of the cross,
that he might drive away from us
all the terror of the evil foe.
Move us to joyfully give thanks for his suffering
through which we have received
forgiveness of sins
and redemption from eternal death;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

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, #590.

Original in German:

Allmächtiger Vater, ewiger Gott, der du für uns hast deinen Sohn des Kreuzes Pein lassen leiden, auf daß du von uns des Feindes Gewalt treibest: verleihe uns also zu begehen und zu danken seinem Leiden, daß wir dadurch der Sünden Vergebung und vom ewigen Tode Erlösung erlangen, durch denselben deinen Sohn Jesum Christum, unsern Herrn. Amen. Luther.

Gewalt can be translated as “power,” “violence,” “force,” “might,” or  “control.” “Terror” seemed to sum up all these well.

Give Your Living Water to Us Who Thirst

O Jesus, Son of God the Father,
Fount of Life everlasting,
give your living water to us who thirst,
give us eternal life.
Hear us in your mercy, O Christ Jesus.
With the Father and the Holy Spirit,
we worship and glorify you,
one God,
now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p. 23 #1 (Lent 2)

“Fount of Life everlasting, give your living water…” is a reference to  John 4:10ffJohn 7:37ff

To God, the Lord, Belongs Deliverance from Death

God, my heavenly Father,
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and God of all comfort,
I thank you that you have revealed to me your Son Jesus Christ,
in whom I have believed,
whom I have preached,
whom I have confessed,
whom I love and worship
as my dear Savior and Redeemer,
whom the the multitude of the ungodly
persecute, revile, and blaspheme.
My Lord Jesus Christ, receive my soul.
O heavenly Father, though I be snatched out of this life,
though I must now lay down this body,
yet know I with certainty that I will live with you forever,
and that no one can pluck me out of your hands.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit,
you have redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth.
‘God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’
‘Our God is a God of salvation,
and to God, the Lord, belongs deliverance from death.’
Amen.

Source: Martin Luther

Source of this version: Freely modified from The Last Days of Eminent Christians, T. Nelson and Sons, 1854, p. 55

Swedish Christmas Prayer

church_of_sweden_2856028423629Merciful God, loving Father,
we give you thanks and praise
that you have mercifully fulfilled
the word of your promise to the patriarchs
and sent your only Son to become man
for our salvation and blessedness.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
eternal praise be to you,
that you, being rich, for our sakes became poor,
that we through your poverty might become rich;
that you have become our brother,
that we with you might become the children of God.
Grant that you may be born in our hearts,
just as you, though you are Lord of lords,
have for our sakes become a child,
so give us the right childlike mind.
You are the brightness of the Father’s glory
and image of his person,
renew us in your holy likeness.

Heavenly Light,
lighten us through the darkness of this world.
Eternal Life, give us life in you.
Great Prince of Peace, grant us your peace,
and keep us ever in your kingdom,
that we may praise and magnify you in your glory:
you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit live and reign forever.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from The Swedish Rite: a translation of “Handbok för svenska kyrkan” by Eric Esskildsen Yelverton, 1921, Litany Prayer for Christmas Day, p. 52-53

Deal with Us in Forgiveness

Almighty and eternal God,
show your mercy to your humble servants.
We put no trust in our own merits.
Do not deal with us in your judgment,
but in your forgiveness;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Gregorian Sacramentary, 8th Century, Historic Collect for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Source of this version: Translation © 2016 Paul C. Stratman

This translation is licensed by Paul C. Stratman under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International LicensePlease contact for permission for any commercial use.

Prayer for the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost

O Christ our Lord,
at your coming peace returned to earth.
Keep us always in your peace
until at your return in glorious majesty,
we inherit eternal peace;
through your mercy, O our God,
you are blessed,
and live and govern all things,
now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881,  p. 37 #2 (Trinity 22)

“peace returned to earth” is a reference to Luke 2:14