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.

Lead Us to Love You Sincerely

O Lord Jesus Christ,
by your almighty power
you opened the eyes of the blind,
and showed yourself to them.
Turn our eyes away from worthless things,
and lead us to love you sincerely;
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. 22 #3 (Lent 3)

“you opened the eyes of the blind” is a reference to  Mark 8:23John 9:17ff,

“Turn our eyes away from worthless things” is a reference to  Psalm 119:37

To You, O Jesus

To you, O Jesus, I direct my eyes;
to you my hands, to you my humble knees;
to you my heart shall offer sacrifice;
to you my thoughts, who my thoughts only sees;
to you myself–myself and all I give;
to you I die; to you I only live.

Source: Sir Walter Raleigh

Source of this version: Modified from Christus redemptor: the life, character, and teachings of … Jesus Christ … from various authors, p. 263

For Friends

O Lord Jesus Christ,
for those I love,
be light for their eyes,
music to their ears,
and a full contentment for their hearts.
Be their sunshine by day,
their rest by night,
and their sustenance in every need.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from The Old World and the New, ed. L. H. M. Soulsby, p. 12

You Will Wipe away Every Tear from our Eyes

O God,
you are as rich in pity as you are in power,
merciful and mighty.
See your whole creation,
as it has been groaning
in the pains of childbirth until now.
As you have broken the power of evil
by the cross of Christ
and by his endless sacrifice
you take away the sin of the world,
hasten the time
when the last enemy of humanity
shall be completely defeated
and death shall be no more,
neither shall there be mourning,
nor crying, nor pain anymore,
and you will wipe away every tear from our eyes;
through your redeeming love
in Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Amen.

Source: The Order of Divine Service for Public Worship … Compiled by W.E. Orchard, Etc. London, 1921, p. 115 (Litany of the Sick)

Also found here: Collects and Prayers for use in Church,  United Lutheran Church in America, 1935, #244

“hasten the time” may be a reference to Matthew 24:22

“See your whole creation, as it has been groaning in the pains of childbirth until now” is a reference to Romans 8:22

“by his endless sacrifice, you take away the sin of the world” is a reference to John 1:29

“the last enemy of humanity shall be completely destroyed” is a reference to 1 Corinthians 15:26

“death shall be no more, … and you will wipe away every tear from our eyes” is a reference to Revelation 21:4

Awaken and Illuminate Us

O God,
you divide the day from the night.
Separate us and all we do
from the gloom of darkness.
As you have awakened our bodies from sleep,
awaken our souls from sin.
As the light of the day has brightened our eyes,
illuminate our hearts with the light of your Word and the Holy Spirit.
Today, empower us as children of the light
to walk in obedience to you,
that in all our thoughts, words, and actions
we may strive to keep faith and a clean conscience
toward you, and toward all;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source of this version: A Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland, 1896, p. 191 #2

This prayer may be an expansion of the thoughts in “Hearts and Minds Unshadowed”

Prayer Reflecting on Violence in Milwaukee, August 13-14, 2016

O, dear Lord Jesus Christ,
you told your disciples,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled,
neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
When we see violence instead of peace,
it is so tempting to let our hearts be troubled and afraid.
That Thursday night in that upper room
the peace you spoke of was the peace of forgiveness,
the peace of being connected to you,
the peace of being children of God in faith.
Turn our eyes to your cross
to remember how from the violence of your cross
you brought forth peace and reconciliation for the world.
Renew in our hearts the peace you promised,
and make us your people who share that peace.
Guide us so that when we feel frustrated and angry,
we still seek to glorify you
and love and serve our neighbors.
From your holy Gospel,
bring your peace and reconciliation
to individual hearts,
and so dispel trouble and calm fear;
in your most holy name we ask it.
Amen.

Source: © 2016 Paul C. Stratman

 

 

Creative Commons License
Prayer Reflecting on Violence in Milwaukee, August 13-14, 2016 by Paul C. Stratman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.