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.

Prayer for the Third Sunday after Epiphany

O almighty God,
you raised up your blessed Son in righteousness,
and revealed him in the flesh;
Grant that we may always follow him both in word and deed,
so that, listening to him with our hearts,
we may be partakers of his glory;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p. 19 #2 (Epiphany 2)

“raised up your blessed Son in righteousness” is a reference to Psalm 72:1Psalm 72:1

revealed him in the flesh” is a reference to John 1:14John 1:31Ephesians 3:5Colossians 1:26

“we may be partakers of his glory” is a reference to 1 Peter 4:131 Peter 5:1

A Prayer for Christmas Eve

gerard_van_honthorst_001O God,
you were pleased to announce the coming of your Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
with choirs of angels who proclaimed with their song,
“Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.”
Grant that we may so pass our time here to your glory,
that at your Son’s second coming
we may rejoice before him.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p. 11 #1

“you were pleased to announce  … with choirs of angels ” is a reference to Luke 2:13

“Glory to God in the highest” is a reference to Luke 2:14

Inward Peace and Goodwill

O Lord Jesus Christ,
by your incarnation you united
things earthly and heavenly.
Fill us with the sweetness
of inward peace and goodwill,
that we may join the heavenly host
in singing praises to your glory;
for you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Gregorian Rite, 6th Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Collects and Prayers for Use in Church United Lutheran Church in America, 1935

Variant, as a blessing:

And may He, Who through His Incarnation united earthly things with Heavenly, fill us with the sweetness of inward peace and good will, and make us partakers with the Heavenly Host. Amen.

Source of this version: The Priest to the Altar: Or Aids to the Devout Celebration of Holy Communion Chiefly After the Ancient English Use of Sarum, Peter Goldsmith Medd,
Rivingtons, 1879, 11th Century

 

 

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

Advent Prayer

Advent 4O Lord,
raise up your power and come to deliver us,
that we who are oppressed by temptations
may be defended by your power,
that the hosts of the enemy may never prevail against us.
Hear us in your mercy, O Lord Christ,
who with the Father and the Holy Spirit
lives and reigns,
one God,
now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Mozarabic Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, freely modified from  Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p.16 #2 (Advent 4)

An Advent Prayer

Advent 3Heavenly Father,
you sent your messengers
to tell of the birth of your Son,
that people might believe in him.
Open our ears to hear your call,
to repent of our sins,
and to seek our heavenly inheritance.
May we profess Christ until we stand by his grace
before the glory of your majesty;
Grant this for the sake of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Freely modified from Mozarabic Collect for the Third Sunday in Advent, in  Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p. 16

“May we profess Christ… majesty” in Mozarabic Collects reads” So that we, who profess Christ, may not for our works be condemned before the glory of Thy majesty;”