Our High Priest and Shepherd

We thank you with our whole heart,
O beloved Father,
for the precious blood of your dear Son,
which he shed for our sake,
and by which you daily cleanse, quicken, and sanctify us
in your holy Church,
and make us partakers of your divine nature.
We thank you for the great and unspeakable love,
though we were not worthy of it,
when you redeemed us by your own Son,
who is our High priest and Mediator,
the true Shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep of his flock,
who now sits on your right hand
and intercedes for us.
O good and faithful God, Friend of all mankind,
give us your grace and your great compassion,
that we may praise you with your Son and the Holy Spirit
in every act of our lives evermore.
Amen.

Source: Unknown, attributed to St. Augustine (d. 430)

“make us partakers of your divine nature” is a reference to 2 Peter 1:4

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Prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

O Christ, true Son of God,
Lamb who was slain, now risen in glory,
listen to our prayers.
Grant that we may die to all that is evil,
and rise to good works;
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. 27 #2 (Easter 3)

“Lamb who was slain, now risen in glory” is a reference to Revelation 5:12

“die to all that is evil”  is a reference to Romans 6:11

Jesus, Help!

We hasten with weak, yet eager footsteps,
O Jesus, O Master, for your help alone!
You tirelessly seek out the sick and those who have gone astray.
Oh, hear us, as we, our voices raised, pray for your help!
May your merciful countenance be gracious unto us!

Source: Johann Sebastian Bach and Johann Rist, Cantata BWV 78

Text of the original Rist hymn can be found at Hymnary.org and on www.bach-cantatas.com

Poet who adapted the hymn for the Cantata libretto is unknown.

Musical setting from The Joy of Bach:

Another video with clearer audio can be seen and heard here:

Original in German:

Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten,
O Jesu, o Meister, zu helfen zu dir!
Du suchest die Kranken und Irrenden treulich.
Ach, höre, wie wir die Stimme erheben, um Hilfe zu bitten!
Es sei uns dein gnädiges Antlitz erfreulich!

Forgive and Awaken Us

Lord God, heavenly Father,
we all like sheep have gone astray,
led away from the right path by Satan
and our own sinful flesh.
Graciously forgive us all our sins
for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ
and awaken our hearts by your Holy Spirit,
that we may abide in your Word
and in true repentance and a steadfast faith
continue in your Church to the end
and obtain eternal salvation;
through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one true God, now and forever
Amen.

Source: Veit Dietrich, d. 1549

Source of this version: The Collects of Veit Dietrich in Contemporary English © 2016 Paul C. Stratman

This revision/translation of The Collects of Veit Dietrich is licensed by Paul C. Stratman under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for permission for any commercial use.

For Mercy

O Lord, you gave your apostles peace,
shed down on us all your holy calm;
gather together with your hand
all those who are scattered,
and bring them like sheep into the fold of your holy Church,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Strengthen and confirm me, O Lord, by your cross,
on the rock of faith,
that my mind be not shaken by the attacks of the enemy.
For you alone are holy.

You know, O Lord,
how many and great are my sins,
you know how often I sin,
from day to day,
from hour to hour,
in the things I do
and the things I leave undone.
No more, O Lord,
no more, O Lord my God,
will I provoke you.
No more shall my desire be for anything but you,
for you alone are truly lovable.
And if again I offend in anything,
I humbly ask your mercy
to grant me strength
to live in a manner more pleasing to you.
Amen.

Source: Theodore the Studite

Source of this version: Freely modified from  Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts

For the Loving Care of the Good Shepherd

stjohnsashfield_stainedglass_goodshepherd-frame_cropO Lord Jesus Christ,
good Shepherd of the sheep,
you came to seek the lost
and gather them to your fold.
Have compassion on those who have wandered from you.
Feed those who hunger,
make the weary lie down in your pastures,
bind up those who are broken in heart,
and strengthen those who are weak,
that we rely on your care,
find comfort in  your love,
and abide in your guidance to our lives’ end;
for your name’s sake.
Amen.

Source: An Ancient Collect, Sixth Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from  Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts

I Am the Good Shepherd

stjohnsashfield_stainedglass_goodshepherd-frame_cropO Lord Jesus Christ,
you are the Good Shepherd,
and you call your own by name.
Let people everywhere hear your voice
and follow you on the path of life,
that so there may be one flock,
and one Shepherd;
to the honor and glory of your name.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from  A Book of Collects in Two Parts,  John Wallace Suter and John Wallace Suter, Jr., Milwaukee: Morehouse Publishing, 1919.

This prayer references  John 10

“and follow you on the path of life” in A Book of Collects the line is given as “and follow thee into the abundant life.”

Picture: St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church, Ashfield, New South Wales. Wikimedia Commons