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.

A General Prayer (Advent)

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, you came into the world in the name of your Father to be a King, to justify many, and to save your people from their sins. You came to your own, and your own people did not receive you. You came to us poor Gentiles and still visit us in your Word and Sacrament. O Lord Jesus, Son of David, precious Savior, only Hope for humanity, blessed are you who comes in the name of the Lord.

In you our hearts rejoice and all that is within us is glad because of your help and deliverance. You are the one who was to come and we will not look for another. Abide with us and fill our hearts daily with your presence.

By your Spirit dwell in us that we may praise your holy name, as did your disciples and the people of Jerusalem when you entered in triumph. O blessed Savior, as you kept your people faithful in ages past, keep us steadfast to death. When you return again at the end of the world to deliver us from all evil, grant that we may await with joy the time of our redemption, watch and pray that we may escape those things which will then come to pass, and finally stand before the Son of Man. All these blessings we ask for the sake of your infinite love. Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Liturgy for Christian Congregations of the Lutheran Faith  by Wilhelm Löhe, Advent Prayer 1, p. 120-121

Cleanse and Defend Us

O Lord,
in your continual mercy
cleanse and defend your Church.
Because we cannot continue in safety without you,
always help and guide us;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen

Source: Gelasian Sacramentary, 8th Century, Historic Collect for the Fifteenth 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 License. Please contact for permission for any commercial use.

Swedish Prayer at Evensong

We thank you, O Lord, heavenly Father,
for all the good things that we have this day received from you,
and more especially for your holy Word of salvation.
Bless, O God, with your Spirit
whatever has been sown in our hearts,
and grant that it may bear fruit for eternal life.
Keep your whole church under your gracious protection.
Grant that it may be built up in unity and strength
on Jesus Christ, its living foundation,
and deliver it from false doctrine and all other ill.
Protect and bless with your mighty hand our beloved king and all his house.
Prosper every good word and grant to all estates of men
to feel your help and blessing.
Bless the earth, that it may bring forth its fruit,
and give us after your great goodness whatever is needful to us temporally.
Remember, O God, all who are in sickness and distress,
and be their comfort and help.
Be with us every day and teach us rightly
to use our short and precious time of grace.
Preserve us in body and in soul through the coming night.
Into your hands we commend ourselves and all that we have.
Praised be your holy name.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from The Swedish Rite: a translation of “Handbok för svenska kyrkan” by Eric Esskildsen Yelverton, 1921, General Prayer at Evensong, p. 37-38

Help Us as We Pass through This Life

O God,
the protector of all who hope in you,
without you nothing is strong and nothing is holy.
Pour out your mercy on us.
Rule us.
Guide us.
Help us as we pass through this life,
and continue in faith to eternal life;
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, 7th-8th Century, Historic Collect for the Third 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.

Original in Latin:

Protector noster in te sperantium Deus, sine quo nihil est validum nihil sanctum, multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam, ut te rectore, te duce sic transeamus, per bona temporalia, ut non amittamus aeterna. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus sancti Deus. Per omnia secula seculorum, Amen.

Help Us Please You

Look on us and hear us,
O Lord our God;
and help us in our endeavors to please you
which you yourself have given us;
as you have given the first act of will,
so lead us to the completion of our work;
grant that we may be able to finish
what you have given us the desire to begin;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Mozarabic Rite

Source of this version: Modified from  http://www.holisticonline.com/Prayer/Spl_prayers/hol_prayer_for_completion-mozarabic.htm

Also found here: https://attentiontothemoment.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/the-mozarabic-sacramentary/

This prayer reflects on  Philippians 1:6

The Medicine of Heavenly Grace

O God,
you always govern your creatures
with tender affection.
Hear our prayers
and graciously help your servant
who is suffering from bodily sickness.
Visit him with your salvation
and give him the medicine of heavenly grace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Gelasian Rite

Source of this version: Freely modified from Benediction of a Parish House or Mission Room, Book of Offices, 1914