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

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

Abide with Us

Abide with us, Lord,G_C_Dieffenbach
for it is toward evening and the day is far spent;
abide with us, and with your whole Church.
Abide with us in the evening of the day,
_______________ in the evening of life,
_______________ in the evening of the world.
Abide with us in your grace and mercy,
_______________ in holy Word and Sacrament,
_______________ in your comfort and your blessing.
Abide with us in the night of distress and fear,
_______________ in the night of doubt and temptation,
_______________ in the night of bitter death,
_______________ when these shall overtake us.
Abide with us and with all your faithful ones,
O Lord, in time and in eternity.
Amen.

Source: Georg Christian Dieffenbach (1822-1901)

Part of this prayer is found here: The Oxford Book of Prayer, ed. Appleton, © 1985, 1992

A reflection on Luke 24:29

A version of this prayer is found in Lutheran Worship (LCMS 1982) as an alternative collect for Easter Eve.

Original in German:

Bleibe bei uns, Herr,
denn es will Abend werden,
und der Tag hat sich geneigt.
Bleibe bei uns und bei deiner ganzen Kirche.
Bleibe bei uns am Abend des Tages,
am Abend des Lebens, am Abend der Welt.
Bleibe bei uns mit deiner Gnade und Güte,
mit deinem heiligen Wort und Sakrament,
mit deinem Trost und Segen.
Bleibe bei uns,
wenn über uns kommt
die Nacht der Trübsal und Angst,
die Nacht des Zweifels und der Anfechtung,
die Nacht des bitteren Todes.
Bleibe bei uns und allen deinen Gläubigen
in Zeit und Ewigkeit.
Amen.

Source of the original German prayer: Evangelische Haus-Agende by Georg Christian Dieffenbach, 1853

* Although this prayer is often attributed to The Lutheran Manual of Prayer in many prayer books and anthologies, I have never seen or found a book with that title. A search on http://www.amazon.com and on Google Books yields several Lutheran prayer books, but none with that title.

Give Our Message Power

O Lord Jesus Christ,
you sent your holy apostles
to preach among all nations
repentance and forgiveness of sins in your name.
Grant that through your ambassadors
the erring may be brought to repentance
and the penitent established in your true faith;
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. 47 #2 (Ember Days in Lent)

“you sent your holy apostles” is a reference to  John 20:21

“repentance and forgiveness of sins in your name” is a reference to Luke 24:47

Ash Wednesday Prayer

O God,
you do not desire the death of sinners,
but you want them to turn to you and live.
Look with pity on the weakness of our mortal nature.
We confess that we are but ashes,
and for our wickedness we deserve to return to the dust.
Forgive all our sins,
and give us the blessings that come with true repentance;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p. 22 #1

“you do not desire the death of sinners” is a reference to Ezekiel 33:11

“We confess that we are but ashes” is a reference to  Genesis 18:27

“for our wickedness we deserve to return to the dust” is a reference to  Genesis 3:19Job 10:9Job 34:15Psalm 90:3Psalm 104:29Ecclesiastes 3:20Ecclesiastes 12:7

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