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.

Keep Us Steadfast in Your Grace and Truth

O Lord God, heavenly Father,
pour out your Holy Spirit on your faithful people.
Keep them steadfast in your grace and truth,
protect and comfort them in all temptation,
defend them against all enemies of your Word,
and bestow on Christ’s Church militant your saving peace;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Saxon Agenda, 1539, Historic Collect for the Reformation

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.

Keep Us

O Lord,
keep your household, the Church,
in continual godliness,
that through your protection
we may be free from all adversities
and devoutly given to serve you in good works
to the glory of your name;
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, 8th Century, Historic Collect for the Twenty-First 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.

Prayer for the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost

O Christ our Lord,
at your coming peace returned to earth.
Keep us always in your peace
until at your return in glorious majesty,
we inherit eternal peace;
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. 37 #2 (Trinity 22)

“peace returned to earth” is a reference to Luke 2:14

Make Us Ready and Free

O almighty and most merciful God,
keep us from all things that may hurt us
that we may be ready in both body and soul
to freely do your work;
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 Nineteenth 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.

Keep Us both Outwardly and Inwardly

O God,
you see that we have no strength in ourselves.
Keep us both outwardly and inwardly.
Defend us from all adversities which hurt the body,
and cleanse us from all evil thoughts
which afflict the mind;
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, 8th Century, Historic Collect for the Second Sunday in Lent

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.

“which afflict the mind,” the Latin word mentes can also be translated as “soul.”

Keep Us Faithful to Your Truth

O Lord,
keep your household always faithful to your truth,
that we who rely only on the hope of your heavenly grace
may always be defended by your mighty power;
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, 8th Century, Historic Collect for the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

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.