The Litany of Gelasius

Gelasius was the bishop of Rome (or Pope) from 492-496, and is best known for his Gelasian Sacramentarythe second oldest known book of Christian liturgy. 

Hear us, Lord, and have mercy.

With every confidence we call on the Father of the Only-Begotten, the Son of the eternal Father, and our Lord the Holy Spirit.
Lord, have mercy.

For the Church of the living God everywhere throughout the world, we appeal to the God who is rich in goodness.
Lord, have mercy.

For the servants of God who stand at his sacred altar and for all people who worship the true God, we offer our prayers to Christ the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For those who preach the Word of truth as they ought, we pray with special earnestness to God’s Word who was made flesh for his infinite wisdom.
Lord, have mercy.

For all who keep themselves pure in soul and body for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, who spend themselves in God’s service, we implore the Giver of spiritual gifts.
Lord, have mercy.

For Christians in public office who labor for justice and equity, we pray to the omnipotent God.
Lord, have mercy.

For mild and pleasant weather, for rain at the time it is needed, for healthy and gentle winds and for the seasons to follow one another to our advantage, we pray to the Ruler of the universe.
Lord, have mercy.

For those who have acquired some knowledge of Christianity and the desire to grow in God’s heavenly grace, we beg the all-powerful God to show his mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

For those afflicted by the frailty and weakness of human nature, we ask our Redeemer’s mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

For those who are forced to live abroad, those persecuted by rulers who wield their power unjustly, and those harassed by enemies, we pray to our Lord and Savior.
Lord, have mercy.

For those deceived by false teaching and crooked reasoning, and for those sunk in superstition, we make our prayer to the God of truth.
Lord, have mercy.

For those whose faith moves them to help the poor in their needs, we pray to the Lord to show his great mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

For all who enter the doors of this holy house, and for those assembled here now in humble devotion, we offer our prayers to the Lord in his glory.
Lord, have mercy.

For the cleansing of our bodies and souls and the forgiveness of all our sins, we pray to the God of boundless compassion.
Lord, have mercy.

In remembrance of all the faithful, especially those ministers of the Lord who have served this church, we give thanks to the Lord of the spirits and Judge of all flesh.
Thanks be to God.

Bodies dead to sin and souls alive by faith:
Grant us, O Lord.

Holy fear and true love:
Grant us, O Lord.

Lives that please you, deaths that cling to you:
Grant us, O Lord.

Brothers and sisters in the faith to console us, angels to carry us to peace:
Grant us, O Lord.

Our lives and all that we have we owe to the Lord. He gave them, he increased them, he gives us the means to sustain them. To his mercy and providence we commend ourselves.
Lord, have mercy. Amen.

Source: Unknown. Included in a handout at a past WELS National Worship Conference, “Being General in the General Prayer.” Modified and edited. The petition “In remembrance…” is modified to be a thanksgiving in remembrance of the faithful departed.

Note: There are several versions of the Litany of Pope Gelasius. The one presented here was chosen for A Collection of Prayers because it is the longest and most complete in its petitions when compared with the original below. Other versions of the Litany of Pope Gelasius can be viewed at these links below:

Original in Latin:

DEPRECATIO QUAM PAPA GELASIUS PRO UNIVERSALI ECCLESIA CONSTITUIT CANENDAM ESSE

Dicamus omnes: Domine exaudi et miserere

Patrem Unigeniti et Dei Filium Genitoris ingeniti et Sanctum Deum Spiritum fidelibus animis invocamus — Kyrie eleison

I — Pro immaculata Dei vivi ecclesia, per totum orbem constituta divinae bonitatis opulentiam deprecamur — Kyrie eleison

II — Pro sanctis Dei magni sacerdotibus et ministris sacri altaris cunctisque Deum verum colentibus populis Christum Dominum supplicamus — Kyrie eleison

III — Pro universis rette tractantibus verbum veritatis multiformem Verbi Dei sapien­tiam peculiariter obsecramus — Kyrie eleison

IV — Pro his qui se mente et corpore propter caelorum regna castificant, et spiritalium labore desudant, largitorem spiritalium munerum obsecramus — Kyrie eleison

V — Pro religiosis principibus omnique militia eorum, qui iustitiam et rectum iudicium diligunt, Domini potentiam obsecramus — Kyrie eleison

VI — Pro iucunditate serenitatis et opportunitate pluviae atque aurarum vitalium blan­dimentis ac diversorum temporum prospero cursu rectorem mundi Dominum depre­camur — Kyrie eleison

VII — Pro his quos prima christiani nominis initiavit agnitio, quos iam desiderium gratiae caelestis accendit, omnipotentis Dei misericordiam obsecramus — Kyrie eleison

VIII — Pro his quos humanae infirmitatis fragilitas, et quos nequitiae spiritalis invidia, vel varius saeculi error involvit, Redemptoris nostri misericordiam imploramus — Kyrie eleison

IX — Pro his, quos peregrinationis necessitar, aut iniquae potestatis oppressio vel hostilitatis vexat aerumna, Salvatorem Dominum supplicamus — Kyrie eleison

X — Pro iudaica falsitate… aut haeretica pravitate deceptis vel gentilium superstitione perfusis veritatis Dominum deprecamur — Kyrie eleison

XI — Pro operariis pietatis et his, qui necessitatibus laborantum fraterna caritate subve­niunt, misericordiarum Dominum deprecamur — Kyrie eleison

XII — Pro omnibus intrantibus in haec sanctae domus Domini atria, qui religioso corde et supplici, devotione convenerunt, Dominum gloriae deprecamur — Kyrie eleison

XIII — Pro emundatione animarum corporumque nostrorum, et omnium venia peccatorum clementissimum Dominum supplicamus — Kyrie eleison

XIV — Pro refrigerio fidelium animarum, praecipue sanctorum Domini sacerdotum, qui huic ecclesiae praefuerunt catholicae, Dominum spirituum et universae carnis iudi­cem deprecamur — Kyrie eleison

XV — Mortificatam vitiis carnera et viventem fide animam — praesta, Domine, praesta

XVI — Castum timorem et veram dilectionem — praesta, Domine, praesta

XVII — Gratum vitae ordinem et probabilem exitum — praesta, Domine, praesta

XVIII — Angelum pacis et solatia sanctorum — praesta, Domine, praesta.

Nosmetipsos et omnia nostra, quae orto quae aucta per Dominum ipso auctore suscipimus, ipso custode retinemus, ipsiusque misericordiae et arbitrio providentiae commendamus

— Domine miserere.

Advertisements

Kyrie, Eleison / Lord, Have Mercy

Kyrie eleison (KI-ree-ay ay-LAY-ee-zonn) or “Lord, have mercy” is a short prayer that is important in Christian worship. It is a prayer from the heart about human need. God owes us nothing. Everything he gives comes from his mercy. 

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Original in Greek:

Kyrie eleison.
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.

Some worship traditions translate Kyrie eleison as “Lord, have mercy.” Some leave it untranslated as is done for words like “Amen” and “Alleluia.”

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison are the first words in the main part of the Divine Service, either as a cry of repentance or as a prayer for God’s mercy in all aspects of life.

Kyrie.png
The Threefold Kyrie, tune from Luther’s German Mass with English Text. Book of Hymns (WELS, 1920, 1931)

The second use, as a prayer for God’s mercy in all aspects of life, often includes Kyrie eleison or” Lord, have mercy” as a response in a litany that brings the requests for the Lord to have mercy.  See “Help, Save, Have Mercy on Us” for such a responsive Kyrie prayer that has a very long history.

In Matins (Morning Prayer) and Vespers (Evening Prayer) Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison or their translation appear in some form at the end of the service before the Lord’s Prayer.

As short as the Kyrie is, it has been set to music, both as the short Kyrie, and as a Kyrie with extended petitions.

Here it is from Bach’s Mass in B Minor:

Here it is in German, known to English-speaking Lutherans as “Kyrie, God, Father in heaven above”:

Here it is as a responsive litany, sung by pastor and people. Text uses some of the petitions from “Help, Save, Have Mercy on Us” (Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom). (Video and audio quality aren’t the best, but the performance was led by Regina H. Fryxell, who was the composer / arranger.)  Here the Kyrie is followed by the Gloria.

Daily Kyrie

wilhelm_loeheLord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy,
and save your people
whom you bought with your own blood.
Do not turn away from us because of our sins.
Remember us according to your steadfast love,
and your gracious work for your people.
Deliver us that may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones,
and share in the joy of your nation
and join your inheritance in giving praise.
Amen.

Source: Wilhelm Löhe. Freely adapted from Seed Grains of Prayer, A Manual for Evangelical Christians, Wartburg Press, Chicago, 1914 (#13)

Note: Seed Grains of Prayer… has the note after ‘Daily Gloria’ which follows ‘Daily Kyrie,’ “(Strassburg, 1566)”

“Remember us according to your steadfast love” is a reference to Psalm 25:7

“Deliver us that may enjoy..” is a reference to Psalm 106:5

 

Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage by [Stratman, Paul]Prayers by William Loehe are included in Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage, available from Amazon.com, and also available for Amazon Kindle. It is a collection of prayers from the history of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church from Luther to Loehe. The collection includes prayers by Johannes Bugenhagen, Georg C. Dieffenbach, Veit Dietrich, Matthias Flacius, Wilhelm Loehe, Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, Joachim Mynsinger, Johann G. Olearius, Johann Jacob Rambach, and the early agendas and prayer books of the Austrian, Brunswick, Hamburg, Lueneberg, Norwegian, Nuremberg, Pomeranian, Riga, Russian, Saxon, Schleswig-Holstein, and Swedish Evangelical-Lutheran churches.