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.

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

Swedish Christmas Prayer

church_of_sweden_2856028423629Merciful God, loving Father,
we give you thanks and praise
that you have mercifully fulfilled
the word of your promise to the patriarchs
and sent your only Son to become man
for our salvation and blessedness.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
eternal praise be to you,
that you, being rich, for our sakes became poor,
that we through your poverty might become rich;
that you have become our brother,
that we with you might become the children of God.
Grant that you may be born in our hearts,
just as you, though you are Lord of lords,
have for our sakes become a child,
so give us the right childlike mind.
You are the brightness of the Father’s glory
and image of his person,
renew us in your holy likeness.

Heavenly Light,
lighten us through the darkness of this world.
Eternal Life, give us life in you.
Great Prince of Peace, grant us your peace,
and keep us ever in your kingdom,
that we may praise and magnify you in your glory:
you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit live and reign forever.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from The Swedish Rite: a translation of “Handbok för svenska kyrkan” by Eric Esskildsen Yelverton, 1921, Litany Prayer for Christmas Day, p. 52-53

The Blessing of a Nativity Scene

This rite is available as a pdf file here: the-blessing-of-a-nativity-scene

All gather around the nativity scene.

L:  Our help is in the name of the LORD,
R:  The Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)

L: The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the second chapter.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3And everyone went to register, each to his own town. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the town of Nazareth, into Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and family line of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, his wife, who was pledged to him in marriage and was expecting a child.

6And so it was that while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8There were in the same country shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified! 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. For behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will be for all people: 11Today in the town of David, a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude from the heavenly army, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward mankind.” (EHV)

L: The Gospel of the Lord.
R:  Praise be to you, O Christ.

L: Let us pray.
God of glory, when the set time had fully come, you sent your only Son to be born of the virgin Mary, and made the good news of great joy about his birth known to shepherds, who then spread abroad the news about the holy Child.

Bless us as we remember his birth. Speak to our hearts with the news of his birth, and continue to renew our faith with the peace of his gospel. Move us to respond and to share this good news with those around us with the message of your love reflected in our lives, and also in word, art and song; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
R:  Amen.

A Christmas carol reflecting on the birth of Christ may be sung.

This rite is based loosely on The Blessing of a Manger or Nativity Scene from Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers © 2008, USCCB.

The prayers are newly composed, © 2016 Paul C. Stratman, https://acollectionofprayers.wordpress.com/

All Scripture is from The Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version. www.wartburgproject.com

Thank You for Preserving Your Word

We thank you,wilhelm_loehe
Lord God, heavenly Father,
that you have preserved for us your holy Word,
and have built us up in your faith
by its mighty power.
Graciously forgive us
everything that we have done contrary to your Word.
Preserve among us this precious treasure,
that through its power
we may come to eternal life;
through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Liturgy for Christian Congregations of the Lutheran FaithWilhelm Löhe, 1902, p. 70, Order of Service for Catechization

Strengthen and Keep Us

O Lord,wilhelm_loehe
we pray that we may receive
this Sacrament which we have eaten outwardly
also with pure minds and clean hearts.
Strengthen and keep us always
in this new life you have given us;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Liturgy for Christian Congregations of the Lutheran FaithWilhelm Löhe, 1902, The Orders of Public Worship, The Communion or Morning Service, A, p. 36-37

In the 1902 translation of Löhe’s Liturgy,  the prayer reads:

We heartily beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may receive with pure minds and clean hearts this Sacrament, which we have eaten outwardly, so that it may be unto us an everlasting deliverance: through Christ our Lord. Amen.