As the School Year Begins

Lord Jesus Christ,
as a child, you increased in wisdom and stature,
you listened to your teachers and asked them questions.
Bless those who learn that they may grow in knowledge
of their Maker, Redeemer, Life-giver,
and of your glorious world we live in.
Bless those who teach,
that they may share the wisdom
they have received from above,
and that they may do their work
with patience and love
that reflect your mercy that endures forever.

You yourself are the Great Teacher.
Instruct all of us in your commandments:
to show love by glorifying you and serving our neighbors.
Disciple all of us with your holy Gospel:
to be forgiven, renewed and empowered
through your life, death and resurrection.
Fill our hearts with wonder and excitement
as we see your divine design in math and science,
as we see your hand in history,
as we learn to glorify you through art and music,
as we learn to know our neighbors,
their hopes, their hurts, their needs,
that your love may flow through us to them.

Your holy Word also tells us,
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
By your power, help us increase in wisdom,
never ceasing to learn all the days of our lives,
until we sit at your feet in your Kingdom;
where with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
you live and reign, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: © 2016 Paul C. Stratman

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Prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, as a child, you increased in wisdom and stature…” is licensed by Paul C. Stratman under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International LicensePlease contact for permission for any commercial use.

“you grew in wisdom and stature” is a reference to Luke 2:52

“you listened to your teachers and asked them questions” is a reference to Luke 2:46

“patience and love that reflect your mercy that endures forever” is a reference to Psalm 107:1

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,…” is Proverbs 9:10

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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.

After a Fire

Gracious Father,
you give your angels charge over your children
to keep them in all their ways
and protect them from danger.
Give healing and recovery
to those who were injured
or suffered losses in yesterday’s fire.
Comfort those who mourn.
Keep us and our homes from all danger.
Continue to protect and support
the fire and rescue workers
who help and protect us.
You alone, O Lord, give all deliverance and protection.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, April 8, 2018

The fire was in an apartment building only a few blocks from our church.

http://www.wiscnews.com/bdc/news/local/firefighters-working-to-account-for-all-residents-in-beaver-dam/article_4369fcdc-d610-5f1b-acc2-7f06cb5dc75b.html

A Canticle of Christ (1)

resurrection-carl-heinrich-bloch

Christ Jesus,
the true Word,
the God of eternity,
born of a virgin,
a tender shoot from the stump of Jesse,
the blessed Lamb,
by him souls were set free,
through his blood all were redeemed,
the earth rejoiced because the enemy departed,
death of death,
hell’s destruction,
you gave freedom to your new creation
that rejoices to call you Master.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
you forgive the sins of the world.
We call on your holy name.

Source: Greek Papyrus Fragment, Cairo Museum, Fourth Century

Source of this version: The New Archaeological Discoveries and their Bearing upon the New Testament by Camdem McCormick Cobern, Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1918, p. 292

Text gaps freely reconstructed by Paul C. Stratman.

“Christ Jesus, the true Word, the God of eternity” is a reference to John 1:1

“born of a virgin” is a reference to Isaiah 7:14 and Luke 1:34

“a tender shoot” is a reference to Isaiah 53:2

“Stump of Jesse” is a reference to Isaiah 11:1

“through his blood” is a reference to 1 Peter 1:19

“death of death, hell’s destruction” on p. 293 of The New Archaeological Discoveries… a similar prayer has the phrase, “the one that has abolished death and the grave (Hades).” The phrase “death of death…” is from the hymn “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” by William Williams.

“new creation” is a reference to 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Lamb of God” is a reference to John 1:29

Text as it reads in The New Archaeological Discoveries and their Bearing upon the New Testament  without gaps reconstructed:

Christ…
the true Word,
the God of eternity

the blessed Lamb,
by him souls were set free
through his blood …
the earth rejoiced because the enemy departed

You gave freedom to the creation
that asked for a Master.
Jesus, you …
forgive sins …
we call on your holy name.

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“A Canticle of Christ” from a Greek Papyrus Fragment as reconstructed by Paul C. Stratman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.

An Ash Wednesday Prayer

ash_crossLord God, heavenly Father,
as the result of his rebellion,
you told father Adam,
“You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
We have followed Adam in his rebellion,
and have earned the same reward.
Lift us up from this dust of death
by the rising of your Son Jesus Christ.
Restore us to life with you
by forgiveness through his blood.
Empower us to walk with him in newness of life,
and in the obedience that leads to righteousness.
Finally, on the Last Day,
raise us from the dust of death
to live in the joy of your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand;
through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one true God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Paul C. Stratman © 2017

Parts are written in imitation of the style of the Collects of Veit Dietrich.

“You are dust, …” is a reference to Genesis 3:19

“…the same reward” is a reference to Romans 6:23

“Lift us up from this dust of death… ” is a reference to Psalm 22:15 and Romans 6:4

“Restore us to life…” is a reference to Colossians 2:13

“…forgiveness through his blood” is a reference to Romans 5:9

“Empower us to walk  … ” is a reference to Romans 6:4

“and in the obedience of righteousness” is a reference to Romans 6:16

“Finally, on the Last Day, raise us…” is a reference to Daniel 12:2 and John 6:40

“joy of your presence, eternal pleasures” is a reference to Psalm 16:11

Ash Wednesday cross graphic from http://churchgraphics.blogspot.com/p/clip-art.html

Advent 4

O Lord,
you have established your house and your kingdom forever
through your Son Jesus Christ.
Reveal your saving purpose and your holy love to us,
and move our hearts to faith and obedience;
through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, newly composed, © 2017

Prayer Reflecting on the Nunc Dimittis

Old Simeon had peace
for one reason.
He had seen you,
the one he had hoped for
all his life,
the one he waited to see
for many years.
That’s why
he held you in his arms
and sang,
“O baby Jesus,
you are the shining light
of the whole world.
You are Abraham’s
shield and great reward
and the glory of all his children.
Now I can go.
You kept your promise to me.
My tired, old eyes see you now,
but I will see you again
in the greater glory that is coming.”

Source: Paul C. Stratman © 2017