For the Commemoration of Musicians

Written for the commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach, 1750; Heinrich Schütz, 1672; George Frederick Handel, 1759; musicians, July 28. 

19079690916_587179aace_z_d
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

Creative Commons License
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.

Inward Peace and Goodwill

O Lord Jesus Christ,
by your incarnation you united
things earthly and heavenly.
Fill us with the sweetness
of inward peace and goodwill,
that we may join the heavenly host
in singing praises to your glory;
for you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Gregorian Rite, 6th Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Collects and Prayers for Use in Church United Lutheran Church in America, 1935

Variant, as a blessing:

And may He, Who through His Incarnation united earthly things with Heavenly, fill us with the sweetness of inward peace and good will, and make us partakers with the Heavenly Host. Amen.

Source of this version: The Priest to the Altar: Or Aids to the Devout Celebration of Holy Communion Chiefly After the Ancient English Use of Sarum, Peter Goldsmith Medd,
Rivingtons, 1879, 11th Century

 

 

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

Prayer for the Last Sunday of the Church Year

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
You alone heal the wounds of our sins,
and you show goodness everlasting in the land of the living;
Grant that we may serve you faithfully with a quiet mind in this world,
and going forth in your love,
may praise and bless you forever in the world to come;
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. 38 #2 (Trinity Last)

“You alone heal the wounds of our sins” is a reference to Isaiah 53:5

“in the Land of the Living” is a reference to Psalm 27:13Psalm 116:9Psalm 142:5

A General Prayer (Christmas)

Blessed Immanuel, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, we thank you for taking on yourself our nature, coming down from heaven and becoming fully human, and making us partakers of the divine nature. You revealed to us the loving heart of your Father. You brought us peace and quenched his divine anger against us. By your blessed birth we are made new creatures. You are our great High Priest through whom we have access to the Father. Enable us, O blessed Lord and loving Immanuel, to confess your appearing in the flesh, always to be mindful of your great love and humiliation, most heartily to rejoice and comfort ourselves in the same, and evermore partake of its power. Open our hearts and lips that with the holy angels we may ever praise and magnify you. Finally take us into your heavenly kingdom, that we may praise and serve you there, forever and ever. Amen. Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel. Blessed be his holy name. Let the whole earth be full of his glory. Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Liturgy for Christian Congregations of the Lutheran Faith  by Wilhelm Löhe, Christmas Prayer 6, p. 124-125

A General Prayer (Advent)

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, you came into the world in the name of your Father to be a King, to justify many, and to save your people from their sins. You came to your own, and your own people did not receive you. You came to us poor Gentiles and still visit us in your Word and Sacrament. O Lord Jesus, Son of David, precious Savior, only Hope for humanity, blessed are you who comes in the name of the Lord.

In you our hearts rejoice and all that is within us is glad because of your help and deliverance. You are the one who was to come and we will not look for another. Abide with us and fill our hearts daily with your presence.

By your Spirit dwell in us that we may praise your holy name, as did your disciples and the people of Jerusalem when you entered in triumph. O blessed Savior, as you kept your people faithful in ages past, keep us steadfast to death. When you return again at the end of the world to deliver us from all evil, grant that we may await with joy the time of our redemption, watch and pray that we may escape those things which will then come to pass, and finally stand before the Son of Man. All these blessings we ask for the sake of your infinite love. Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Liturgy for Christian Congregations of the Lutheran Faith  by Wilhelm Löhe, Advent Prayer 1, p. 120-121

We Praise and Thank Your Divine Goodness

O almighty and eternal God,wilhelm_loehe
we praise and thank your divine goodness
for the precious food and drink you have given us
in the body and blood of your only Son.
By your Holy Spirit, grant us
the forgiveness of sin,
growth in grace,
and everlasting union
with your Son, Jesus 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