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.

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.

Ash Wednesday Prayer

O God,
you do not desire the death of sinners,
but you want them to turn to you and live.
Look with pity on the weakness of our mortal nature.
We confess that we are but ashes,
and for our wickedness we deserve to return to the dust.
Forgive all our sins,
and give us the blessings that come with true repentance;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Halle, New York, 1881, p. 22 #1

“you do not desire the death of sinners” is a reference to Ezekiel 33:11

“We confess that we are but ashes” is a reference to  Genesis 18:27

“for our wickedness we deserve to return to the dust” is a reference to  Genesis 3:19Job 10:9Job 34:15Psalm 90:3Psalm 104:29Ecclesiastes 3:20Ecclesiastes 12:7

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

Defend Us from All Enemies

O Lord,
mercifully hear our prayer
and stretch forth the right hand of your majesty
to defend us from all enemies that rise up against us;
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 First 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.

Defend Us from All Evil

O Lord,
mercifully hear our prayers.
Set us free from the bonds of sin.
Defend us from all evil;
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 Quinquagesima

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.