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.

Prayer for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

O Lord Jesus Christ,
be merciful to us for your name’s sake.
When we wander from you,
bring us back,
wash away the sins that we have committed,
and set us, whom you have redeemed
at your right hand when you come to be our judge;
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. 37 #3 (Trinity 23)

“When we wander from you…” is a reference to Psalm 23:3Matthew 18:12Luke 15:4

“wash away the sins…” is a reference to Psalm 51:2Acts 22:16, 2 Corinthians 7:1James 4:81 John 1:71 John 1:9

“and set us, …at your right hand ..” is a reference to Psalm 16:11Matthew 25:34

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.

Guide and Empower Us to Do What is Right

O God,
all good things come from you.
Inspire your humble servants
to think those things that are right,
and guide and empower us to do them;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Gelasian Sacramentary, 8th Century, Historic Collect for the Fifth Sunday after Easter

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.

Be Our Sure Defense

Almighty God,
look on the humble desires of your servants.
Stretch forth the right hand of your majesty
and be our sure defense;
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 Third 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.

Help and Defend Us

Almighty and eternal God,
look on our weaknesses.
Stretch forth the right hand of your majesty
to help and defend us from all danger;
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 Third Sunday after the Epiphany

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.

Heal Those I Have Wounded

O Lord God,
almighty and all merciful,
heal those I have wounded,
strengthen those I have weakened,
set right those I have misled,
call back to yourself those I have alienated from you.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from The Old World and the New, ed. L. H. M. Soulsby, p. 12