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.

Make Us Ready and Free

O almighty and most merciful God,
keep us from all things that may hurt us
that we may be ready in both body and soul
to freely do your work;
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 Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

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.

Direct Our Hearts

O Lord,
direct our hearts by the working of your grace,
since without you, we are not able to please you;
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 Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity

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.

May Your Grace Precede and Follow Us

Lord,
we pray that your grace
may always go before
and follow after us,
that we may be always be ready
to do your good works;
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, 6th Century, Historic Collect for the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

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.

For Those in Sorrow and Affliction

O heavenly Father,
your blessed Son Jesus Christ
wept at the grave of Lazarus his friend.
Look with compassion on those
who are now in sorrow and affliction.
Comfort them, O Lord, with your gracious consolation.
Make them to know that all things
work together for good to those who love you;
and grant them always a sure trust and confidence
in your fatherly care;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Modified from The Scottish Book of Common Prayer (1912), Burial of the Dead.

“all things work together for good to those who love you” is a reference to Romans 8:28

 

Give Your Blessing to Our Daily Work

thomas_arnold_by_thomas_phillipsO Lord,
give your blessing to our daily work,
that we may do it in faith, with all our hearts,
as working for the Lord and not for human masters.
All our powers of body and mind are yours,
and we devote them to your service.
Sanctify us and the work in which we are engaged;
let us not be lazy, but diligent in spirit.
O Lord, bless our efforts
that they may bring forth in us
the fruits of true wisdom.
Teach us to seek truth and lead us to find it,
but grant that we may always speak the truth in love,
that while we know earthly things,
we may know you, and be known by you,
through and in your Son Jesus Christ.
Give us this day your Holy Spirit,
that we may be yours in body and spirit
in all our work and all our refreshments;
through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Thomas Arnold, d. 1842

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers Ancient and Modern by Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston, Little Brown, 1914, p. 86

“with all our hearts… not for human masters” is a reference to Colossians 3:23

“let us not be lazy” is a reference to Romans 12:11

“the fruits of true wisdom” may be a reference to James 3:17

“always speak the truth in love” is a reference to Ephesians 4:15

“we may know you, and be known by you” is a reference to Galatians 4:9

“that we may be yours in body and spirit” may be a reference to 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Help Us Please You

Look on us and hear us,
O Lord our God;
and help us in our endeavors to please you
which you yourself have given us;
as you have given the first act of will,
so lead us to the completion of our work;
grant that we may be able to finish
what you have given us the desire to begin;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Mozarabic Rite

Source of this version: Modified from  http://www.holisticonline.com/Prayer/Spl_prayers/hol_prayer_for_completion-mozarabic.htm

Also found here: https://attentiontothemoment.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/the-mozarabic-sacramentary/

This prayer reflects on  Philippians 1:6