Help, Save, Have Mercy on Us

The Litany of Chrysostom may be read or may be sung to this tune. Sometimes it is sung in a way that the word “Lord” overlaps between the cantor and congregation: “In peace, let us pray to the Lord, have mercy.” Graphics for use in service folders, with or without harmony, are provided below, along with a Word file.


In peace let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the holy Churches of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For this holy house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For our pastors, teachers, and all who are in the service of Christ, and all the clergy and laity, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For our country, the president, all those in public service, and all our armed forces, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For this parish and city, for every city and country, and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For favorable weather, for an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For those who travel by land, sea and air, for the sick, the suffering, the captives and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, danger, and distress, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

Help us, save us, have mercy on us and protect us, O God, by your grace.

Source: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Source of this version: Modified from


“For our pastors, teachers,…” in the original is “For our Archbishop (Name), our Bishop (Name), the honorable presbyters, the deacons in the service of Christ, and all the clergy and laity, let us pray to the Lord.”

Graphics for use in service folders. Graphics are larger than they need to be for clarity. For use with 11 point type, graphics should be 3.25″ wide.

Printed with harmony:



…or without harmony:



Download the Litany of Chrysostom with music files added as a Microsoft Word document: Litany_of_Chrysostom,_with_music.docx


Lord almighty,
our ever-present help in trouble,
help us not to be afraid when we see people in an uproar,
trying to change the world with violence and terror.
Cool the heat of hatred,
and move people to peace
for the good of all.
Set our hearts at peace
with your peace that is ours in Jesus,
and with your promise to protect
and work all for good.
Move us to proclaim your peace to the troubled.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, © 2019
based on Psalm 46, Psalm 91, Romans 8:28.

Featured Prayers: Holy Cross

On September 14, some Christians observe Holy Cross Day. In the Roman Church the day’s focus is on the finding of the relics of the original cross. Among Lutherans the focus is on the words of Jesus, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

In the Revised Common Lectionary, Proper 17A (August 28-September 3), Proper 19B (September 11-17), and Proper 18C (September 4-10) have the theme of bearing the cross. (ILCW/CW Pen 15 A, Pen 17 B, Pen 16 C)

This link leads to prayers in our collection that have the theme of cross bearing.


Rite for the Welcome of Catechumens

“Catechumen” is a word for someone who is being “catechized,” that is, being instructed in the Christian faith. In the ancient church, anyone who was new to the Christian faith was called a Catechumen, and would be instructed by regular attendance at worship and with other special instruction. The time of the Catechumenate varied. Instruction could last as long as the Catechumen needed.

In Lutheran tradition, Catechumens are students, usually in sixth, seventh or eighth grades, who are instructed in Luther’s Small Catechism. Instruction involves memorization of the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, Baptism, Keys and Confession, the Lord’s Supper and the Lord’s Prayer, along with the explanations (“What does this mean?”) along with selected Bible passages. 

Catechisms and Bibles (if they have not already been presented to the children) may be stacked on a table in front of the altar. The children gather around the table.

The grace of our Lord + Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.
And also with you.

Before his ascension, our Lord Jesus Christ said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and gather disciples from all nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and by teaching them to keep all the instructions I have given you. And surely I am with you always until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

You have been baptized in God’s name, and have learned about God’s love for the world in your Sunday School (or Bible History) lessons. You are now ready to begin a study of the teachings of the Bible as summarized by Luther’s Small Catechism.

The minister places his hand on the Bibles and Catechisms and addresses the children:

Holy Scripture tells us: All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, well equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

So that the Word of God may be a lamp for your feet and a light for your path, we present these Bibles to you. Here is where God teaches us what he wants us to believe and do. Read the Scriptures so that the Word that is written with ink on paper may also be written in your hearts and minds, and be your guide for life, your comfort and your hope, in good times and in bad.

Receive also these catechisms. Here you will learn the truths of Scripture, and you will be taught “What does this mean?” that is, how to apply the truth of Scripture to your everyday life as you walk in the new life, given you by Christ.

The minister hands out the Bibles and Catechisms to the children.

Let us pray.

O Lord, holy Father, eternal God, let the way of your truth and of the knowledge of you be shown to your servants who live among the doubt and uncertainty in the darkness of this world. Open the eyes of their souls, that they may acknowledge you, the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and enjoy the fruit of confessing this faith both here and in the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

May the Word of the Lord give you wisdom.
May it bring joy to your heart and light to your eyes.
May it instruct you in the fear of the Lord,
and guide you in his truth. (from Psalm 19)

Source: Prepared for A Collection of Prayers, 2019

Prayer is from Ancient Collects and Other Prayers, William Bright, p. 125.3, Gregorian.

Scripture passages are quoted from The Holy Bible: Evangelical Heritage Version.

See also Rite for the Presentation of Bibles to Children.


A rite for the enrollment or acceptance of catechumens appeared in the liturgical magazine, The Bride of Christ.

Acceptance of Catechumens

Pastor: Do you desire to affirm your faith in Christ Jesus, the faith into which you were baptized, and receive the Rite of confirmation in the tradition of the Holy Christian Church at the proper time? If so, answer “I do.”

Catechumens: I do.

Pastor: Will you faithfully attend the services of God’s house, will you diligently study the Scriptures and the catechism, and will you strive to lead a life worthy of  your Christian calling? If so, answer “I will and I ask God to help me.”

Catechumens: I will and I ask God to help me.

Pastor: I ask you, the congregation, will you support these young people with your prayers, will you be examples to them of faithfulness and righteousness, and will you care for them and help them in every way God gives you opportunity that they may continue in the covenant of their baptism and in communion with the Church? If so, answer “We will and we ask God to help us.”

Congregation: We will and we ask God to help us.

Pastor: You are hereby officially accepted as the catechumens of __________ Evangelical Lutheran Church. May God bless you as you prepare and study. Please accept these Bibles and these copies of Luther’s Small Catechism as aids to your study and as tokens of the affection this congregation bears toward you.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, we give you thanks for these young people you have called to be your own. Bless them as they prepare to make an affirmation of their faith and strive to keep the commitments they have made this day. And bless this congregation as it strives to help all its young people grow into the full stature of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayer When a Storm Is Approaching

NOAA: 'Exact forecast track' of Dorian no longer matters ...

God, our refuge and strength,
help us in times of trouble.
When the earth dissolves
and the mountains tumble into the sea
and its waters roar and foam,
remind us of your might,
and your good and gracious will.
All creation is groaning
as it suffers the corruption of sin,
but you have promised
to make all things work together
for the good of those who love you.
Hear our prayer, “Deliver us from evil,”
and save your people from all disaster.
Give patience and endurance
to those who serve, help and rescue.
Calm the anxious.
Comfort those who suffer loss.
Turn thoughts from earthly to heavenly things,
that we look to you,
our only Savior and help.

Source: Written for A Collection of Prayers, August 31, 2019.

Labor Day

Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ shared our toil and hallowed our labor in his earthly life.  Be present with your people where they work, and move those who carry on the industries and commerce of this land to honesty and fairness. Guide us to do all our work to your glory and for our neighbor’s good; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Based on a collect in The Book of Common Prayer 1979. Newly composed for A Collection of Prayers. 


From the Book of Common Prayer 1979:

For Commerce and Industry

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ in his earthly life
shared our toil and hallowed our labor: Be present with your
people where they work; make those who carry on the industries
and commerce of this land responsive to your will; and give
to us all a pride in what we do, and a just return for our labor;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with
you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for
ever. Amen.

Featured Book: The New Ancient Collects

The New Ancient Collects: Completely Revised and Refreshed for Modern Usage.

The New Ancient Collects : Completely Revised and Refreshed for Modern Usage. by [Stratman, Paul]For over 150 years, Bright’s Ancient Collects has been a standard resource for classic Christian prayers. The New Ancient Collects is a complete revision and refreshing of all the prayers in Bright’s Ancient Collects with updated language. Click here to purchase through Amazon. Available in paperback and for Kindle.





Some sample prayers. Each one has a reference to the original Ancient Collects (71.1 means page 71, the first prayer on the page, etc.) along with its original source.

Almighty and eternal God,
convert our minds
to do what is pleasing to you,
Do not let your rebuke be met with our neglect,
and become a greater reason for punishment,
but let your Fatherly admonition be a blessing
as we amend our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. [227]

71.1, Leonine

O Lord,
convert all our hearts to yourself,
that we abstain from whatever offends you,
and experience your mercy and not your wrath;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. [228]

71.2, Leonine

Eternal Father,
convert our hearts to yourself,
for those you move
to your devotion and worship
will lack no good thing;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. [229]

71.3, Leonine

Almighty God, do not look on our many evils,
but draw us away from sin, for we are weak,
and guide our wills to what is right;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. [230]

71.4, Leonine