Attention Worship Planners: Now and Forever

Attention worship planners! A new church year begins in just over four weeks. The first Sunday in Advent is December 1.

A Collection of Prayers presents a new prayer resource, based on the Revised Common Lectionary, and adaptable to lectionaries in Lutheran Service Book, Evangelical Lutheran Worship and Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal. Also usable with Episcopal and Roman Catholic Lectionaries:

Now and Forever: New Collects for Modern Lectionaries

The prayers, all newly composed, are written in classic collect form and find their themes in the readings for each Sunday in the lectionary. This book gives additional options for the Prayer of the Day/Opening Prayer. These prayers may also be used for concluding petitions in the Prayer of the Church (Prayers of Intercession or Prayers of the People) or may be used as closing prayers that fit thematically with the readings of the day. Pastors, lectors and worship planners may find this to be a valuable resource for prayers in the worship service.

Available from Amazon.com in paperback and for Kindle.

Here are sample prayers for Advent and Christmas, Year A. Prayers may be used on a trial basis. Printed materials (church bulletins/worship folders) must include a copyright notice:

Prayer of the Day (Closing Collect in the Prayers of the People, Closing Prayer, or however the prayer is used…) is reprinted from Now and Forever: New Collects for Modern Lectionaries, copyright © 2019 Paul C. Stratman, used by permission. Available through Amazon.com.

First Sunday in Advent

When the theme is “See, your King comes to you!”

Lord Jesus Christ, you humbled yourself when you appeared in human flesh at your first coming, you humbly rode into Jerusalem on a donkey when you brought your saving work to fulfillment, and without fear or force, you come to us in Word and Sacrament. Fill our hearts with the joy and peace that comes with your Word of promise, that we may live secure in you; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [1]

First Sunday in Advent

Stir up your power, O Lord, and come. Keep us mindful of our present time and watchful for the day of your return. Clothe us with your armor of light and keep us faithful to the end; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [3]

Second Sunday in Advent

O God of hope, give us endurance, encouragement, joy and peace. Move us to repentance, change our hearts with your eternal Word, and dwell with us forever; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [6]

Third Sunday in Advent

Stir up our hearts, O Lord. Strengthen us, open our eyes and ears and fill us with joy that our Savior has come; for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [9]

Fourth Sunday in Advent

O Lord, you promised in your Holy Scriptures to send your Son Jesus Christ as the Son of David, and your own Son. Reveal this saving promise also to us and move our hearts to faith and obedience; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [12]

Christmas Eve

O Lord, you have filled this holy night with the brightness of the true Light, Jesus Christ. You have revealed your peace and goodwill through him and have given us blessed hope. Increase our joy with that news that a child is born to us, a Son is given to us; your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [15]

Christmas Day

Glorious Father, you have revealed your glory, your grace and your truth by sending your only Son to become flesh and dwell among us. Enlighten darkened hearts with this true light that shines on everyone, that all might hear, believe, and receive the right to become children of God; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [16]

Cover My Soul with the Shadow of Your Wing

Thanks to you, O God, that I have risen today,
to the rising of life itself;
may it be to your own glory,
O God of every gift,
and to the glory of my soul likewise.
O great God, aid my soul
with the aiding of your own mercy;
even as I clothe my body with wool,
cover my soul with the shadow of your wing.
Help me to avoid every sin,
and the source of every sin to forsake;
and as the mist scatters
on the crest of the hills,
may each ill haze clear from my soul, O God.

Source: Adapted from Carmina Gadelica.

Did You Enjoy “Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church”?

Did you enjoy Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church? Here’s another part of the Celtic-Anglo Christian heritage!

From the Introduction: 

"God Be in My Head..." Prayers from Old Sarum by [Stratman, Paul]The “Sarum Rite” or “Use of Salisbury” was a variant of the Roman Rite. It was known for additional responses not in the Roman Rite and for its high ceremony. In 1078, William of Normandy appointed Osmund, a Norman nobleman, as bishop of Salisbury. As bishop, Osmund initiated some revisions to the Celtic-Anglo-Saxon Rite and the local adaptations of the Roman Rite. Scholars have theorized that the liturgical practices of Rouen in northern France inspired the Sarum liturgical books. After the liturgical reforms in Salisbury, other English dioceses issued their own books, based on the Sarum Rite.

The Sarum Rite had a wealth of richly worded prayers that have influenced Christian worship ever since. Many prayers from the Sarum Rite were used in the Book of Common Prayer. This book gathers prayers from the original Sarum Missals, Breviaries and Psalters and presents them in a single collection in contemporary liturgical English, and may be useful in public or private devotions.

NOTE: This volume also contains all the psalm prayers from the book Psalm Prayers from Sarum.

Available in paperback and for Kindle from Amazon.com.

Prayer of Thanks (Antiochan, 5)

The dark clouds of life bring no terror to those in whose hearts your fire is burning brightly. Outside is the darkness, terror and howling of the storm; but in the heart, in the presence of Christ, there is light, peace and silence: Alleluia!

Alleluia!

I see your heavens sparkling with stars. How glorious you are, radiant with light! Eternity watches me by the rays of the distant stars. I am small, insignificant, but the Lord is at my side. your right arm guides me wherever I go.

Glory to you for constantly watching over me.

Glory to you for the encounters you arrange for me.

Glory to you for the love of parents, for the faithfulness of friends.

Glory to you for the humbleness of the animals which serve me.

Glory to you for the unforgettable moments of life.

Glory to you for the heart’s innocent joy.

Glory to you for the joy of living moving and being able to return your love.

Glory to you, O God, forever and ever!
Glory to you, O God, forever and ever!

Source: Akathist Hymn, Kontakion 5, Antiochian Orthodox

Source of this version: Modified from http://ww1.antiochian.org/orthodox-prayers/akathist-of-thanksgiving