Featured Prayers: Christmas

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Scroll through all our Christmas prayers at this link: https://acollectionofprayers.com/tag/christmas/

Highlighted prayers:

Special Rites:

Historic Collects:

General Prayer/Prayer of the Church/Prayers of the People

 

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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.

If this rite is used as its own service, the rite begins with the apostolic greeting. If used in the main divine service, the greeting is omitted, and the rite immediately follows the Prayer of the Church.

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.

Do you wish to confess your faith in Jesus Christ, the faith into which you were baptized, in the Rite of confirmation?If so, answer “I do.”

Catechumens: I do.

Will you faithfully attend the services of God’s house, study the Scriptures and the catechism, and 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.

Members of __________ congregation, will you support these young people with your prayers, be examples of faithfulness and righteousness, and encourage them that they may continue steadfast in faith 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.

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.
Amen.

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)
Amen.

Source: Prepared for A Collection of Prayers, 2019. Some elements adapted from “Acceptance of Catechumens,” which appeared in The Bride of Christ (see below).

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

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

See also Rite for the Presentation of Bibles to Children.

A rite for the  acceptance of catechumens appeared in the liturgical magazine, The Bride of Christ, prepared by Rev. Eric Ash. We share his rite here with his permission. The rite above uses some elements from “Acceptance of Catechumens.”

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.

 

Rite for the Presentation of Bibles to Children

The Bibles may be stacked on a table in front of the altar. The children gather around the table.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples. You will also know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)  and St. Paul wrote to Timothy, “From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15).

Our God has given us his holy Word, both to be our guide through life and to show us his good, gracious and saving will. It is in the Bible’s message of the gospel that we meet our Savior Jesus Christ, hear his Word, and come to know God as a compassionate and gracious Father.

Let us pray.

Blessed Lord, you have given us your Holy Scriptures for our learning. May we so hear them, read, learn, and take them to heart, that being strengthened and comforted by  your holy Word, we may cling to the blessed hope of everlasting life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

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

So that this 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.

The minister hands the Bibles to the children.

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)
Amen.

Source: Prepared for A Collection of Prayers, 2019

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

For more information on the Collect for the Word, “Blessed Lord, you have given us your holy Scriptures…” see https://acollectionofprayers.com/2016/06/20/collect-for-the-word/

See also Rite for the Welcome of Catechumens.

Rite for the Disposition of an Old Bible

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.

A reading from the prophet Isaiah.

A voice was saying, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry out?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like a wildflower in the countryside.
Grass withers, flowers fade
when the breath of the Lord blows on them.
Yes, the people are grass.
8 Grass withers, flowers fade,
but the Word of our God endures forever. (Isaiah 40:6-8 EHV)

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God. 

The old Bible is placed in a paper bag, and then carefully placed in a recycle bin.

Let us pray.

O Lord, your Word is eternal. Ink and paper are not. We send this Bible that is worn from use to be recycled, perhaps even to bear your Word again. Let your eternal Word remain in our hearts. Let it be the lamp for our feet, the light for our path, and the place where we find our Savior, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Go in peace. Serve the Lord with gladness.
Amen.

Source: A Collection of Prayers, 2019

The Litany of the Most Holy Trinity

Blessed be the holy Trinity and undivided Unity;
we will give glory to him, because he has shown his mercy to us.

O Lord our Lord, how wonderful is your name in all the earth!
O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God!

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. 

Blessed Trinity, hear us.
Adorable Unity, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us. 

Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us. 

Father, from whom are all things,
Son, through whom are all things,
Holy Spirit, in whom are all things, have mercy on us. 

Holy and undivided Trinity, have mercy on us. 

Eternal Father,
only Son of the Father,
Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son, have mercy on us. 

Co-eternal majesty of three divine persons, have mercy on us. 

Father, the Creator,
Son, the Redeemer,
Holy Spirit, the Comforter, have mercy on us. 

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts,
who is, who was, and who is to come,
God most high, who inhabits eternity,
to whom alone are due all honor and glory,
who alone does great wonders,
power infinite,
wisdom incomprehensible,
love unspeakable, have mercy on us. 

Be  merciful, spare us, O Holy Trinity.
Be  merciful, graciously hear us, O Holy Trinity.

From all evil, deliver us, O Holy Trinity.
From all sin, deliver us, O Holy Trinity. 

From all pride,
from all love of riches,
from all uncleanness,
from all laziness,
from all misdirected love,
from all envy and malice,
from all anger and impatience,
from every thought, word, and deed contrary to your holy law,
from your everlasting condemnation, deliver us, O Holy Trinity. 

Through your almighty power,
through your abundant loving kindness,
through the exceeding treasure of your goodness and love,
through the depths of your wisdom and knowledge,
through all your unspeakable perfections, deliver us, O Holy Trinity. 

We sinners pray, hear us.

That we may always serve you alone,
that we may worship you in spirit and in truth,
that we may love you with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength,
we pray, hear us.

That, for your sake, we may love our neighbors as ourselves,
that we may faithfully keep your holy commandments,
that we may never defile our bodies and souls with sin,
that we may go from grace to grace, and from virtue to virtue,
that we may finally enjoy the sight of you in glory,
that you would hear us,
we pray, hear us.

O blessed Trinity, deliver us.
O blessed Trinity, save us.
O blessed Trinity, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy,
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Blessed are you, O Lord, in the firmament of heaven,
And worthy to be praised, and glorious, and highly exalted forever.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, you have granted your servants in the confession of the true faith, to acknowledge the glory of an eternal Trinity, and in the power of your majesty to adore a Unity. Strengthen our faith and defend us from all adversity; through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Source: Modified from http://catholictradition.org/Litanies/litanies1a.htm

 

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Hymnal and Order of Service, Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod, 1925

Hymnal_Augustana.pngThe Hymnal and Order of Service was published by the Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod in 1925. It contained a liturgical section that was not typical of Lutheran hymnals of the time, probably due to Augustana’s Swedish heritage. Along with Swedish service music, there is also some by English composer Sir John Stainer. It contains a version of the Common Service, along with the introits, collects and graduals. It also contains The Holy Communion with Full Service, and The Holy Communion without Full Service, Matins on Christmas Day, Matins on Easter Sunday, Vespers, the Litany, and Occasional Prayers, along with orders for Baptism, Confirmation and Burial. The Communion services, Matins and Vespers are notably different from the Common Service and traditional Matins and Vespers. 

Unfortunately, The Hymnal and Order of Service is not available through Google Books or Archive.org. Hymns, along with page scans, are available at Hymnary.org.

It contained a set of “General Morning and Evening Prayers” that included prayers by Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Loehe and others.

We make electronic versions of some of the services and other materials available here: 

  1. The Service (text only, traditional English) [pdf] [docx
  2. The Holy Communion with the Full Service (text only, traditional English) [pdf][docx
  3. Vespers (text only, traditional English) [pdf] [docx]
  4. The Litany (text identical to that in Common Service Book) [pdf] [docx]
  5. General Morning and Evening Prayers (revised, in contemporary language) [pdf]  [docx

The Hymnal and Order of Service also contained services from the Common Service project. Here are links to the resources from our Common Service Book page:

  1. Morning and Holy Communion [pdf] [docx]
  2. Introits, Collects, Epistles, Graduals and Gospels  [pdf] [docx]
  3. Vespers [pdf] [docx]
  4. Order for Public Confession (not in all editions of The Hymnal and Order of Service) [pdf] [docx]

The Paschal Greeting

Greeting:  Christ is risen!
Response: He is risen indeed!

Variant:

Greeting:  The Lord is risen!
Response: He is risen indeed!

Source: Ancient Christian greeting. 

Original in Greek:

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!

Latin:

Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere!

German:

Christus ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaft auferstanden!   or

Der Herr ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden!

 

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