For the World

Almighty and eternal God,
you are the brightness of the faithful.
You have made this day holy
by the first-fruits of the chosen Gentiles.
Fill the world with your glory
and show yourself by the radiance of your light
to the nations that are subject to you;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gregory the Great
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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Epiphany

Almighty and eternal God,
Brightness of faithful souls,
you brought the Gentiles to your light,
and made known to them him who is the true Light,
and the bright and morning Star.
Fill the world with your glory,
and show yourself by the radiance of your light to all nations;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gregorian Sacramentary

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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For Illumination

O glorious, holy, almighty God,
you always pity the many wanderings of humanity,
and for this reason, you guided the Magi,
who lived in a land of dark superstition,
to your sacred cradle by the light of a star,
that you might enlighten all
who were walking in their own errors
with the desire of knowing you.
Enlighten us also with burning love for you,
that we who already know you
by your gracious illumination,
may cling to you forever. Amen.

Source: Mozarabic Liturgy

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953 also, The New Ancient Collects, #95

 

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For the Defense of Christ’s Church

O Lord,
keep your Church and household continually in your true religion,
that all who lean on the hope of your heavenly grace alone
may always be defended by your mighty power;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gregorian Sacramentary

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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For Love and Light

O Lord,
in the name of Jesus Christ your Son our God,
give us that love which can never cease,
that will kindle our lamps but not extinguish them,
that they may burn in us and enlighten others.

O Christ, our dearest Savior,
kindle our lamps,
that they may evermore shine in your temple,
that they may receive unquenchable light from you
that will enlighten our darkness,
and lessen the darkness of the world.

Lord Jesus, we pray,
give your light to our lamps,
that in its light
the most holy place may be revealed to us
in which you dwell as the Eternal Priest,
that we may always see you,
desire you, look on you in love,
and long after you;
for your sake. Amen.

Source: An Ancient Collect, sixth century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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Who Has Anything but What You Have Given

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O Lord my God, most merciful,
most secret, most present,
most constant, yet changing all things,
never new, and never old,
always in action, yet always quiet,
creating, upholding, and perfecting all,
who has anything but what you have given?
or what can any man say when he speaks about you?
Yet have mercy on us, O Lord,
that we may speak to you, and praise your Name.

Source: Jeremy Taylor, 1613–67 (from St Augustine) in in Daily Prayer.

Taylor’s version, in traditional English:

O LORD my God, most merciful,
Most secret, most present,
Most constant, yet changing all things,
Never new, and never old,
Ever in action, yet ever quiet,
Creating, upholding, and perfecting all,
Who hath anything but of thy gift?
Or what can any man say when he speaketh of thee?
Yet have mercy upon us, O Lord,
that we may speak unto thee, and praise thy Name.

 

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Perfect Love

Grant me, even me, my dearest Lord,
to know you, and love you, and rejoice in you.
And, if I cannot do these perfectly in this life,
let me at least advance to higher degrees every day,
until I can come to do them in perfection.
Let the knowledge of you increase in me here,
that it may be full hereafter.
Let the love of you grow every day more and more here,
that it may be perfect hereafter;
that my joy may be full in you.
I know, O God, that you are a God of truth,
O make good your gracious promises to me,
that my joy may be full;
to your honor and glory,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo, Fourth Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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For Grace

O our Lord and God,
do not look on our many sins,
and do not turn away
because of the seriousness of our iniquities.
In your unspeakable grace
sanctify your servants,
forget our many sins,
and be merciful when you will appear at the end of time,
in the Man whom you have appointed to be our judge,
that we may receive your grace and mercy,
and praise you with all your holy ones. Amen.

Source: Liturgy of the Blessed Apostles

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

“In your unspeakable grace …” Original: “through Thine unspeakable grace sanctify this sacrifice of Thine, and grant through it power and capability, so that Thou mayest forget our many sins…”

 

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Extend the Right Hand of Heavenly Help

O Lord,
extend your mercy over all your servants everywhere
with the right hand of heavenly help,
that they may seek you with their whole heart,
and obtain what they rightly ask;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gelasian Sacramentary

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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To Witness for Christ

Grant, O merciful God,
that as your holy apostle St. James,
quickly leaving his father and all that he had,
was obedient to the call of your Son Jesus Christ,
and followed him,
and at last cheerfully laid down his life for his gospel’s sake,
so I, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections,
may always be ready to follow your holy commandments,
and whenever your providence will make it my duty,
may readily and cheerfully embrace death,
though armed with his utmost terror,
rather than forsake or deny you.
Let me rejoice in every happy occasion
to testify the sincerity of my love,
by suffering for your truth,
and let the firm belief of those glorious eternal rewards
which you have prepared for those who lay down their lives for your sake,
support me under all the cruelties of the most merciless persecutors.
Grant this,
O blessed Lord,
who died for me,
and rose again,
and now are seated at the right hand of the Father,
to intercede for me,
and all your faithful disciples. Amen.

Source: Liturgy of St. James, Second Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

 

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