For Your Love

O Lord,
I pray that the fiery and sweet strength of your love
may draw my soul to you from all things that are under heaven,
that I may die for love of your love
as you did die for the love of my love. Amen.

Source: Francis of Assisi, 13th Century
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

For the Brothers

Lord Jesus,
you did choose your apostles to the number of twelve,
and if one of them did betray you,
the others, remaining united to you,
preached your holy Gospel,
filled with one and the same inspiration.
O Lord, look on your church now,
and remember the former days,
when you called your people into one family to uphold faith,
that by them the mystery of your Gospel may be accomplished.
Who will take their place if they give themselves up to the works of darkness
instead of fulfilling their mission and being shining examples for all? Amen.

Source: Francis of Assisi, 13th Century
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

Praise

Now to God,
who has suffered so much for us,
who at once has given us so many good things,
and will yet give so much more,
to this God let every creature who is in heaven or on the earth,
in the sea or in the depth of the abyss,
render praise, glory, honor and blessing.
He is himself our virtue and our strength.
He alone is good, lofty, almighty, admirable, and glorious;
the only holy One, worthy of praise and blessed through ages of ages. Amen.

Source: Francis of Assisi, 13th Century
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

 

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For Grace

O Lord Jesus,
grant us your grace and give us time for repentance.
We want to keep your commandments and do your bidding,
choose the better part and no longer follow evil.
Give us your strength to do this,
O loving Savior,
for your own name’s sake. Amen.

Source: Dan Jeremy, 12th Century
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

 

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For Absent Friends

O blessed Lord,
you have commanded us to love one another.
Just as we have received your undeserved blessings,
may we love everyone in you and for you.

We ask your kindness for all,
but especially for the friends
whom your love has given to us.
Love them, O fountain of love,
and move them to love you
with all their heart,
that they may will, and speak, and do only those things
which are pleasing to you.

Our prayer is cold,
because our love is so feeble,
but you are rich in mercy.
Do not measure your goodness to them by the dullness of our devotion,
but as your kindness surpasses all human affection,
so let your hearing transcend our prayer.
Do what is best for them, according to your will,
that being ruled and protected by you always and everywhere,
they may receive eternal life in the end;
to you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
be all honor and praise for ever and ever. Amen.

Source: St. Anselm, eleventh century
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

Alexander’s Breastplate

This lorica (breastplate) prayer is called “Alexander’s Breastplate” because it is between two poems about Alexander the Great in the Welsh Book of Taliesin.

On the face of the earth
his equal was not born,
Three persons of God,
one gentle Son
in the glorious Trinity.
Son of the Godhead,
Son of the Manhood,
one wonderful Son.
Son of God, a fortress,
Son of the blessed Mary,
Son, Servant, Lord.
Great his destiny,
great God supreme,
in heavenly glory.
Of the race of Adam
and Abraham,
and of the line of David,
the eloquent psalmist,
was he born.
By a word he healed
the blind and deaf
from every ailment;
the gluttonous, vain
iniquitous, vile, perverse,
to rise toward the Trinity
by their redemption.
The Cross of Christ
is our shining breastplate
against every ailment.
Against every hardship
may it certainly be
our city of refuge.

Source: Book of Taliesin, Welsh, 10th-14th Century, excerpt
The Four Ancient Books of Wales, 1868, p. 557-558.

Source of this version: Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church.

 

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Hail, All Glorious Lord!

Hail, all glorious Lord, with holy mirth!
May Church and chancel praise your good counsel,
each chancel and church.
All plains and mountains,
and you three fountains–
two above wind,
and one above earth!
May light and darkness bless you.
Fine silk, green forest confess you.
Thus did Abraham, father
of faith, with joy possess you.
Bird and bee song bless you
among the lilies and roses!
All the old all the young
praise you with joyful tongue
As your praise was once sung
by Aaron and Moses,
Male and female,
the days that are seven,
the stars of heaven,
the air and the ether,
every book and fair letter;
fish in waters fair flowing,
and song and deed glowing,
grey sand and green sward
make your blessing’s award;
and all such as with good
have satisfied stood!
While my own mouth shall bless you
and my Savior confess you.
Hail glorious Lord!

Source: From a 12th century manuscript, “The Black Book of Carmarthen,” in A Celtic Psaltery, by Alfred Perceval Graves, F. A. Stokes Company, New York, 1917.

Source of this version: Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church, © 2018, Paul C. Stratman

 

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Dunkeld Litany

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The litany below is a shortened version of a litany which was sung at public processions of a group of ascetic monks called Culdees. It was used at the ancient Scottish monastery of Dunkeld.

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

God, the Father in heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

You are three, and yet one God, have mercy on us.

Be gracious, free us, Lord.
Be gracious, hear us, Lord.
Be gracious, spare us, Lord.

From every evil,
from every evil inclination,
from every impurity of heart and body,
from a haughty spirit,
from the evil of sickness,
from the snares of the devil,
from enemies to the Christian name,
from destructive storms,
from famine and nakedness,
from thieves and robbers,
from wolves and all dangerous animals,
from floods  of water,
from trials of death,
in the day of judgment, free us, Lord.

By your advent,
by your birth,
by your circumcision,
by your baptism,
by your passion,
by sending the counseling Spirit, free us, Lord.

We sinners pray, free us, Lord.

Holy Father, we pray, hear us.

To give us peace and concord,
to give us life and health,
to give us the fruits of the earth,
to protect our livestock from all pestilence,
to give us favorable weather,
to give us rain at the proper time,
to give us perseverance in good works,
to work true repentance in us,
to move us in charity for those in need,
to give us fervor in your service,
to give all Christian people peace and unity,
to keep us in the true faith and religion,
to preserve and spread your holy church,
to give long life and health to pastors, teachers and all leaders in the church,
to protect the leaders of our land from all enemies and snares.
to give them victory and long life,
to drive out the enemies of Christians from the earth,
to bring them to holy baptism,
to give all Christians your mercy,
to spare us,
to grant us mercy,
to look upon us, we pray, hear us.

Son of God, hear us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us, Lord.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us, Lord.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

Christ conquers,
Christ rules,
Christ commands.

O Christ, hear us.

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

O Christ, give us your grace,
O Christ, give us joy and peace.
O Christ, give us life and salvation.
Amen.

Let us pray.

Our Father…

Let us pray.
Almighty and gracious God, in your majesty remember us. Grant us forgiveness of all sins, increase your heavenly grace to us, and give us your help against all the snares of our enemies, seen and unseen. In the same way, protect our hearts by your command, so that after this mortal life, we may rejoice together with all your saints in the glory of the kingdom of God, serving our Jesus Christ our Lord and Redeemer, who has all power and rule, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Kalendars of Scottish Saints by Alexander Penrose Forbes, Bishop of Brechin, Edmonston and Douglas, Edinburgh, 1872, p. lvi-lxv.

Source of this version: Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church, © 2018, Paul C. Stratman

Note: This litany is very similar to the Litany of All Saints, which was adapted by Martin Luther for his Latin Litany Corrected and his German Litany.

 

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For Our Redemption

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Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
for our redemption
you were born and circumcised,
and rejected by the Jews,
betrayed with kiss by Judas,
seized, bound, and led in bonds
to Annas, Caiaphas, Herod, and Pilate,
and you stood before them to be mocked,
smitten with palm and fist,
with the scourge and the reed.

Your face was covered and defiled with spitting,
crowned with thorns,
accused by false witnesses.

You were condemned,
and as an innocent Lamb led to slaughter,
bearing your own cross,
pierced through with nails,
gall and vinegar were given you to drink,
and you were left on the cross
to die the most shameful of deaths,
wounded with a spear.

By these your most sacred pains
you deliver us from all sins and penalties.

By your holy Cross
bring us, miserable sinners,
to that place you brought the repentant thief to yourself;
for you live and with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Source: Sarum Missal, Innocent III, freely modified from  Ancient Collects, ed. William Bright, p. 45#3.

 

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A Prayer for Love

O blessed Lord, you have commanded us to love one another. Just as we have received your undeserved blessings, may we love everyone in you and for you.

We ask your kindness for all, but especially for the friends whom your love has given to us. Love them, O fountain of love, and move them to love you with all their heart, that they may will, and speak, and do only those things which are pleasing to you.

Our prayer is cold, because our love is so feeble, but you are rich in mercy. Do not measure your goodness to them by the dullness of our devotion, but as your kindness surpasses all human affection, so let your hearing transcend our prayer. Do what is best for them, according to your will, that being ruled and protected by you always and everywhere, they may receive eternal life in the end; to you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and praise for ever and ever. Amen.

Source: St. Anselm, eleventh century Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

Variant:

O blessed Lord, who hast commanded us to love one another, grant us grace that having received thine undeserved bounty, we may love everyone in thee and for thee. We implore thy clemency for all; but especially for the friends whom thy love has given to us. Love thou them, O thou fountain of love, and make them to love thee with all their heart, that they may will, and speak, and do those things only which are pleasing to thee.

 

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