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.

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)

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.

Go in peace. Serve the Lord with gladness.

Source: A Collection of Prayers, 2019

A Personal Litany

Lord Jesus Christ,
humble, gentle and loving Savior,
help me resist temptations of pride,
help me see the needs of others,
help me to be a servant,
help me to reflect your love,
help me to speak your truth in love,
help me to think beyond the moment,
help me to trust your plan as it unfolded in the past,
help me to trust your plan as it stands in the present,
help me to trust your plan, and to have confidence in what you have in mind for the future,
help me to not be afraid,
help me to not be angry,
help me to not be selfish,
give me confidence in you,
give me the peace of your Spirit,
give me the power to love, serve and give
from the love, service and gifts you have given me.

Lamb of God, you have taken away the sin of the world.
King of kings, you sit at your Father’s right hand, ruling all things.
Mighty God, you rule over all things for the good of your Church.

Tender Savior, you have promised to be with us, with me, always.

Have mercy.
Strengthen my faith.
Grant me peace.

Source: 2019 Paul C. Stratman


Prayer Reflecting on the Shooting in Colorado, May 7

Colorado school shooting: 8 students injured at STEM ...

Guard us, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
preserve us from violent men.
Psalm 140

O Lord, you know the minds of all,
and your plans are often hidden from us.
But you have given us this promise:
“For those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.”
(Romans 8:28)
We cry out to you,
calm the rage of all who plan evil.
Heal the wounded.
Comfort those who mourn.
Strengthen those who serve.
Draw us closer to you.
Move our hearts to love and mercy,
and our actions to compassion and service.
Remind us all that
“the present form of this world is passing away,” (1 Corinthians 7:31)
and that around your throne,
Good Shepherd,
you will wipe every tear from our eyes. (Revelation 7:17)

© 2017 Paul C. Stratman
on A Collection of Prayers

Reposted from Prayer reflecting on the Shooting in Las Vegas, October 1, 2017

A Prayer about Mothers

Our Father in heaven,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth
receives its name,
you describe your tender comfort
as being like a mother’s comfort.
We give thanks for mothers,
who comfort,
who teach,
who nurture,
who feed,
who love.
Continue to give them patience and strength.
Receive the cares they cast on you.
We pray for children;
open their eyes
to their mothers’ open arms,
to their mothers’ love,
to their mothers’ sacrifices
of time and effort.
We pray for those who weep
when they think of their mothers,
and mothers who weep
when they think of their children.
With your love
heal broken hearts,
and guide us with your love
to remove the walls we often build
between ourselves
and those who should be closest.
Fill the void of loss
with friends, family,
and with your own assurance
of your tender care;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

© 2017 Paul C. Stratman

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A Prayer about Mothers by Paul C. Stratman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.

“from whom…” is a reference to Ephesians 3:15.

“You describe…” is a reference to Isaiah 66:13

“Receive the cares…” is a reference to 1 Peter 5:7

The last section “We pray for those who weep…” is in part a reflection on Psalm 27:10.

See also “A Prayer about Fathers.”

The painting The Madonna of the Pinks, Raphael, probably before 1507 was chosen simply to be a depiction of a mother with a child.

The Resurrection of our Lord, Easter Day

Lord Jesus,
Son of Man,
crucified but raised again,
you have swallowed up death forever
and have revealed to us the mystery
of your resurrection
and of our resurrection that is yet to come.
Let this good news
of your victory over death and the grave
drive out all doubt and unbelief
and fill us with all eagerness and joy;
you are the King of Glory and the Lord of Life,
and you live and reign
with your Father and the Holy Spirit,
worthy of all power and wealth
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise,
now and forever.

Source: Prayer for Easter Day, Series C, from Now and Forever: New Collects for Modern Lectionaries, copyright © 2019 Paul C. Stratman


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Now and Forever: Easter Sampler

Now and Forever: New Collects for Modern Lectionaries is a complete set of prayers written for the Sunday and Festival themes in the Revised Common Lectionary. It is usable in worship, and the 208 prayers can also be used devotionally through the seasons of the church year.

To introduce the book, we present Now and Forever: Easter Sampler, which includes prayers from the Easter Vigil through the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd). Individuals and congregations are free to use the prayers on a trial basis, and invited to purchase through Amazon.com where it is available in paperback and Kindle formats.



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Passion Sunday

Ecce Homo by Antonio Ciseri

In some traditions, the Sunday of Holy Week is called Passion Sunday, and the Sunday service features a reading of the whole passion history from one of the gospels. The following prayers may be used as the Prayer of the Day, or as a prayer before or after the reading of the Passion Sunday Gospel.

A (with the Gospel: Matthew 26:1—27:66)

Merciful Father, your only Son fulfilled the Scriptures, bore our sins, and was forsaken so that you would not forsake us because of our sins. Turn your ear to us, come quickly to our rescue, and be our rock and our fortress; through Jesus Christ our Lord.*

B (with the Gospel: Mark 14:1—15:47)

Lord Almighty, you hear the needy and do not despise your captive people. Your only Son prepared all things so that he could offer himself as a sacrifice for sin by his passion and death. Keep us mindful of your great love that we may live as your free people; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

C (with the Gospel: Luke 22:1—23:56)

Merciful Father, your only Son endured betrayal, mockery, injustice, suffering and death to deliver us and save us. In your unfailing love hear our cries for mercy and fill us with your love, that we become strong in heart and hope in you in good times and bad; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

*The long termination may be used with these prayers if desired: “through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.”

Source: Now and Forever (see below), © 2019 Paul C. Stratman


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Prayer for Psalm 14

Most wise God,
look upon our foolish world with mercy.
Preserve your truth among us,
enlighten us with the wisdom of your Word,
and deliver us through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Paul C. Stratman, 2018

May be used under a a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

For the Commemoration of Musicians

Written for the commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach, 1750; Heinrich Schütz, 1672; George Frederick Handel, 1759; musicians, July 28. 

Paul C. Stratman at the Bach statue near St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany

Jesus, help us
as we work to sing your praise,
not just for beauty,
but for the instruction
and edification of our neighbor
with the message of your holy Gospel.
We give thanks
for the many artists,
musicians and poets
who keep your Word
before our eyes
and in our ears.
Even though many of them
now enjoy the eternal pleasure
of singing  your praise
at your right hand,
their songs of praise to you
are still heard here on earth.
When we make music,
help us to put away
all thoughts of competition,
jealousy, and glory for ourselves.
Instead, turn our thoughts to
doing all of our work,
striving for excellence,
bearing your message,
and making all of our music
to the glory of God alone.

© 2016 Paul C. Stratman

Creative Commons License
Prayer for the Commemoration of Musicians by Paul C. Stratman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.

“Jesus, help us” recalls Johann Sebastian Bach’s practice of writing “J. J.” or “Jesu, juva,” “Jesus, help” on the top of his manuscripts.

“for the instruction and edification of our neighbor” recalls Bach’s preface to his Orgelbüchlein.

“now enjoy the eternal pleasure…” is a reference to Psalm 16:11

“turn our thoughts to…” is a reference to 1 Corinthians 10:31

“to the glory of God alone” recalls Johann Sebastian Bach’s practice of writing “S. D. Gl.” or “Soli Deo gloria,” “to the glory of God alone” on the bottom of his manuscripts.