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 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

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]


Now and


Mozarabic Christmas Prayer and Acclamation

Glory to you always,
highest Father and Lord.
Today you sent from the heavens
our Lord Jesus Christ
as our Savior,
whom you foretold
by ancient prophets,
and now have revealed him
as the son of the virgin Mary.

Today, lying in the manger,
is the bread of eternal life,
and a great light
shines on nations
who walked in darkness.

Today the peace for the nations
comes down from heaven,
and the gift of eternity
is granted to us all.

Today the divine treasury
is opened up for us,
and the light of the Holy Spirit
shines upon all.

Now the true light
comes into the world.
He restores sight to the blind
and health to the paralyzed
and strength to  the infirm
and firmness to the weak.

Today the true resurrection
of the dead is brought forth,
the way, the truth
and the life of the living.

Therefore we pray, true Trinity, our God,
that as you share with us
the joys of your nativity,
you would also lead us
to live lives to your glory
by this yearly devotion.
So that after this life in the flesh
we may join with all the saints
in the glorious fatherland of the heavens;
through your mercy, our God,
you are blessed
and live and rule all things
now and forever.
R.   Amen.

Source: Freely translated from the Mozarabic Rite, from a document at the University of St. Thomas.

Original in Latin:

Tibi semper gloria, summe Pater ac Domine, qui hodie e caelis Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum nobis salvatorem mittere dignatus es, quem prophetorum olim vaticiniis intonasti, et nunc ex Maria Virgine natum manifestasti.

Hodie nobis est in praesepio positus, perpetuae vitae panis, et lux magna reddita est terris. 

Hodie pax civium est prolata supernorum, et nobis omnibus conceditur perpetuitatis donum. 

Hodie divinus est nobis reseratus thesaurus, et lux reddita est omnibus, quem prodiit Spiritus Sanctus.

Nunc verum lumen apparuit mundo, qui medicus est caecorum, et sanitas paraliticorum, atque infirmantium virtus, et debilium firmamentum.

Hodie vera est prolata resurrectio mortuorum, via, veritas et vita viventium.

Quaesumus igitur, vera Trinitas, Deus noster, ut qui nos fecisti nativitatis tuae suscipere gaudia, facias, quoque annua devotione immaculatam habere vitam.  Ut post carnae claustra mereamur adunari cum omnibus sanctis in caelorum patria gloriosa.

R. Amen.


Mozarabic, ad.

New Birth and Freedom in Christ


Almighty God,
grant that the new birth
of your Son in the flesh
redeems us from the old slavery
under the yoke of sin,
so we may receive him with joy
as our Redeemer,
and that when when he comes to judge
we may see Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
forever and ever.

Source:  Wilehelm Loehe, Agende für christliche Gemeinden des lutherischen Bekenntnisses, 1844

Original in German:

Allmächtiger Gott, wir bitten Dich, verleihe, daß die neue Geburt Deines Sohnes im Fleische uns erlöse, welche die alte Dienstbarkeit unterm Joch der Sünden gefangen halt, auf daß wir Ihn als einen Erlöser mit Freuden aufnehmen, auch, wenn Er zum Gericht kommen wird, sicher mögen anschauen JEsum Christum, unsern Herrn, der mit Dir in Einigkeit des heiligen Geistes lebt und herrschet, wahrer Gott, immer und ewiglich! Amen.

This is a German translation of the Gelasian collect for Christmas Day:

Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, ut Unigeniti tui nova per carnem nativitas liberet quos sub peccati iugo vetusa servitus tenet; per…




Our Immanuel

We thank you,
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
that you are the Word
and living image of the eternal Father,
our Immanuel.
You took on yourself our human nature,
and you support and protect
your Christendom
against your enemy, the devil.
Give us us the light of your holy Word.
Forgive us our sins and give us eternal life.
Be our mediator and intercessor,
and plead for us.
Hear and help us as you have promised:
“Come to me, all who labor
and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.”
Have mercy on us.
Pray for us before your everlasting Father,
sanctify and rule in us with your Holy Spirit.
Protect us against all treachery and terror,
and the lies and murder of the devil
so that with pure and joyful hearts
we may serve you;
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
you live and reign
forever and ever.

Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 284. Translated for A Collection of Prayers.

“Word” is a reference to John 1:1

“living image of the eternal Father” may be a reference to Colossians 1:15 or Hebrews 1:3

“Immanuel” is a reference to Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23.

“Mediator” and “Pray for us before your everlasting Father” is a reference to Hebrews 9:15.

“Intercessor” is a reference to Hebrews 9:24.

“Come to me,…” is a reference to Matthew 11:28.

“lies and murder of the devil” is based on John 8:44.

Original in German

Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christe, du Sohn des lebendigen Gottes, der du bist das Wort und Ebenbild des ewigen Vaters und unser Immanuel, daß du menschliche Natur hast angenomme, und erhältst und beschirmst deine Christenheit, wider die Teufel, deine Feinde, gibst uns und erhältst das Licht deines heiligen Worts, vergibst uns unsere Sünde und gibst uns das ewige Leben und bist unser Mittler, Fürbitter, und Fürsprecher und willt uns erhören und helfen wie du gesprochen hast; Kommet her zu mir Alle die ihr mühselig und be laden seid ich will euch erquicken; wir bitten dich, erbarme dich unser, bitte für uns deinen ewigen Vater, heilige und regiere uns mit deinem heiligen Geiste, beschirme uns wider alle List und Gewalt, Lügen und Mord des bösen Geistes, auf daß wir mit einem reinen und fröhlichen Herzen dir allezeit dienen mögen, der du mit dem Vater und dem heiligen Geiste lebest und regierest von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit, Amen.



Christmas Communion Prayer

O merciful God,
open the depths of our souls
that we may receive
the immortality of our spirits
through the new birth of your Son
by the power of his body
and precious blood;
for he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God,
forever and ever.

Source:  Wilehelm Loehe, Agende für christliche Gemeinden des lutherischen Bekenntnisses, 1844

Original in German:

O gütiger Gott, eröffne uns den Abgrund unsrer Seelen, daß wir die Unsterblichkeit unsers Gemüthes mögen vernehmen durch die neue Geburt Deines Sohnes, in der Kraft Seines Fleisches und theuern Blutes, der mit Dir lebt und herrschet…



Christmas Acclamation

KAPraise and adoration
be to our God,
for he is good.
His grace and mercy
fill the heavens and earth.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving,
and joyfully praise
our creator.

As a father,
he loves us,
his children.
Sing his praises
with joyful thanks
in love and devotion!
Let us love him
who has loved us
since the world began.
Who would not
love God from the heart?

We can not give him
adequate praise.
Still, in heaven
he receives with goodwill
our joyful songs of praise
and pours much joy into our souls,
whenever we thank him,
whenever we live in him.

Sing to Jesus Christ
praise, thanks and glory,
for he came from heaven
to destroy sin and death for us
and by his precious, willing sacrifice,
restored innocence and peace.

Already here on earth
he renews joy and life to us
by his grace.
Still greater bliss is prepared there
for those who love him
when one day they will be renewed in his image,
made new and holy,
and awakened from death.

Let us rejoice in our holy God!
Let us rejoice in our eternal God!
How blessed it is to praise him
here, and then in heaven.
He is our holiness!
He is our life!
He always loves us, his children.

Source: Schleswig-Hosteinsche Kirchen-Agende, 1797, Am Feste der Geburt Jesu,  p. 62-64, translated for A Collection of Prayers.




Direct Our Ways

O almighty and eternal God,
mercifully direct our ways
that we may walk in your law
and abound in good works;
through your beloved Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one true God, now and forever.

Source: Veit Dietrich

Source of this version: Freely modified from The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913, (Sunday after Christmas)