For the Commemoration of Musicians

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

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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.
Amen.

© 2016 Paul C. Stratman

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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.

St. Patrick

O almighty God,
in your providence
you choose your servant Patrick
to be the apostle of the Irish people,
that he might bring those
who wandered in darkness and error
to the true light and knowledge of you.
Grant that we may walk in that light,
and come at last to the light of everlasting light;
through the merits of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

Source: Irish Prayer Book

Original in traditional English:

O Almighty God, who in thy providence didst choose thy servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, that he might bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of thee: Grant us so to walk in that light, that we may come at last to the light of everlasting light; through the merits of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord.

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

Enlighten Us

Lord God, heavenly Father,
you prepared your Son
to be our Savior,
a light for the gentiles
and the glory of Israel.
We pray,
enlighten our hearts
that we may know
your grace
and fatherly will
toward us
in Christ,
and through him
be saved forever;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Coburg Agenda, found in  Gebetbuch, enthaltend die sämtlichen Gebete und Seufzer Martin Luther’s, ….Evangelischer Bücher-Verein, 1866, #584.

Herr Gott, himmlischer Vater, der du deinen Sohn uns zum Heiland bereitet hast, daß er der Heiden Licht und der Juden Preis sein soll: wir bitten dich, erleuchte unsre Herzen, daß wir deine Gnade und väterlichen Willen gegen uns in ihm erkennen, und durch ihn ewig selig werden, durch denselben deinen Sohn Jesum Christum, unsern Herrn. Amen.

John the Baptist

The Christian Church remembers St. John the Baptist on his ‘birthday,’ June 24, and also on the commemoration of his death, August 29.

Lord God, dearest Father,
through St. John the Baptist
you have pointed us all
to our one true comfort,
that Jesus Christ, Son of Mary,
is the true Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world.
May we always rejoice in his preaching
and find our comfort in it,
and finally receive eternal blessedness
with John the Baptist and all believers;
through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 293#2. Translated for A Collection of Prayers.

Original in German:

Herr Gott, lieber Vater, der du durch den heiligen Taufer Johannen, uns Allen zu Trost hast bezeugen lassen, daß Jesus Christus, Marien Sohn, das wahre unschuldige Lamm Gottes sei, welches der ganzen Welt Sünde tragen sollte; gib uns, daß wir allezeit solches seines Zeugnisses uns von Herzen freuen und trösten und endlich mit Johanne dem Täufer und allen Gläubigen die ewige Seligkeit erlangen mögen, durch den selbigen deinen Sohn, u.

 

Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage by [Stratman, Paul]Prayers from The Pomeranian Agenda are included in Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage, available from Amazon.com, and also available for Amazon Kindle. It is a collection of prayers from the history of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church from Luther to Loehe. The collection includes prayers by Johannes Bugenhagen, Georg C. Dieffenbach, Veit Dietrich, Matthias Flacius, Wilhelm Loehe, Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, Joachim Mynsinger, Johann G. Olearius, Johann Jacob Rambach, and the early agendas and prayer books of the Austrian, Brunswick, Hamburg, Lueneberg, Norwegian, Nuremberg, Pomeranian, Riga, Russian, Saxon, Schleswig-Holstein, and Swedish Evangelical-Lutheran churches.

Remembering St. Augustine

Giusto di Gand (Joos van Wassenhove), sant'agostino.jpgAugustine was a bishop who lived in Hippo, a city in North Africa on the Mediterranean. He came to faith and was baptized at age 31 after living a wild life and even spending some time in the Manichaean cult. He became one of the most influential writers in the early church and is considered one of the great ‘Doctors of the Church.’ The Christian Church remembers Augustine on August 28.

Hear, Lord, my prayer;
do not let my soul faint under your discipline,
do not let me faint in confessing to you all your mercies,
for you have drawn me out of all my most evil ways,
that you might be my delight
above all the allurements which I once pursued;
that I may most entirely love you,
and clasp your hand with all my affections,
so that you may still rescue me from every temptation,
even to the end.
For lo, O Lord, my King and my God,
I give for your service whatever useful thing my childhood learned,
that I speak, write, read, reckon for your service.
For you granted me your discipline,
while I was learning vanities;
and my sin of delighting in those vanities you have forgiven.

Source: The Confessions of Saint Augustine, Book 1

St. Bartholomew

On August 24 the Christian Church remembers St. Bartholomew. The Mozarabic prayer refers to Jesus’ great commission to all his disciples at the end of the Gospel of Mark (Mark 16:16-18). 

St. Bartholomew by El Greco

Christ,
the Power of God,
and the Wisdom of God,
you gave your holy apostle
Saint Bartholomew
power to tread on serpents and scorpions.
Strengthen us by your grace,
that in your might
we may vanquish and overcome
all our spiritual enemies,
and with pure hearts serve you,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
we worship and glorify you,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Mozarabic Collects.

The New Mozarabic Collects: A Revision and Refreshing of 'Mozarabic Collects' by Charles R. Hale by [Stratman, Paul]

 

The New Mozarabic Collects is available from Amazon.com in paperback and for Kindle.