Litany of Repentance

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

O Christ, hear us.

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

Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Incarnate Lord,
Lover of souls,
Savior of sinners,
who came to seek and save those who were lost,
who fasted for them forty days and nights, have mercy on us.

By your tenderness towards Adam when he fell,
by your faithfulness to Noah in the ark,
by your remembrance of Lot in the midst of sinners,
by your mercy on the Israelites in the desert,
by your forgiveness of David after his confession,
by your patience with the Ninevites when they repented in sackcloth and ashes,
by sending John to go before you as the preacher of repentance,
by your testimony about the tax collector who hung his head and smote his breast,
by your welcome given to the returning Prodigal,
by your gentleness with the woman of Samaria,
by your mercy towards Zacchæus, leading him to return what he had stolen,
by your pity on the woman taken in adultery,
by your mercy to Magdalene, who loved much,
by your converting look, at which Peter wept,
by your gracious words to the thief on the cross,  have mercy on us.

We poor sinners pray, hear us, Lord God.

That we may submit to your loving discipline,
that we may bring forth fruits of repentance,
that sin may not reign in our mortal bodies,
that we may work out our salvation with fear and trembling, hear us, Lord God.

Son of God, hear us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; grant us your peace.

O Christ, hear us.

O Lord, hear our prayer.
and let our cry come before you.

Let us pray.

O Lord, give your faithful people pardon and peace that they may be cleansed from all their offences and serve you with a quiet mind; through Christ our Lord.

Source: Based on ‘Litany of Penance’ by John Henry Newman.

The Litany of Gelasius

Gelasius was the bishop of Rome (or Pope) from 492-496, and is best known for his Gelasian Sacramentarythe second oldest known book of Christian liturgy. 

Hear us, Lord, and have mercy.

With every confidence
we call on the Father of the Only-Begotten,
the Son of the eternal Father,
and our Lord the Holy Spirit.
Lord, have mercy.

For the Church of the living God
everywhere throughout the world,
we appeal to the God who is rich in goodness.
Lord, have mercy.

For the servants of God
who stand at his sacred altar
and for all people who worship the true God,
we offer our prayers to Christ the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For those who preach the Word of truth as they ought,
we pray with special earnestness to God’s Word
who was made flesh for his infinite wisdom.
Lord, have mercy.

For all who keep themselves pure in soul and body
for the sake of the kingdom of heaven,
who spend themselves in God’s service,
we implore the Giver of spiritual gifts.
Lord, have mercy.

For Christians in public office
who labor for justice and equity,
we pray to the omnipotent God.
Lord, have mercy.

For mild and pleasant weather,
for rain at the time it is needed,
for healthy and gentle winds
and for the seasons to follow one another to our advantage,
we pray to the Ruler of the universe.
Lord, have mercy.

For those who have acquired some knowledge of Christianity
and the desire to grow in God’s heavenly grace,
we beg the all-powerful God to show his mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

For those afflicted by the frailty and weakness of human nature,
we ask our Redeemer’s mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

For those who are forced to live abroad,
those persecuted by rulers who wield their power unjustly,
and those harassed by enemies,
we pray to our Lord and Savior.
Lord, have mercy.

For those deceived by false teaching and crooked reasoning,
and for those sunk in superstition,
we make our prayer to the God of truth.
Lord, have mercy.

For those whose faith moves them to help the poor in their needs,
we pray to the Lord to show his great mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

For all who enter the doors of this holy house,
and for those assembled here now in humble devotion,
we offer our prayers to the Lord in his glory.
Lord, have mercy.

For the cleansing of our bodies and souls
and the forgiveness of all our sins,
we pray to the God of boundless compassion.
Lord, have mercy.

In remembrance of all the faithful,
especially those ministers of the Lord who have served this church,
we give thanks to the Lord of the spirits and Judge of all flesh.
Thanks be to God.

Bodies dead to sin and souls alive by faith:
Grant us, O Lord.

Holy fear and true love:
Grant us, O Lord.

Lives that please you, deaths that cling to you:
Grant us, O Lord.

Brothers and sisters in the faith to console us,
angels to carry us to peace:
Grant us, O Lord.

Our lives and all that we have we owe to the Lord.
He gave them, he increased them,
he gives us the means to sustain them.
To his mercy and providence we commend ourselves.
Lord, have mercy. Amen.

Source: Unknown. Included in a handout at a past WELS National Worship Conference, “Being General in the General Prayer.” Modified and edited. The petition “In remembrance…” is modified to be a thanksgiving in remembrance of the faithful departed.

Note: There are several versions of the Litany of Pope Gelasius. The one presented here was chosen for A Collection of Prayers because it is the longest and most complete in its petitions when compared with the original below. Other versions of the Litany of Pope Gelasius can be viewed at these links below:

Original in Latin:


Dicamus omnes: Domine exaudi et miserere

Patrem Unigeniti et Dei Filium Genitoris ingeniti et Sanctum Deum Spiritum fidelibus animis invocamus — Kyrie eleison

I — Pro immaculata Dei vivi ecclesia, per totum orbem constituta divinae bonitatis opulentiam deprecamur — Kyrie eleison

II — Pro sanctis Dei magni sacerdotibus et ministris sacri altaris cunctisque Deum verum colentibus populis Christum Dominum supplicamus — Kyrie eleison

III — Pro universis rette tractantibus verbum veritatis multiformem Verbi Dei sapien­tiam peculiariter obsecramus — Kyrie eleison

IV — Pro his qui se mente et corpore propter caelorum regna castificant, et spiritalium labore desudant, largitorem spiritalium munerum obsecramus — Kyrie eleison

V — Pro religiosis principibus omnique militia eorum, qui iustitiam et rectum iudicium diligunt, Domini potentiam obsecramus — Kyrie eleison

VI — Pro iucunditate serenitatis et opportunitate pluviae atque aurarum vitalium blan­dimentis ac diversorum temporum prospero cursu rectorem mundi Dominum depre­camur — Kyrie eleison

VII — Pro his quos prima christiani nominis initiavit agnitio, quos iam desiderium gratiae caelestis accendit, omnipotentis Dei misericordiam obsecramus — Kyrie eleison

VIII — Pro his quos humanae infirmitatis fragilitas, et quos nequitiae spiritalis invidia, vel varius saeculi error involvit, Redemptoris nostri misericordiam imploramus — Kyrie eleison

IX — Pro his, quos peregrinationis necessitar, aut iniquae potestatis oppressio vel hostilitatis vexat aerumna, Salvatorem Dominum supplicamus — Kyrie eleison

X — Pro iudaica falsitate… aut haeretica pravitate deceptis vel gentilium superstitione perfusis veritatis Dominum deprecamur — Kyrie eleison

XI — Pro operariis pietatis et his, qui necessitatibus laborantum fraterna caritate subve­niunt, misericordiarum Dominum deprecamur — Kyrie eleison

XII — Pro omnibus intrantibus in haec sanctae domus Domini atria, qui religioso corde et supplici, devotione convenerunt, Dominum gloriae deprecamur — Kyrie eleison

XIII — Pro emundatione animarum corporumque nostrorum, et omnium venia peccatorum clementissimum Dominum supplicamus — Kyrie eleison

XIV — Pro refrigerio fidelium animarum, praecipue sanctorum Domini sacerdotum, qui huic ecclesiae praefuerunt catholicae, Dominum spirituum et universae carnis iudi­cem deprecamur — Kyrie eleison

XV — Mortificatam vitiis carnera et viventem fide animam — praesta, Domine, praesta

XVI — Castum timorem et veram dilectionem — praesta, Domine, praesta

XVII — Gratum vitae ordinem et probabilem exitum — praesta, Domine, praesta

XVIII — Angelum pacis et solatia sanctorum — praesta, Domine, praesta.

Nosmetipsos et omnia nostra, quae orto quae aucta per Dominum ipso auctore suscipimus, ipso custode retinemus, ipsiusque misericordiae et arbitrio providentiae commendamus

— Domine miserere.



A Short Litany

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

O Christ, hear us.

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

Be gracious to us. Spare us, good Lord.
Be gracious to us. Help us, good Lord.

From every sin,
from every error,
from every evil,
from the devil’s lies and cunning,
from eternal death, deliver us, good Lord.

By the mystery of the holy incarnation,
by your holy birth,
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
by your agony and bloody sweat,
by your cross and suffering,
by your death and burial,
by your resurrection and ascension,
by the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Counselor,
in all times of trouble,
in all times of prosperity,
in the hour of death, help us, good Lord. 

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, hear us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; grant us your peace.

Source: The Short Litany, prescribed for Good Friday, in Allgemeines evangelisches Gesang- und Gebetbuch zum Kirchen und Hausgebrauch, Hamburg, 1846, p. 536-537

This litany is shortened from Martin Luther’s Latin Litany Corrected, which is an adaptation of the Litany of All Saints.

Original in German:

Kyrie eleison:
Christe eleison!
Kyrie eleison:

Christe erhöre uns!

Herr Gott Vater im Himmel: Erbarm Dich über uns!
Herr Gott Sohn, der Welt Heiland: Erbarm Dich über uns!
Herr Gott heiliger Geist: Erbarm Dich über uns!

Sei uns gnädig: Verschon uns, lieber Herre Gott!
Sei uns gnädig: Hilf uns, lieber Herre Gott!

Vor allen Sünden:
Vor allem Irrsal;
Vor allem Uebel:
Vor des Teufels Trug und List;
Vor dem ewigen Tod: Behüt uns, lieber Herre Gott!

Durch das Geheimniß Deiner heiligen Menschwerdung:
Durch Deine heilige Geburt;
Durch Deine Taufe, Fasten und Versuchung:
Durch Deinen Todeskampf und blutigen Schweiß;
Durch Dein Kreuz und Leiden:
Durch Deinen Tod und Begräbnis) ;
Durch Dein heiliges Auferstehn und Himmelfahrt:
Durch die Zukunft des heiligen Geistes;
In allen Stunden der Anfechtung:
In der Zeit der Wohlfahrt;
In unserer letzten Noch: Hilf uns, lieber Herre Gott!

O Jesu Christe, Gottes Sohn: Erhör uns, lieber Herre Gott!

O Du Gottes Lamm, das der Welt Sünde trägt: Erbarm Dich über uns!

O Du Gottes Lamm! das der Welt Sünde trägt: Verleih uns steten Fried!

A Prayer in Need: Lord, Have Mercy

Lord, have mercy.

In all our needs…
In all all our hurts…
In all our anxiety…

Lord, have mercy.

With all our questions…
With all we know…
With all we don’t know…

Lord, have mercy.

For healing…
For peace…
For a stronger trust in your Word and promise…

Lord, have mercy.

To calm our doubts…
To soothe our fears…
To bear our griefs and carry our sorrows…

Lord, have mercy.

Help, save, comfort, forgive, strengthen and heal us by your grace.


Source: Free prayer, reproduced from memory. © 2017 Paul C. Stratman. Some influence from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

Quote: “When ‘Lord, have mercy’ is all you can say, it’s what you must say.”

Give Us Your Strength and Protection


Lord God, heavenly Father,
you know that we are set
in the midst of so many and great dangers,
that by reason of the frailty of our nature
we cannot always stand upright:
Grant us such strength and protection,
to support us in all danger,
and carry us through all temptations;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Martin Luther, the German Litany, Third Collect, [Die Gebete Luthers, #5]



Look upon Our Needs

800px-lucas_cranach_d-c384-_-_martin_luther2c_1528_28veste_coburg29_28cropped29Lord God almighty,
you do not disregard
the cries of the poor,
and you do not despise
the longing of troubled hearts.
Look upon our prayers
which we bring to you
in our needs
and hear us graciously,
so that everything
that the devil
and the sinful world set against us
comes to nothing,
and that they may be converted
by your good counsel,
so that we may be undisturbed
by any affliction,
thank you in your congregation,
and praise you at all times;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Martin Luther, the German Litany, First Collect, [Die Gebete Luthers, #3]


Grant Us Grace to Serve You

800px-lucas_cranach_d-c384-_-_martin_luther2c_1528_28veste_coburg29_28cropped29Lord God, heavenly Father,
you do not desire the death of a sinner,
but rather that he should turn from his evil way and live:
We pray,
graciously turn from us those punishments
which we have deserved by our sins,
and grant us grace from now on
to serve you in holiness
and pureness of living;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Martin Luther, the German Litany, Second Collect, [Die Gebete Luthers, #4]



At Sea or in Danger

rembrandt_christ_in_the_storm_on_the_lake_of_galileeO Lord, you stilled the raging of the sea.
Hear us, save us, and do not let us perish.
O blessed Savior, you saved your disciples
when they were about to perish in a storm.
Hear us and save us.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Lord, hear us.
Christ, hear us.

God the Father, God the + Son, God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us,
save us now and evermore.

Source: Modified from Book of Common Prayer, (British, 1922?) Short Prayers in Respect of a Storm.

Original in traditional English:

THOU, O Lord, that stillest the raging of the sea: hear, hear us, and save us, that we perish not.

O blessed Saviour, that didst save thy disciples ready to perish in a storm: hear us, and save us, we beseech thee.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

O Lord, hear us.
O Christ, hear us.

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, have mercy upon us, save us now and evermore. Amen.

Litany for the Church

Lord, be merciful to us.
Heal our souls, for we have sinned against you.

Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
(Psalm 85:7)

Turn again, O Lord,
and be gracious to your servants.

May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
(Psalm 33:22)

Let us pray for the Holy Church of God:
May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. (Psalm 51:18)

May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels. (Psalm 122:7)

May your priests be clothed with your righteousness;
may your faithful people sing for joy.
(Psalm 132:9)

Let us pray for our pastors and teachers:
Never take the word of truth from their mouths. (Psalm 119:43)

That they will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of your name, O Lord our God. Amen. (Micah 5:4)

Source: Attributed to Abendgebet of the German Lutheran Church in Book of Prayers for Church and Home, ed. by Paine and Thompson, Philadelphia: Christian Education Press, 1962, p. 57.

Modified with scriptures taken or adapted from the New International Version, 2011.


Christian Prayer, Banner

A Litany

Do not remember, Lord, our offences or the offences of our forefathers,
and do not take vengeance for our sins:
Spare us, good Lord.

Spare your servants, whom you have redeemed with your most precious blood,
and do not be angry with us forever:
Spare us, O Lord.

From the guilt and burden of our sins,
from the stings and terrors of conscience,
from the illusions and assaults of the enemy,
and from the bitter pains of eternal death:
Deliver us, O Lord.

From all impatience under your discipline,
from dejection of spirit and lack of trust in your mercies,
from the fear of death,
and from the terrors of judgment:
Deliver us, O Lord.

By your many and great mercies,
by the all sufficient merits of your blessed Son, Jesus Christ,
by his agony and bloody sweat,
by his bitter cross and passion,
by his glorious resurrection and ascension,
by his continual intercession for us at your right hand,
and by the graces and comforts of the Holy Spirit:
Deliver us, O Lord.

In all the changes and trials of this mortal life,
in all time of our tribulation, and in all time of our wealth,
in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment:
Deliver us, O Lord.

We poor sinners pray, hear us, O Lord:
Son of God, we pray, hear us.

That it may please you to look on us with the eye of your mercy,
to give us a hearty faith and confidence in you,
and in all our dangers and adversities
to stretch forth the right hand of your majesty,
to help and defend us,
and to keep us in perpetual peace and safety:
We pray, hear us, O Lord.

That it may please you to remember us with your favor,
and to give us grace to follow the good examples of your servants
who have departed this life in your faith and fear,
that with them we may become partakers of your heavenly kingdom:
We pray, hear us, O Lord.

That it may please you to give us an entire resignation to your holy will,
to wean our affection from things below,
to fill us with ardent desires after heaven,
and finally, to make us partakers of all your blessings and promises in Christ Jesus:
We pray, hear us, O Lord.

That it may please you to fill our souls with the peace and love of God,
that when you call us to walk through the valley and shadow of death,
we may fear no evil but fall gently asleep in Jesus
and wake up in the glory of your presence:
We pray, hear us, O Lord.

Son of God, we pray, hear us
We pray, hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world:
Have mercy on us.

O Christ, hear us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us, and grant us your peace.

Almighty God, you accept the penitence and confession of the contrite that they may share in your mercy and live. Be merciful and gracious to us, forgive us all our sins, establish us in your grace, grant us the comforts of the Holy Spirit, and bring us to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Source: Modified from A Morning Litany, Order of Worship for the Reformed Church in the United States, 1866, p. 296-298.

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