“God Be in My Head…” Prayers from Old Sarum

"God Be in My Head..." Prayers from Old Sarum by [Stratman, Paul]The Sarum Rite, also called the Use of Salisbury, was a variation of the Roman Rite developed in the 1100s that was known to be high in ceremony. It also had a wealth of richly worded prayers that have influenced Christian worship ever since. Many prayers from the Sarum Rite were used in the Book of Common Prayer. This book gathers prayers from the original Sarum Missals, Breviaries and Psalters and presents them in a single collection in contemporary liturgical English, and may be useful in public or private devotions.

NOTE: This volume also contains all the psalm prayers from the book Psalm Prayers from Sarum.

Available in paperback and for Kindle from Amazon.com.

For Whitsunday (Pentecost)

O God the Trinity,
your name is wonderful.
You purify the depths of the heart from vices
and make it whiter than the snow.
Give us your compassion.
Renew our hearts by your Holy Spirit
so that we may declare your praise.
Strengthen us by your righteous and royal Spirit
and give us a place in the heavenly Jerusalem;
through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Source: Sarum Rite

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

For the Spread of Christ’s Kingdom

Almighty God and heavenly Father,
in your infinite love and goodness towards us,
you have given to us your only and most dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ,
to be our Redeemer and the Author of eternal life.
After he completed our redemption by his death
and ascended into heaven,
he sent his apostles, prophets,
evangelists, teachers,
and pastors abroad into the world.
By their work and ministry
he gathered together a great flock from all parts of the world,
for the eternal praise of your holy name.
For these great benefits of your eternal goodness
we give our most humble thanks.
We praise and worship you,
and we humbly pray,
by your blessed Son,
grant to all your people everywhere
who call on your holy name,
that we may continue to show ourselves thankful to you
for these and all your other benefits,
and that we may daily increase
and go forward in knowledge and faith
in you and your Son by the Holy Spirit,
so that your holy name may be forever glorified,
and your blessed kingdom enlarged;
through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
now and forever. Amen.

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

Shortened version:

Almighty God and heavenly Father, in your infinite love and goodness towards us, you have given us your only and most beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who sent his apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and pastors abroad into the world. Grant that all your people everywhere may  go forward in knowledge and faith in you and your Son by the Holy Spirit, so that your holy name may be forever glorified and your blessed kingdom enlarged;  through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. 

Sarum Kyrie eleison. No. 9.

IX.

Maker of the world, King eternal, have mercy on us.

Fount of boundless pity, have mercy on us.

Drive away from us all that is harmful, have mercy on us.

Christ, the Light of the world, giver of life, have mercy on us.

Look on those wounded by the craft of the devil; have mercy on us.

You preserve those who believe on you, and you strengthen them, have mercy on us.

Your Father, you, and the Spirit proceeding from both, have mercy on us.

We know you to be one God, and three persons, have mercy on us.

Be present with us, O Counselor, that we may live in you, have mercy on us.

Source: The Sarum Missal in English, Part II, Alcuin Club Collections, No. XI

Sarum Kyrie eleison. No. 8.

VIII.

O Lord, maker of all creatures, have mercy on us.

Blot out our sins, and without ceasing have mercy on us.

Do not let humanity perish, which you have made, but in your pity, have mercy on us.

O Christ, only Son of the Father, born of a virgin, have mercy on us.

By your blood you saved a lost world from death, have mercy on us.

Hear the prayers of those who now call on you,  have mercy on us.

Kindly Spirit, fill us with your grace, have mercy on us.

You procede continually from the Father and the Son, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, three in unity, adored together,  have mercy on us.

Free us from the bonds of our sins. Redeem us from death, have mercy on us.

Let us all now proclaim and sing your praise, O God, have mercy on us.

Source: The Sarum Missal in English, Part II, Alcuin Club Collections, No. XI

Sarum Kyrie eleison. No. 7.

VII.

Almighty King, God, creator of all things, have mercy on us.

Fountain and source of all good, light everlasting, have mercy on us.

O good ruler, let your loving-kindness save us, and have mercy on us.

O Christ, the brightness of God, the strength and wisdom of the Father, have mercy on us.

You made humanity in your image, and you restored us when we fell, have mercy on us.

Do not condemn the work of your hands, Jesus, have mercy on us.

Holy Spirit of the Father and the Son, the bond of love, have mercy on us.

Kindling fire, proceeding from the Father and the Son, fountain of life, purifying force, have mercy on us.

Purger of sin, most excellent bestower of pardon,
blot out our offences, enlighten us with your holy gifts,
O gracious Spirit, have mercy on us.

Source: The Sarum Missal in English, Part II, Alcuin Club Collections, No. XI

Sarum Kyrie eleison. No. 6.

VI. On Holy Cross Day especially.

O Light, source of the highest light, God over all, have mercy on us. 

All things came to be at your command, have mercy on us.

You alone can have mercy, have mercy on us.

Redeemer of humanity and our salvation, have mercy on us.

By your cross you redeemed us from everlasting death, have mercy on us.

You are the Word of the Father, the author of mercy, and the Light of truth, have mercy on us.

O Counselor, Holy Spirit, God, have mercy on us.

You are our compassionate physician, have mercy on us.

O Holy Trinity and unity, always, have mercy on us.

Source: The Sarum Missal in English, Part II, Alcuin Club Collections, No. XI