Saturday, November 28, 2015

Prayers for the end of a Church Year. . . and the beginning of another

When I began as a pastor, there was only THE Lutheran Hymnal (1941).  I learned to know and use that resource very well before eventually introducing Lutheran Worship.  One of the things I miss are the collect and prayer for the end of the Church Year.  TLH directed you to acknowledge the changing of the church's calendar in a special way that I miss.  Maybe you will also appreciate the prayerful address of the end of one church year and the beginning of another.

We thank Thee, Lord God, heavenly Father, that in the past church year Thou hast preserved Thy Word among us in purity and by it effectively quickened our soul; and we beseech Thee, Thou wouldst graciously forgive us all our neglect, unbelief, and disobedience with respect to Thy Word, and continue unto us this precious treasure with Thy blessing forevermore; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.  Amen.

and

O Thou Father of Mercies, we bring unto Thee this day our sacrifice of praise for the innumerable spiritual blessings with which Thou hast favored us in Christ Jesus during the church year now drawing to its close.  Thou hast cause Thy divine Word to be preached to us, which is able to make us wise unto salvation; Thou hast permitted us to enjoy the holy Sacraments for our comfort and sanctification, and hast accompanied the means of grace with the effectual working of Thy Holy Spirit in our hearts.  We bless Thee for Thy goodness and praise Thy holy name; and we beseech Thee, Thou wouldst in mercy forgive us all the sins of the past year for Jesus' sake and gracious preserve the blessed light of Thy Gospel unto us and all Christendom.  Govern us by Thy Holy Spirit, that, receiving Thy Word with gladness and continuing therein all our days, we may be sanctified through Thy truth and finally obtain eternal salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Then as the clock ticks its ways from one Church Year to another, let us also pray:

Almighty Lord God, who hast by Thy grace this day permitted us to enter a new church year, we beseech Thee, grant unto Thy Church Thy Holy Spirit and the wisdom which cometh down from above, that Thy Word, as becometh it, may not be bound but have free course and be preached to the joy and edifying of Christ's holy people, that in steadfast faith we may serve Thee, and in the confession of Thy name abide unto the end; through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.  Amen.

and

O Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, and Only Wise God, Thou hast brought us to the beginning of another church year and we acknowledge with thankfulness all the mercies which Thou hast bestowed upon us from the beginning of our lives to this moment.  We praise Thee for preserving us from day to day, from year to year.  We thank Thee for food and raiment, for health and strength, for kind friends and benefactors, for peace and protection by day and for rest and safety by night. for our many advantages in this favored land, and for all other blessings.  But, above all, we heartily thank Thee for the gift of Thine only-begotten Son to be for men on earth the Savior from sin; for Thy mercy in having called us to salvation through Jesus Christ; for the Church in which Thou hast placed us; for faithful ministers; and for Thy holy Word and the blessed Sacraments.

Do good, we beseech Thee, to the Church, which Thy right hand hath planted, and water it abundantly with the dew of Thy blessing.

Cause the Gospel of Thy dear Son to be preached with wisdom and power, and give us grace meekly to hear and gladly to receive the Word of Christ, our King, that, accepting Him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, our only Redeemer, we may be united unto Thee by faith and walk in the way of Thy Commandments all our days.

Dwell in the hearts of our baptized children, that they may sing hosannas unto Thee; and add to Thy Church daily as believe and are saved.

Prosper all endeavors to spread abroad Thy Gospel in the world.  Show Thy truth unto them that are in error; teach Thy ways unto the wicked, and let sinners be converted unto Thee.

Strengthen the weak, comfor the afflicted, and sanctify the faithful through Thy truth.

Bestow Thy favor upon our land; and grant that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by Thy governance that Thy people may joyfully serve Thee in all godly quietness.

O Thou God of peace, sanctify us wholly, and may our whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful art Thou, who has called us, who also wilt do it, to the praise of Thy holy name, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

3 comments:

Dagan Siepert said...

These prayers are beautiful, and most of them, at least the festal collects were in the German agenda. It is unfortunate that these have been suppressed.

Dagan Siepert said...

These prayers are beautiful, and most of them, at least the festal collects were in the German agenda. It is unfortunate that these have been suppressed.

John Flanagan said...

Indeed, the prayers are very uplifting. I know each Lutheran congregation has some Liberty of worship style, but there should be more emphasis on including these prayers everywhere.