Archive for the ‘Lutheran Churches’ Category

Coronavirus/COVID-19: Prayers   2 comments


Compassionate God, whose Son Jesus wept at the grave of his friend Lazarus:

Draw near to us in this time of sorrow and anguish,

comfort those who mourn,

strengthen those who are weary,

encourage those in despair,

and lead us all to fullness of life;

through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer,

who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God for ever and ever.  Amen.


Job 14:7-13 or Jeremiah 31:15-20

Psalm 60 or 130 or 80:1-7 or 23

Romans 8:35-38 or Revelation 21:1-7 or Romans 8:18-25

Luke 6:20-26 or Mark 13:14-27

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 733



O God, you divided the waters of chaos at creation.

In Christ you stilled storms, raised the dead,

and vanquished demonic powers.

Tame the earthquake, wind, and fire,

and all forces that defy control or shock us by their fury.

Keep us from calling disaster your justice.

Help us, in good times and in distress,

to trust your mercy and yield to your power, this day and for ever.


–Andy Langford, in The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992), 509



God of ages,

in your sight nations rise and fall,

and pass through times of peril.

Now when our land is troubled,

be near to judge and save.

May leaders be led by your wisdom;

may they search your will and see it clearly.

If we have turned from your way,

help us to reverse our ways and repent.

Give us light and your your truth to guide us;

through Jesus Christ,

who is the Lord of this world, and our Savior.  Amen.

Book of Common Worship (1993), 818



O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope.

Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance.

Where impossibilities close every door and and window, grant imagination and resistance.

Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination.

Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grand soaring wings and strengthened dreams.

All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 76



God our creator, through whose providing care we enjoy all goodness and life,

turn our eyes to your mercy at this time of confusion and loss.

Comfort this nation as we mourn;

shine your light on those whose only companion is darkness;

and teach us so to number our days that we may apply our hearts to your wisdom;

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 77



The Things of the Earth in the Earth Let Us Lay   2 comments

Above:  Trinity Church and Church Yard, Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, 1890

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsc-08870

Original Greek Text by St. Joseph the Hymnographer (d. 886)

English Translation (1862) by John Mason Neale (1818-1866)

Hymn Source = The Hymnal and Order of Service (1925), The Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Synod


The things of earth in the earth let us lay;

The ashes with ashes, the dust with the clay;

But lift up the heart, and the eyes, and the love,

O lift up the soul to the regions above!


Since He, the Immortal, hath entered the gate,

So shall we mortals, or sooner or late:

Then stand we with Christ; let us mark Him ascend,

For His is the glory and life without end.


On earth with His own once the Giver of good,

Bestowing His blessing, a little while stood;

Now nothing can part us, nor distance, nor foes,

For lo! He is with us, and who can oppose?


So Lord, we commit this our loved one to Thee,

Whose body is dead, but whose spirit is free:

We know that through grace, when our life her is o’er,

In bliss we shall be with the Lord evermore.


And Wilt Thou Pardon, Lord   2 comments

Above:  Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Cartersville, Georgia, November 5, 2017

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Original Greek Text by St. Joseph the Hymnographer (d. 886)

English Translation (1862) by John Mason Neale (1818-1866)

Hymn Source #1 = The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), The Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America

Hymn Source #2 = William Gustave Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, 2d ed. (1942)


And wilt Thou pardon, Lord

A sinner such as I,

Although Thy book his crimes record

Of such a crimson dye?


So deep are they engraved,

So terrible their fear,

The righteous scarcely shall be saved,

And where shall I appear?


My soul, make all things known

To Him who all things sees

That so the Lamb may yet atone

For thine iniquities.


O Thou Physician blest,

Make clean my guilty soul

And me, by many a sin opprest,

Restore and keep me whole.


I know not how to praise

Thy mercy and Thy love;

But deign my soul and earth to raise

And learn from Thee above.


Stars of the Morning, So Gloriously Bright   2 comments

Above:  Dawn, Crater Lake National Park

Image in the Public Domain

Original Greek Text by St. Joseph the Hymnographer (d. 886)

English Translation (1862) by John Mason Neale (1818-1866)

Hymn Source #1 = The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), The Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America

Hymn Source #2 = William Gustave Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, 2d ed. (1942)


Stars of the morning, so gloriously bright,

Filled with celestial virtue and light,

These that, where never followeth day,

Praise the Thrice Holy One ever and aye.


These are Thy ministers, these dost Thou own,

Lord God of Sabaoth, nearest Thy throne;

These are Thy messengers, these dost Thou send,

Help of the helpless ones, man to defend.


These keep the guard amid Salem’s dear bowers,

Thrones, principalities, virtues, and powers,

Where, with the living ones, mystical four,

Cherubim, seraphim, bow and adore.


Then, when the earth was first poised in mid space,

Then, when the planets first sped on their race,

Then, when were ended the six days’ employ,

Then all the sons of God shouted for joy.


Still let them succor us, still let them fight,

Lord of angelic hosts, battling for right,

Till, where their anthems they ceaselessly pour,

We with the angels may bow and adore.


Heaven and Earth, and Sea and Sky   1 comment

Above:  Mountain and Sky, Utah

Image in the Public Domain

Original German Text (1680) by Joachim Neander (1650-1680)

Composite English Translation

Hymn Source = Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (1917), The United Lutheran Church in America (1918-1962) and its immediate predecessor bodies


Heaven and earth, and sea and air,

All their Maker’s praise declare;

Wake, my soul, awake and sing:

Now thy grateful praises bring.


See the glorious orb of day

Breaking through the clouds his way;

Moon and stares with silvery light

Praise Him through the silent night.


See how He hath ev’ry where

Made this earth so rich and fair;

Hill and vale and fruitful land,

All things living, show His hand.


See how through the boundless sky

Fresh and free the birds do fly;

Fire and wind and storm are still

Servants of His royal will.


See the water’s ceaseless flow,

Ever circling to and fro;

From the sources to the sea,

Still it rolls in praise to Thee.


Lord, great wonders workest Thou!

To Thy sway all creatures bow.

Write Thou deeply in my heart

What I am, and what Thou art!

Wondrous King, All-Glorious   1 comment

Above:  Clouds

Image in the Public Domain

Original German Text (1680) by Joachim Neander (1650-1680)

English Translation (1938) by William John Schaefer (1891-1976)

Hymn Source = The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), The Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America


Wondrous King, all-glorious,

Sov’reign Lord victorious,

Oh, receive our praise with favor!

From Thee welled God’s kindness

Tho’ we in our blindness

Strayed from Thee, our blessed Savior.

Strengthen Thou,

Help us now;

Let our tongues be singing,

Thee our praises bringing.


Heavens, spread the story

Of our Maker’s glory,

All the pomp of earth obscuring,

Sun, thy rays be sending,

Thy bright beams expending,

Light to all the earth assuring.

Moon and star,

Praise afar

Him who glorious made you;

The vast heavens aid you.


O my soul, rejoicing,

Sing, thy praises voicing,

Sing, with hymns of faith adore Him!

All who here have being,

Shout, your voices freeing,

Bow down in the dust before Him.

He is God Sabaoth;

Praise alone the Savior,

Here and there forever.


Hallelujahs render

To the Lord most tender,

Te who know and love the Savior.

Hallelujahs sing ye,

Ye redeemed, oh, bring ye

Hearts that yield Him glad behavior.

Blest are ye


Sinless there forever,

Ye shall laud Him ever.

Salvation Unto Us Is Come   1 comment


Above:  Paul Speratus

Image in the Public Domain

Original German Text (1523) by Paul Speratus, during or shortly after his political incarceration (for being a Protestant) in Moravia

Composite Translation

Hymn Source = Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (1996), Evangelical Lutheran Synod

This, perhaps the most Lutheran of hymns, is a staple in many Lutheran hymnals.  However, the majority of Lutheran hymnals I have consulted include no more than 10 stanzas.  The full text is 14 stanzas long.


Salvation unto us is come

By God’s free grace and favor.

Good works cannot avert our doom;

They help and save us never.

Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone,

Who did for all the world atone;

He is our one Redeemer.


What God doth in His law demand

No man to Him could render.

Before this Judge all guilty stand;

His law speaks curse in thunder.

The law demands a perfect heart;

We were defiled in ev’ry part,

And lost was our condition.


False dreams deluded minds did fill,

That God His law had given,

As if to Him we could at will

Earn grace and enter heaven.

The law is but a mirror bright

To bring the inbred sin to sight

That lurks within our nature.


From sin our flesh could not abstain,

Sin held its sway unceasing;

The task was useless and in vain,

Our guilt was e’er increasing.

None can remove sin’s poisoned dart

Or purify our guilty heart,

So deep is our corruption.


Still all the law fulfilled must be,

Else we were lost forever,

Then God His Son send down that He

Might us from doom deliver;

He all the law for us fulfilled

And thus His Father’s anger stilled

Which over us impended.


As Christ hath full atonement made

And brought us to salvation,

So may each Christian now be glad

And build on this foundation:

Thy grace alone, dear Lord, I plead,

Thy death now is my life indeed,

For Thou hast paid my ransom.


Not doubting this, I trust in Thee,

Thy Word cannot be broken,

Thou all dost call, “Come unto me!”

No falsehood hast Thou spoken:

“He who believes and is baptized,

He shall be saved,” say’st Thou, O Christ,

And he shall never perish.


The just is he–and he alone–

Who by this faith is living,

The faith that by good works is shown,

To God the glory giving;

Faith gives thee peace with God above,

But thou thy neighbor, too, must love,

If thou art new created.


The law reveals the guilt of sin,

And makes man conscience-stricken;

The gospel then doth enter in,

The sin-sick soul to quicken.

Come to the cross, look up and live!

The law no peace to thee doth give,

Nor can its deeds bring comfort.


Faith to the cross of Christ doth cling

And rests in Him securely;

And forth from it good works must spring

As fruits and tokens surely;

Still faith doth justify alone,

Works serve thy neighbor and make known

The faith that lives within thee.


Hope waits for the accepted hour

Till God give joy for mourning;

When He displays His healing pow’r,

Thy sighs to songs are turning.

Thy needs are known unto thy Lord,

And He is faithful to His Word,

This is our hope’s foundation.


Though it may seem He hears thee not,

Count not thyself forsaken;

Thy wants are ne’er by Him forgot,

Let this thy hope awaken;

His word is sure, here is thy stay,

Though doubts may plague thee on thy way,

Let not thy faith be shaken.


All blessing, honor, thanks and praise,

To Father, Son, and Spirit,

The God who saved us by His grace,

All glory to His merit.

O Father in the heav’ns above,

The work begun performs Thy love,

Thy worthy name be hallowed.


Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done

In earth, as ’tis in heaven.

Keep us in live, by grace led on,

Forgiving and forgiven;

Save Thou us in temptation’s hour,

And from all ills; Thine is the pow’r,

And all the glory, Amen!

Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain   4 comments


Above:  Icon of the Resurrection

Image in the Public Domain

Original Greek Text (700s) by St. John of Damascus

English Translation from Christian Remembrances (1859), by John Mason Neale (1818-1866)

Hymn Source = The English Hymnal (1906), The Church of England

The reference to Christian Remembrances comes from William Gustave Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, Second Edition (1942).


Come, ye faithful raise the strain

Of triumphant gladness;

God hath brought his Israel

Into joy from sadness;

Loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke

Jacob’s sons and daughters;

Led them with unmoistened foot

Through the Red Sea waters.


‘Tis the Spring of souls to-day;

Christ hath burst his prison,

And from three days’ sleep in death

As a Sun hath risen;

All the winter of our sins

Long and dark, is flying

From his Light, to whom we give

Laud and praise undying.


Now the Queen of seasons, bright

With the Day of splendour,

With the royal Feast of feasts,

Comes its joy to render;

Comes to glad Jerusalem

Who with true affection

Welcomes in unwearied strains

Jesu’s Resurrection.


Neither might the gates of death,

Nor the tomb’s dark portal,

Nor the watchers, nor the seal,

Hold thee as a mortal;

But to-day amidst the twelve

Thou didst stand, bestowing

That thy peace which evermore

Passeth human knowing.

Search Me, God, and Know My Heart   1 comment


Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Hymnal and Order of Service (1925), The Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod

Paraphrase (1924) of Psalm 139:23 and 24 by Claus August Wendell (1866-1950)


Search me, God, and know my heart,

Lord of truth and mercy;

Try me, Thou who from afar

Knowest all my secrets;

And if any wicked way

Should be found within me,

Blessed Saviour, lead Thou me

In the way eternal.


The Service Book and Hymnal (immediate predecessors of the American Lutheran Church [1960] and the Lutheran Church in America [1962], 1958) also contains the above text verbatim.


The Lutheran Book of Worship (immediate predecessors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [1987], 1978) modernizes the text and makes it the second verse of a composite hymn, with a new first verse (beginning with “Wondrous are your ways, O God!”) by Joel W. Lundeen.  The modernized version of the text by Wendell follows:

Search me, God, and know my heart,

Lord of truth and mercy.

From afar, O Lord, you know

All my thoughts and secrets.

And if any wicked way

Should be found within me,

Cleanse, forgive me by your grace;

Grant me life eternal.


Christian Worship:  A Lutheran Hymnal (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 1993) also modernizes the Wendell text and uses it as the second verse of a composite hymn.  However, this hymn book alters the Lundeen text.


The text by Wendell is absent from the current Lutheran  denominational hymnals in my collection:

  1. Ambassador Hymnal for Lutheran Worship (The Association of Free Lutheran Congregations, 1994),
  2. Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (The Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, 1996),
  3. Worship Supplement 2000 (Church of the Lutheran Confession, 2000),
  4. Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2006), and
  5. Lutheran Service Book (The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, 2006).






O Lord, Devoutly Love I Thee   2 comments

Augustus Nelson

Above:  Augustus Nelson

Image Source = The Escanaba Daily Press, Escanaba, Michigan, June 27, 1924, Page 4

Accessed via

Hymn Source = The Hymnal and Order of Service (1925), The Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod

Original Text (1571) by Martin Mikael Schalling (1532-1608)

Swedish Text (1818) by Johann Olaf Wallin (1779-1839)

English Translation by Augustus Nelson (1863-1949)


O Lord, devoutly love I Thee;

Come, Jesus, and abide with me,

And grant me e’er Thy favor.

In this wide world of anxious care

Vain glory find I everywhere,

But peace with Thee, my Saviour.

E’en though, in woeful agony,

My soul and body pine away,

Thou art my Comfort, ever blest,

I safely on Thy bosom rest.

Lord Jesus Christ, my Saviour dear,

Thy saving hand is ever near.


Almighty God, for what I own,

Receive, and am, to Thee alone

I ought my thanks to render.

Teach me to use Thy gifts, I pray,

To aid the poor, and never stay,

O Lord, Thy mercies tender.

Make known to me, O God, Thy will,

And purge my soul of every ill;

Yea, make my patient and content,

Nor let my soul to earth be bent.

Lord Jesus Christ, for Thy death’s sake

The bonds of my affliction break.


Send, Lord, Thine angels forth at last

To bear my soul, when life is past,

Where heavenly joy aboundeth;

And let my weary body rest

In peace, where’er Thou seest best,

Until Thy voice resoundeth.

Then lo! in holy raiment clad,

I shall behold my Lord and God;

His grace and glory then shall be

My joy in all eternity,

Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer fulfill;

In life, in death, Thine am I still.