BLESSINGS AND PRAYERS BASED ON THOSE IN LUTHER’S SMALL CATECHISM

 

The Small Catechism of Martin Luther includes blessings for morning, evening, and around the household meal. These prayers are a treasured heritage and deservedly continue to be widely used. In the spirit of Luther’s original blessings, these alternatives are offered—not to replace those by Luther, but to supplement them. These new versions are written with today’s Christians in mind and in some cases are designed for particular situations. Luther’s originals may be found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, pages 1166–67. For marking baptismal anniversaries, we commend Let the Children Come: A Baptism Manual for Parents and Sponsors by Daniel Erlander, pages 29–30.

 
TABLE BLESSINGS

 

A Table Blessing to Begin a Meal for Families

One of the family speaks this or another similar Bible passage.

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,

the world, and those who live in it. (Ps. 24:1 NRSV)

 

Then all who are able speak this prayer together.

All here gathered, food from the land,

all is gift from your gracious hand.

Feed us today; feed all those who hunger;

teach us to feed one another.

We ask this in the name of the one who is our bread, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

A Table Blessing to End a Meal for Families

One of the family speaks this or another similar Bible passage.

Rejoice in the Lord always. (Phil. 4:4)

 

Then this prayer is spoken. All may speak it together, or it may be said responsively between one and all as indicated.

For our food, we rejoice.

For our friends, we rejoice.

For every good gift, we rejoice.

Thank you, O God, for this time to eat together.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

A Table Blessing for a Group Gathering

Blessed are you, O God, giver of all.

You adorn our tables with food and give companionship for our journeys.

Be present with us as we are fed in body and spirit,

that our sharing this meal is a sign of your life broken and shared for the world.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

A Table Blessing to End a Meal

Blessed are you, O God, giver of all.

We give you thanks for this food that nourishes us.

We give you thanks for this good earth that provides for us and for all your creatures.

Open our hands in humble service to the land and its people.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

A Blessing for Those Who Eat Alone

You have been gracious to your land, O Lord. (Ps. 85:1 ELW)

 

Gracious God, you are the source of all goodness.

For this food before me, thank you.

For the hands that prepared it, thank you.

For the lands and water that provide nourishment, thank you.

Extend my offering of thanks through works of justice, peace, and love

for the earth and all its creatures.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

DAILY PRAYERS

 

Morning Blessing

You may make the sign of the cross.

 

I am a beloved child of God, marked with the cross of Christ forever.

 

Your mercies are new every morning. (Based on Lam. 3:23)

 

Thank you, gracious God, for the gift of this new day.

Awaken me to your abiding presence;

open my eyes to your creation;

open my ears to your promises;

open my heart to the needs of others.

Fill me with your Spirit and guide me this day

in works of kindness, justice, and mercy.

I ask this in the name of Jesus, the light and life of the world. Amen.

 

Evening Blessing

You may make the sign of the cross.

 

I am a beloved child of God, marked with the cross of Christ forever.

 

Come to me, all you that are weary . . . and I will give you rest. (Matt. 11:28)

 

Thank you, gracious God, for the gift of this coming night.

Restore me with your right spirit.

Calm my mind.

Quiet my heart.

Enfold me with your bountiful mercy.

Protect me from all harm, that I sleep assured of the peace found in you alone.

I ask this in the name of Jesus, who gives us rest. Amen.

 

A Prayer to Begin the Work Day

May the graciousness of the Lord our God be upon us; prosper the work of our hands. (Ps. 90:17 ELW)

 

Generous God, you call us to lives of service.

In my words and actions this day, move me to serve in Christ’s name.

When I lack energy, inspire me.

When I lack courage, strengthen me.

When I lack compassion, be merciful to me.

 

You may make the sign of the cross.

 

In all things, O God, you are our way, our truth, and our life.

Reveal through me your life-giving work, that I love my neighbors as myself.

I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

A Prayer to Begin the School Day

Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths. (Ps. 25:4 ELW)

 

A prayer based on the Prayer of St. Patrick:

 

Christ be with me: in you I am never alone.

Christ within me: your Spirit is at work in me.

Christ behind me: reassure me when I struggle.

Christ before me: lead me when I am uncertain.

Christ beneath me: support me when I am weak.

Christ above me: encourage me to do my best.

Christ in quiet: I listen for the sound of your voice.

Christ in danger: I will not fear, for you are with me.

 

You may make the sign of the cross.

 

In all things, O God, you are our way, our truth, and our life.

Teach me to love you and my neighbors as myself.

I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Jennifer Baker-Trinity

 

 

Permission is granted for congregations to reproduce these materials provided copies are for local use only and the following copyright notice appears: From Reformation 500 Sourcebook, copyright © 2016 Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.