Henry Melchior Muhlenberg
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg is the principal organizer of American Lutheranism. He was born in Einbeck, Germany, in 1711, and studied at Goettingen and at Halle. Lutherans in America at that time were found in a few scattered communities, of various national backgrounds, with no central organization, and with a grave danger of factionalism. Several congregations wrote to Halle University, asking for a pastor to take charge. Hermann Francke, a Lutheran leader of the Pietist movement at Halle, chose Muhlenberg and sent him to America. He arrived in Charleston on 23 September 1742. He was soon accorded widespread recognition by Lutheran churches, German, Swedish, and others, as the senior Lutheran pastor in America. He set the tone for the Lutheran community in what was to be the United States, and almost all Lutheran Churches in America today use liturgies which are developed from the one that he proposed for American use. His plans for local church government, presented to congregations that had been accustomed to a great deal of government control, eased the transition to the “free church” model, and form the basis for plans of local church government in American Lutheran churches today. James E Kiefer
God is in his holy place,
God who unites those who dwell in his house;
he himself gives might and strength to his people. Psalm 68
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires, known,
and from whom no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will declare your praise.
Make haste, O God, to deliver me;
make haste to help me, O Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Praise to you, O Christ, Alleluia!
HYMN: Martin Luther; trans. Catherine Winkworth
Tune: Vater unser https://tinyurl.com/nyaa6mzg
1 Our Father, Thou in heav’n above,
Who biddest us to dwell in love,
As brethren of one family,
And cry for all we need to Thee;
Teach us to mean the words we say,
And from the inmost heart to pray.
2 All hallowed be Thy name, O Lord!
O let us firmly keep Thy Word,
And lead, according to Thy name,
A holy life, untouched by blame;
Let no false teachings do us hurt;
All poor deluded souls convert.
3 Thy kingdom come! Thine let it be
In time and in eternity!
O let Thy Holy Spirit dwell
With us, to rule and guide us well;
From Satan’s mighty pow’r and rage
Preserve Thy Church from age to age.
4 Thy will be done on earth, O Lord,
As where in heav’n Thou art adored!
Patience in time of grief bestow,
Obedience true in weal and woe;
Our sinful flesh and blood control
That thwart Thy will within the soul.
5 Give us this day our daily bread,
Let us be duly clothed and fed;
And keep Thou from our homes afar
Famine and pestilence and war,
That we may live in godly peace
Unvexed by cares and avarice.
6 Forgive our sins, that they no more
May grieve and haunt us as before,
As we forgive their trespasses
Who unto us have done amiss;
Thus let us dwell in charity
And serve each other willingly.
7 Into temptation lead us not.
And when the foe doth war and plot
Against our souls on ev’ry hand,
Then armed with faith, O may we stand
Against him as a valiant host
Through comfort of the Holy Ghost.
8 Deliv’rance from all evil give,
And yet in evil days we live.
Redeem us from eternal death,
And, when we yield our dying breath,
Console us, grant us calm release,
And take our souls to Thee in peace.
9 Amen! That is, so shall it be!
Strengthen our faith and trust in Thee
That we may doubt not, but believe
That what we ask we shall receive.
Thus in Thy name and at Thy word
We say: “Amen. Now hear us, Lord.”
Psalm 37 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/tujglrg)
1 Fret not thyself because of the ungodly *
neither be thou envious against the evil doers.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass *
and be withered even as the green herb.
3 Put thou thy trust in the Lord, and be doing good *
dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thou in the Lord *
and he shall give thee thy heart’s desire.
5 Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him *
and he shall bring it to pass.
6 He shall make thy righteousness as clear as the light *
and thy just dealing as the noon-day.
7 Hold thee still in the Lord, and abide patiently upon him *
but grieve not thyself at him, whose way doth prosper,
against the man that doeth after evil counsels.
8 Leave off from wrath, and let go displeasure *
fret not thyself, else shalt thou be moved to do evil.
9 Wicked doers shall be rooted out *
and they that patiently abide the Lord, those shall inherit the land.
10 Yet a little while, and the ungodly shall be clean gone *
thou shalt look after his place, and he shall be away.
11 But the meek-spirited shall possess the earth *
and shall be refreshed in the multitude of peace.
12 The ungodly seeketh counsel against the just *
and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13 The Lord shall laugh him to scorn *
for he hath seen that his day is coming.
14 The ungodly have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow *
to cast down the poor and needy,
and to slay such as are of a right conversation.
15 Their sword shall go through their own heart *
and their bow shall be broken.
16 A small thing that the righteous hath *
is better than great riches of the ungodly.
17 For the arms of the ungodly shall be broken *
and the Lord upholdeth the righteous.
18 The Lord knoweth the days of the godly *
and their inheritance shall endure for ever.
19 They shall not be confounded in the perilous time *
and in the days of dearth they shall have enough.
20 As for the ungodly, they shall perish;
and the enemies of the Lord shall consume as the fat of lambs *
yea, even as the smoke, shall they consume away.
21 The ungodly borroweth, and payeth not again *
but the righteous is merciful, and liberal.
22 Such as are blessed of God shall possess the land *
and they that are cursed of him shall be rooted out.
23 The Lord ordereth a good man’s going *
and maketh his way acceptable to himself.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be cast away *
for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old *
and yet saw I never the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread.
26 The righteous is ever merciful, and lendeth *
and his seed is blessed.
27 Flee from evil, and do the thing that is good *
and dwell for evermore.
28 For the Lord loveth the thing that is right *
he forsaketh not his that be godly, but they are preserved for ever.
29 The unrighteous shall be punished *
as for the seed of the ungodly, it shall be rooted out.
30 The righteous shall inherit the land *
and dwell therein for ever.
31 The mouth of the righteous is exercised in wisdom *
and his tongue will be talking of judgement.
32 The law of his God is in his heart *
and his goings shall not slide.
33 The ungodly seeth the righteous *
and seeketh occasion to slay him.
34 The Lord will not leave him in his hand *
nor condemn him when he is judged.
35 Hope thou in the Lord, and keep his way,
and he shall promote thee, that thou shalt possess the land *
when the ungodly shall perish, thou shalt see it.
36 I myself have seen the ungodly in great power *
and flourishing like a green bay tree.
37 I went by, and lo, he was gone *
I sought him, but his place could no where be found.
38 Keep innocency, and take heed unto the thing that is right *
for that shall bring a man peace at the last.
39 As for the transgressors, they shall perish together *
and the end of the ungodly is, they shall be rooted out at the last.
40 But the salvation of the righteous cometh of the Lord *
who is also their strength in the time of trouble.
41 And the Lord shall stand by them, and save them *
he shall deliver them from the ungodly,
and shall save them, because they put their trust in him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.
Psalm 37 (The Psalms Project: https://tinyurl.com/3pdyn7su)
Don’t worry about evildoers
Don’t be envious of those who do wrong
For they will soon fade like the grass
And they will wither like a flower without rain
Trust in the LORD and do good
Dwell in the land and feast on the truth
Delight yourself in Yahweh
And He will give you the desires of your heart
Commit your way to the LORD
Trust in Him, and He will act
He will bring your vindication like the dawn
And your justice like the noonday
Be still before the LORD and wait with expectation
Delight yourself in the LORD
And He’ll give you the desires of your heart
The desires of your heart (x2)
Don’t worry about those who prosper
Nor the one who carries out evil schemes
Refrain from anger and flee from wrath
And do not worry, for it only leads to sin
The wicked will be cut off
But those who wait for the LORD
Will inherit and receive the land
But in just a little while
The wicked will be no more
Though you look closely at his place, he won’t be there [Chorus]
O, the meek will inherit the land
And delight themselves in abundant peace (x2)
The wicked plots against the just
And gnashes his teeth at him
But the LORD laughs at the wicked
For He sees that his day is near
The wicked draw the sword
And bend their bow to bring down the poor
To slay those whose way is right
But their sword shall enter into their own heart
And their bow shall be broken
Better is the little that the righteous have
Than the riches of many wicked
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken
But the LORD upholds the just
And day by day the LORD watches over His saints
And their inheritance is forever
They will not be ashamed when the dark trials come
In the famine they will be fed (x2)
But the wicked will pass away
The enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the meadows
They’re here, then one day they’re gone
They vanish into nothingness, like smoke, they disappear
And no trace of them are left [Chorus]
The wicked borrow, but do not pay back
But the righteous give and give and give
Those blessed by God will receive the land
But those cursed by Him will be cut off
The steps of man are made sure
By the LORD when He delights in his way
Though he fall, he will not be ruined
For the LORD is the one who holds him up
I have been young, and now and am old
I haven’t seen His saints disowned
Nor seen His children begging for a scrap of bread
Always he is gracious and giving
And his children are a blessing for generations
Turn yourself away from evil and do good
And you will dwell forever
For Yahweh loves justice, He will not forsake His saints
They’re preserved forever
But the seed of the wicked shall not prosper
The righteous will receive the land
And they will dwell upon it forever and ever
Their inheritance is forever
The mouth of the righteous pours out wisdom
His tongue declares justice
The law of his God is in his heart
His steps do not slip
They do not slip, They will not slip
They do not slip, They will not slip
The wicked watch for the righteous
And seek a way to take him down
But the LORD will not abandon him to his power
Nor let him be condemned when he is brought to trial
No, the Lord will deliver him
Wait for the LORD
Keep His way and He will exalt you
To inherit the land and you will look on
When the wicked are cut off
I have seen a wicked, ruthless man
Prospering like a laurel tree
But he passed away, and was no more
When I looked for him, he could not be seen
Mark the blameless and behold the just
There’s a future for the man of peace
But the wicked soon will be destroyed
His future suddenly will cease
The salvation of the saints
Is from the LORD, their stronghold
In the time of trouble, He rescues them
Because they trust in Him alone (x2)
God our strength,
give us the humility to trust in your loving care,
and the patience to be faithful in seeking your kingdom,
that we may come to share in the inheritance of your saints;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. BCW
THE WORD OF GOD
Reading: Nehemiah 2:11-18
So I came to Jerusalem and was there for three days. Then I got up during the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. The only animal I took was the animal I rode. I went out by night by the Valley Gate past the Dragon’s Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that had been broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool; but there was no place for the animal I was riding to continue. So I went up by way of the valley by night and inspected the wall. Then I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest that were to do the work.
Then I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burnt. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer suffer disgrace.’ I told them that the hand of my God had been gracious upon me, and also the words that the king had spoken to me. Then they said, ‘Let us start building!’ So they committed themselves to the common good.
HYMN: Psalm 137; para. Calvin Seerveld ©
Tune: Llef https://tinyurl.com/3efmsccd
1 Babylon streams received our tears:
Zion, the holy city, gone.
Exiles, we cried beneath the trees.
Harps hung in silence many years.
2 Our captors laughed, “Perform your praise!
Merrily dance, Jerusalem!”
How could we chant the LORD God’s songs
while we were crushed by heathens’ ways?
3 So help us, God, you may destroy
our working hands if we deny
strike our mouths mute if we neglect
to make your city our chief joy.
4 Remember, LORD, the awful day
violent Edom cursed your folk:
“Babylon, break Jerusalem!
Raze to the ground, strip her away!
5 God give you evil for reward.
Blest be the one who brings your fall.
Babylon great your seed be smashed!
Vengeance shall come from God our LORD.
Reading: Galatians 4:1-7
My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than slaves, though they are the owners of all the property; but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.
HYMN: Paul Gerhardt; trans. Johann Christian Jacobi
1 Holy Ghost, dispel our sadness;
Pierce the clouds of sinful night;
Come, Thou source of sweetest gladness,
Breathe Thy life and spread Thy light.
Hear, O hear our supplication,
Loving Spirit, God of peace!
Rest upon this congregation;
Great distributor of grace!
2 From the height which knows no measure
As a gracious show’r descend,
Bringing down the richest treasure
We can wish, or God can send!
Make us flee what Thou refusest,
Both from error and from sin.
Make us joy in what Thou choosest,
Holy Fountain, wash us clean.
3 Be our friend on each occasion,
God, omnipotent to save!
When we die, be our salvation,
When we’re buried be our grave.
Seat us with Thy saints in glory,
When from out the grave we rise,
Then forever we’ll adore Thee,
Round Thy throne above the skies.
Reading: Luke 11:1-4
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.’
CANTICLE Revelation 15:3-4
(Setting: Peter La Grand https://tinyurl.com/wvxnqrj)
You alone are holy
You alone are holy
Great and marvelous are your deeds
For you alone are holy
Who will not fear you O Lord?
And bring glory to your name
Just and true are you ways
King of the ages
All nations will come and worship you
For you alone are holy
All your righteous ways have been seen
For you alone are holy
THE PRAYERS PWC
Send forth your strength, O God;
establish what you have wrought in us.
Uphold all those who fall
and raise up those who are bowed down.
Open the eyes of the blind
and set the prisoners free.
Sustain the orphan and widowed
and give food to those who hunger.
Grant them the joy of your help again
and sustain them with your Spirit.
Giver of peace, judge the peoples
and take all nations for your own.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
Heavenly Father, Shepherd of your people, we thank you for your Servant Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock; and we pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life, we my by your grace grow into the stature of the fullness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. BCP79
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen. 2 Cor. 13:14
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BCW Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., 1993.
PWC PRAY WITHOUT CEASING: Morning and Evening Prayer for the Seasons of the Church Year Prepared by The Rev’d Dr Richard Geoffrey Leggett on behalf of The Liturgy Task Force of the Anglican Church of Canada, May 2016.
BCP79 The Book of Common Prayer (1979), The Episcopal Church
ELW The Lord’s Prayer is from Setting Five in Evangelical Lutheran Worship.
The three main scripture readings are from the The New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Edition, The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The traditional language psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer (1662). The modern language psalm is in a version by Shane Heilman of The Psalms Project https://www.thepsalmsproject.com/
Musical links are usually either to artists’ albums posted on Spotify or to recordings made available at smallchurchmusic.com. Audio stripped from YouTube videos is footnoted accordingly above.
Compilation © 2021 Stephen T. Benner. All links worked at the time they were created, but I cannot accept responsibility for their content or any damage resulting from their use. The linked content is under the control of the respective content creators and is subject to change at any time. Any copyright texts included in this compilation are provided for non-commercial purposes related to study or worship. Please contact the respective copyright holders for permission to use the texts in other contexts.