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: John Keble
Tune: Melcombe https://tinyurl.com/5n94xskb
1 New every morning is the love
our wakening and uprising prove;
through sleep and darkness safely brought,
restored to life and power and thought.
2 New mercies, each returning day,
hover around us while we pray;
new perils past, new sins forgiven,
new thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.
3 If on our daily course our mind
be set to hallow all we find,
new treasures still, of countless price,
God will provide for sacrifice.
4 The trivial round, the common task,
will furnish all we need to ask,
room to deny ourselves, a road
to bring us daily nearer God.
5 Only, O Lord, in thy dear love
fit us for perfect rest above;
and help us, this and every day,
to live more nearly as we pray.
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: Lamentations 2:13-22
What can I testify about you, Daughter Jerusalem? To what could I compare you?
With what could I equate you? How can I comfort you, young woman Daughter Zion?
Your hurt is as vast as the sea. Who can heal you?
Your prophets gave you worthless and empty visions.
They didn’t reveal your sin so as to prevent your captivity.
Instead, they showed you worthless and incorrect prophecies.
All who pass by on the road clap their hands about you;
they whistle, shaking their heads at Daughter Jerusalem:
“Could this be the city called Perfect Beauty, the Joy of All the Earth?”
All your enemies open wide their mouths against you;
they whistle, grinding their teeth. They say, “We have devoured!
This is definitely the day we’ve been waiting for. We’ve seen it come to pass.”
The Lord did what he had planned. He accomplished the word
that he had commanded long ago. He ripped down, showing no compassion.
He made the enemy rejoice over you; he raised up your adversaries’ horn.
Cry out to my Lord from the heart, you wall of Daughter Zion;
make your tears run down like a flood all day and night.
Don’t relax at all; don’t rest your eyes a moment.
Get up and cry out at nighttime, at the start of the night shift; pour out your heart before my Lord like water.
Lift your hands up to him for the life of your children—
the ones who are fainting from hunger on every street corner.
Lord, look and see to whom you have done this!
Should women eat their own offspring, their own beautiful babies?
Should priest and prophet be killed in my Lord’s own sanctuary?
Young and old alike lie on the ground in the streets;
my young women and young men fall dead by the sword.
On the day of your anger, you killed; you slaughtered, showing no compassion.
You invited—as if to a festival!—terrors from every side.
On the day of the Lord’s anger, no one escaped, not one survived.
The children that I nurtured, that I raised myself, my enemy finished them off.
HYMN: Fred Pratt Green, inspired by Dietrich Bonhoeffer ©
Tune: Intercessor https://tinyurl.com/28tmp98d
1 By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered,
and confidently waiting, come what may,
we know that God is with us night and morning
and never fails to greet us each new day.
2 Yet is this heart by its old foe tormented,
still evil days bring burdens hard to bear;
O give our frightened souls the sure salvation
for which, O Lord, you taught us to prepare.
3 And when this cup you give is filled to brimming
with bitter suffering, hard to understand,
we take it thankfully and without trembling,
out of so good and so beloved a hand.
4 Yet when again in this same world you give us
the joy we had, the brightness of your sun,
we shall remember all the days we lived through,
and our whole life shall then be yours alone.
Reading: Hebrews 3:7-19
So, as the Holy Spirit says,
Today, if you hear his voice,
don’t have stubborn hearts
as they did in the rebellion,
on the day when they tested me in the desert.
That is where your ancestors challenged and tested me,
though they had seen my work for forty years.
So I was angry with them.
I said, “Their hearts always go off course,
and they don’t know my ways.”
Because of my anger I swore:
“They will never enter my rest!”
Watch out, brothers and sisters, so that none of you have an evil, unfaithful heart that abandons the living God. Instead, encourage each other every day, as long as it’s called “today,” so that none of you become insensitive to God because of sin’s deception. We are partners with Christ, but only if we hold on to the confidence we had in the beginning until the end.
When it says,
Today, if you hear his voice, don’t have stubborn hearts
as they did in the rebellion.
Who was it who rebelled when they heard his voice? Wasn’t it all of those who were brought out of Egypt by Moses? And with whom was God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it with the ones who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And against whom did he swear that they would never enter his rest, if not against the ones who were disobedient? We see that they couldn’t enter because of their lack of faith.
HYMN: Oswald Allen
Tune: Blairgowrie https://tinyurl.com/yc47n8ye
1 Today your mercy calls us
to wash away our sin.
However great our trespass,
whatever we have been,
however long from mercy
our hearts have turned away,
your precious blood can wash us
and make us clean today.
2 Today your gate is open,
and all who enter in
shall find a Father’s welcome
and pardon for their sin.
The past shall be forgotten,
a present joy be giv’n,
a future grace be promised,
a glorious crown in heav’n.
3 Today our Father calls us,
his Holy Spirit waits;
his blessed angels gather
around the heav’nly gates.
No question will be asked us
how often we have come;
although we oft have wandered,
it is our Father’s home.
4 O all-embracing Mercy,
O ever-open Door,
what should we do without you
when heart and eye run o’er?
When all things seem against us,
to drive us to despair,
we know one gate is open,
one ear will hear our prayer.
Reading: Matthew 12:43-45
Jesus said, “When an unclean spirit leaves a person, it wanders through dry places looking for a place to rest. But it doesn’t find any. Then it says, ‘I’ll go back to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the place vacant, cleaned up, and decorated. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself. They go in and make their home there. That person is worse off at the end than at the beginning. This is the way it will be also for this evil generation.”
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 © 2011 Common English Bible
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 © 2022 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.