14 June 2007

Prayer for Those Present After the Dying Person has Breathed His Last.

O holy and righteous God, it has pleased Thee to call hence the departed here lying before us by temporal death. Let us learn from this death that we, too, must die and leave this world, in order that we may prepare for it in time by repentance, a living faith, and the avoidance of the vanities and sin of the world. Refresh the soul that has now departed with heavenly consolation and joy, and fulfil unto it all the gracious promises which in Thy holy Word Thou hast made to those who believe in Thee. Grant to the body a soft and quiet rest in the earth till the Last Day, when Thou wilt reunite body and soul and lead them into glory, so that the entire person that served Thee here may be filled with heavenly joy yonder. Comfort all who are in grief over this death and be and remain to the bereaved their Father, Provider, Guardian, Helper, and Support. Do not forsake them, and do not withdraw Thy hand from them, but let them abundantly experience Thy goodness, grace, love, and help, until Thou shalt grant them also a happy and blessed end. Hear us for Thy mercy's sake. Amen. (Starck's Prayer-Book, p. 454)

[Makes an interesting contrast with Synodical Catechism question #201, eh? You tell ME which is in better accord with Apology XXIV:94, 96]


WM Cwirla said...

The answer would be: Starck's.
This is one of several places where the synodical catechism misses the confessional point.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the wrong Synod. What's question #201?

And what's the Synodical Catechism?

William Weedon said...

Yes, Mark, you are! You should be with us!!! :)

The Synodical Catechism refers to the little book that joins Luther's Catechism with the so-called Synodical explanation (developed over many years) in the forms of further questions and answers. It is notoriously bad on the matter of the office of the ministry. But also on the intro to the Lord's Prayer, where question #201 asks: "For whom should we pray?" And answers: "We should pray for ourselves and for all other people, even our enemies, *but not for the souls of the dead.*" That last little bit is "backed up" (it is thought) by Hebrews 9:27: "Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment." The inference would be that prayers for the departed then are useless. But this clearly ignores the Apology's clear words about us NOT banning prayers for the dead or holding such prayers as being "useless." In Starck we have a fine example of how such prayers may be made, and especially the circumstances in which they would be quite useful indeed.

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