Prayers to the Holy Spirit as Mother (1757 version)

These Moravian litanies were translated by Craig Atwood and were published in Distinctiveness of Moravian Culture. Feel free to use them if you like, just give credit to Nikolaus von Zinzendorf as author and Craig Atwood as translator.

Te Matrem[1]

LORD GOD, now be praised,

You worthy HOLY SPIRIT!

You, the mother of Christendom

The church honors in unity.

All angels and the host of heaven

And whoever serves the honor of the Son;

Also the cherubim and seraphim:

They all sing with a clear voice:

Divine majesty,

Who proceeds from the Father,

Praising the Son as the creator. (Heb. 1:8-10)

And pointing to his suffering!

Your divine power and teaching craft

Have carried millions over.

The holy twelve apostles through you

Became everything they were.

You spoke in the highest degree through the martyrs,

When death sat on their tongues.

That the Four do not rest day and night,

Does not happen without your activity.

The four and twenty kings,

Who were faithful in little,

And now are set over much,

You help them to cry the Holy, Holy!


[1.] O Mother of all God’s people,

O wisdom archetypal!

You are the informer of all hearts

And the purifier of body and soul!

2. The Virgin’s womb was not rejected

For the holy temple site,

Which was delivered of the Child

Who is the Father of all beings.

3. You led him to the arena

Where he warded off the accuser,

And then, since it went hard with him,

He became the judge of both parties.

[4.] The holy Trinity

Speaks with Christendom through you

To the Bride and her Christ

You are the friend and private counselor.

5. You come to us, spelling out ‘Abba,’

And take our word back home,

Bring our prayers into heaven

And also bring back the Amen.

[6.] Now help us, your servants,

(Who are consecrated by you yourself)

Make us ashamed of self-righteousness

And hinder all self-help.

7. Help your folk, God the Holy Spirit!

Direct them often to the Lamb of God;

Keep and nurse his own people for all time

With the bloody righteousness.

[8.] Daily, O MOTHER! You are praised

By whoever knows the Savior and you

Because you guide the Gospel

Over all the world around;

9. Because you teach the princes of the people

To walk before the cloud of witnesses;

Because you ordain prophets and

Adorn with wonders and gifts;

10. Because you sanctify priests for the Lamb,

And strew incense in their censors.

The married people and the virgins

You sanctify as your temples.

[11.] That when he comes, the friend,

[And when] the signature of the Son of Man appears

And fills all the world with fear,

You will comfort our eyes with that sign.

The Church’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit[2]

[1.] You, who from the Father joyful

Were sent here to us,

Spirit, of whom the Virgin received

The Son at the proper time;

2. Since the Lamb of God, so red,

Is the Brother of his own people,

And their Father is God of Christ, (John 20:17)

[You are] Mother of the Congregation!

(Gal. 4:26; Song of Sol. 6:8)

3. Your name, our dear God,

Be always near us.

So that the word of Jesus’ death

Shines clearly among our souls

4. Whoever the Savior calls from the grave

To return into life,

Those bring into your Ark,

And teach them to pray, Abba!

5. As in your holy heights, (Ps. 102:20)

Thus also on earth,

Your holy will shall be done

By the flocks of Jesus.

6. The righteousness before God,

Through the blood atonement,

Our dear daily food,

Comes through your serving.

7. MOTHER! Our Father’s grace

Is the life of the church,

Our dear Lord’s patience,

And your manifold forgiveness.

8. We would not want to be tempted,

Do not wish it to any member;

But if you lead one into trial,

The discipline leads to peacefulness.

9. And until the one who is called evil

Lays at the feet of God, (Ps. 110:1, Heb. 2:8)

The church remains in the Holy Spirit

Consecrated before him.

10. Amen,

Breath of Elohim! (Gen. 1:2)

Come in Jesus’ name,

And rule the Sanhedrin

Of your children.


[1] Litaney Büchlein, pp. 70-72.

[2] Litaney Büchlein, pp. 73-74.

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