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Happy New Year

Herewith a set of prayers for New Year’s Day from the old Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (1906) (the BCW is a model of reverent, dignified, eloquent, and beautiful forms, and includes numerous prayers for various times and seasons; may its use increase!).

ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, who hast continued
our life from year to year ; Grant that by longer 
life we may become less desirous of temporal pleasures and 
more careful of eternal happiness. So teach us to number 
our days that our minds may be more withdrawn from 
vanity and folly, more enlightened with the knowledge of 
Thy will, and more invigorated with power to obey it. O 
Lord, calm our thoughts, direct our desires, and fortify our 
purposes, that we may walk with cheerful confidence in 
the path which Thou hast appointed for us, growing wiser 
and stronger in spirit as we advance in years ; and so sup- 
port us by Thy grace that we may live in Thy favour and 
die in Thy peace ; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen. 

THOU who art from everlasting to everlasting, without 
beginning or end of days; Replenish us with 
heavenly grace, at the beginning of this year, that we may 
be enabled to accept all its duties, to perform all its labours, 
to welcome all its mercies, to meet all its trials, and to 
advance through all it holds in store for us, with cheerful 
courage and a constant mind. O Lord, suffer us not to be 
separated from Thee, either by joy or sorrow, or any sin 
or weakness of our own ; but have compassion upon us, 
and forgive us, and keep us in the strong confidence of 
Thine eternal love in Jesus Christ: that as Thou hast called 
us to immortality through Him, so we may pass the residue 
of our years in the power of an endless life : and to Thy 
Name shall be all the praise. Amen. 

EVER-LIVING God, by whose mercy we have come to 
the gateway of another year ; Grant that we may enter 
it with humble and grateful hearts ; and confirm our reso- 
lution, we beseech Thee, to walk more closely in Thy way, 
and labour more faithfully in Thy service, according to the 
teaching and example of Thy Son our Lord. Let not the 
errors and offenses of the past cling to us, but pardon us 
and set us free, that with a purer purpose and a better 
hope, we may renew our vows in Thy Presence, and set 
forth under the guidance of Thy Spirit, to travel in that 
path which shineth more and more unto the perfect day of 
Thy heavenly kingdom. Amen.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.