What is the Kyrie?
The Kyrie is a prayer for mercy. It is short for the Latin, “Kyrie, eleison”, which means “Lord, have mercy.” The three phrases of the Kyrie remind us that our cries for mercy are heard and answered by the Triune God. This cry for mercy is not just about our sins, but covers all needs and troubles.
What do these words have to do with our worship?
Since God has come into our midst, we now send our prayers to God that He would have mercy on us in all our needs. We ask that God the Father would supply our needs of body and soul. We ask that Jesus would grant us His grace as we face each day, that His peace would guard our hearts and minds. We ask that the Holy Spirit would dwell in us and keep Christ before us that our faith may be strengthened to face whatever the day brings.
What does the Bible say about this?
Exodus 25:17ff - God’s throne in the Temple is called the mercy seat.
Psalm 31 - David prays for God’s mercies in regard to a host of troubles and trials that afflict him.
Psalm 51 - David prayers for God’s mercy in forgiveness.
Matthew 9:27; 15:22; 17:15; - Those blind, loved ones of the demon possessed, and loved ones of an epileptic cry out of mercy. These are some examples of people with various trials who asked Jesus for mercy.
When you are praying for someone you may want to ask God for His mercy for whatever the problem is. You may even include the words, “Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.” You may also want to sing these hymns from LSB: 696, 708, 729, 761.
Read the story of the 10 lepers in Luke 17:11-17. Ask what the lepers wanted. Then ask what Jesus did. Tell them that Jesus heard their cry and met their need because of His mercy for them. Teach them to be thankful for God’s mercy like the one leper who returned. Then teach them that when we sing “Lord have mercy upon us, Christ have mercy upon us, Lord have mercy upon us,” we are asking for God to be merciful to us about our sins and anything else that bothers us.
Lord, have mercy on us in all our troubles. In Jesus’ name. Amen.