Stir up your power, O Lord, [or Stir up your power, O God,]
and with your great might
come to our aid,
so that where our sins impede us,
the help of your grace may swiftly deliver us,
through Jesus Christ, our Saviour,
who is alive with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
This is my reworking of the Sarum missal collect that has been with us since at least the Gelasian Sacramentary – over thirteen centuries:
Excita, quæsumus, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni: et magna nobis virtute succurre: ut per auxilium gratiæ tuæ quod nostra peccata præpediunt, indulgentia tuæ propitiationis acceleret. Qui vivis.
It is a prayer shared by Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and others. Advent 2 Sunday focuses on John the Baptist, making straight paths, preparing the way, remembering the first Advent, anticipating the second Advent – all this is wrapped up in the above collect, just as SO much is embodied in the little Child we await(ed). If you want to unwrap some of this, check out my commentary on this prayer.
This collect forms part of my ongoing project The Book of Prayers in Common. And, of course, I’m always open to improvements.