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Corpus Christi

Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi – the Celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ; a Day of Thanksgiving for Holy Communion. Here is the NZ Anglican official collect:

Loving God,
at the breaking of bread you are made known.
In the Sacrament we are fed
with the living bread;
guide us to lives which revere and honour
the redeeming love of Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Anyone who has been following this website for a while will know that I have been a strong advocate of Trinitarian prayers (for the Eucharistic Prayer and the Collect). We pray to God, the First Person of the Trinity, in and through Christ within whose body, the Church, we are drawn into God by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The above Kiwi collect simply feels as if it started life as a prayer addressed to Jesus, and it was retrofitted to Trinitarian format by using find-and-replace ‘Jesus’ to ‘God’. Its theology is straight out of the page 512-514 (NZ Prayer Book) Eucharistic Prayer where we ask our Loving God that we “be your body in the world”.

And anyone who can explain, on first hearing, what is meant by “guide us to lives which revere and honour…” wins a prize! Does it mean we are asking God to guide us to meet people who live lives which revere and honour the redeeming love of Christ? Or is it intended to mean “guide us to live lives…” And how many people are going to mispronounce the homograph “lives” as the third-person singular verb (of live) rather than the plural noun?

And this is the revised collect. I wonder now what it looked like before revision?

I really don’t know what is wrong with:

Let us pray (in silence) [that through the eucharist we may grow into Christ’s life]

pause

Gracious and merciful God,
in a wonderful sacrament you have given us
a memorial of the passion of your Son
Jesus Christ;
grant that we who receive these sacred mysteries
may grow up into him in all things
until we come to your eternal joy;
through our Saviour Jesus Christ
who is alive with with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.
Amen

NZPB/HKMA p. 586a

A history and reflection on this more appropriate collect is here.

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One Response to Corpus Christi

  1. I am pleased that today, my Parish will celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi. I recall this particular feast from my days as an RC (now an Anglican) and it was often transferred.

    But we being of a slightly more traditional brand, seek to celebrate feasts on their correct date.

    The CofE Collect today:

    Lord Jesus Christ,
    we thank you that in this wonderful sacrament
    you have given us the memorial of your passion:
    grant us so to reverence the sacred mysteries
    of your body and blood
    that we may know within ourselves
    and show forth in our lives
    the fruits of your redemption;
    for you are alive and reign with the Father
    in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and for ever.

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About This Site Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.

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