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Advent 1

Let us pray (in silence) [that we long for the advent of Christ]

Pause

Almighty God,         [or God of hope or God of justice and peace]
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness,
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in the which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
so that on the last day when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal,
through him who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit now and for ever.
Amen.

This is part of my reworking collects with history and commentary.

Prior to 1549 the Latin Missal had a “Stir up” collect. The collect is based on Romans 13:12, still retained as the second reading in Year A. It holds together cast off darkness – put on light, mortal life – life immortal, great humility – glorious majesty. The fulcrum is our own present “now” (this “now” in the 1549-1928 versions was also contrasted with “in the last day”, words retained in some contemporary versions but removed in NZ).

The conclusion may have been derived from a postcommunion prayer in the Gelasian Sacramentary (1145) [Gregorian Sacramentary (813) Other prayers for Advent] “that they who rejoice at the advent of your only-begotten according to the flesh, may at the second advent, when he shall come in his majesty, receive the reward of eternal life.”

The requirement to repeat the collect after other collects (sic.) every day in Advent is a 1662 innovation by Bishop Matthew Wren. This was softened to “may be said” in the Table to Regulate Observances p.941 NZPB. That whole Table has been removed in the 2005 edition by General Synod in 2004. But the suggestion has, for some reason, been retained in the Lectionary. There is no suggestion or mention of it in General Synod’s replacement text on precedence in liturgical observance. I most strongly advocate that contemporary renewed understanding of the function of the collect means that there is only one collect in the Gathering in a Eucharist. To do otherwise disempowers a collect, diminishing it to the level of another one of the leader’s favourite prayers. [See alsoCelebrating Eucharist Chapter 6]

Common Worship version CofE:

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Book of Common Prayer 1979 version The Episcopal Church (USA)

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness,
and put on the armor of light,
now in the time of this mortal life
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility;
that in the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

New Zealand Prayer Book version

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast off the works of darkness
and put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
so that when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit
one God now and for ever.
Amen.

NZPB p. 550c

Original, Southern Hemisphere Advent collects
An outline example and resources for an Advent Eucharist
Advent in the Southern Hemisphere

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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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