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Third Sunday of Easter – 14th Ordinary Sunday

resurrection-icon

Let us pray (in silence) [that we may rejoice in sharing in Christ’s resurrection]

pause

O God,
in Christ’s humiliation,
you stooped down,
and raised up the fallen world in the resurrection,
grant to your faithful people a holy joy,
so that those whom you have freed
may delight in you eternally;
through Jesus Christ
who is alive with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

The above is my reworking for my Book of Prayers in Common in which I seek to provide a set of collects with history and commentary. Usually my rendering follows a more formal equivalent translation of the original. In this case I thought that a dynamic equivalent was preferable in rendering the powerful images for our contemporary context.

In the Gelasian Sacramentary, on the Sunday after the Octave of Easter, which we would now refer to as the Third Sunday of Easter, is this collect:

Deus, qui in filii tui humilitatem iacentem mundum erexisti, laetitiam concede fidelibus tuis, ut quos perpetuae mortis eripuisti casibus, gaudiis facias sempiternis perfruere.

Both gaudium and laetitia, can be translated as ‘joy’.

The prayer has clear overtones of Philippians 2. And there is a powerful descent-and-ascent dynamic. In many ways the prayer stands in wonderful dialogue with the Resurrection Icon

Deus – God

qui in filii tui humilitatem iacentem mundum erexisti – you who in the humility of your Son have raised up the ailing world

Iacentem – one lying; one lying ill, dead, in ruins.

humilitatem – humility

concede – grant

fidelibus – to the faithful

ut … gaudiis facias sempiternis perfruere – that you may make to thoroughly enjoy eternal joys

God has raised Christ, the ailing world (iacentem mundum), and the faithful who are snatched (eripuisti) from perpetual death (perpetuae mortis). This is done in the humility of God’s Son (in filii tui humilitatem).

In the Sarum Missal, for Second Sunday after Easter, this is slightly altered to:

Deus, qui in Filii tui humilitate jacentem mundum erexisti: fidelibus tuis perpetuam concede laetitiam; ut, quos perpetuae mortis eripuisiti casibus gaudiis facias perfrui sempiternis. Per eundem…

And there is another slight variation for the 1962 Roman Missal:

Deus, qui Filii tui humilitate iacentem mundum erexisti:
fidelibus tuis sanctam concede laetitiam;
ut, quos perpetuae mortis eripuisti casibus,
gaudiis facias perfrui sempiternis.

In the post-Vatican II Roman Missal it has been moved to the Monday of the fourth week of Easter and the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time and changed to:

Deus, qui Filii tui humilitate iacentem mundum erexisti, fidelibus tuis sanctam concede laetitiam, ut, quos eripuisti a servitute peccati, gaudiis facias perfrui sempiternis.

This was translated for ICEL 1973 as:

Father, through the obedience of Jesus, your servant and your Son, you raised a fallen world. Free us from sin and bring us the joy that lasts forever.

In the failed 1998 English Missal translation this collect for the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time is rendered as:

God of power,
who raised up a fallen world
through the lowliness of your Son,
grant to your faithful people a holy joy,
so that those whom you have rescued from the slavery of sin may delight in the happiness that never ends.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.

The 2012 ICEL translation has it as:

O God, who in the abasement of your Son have raised up a fallen world, fill your faithful with holy joy, for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin you bestow eternal gladness.

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