Let us pray (in silence) [that we long for the advent of Christ]
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 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.
As regulars know, I have been working on a series of collects. The above is my reworking of the collect composed by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer for the 1549 Book of Common Prayer:
ALMYGHTYE God, geve us grace, that we may cast awaye the workes of darknes, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the tyme of this mortall lyfe, (in the whiche thy sonne Jesus Christe came to visite us in great humilitie;) that in the last daye when he shal come again in his glorious majestye to judge bothe the quicke and the dead, we maye ryse to the lyfe immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the holy ghoste now and ever. Amen.
It is quite a light reworking. I am very happy to receive comments and also suggestions for improvement.
It is based on the Epistle (Romans 13:8-14) and Gospel (Matthew 21:1-13) which followed, but is still appropriate with other Advent readings. It is my understanding that there is only one collect – the 1662 rubric to have a collection of collects (Bishop Matthew Wren’s suggestion) with this as one of them is a confusion. This replaces the Sarum collect which began Excita (a “stir up” collect). Roman Catholics, similarly have, after Vatican II, replaced any shared collects during Advent.
The collect rotates around Romans 13:12
ἡ νὺξ προέκοψεν ἡ δὲ ἡμέρα ἤγγικεν ἀποθώμεθα οὖν τὰ ἔργα τοῦ σκότους ἐνδυσώμεθα δὲ τὰ ὅπλα τοῦ φωτός (the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light)
ἀποτίθημι may be better translated as “lay aside”, but I think that “cast off” is so deeply ingrained in our shared memory of this collect that I decided to retain it as it presents a similar image.
Note the pairs of images: cast off… put on; now… on the last day; mortal life… life immortal; great humility… glorious majesty.
“Now” ties together past, present, and future (cf. Romans 13:11 ἤδη – it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep).