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July 26 Catholics & Anglicans share prayer

panes_y_peces_5This Sunday Roman Catholics and Episcopalians (Anglicans) are once again praying essentially the same prayer. The source is from at least the eighth century:

Protector in te sperantium, Deus,
sine quo nihil est validum, nihil sanctum:
multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam;
ut, te rectore, te duce,
sic transeamus per bona temporalia,
ut non amittamus aeterna.

Which the BCP (TEC USA) has as

O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
Increase and multiply upon us your mercy;
that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may so pass through things temporal,
that we lose not the things eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

In 1970 the Vatican revised this to:

Protector in te sperantium, Deus,
sine quo nihil est validum, nihil sanctum:
multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam;
ut, te rectore, te duce,
sic bonis transeuntibus nunc utamur,
ut iam possimus inhaerere mansuris.

ICEL has translated this as:

God our Father and protector,
without you nothing is holy,
nothing has value.
Guide us to everlasting life
by helping us to use wisely
the blessings you have given to the world.

There is more on this collect/opening prayer here

As well as shared feasts (eg. of Epiphany, Palm Sunday, Christ the King), I have discovered other days (and the week following) that Anglicans and Catholics pray the same prayer:

October 26
October 12
October 5
August 31

No one has yet been able to come up with an authoritative explanation of how and why Roman Catholics and Episcopalians (Anglicans) are praying the same collects/opening prayers from time to time with a lectionary system that is now shared but is based on a significantly different way of organising the year to the inherited Western system. In my opinion either Episcopalians are drawing from post-Vatican II collect developments (there is no record of this that I am aware of), or both are drawing from an earlier source and system that I cannot get my head around. Whatever it is – it is cool that these prayers are shared and on the same day (week)!

Others are using different collects/opening prayers for this Sunday:
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time July 26 from the collect/opening prayer (NZPB)
7th Sunday after Trinity July 26 from the collect/opening prayer – Common Worship (CofE)

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9 thoughts on “July 26 Catholics & Anglicans share prayer”

  1. A very simple explanation: blame the Holy Spirit. Seems pretty obvious to me…

    Or, a more prosaic explanation: there are only 52 Sundays in the year, and we’d expect a fair number of (what are known in the cryptographic world as) “collisions”. It’s not that surprising after all, if we reckon that we have a certain number of pretty special prayers that several traditions want to reuse.

  2. I don’t get this. I am very ignorant about these things. Is the lectionary the sort of schedule of what is prayed when during Mass for any given week? The collect/opening prayer is obviously the prayer the priest prays right at the beginning of Mass, correct?

    Could it be coincidence? What are the sources for these prayers?

    Sorry to be so thick.

    1. Thanks for your questions. The lectionary is the readings from the Bible appointed for a service. Sometimes “the Lectionary” refers to the book in which those set readings are edited and bound. You are correct, the collect/opening prayer is the prayer said just prior to the readings – this site has a particular focus on these – try the search box. Each week I provide history & commentary of the collect. You can find that from the blog or the home page.

  3. You might check with Max Johnson, professor at Notre Dame. I had him as a teacher in grad school and he’s pretty obsessed with finding liturgical sources and following their lineage. Or Lizette Larson-Miller at the GTU in Berkeley.

    Of course these similar Catholic collects may come to be translated more closely to the Episcopalian English after the next edition of English translations for the Roman Missal.

    1. Thanks for the two names. And I think you are correct – currently it is sometimes difficult to notice these are actually the same collect – with the revised RC translation, whatever people may think about other parts – the collects/opening prayers I think will be improved.

  4. I wonder if it isn’t simply that the Episcopalians kept using the same traditions and calendar after their break with the Catholic Church.

    1. That explains the connections between the 1662 type BCP & the pre-Vatican II missal, but since then the Roman Catholic Church has had its own type of reformation and no longer uses the same “traditions and calendar” of the 16th Century. It is the surprising links between the recent liturgies of the last four decades that is being explored here.

  5. Chimezirim Odimba

    This explains everything, that there can be unity if religion is set aside. It is so hard for the world to get united because of human interpretations and concepts and opinions. I think, I just think that if we set a side our religion for awhile, we can pray together.

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