I am astonished to once again stumble over, without any explanation, that this Sunday (September 27) and the week following once again Roman Catholics and Episcopalians (Anglicans)  will be praying the same prayer at the Eucharist and at their Daily Offices.

This is the Roman Catholic version of the prayer:

Father,
you show us your almighty power
in your mercy and forgiveness.
Continue to fill us with your gifts of love.
Help us to hurry towards the eternal life
you promise and come to share in the joys
of your kingdom.

This is the Episcopalian version of the prayer:

O God,
you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity:
Grant us the fullness of your grace,
that we, running to obtain your promises,
may become partakers of your heavenly treasure;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Both are translations of

Deus,
qui omnipotentiam tuam
parcendo maxime et miserando manifestas,
multiplica super nos gratiam tuam,
ut, ad tua promissa currentes,
caelestium bonorum facias esse consortes.

There is more about this prayer’s history and a reflection on it if you click on the collect reflection for this week.

Let us widen the circle that prays this prayer together this coming weekend and week.

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

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)!

Creation Season
Many communities celebrate a Season of Creation during September. Some communities do this by abandoning the three year lectionary that it has taken us so long to grow into agreement internationally and ecumenically.

This site encourages a greater consciousness of our responsibility towards creation. It is also firmly committed to the three year lectionary. I believe it is possible to keep the three year series AND to focus on creation. Doing so means communities, worship leaders, and preachers also grow in agility and awareness of creation threads and themes throughout our Christian tradition.

Most important, of course, is not just thinking about creation – but putting new disciplines into our lives – individually, communally, nationally, globally.

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