Let us pray (in silence) (that we may put God at the heart of our lives).

Silence.

O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy;
enfold us in your gracious care and mercy,
that with you to govern and to guide us
we may so use your gifts in this fleeting world
that we do not lose the good that is eternal;
through Jesus Christ
who is alive with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.

Amen.

This coming Sunday, once again, Anglicans (The Episcopal Church, and others who follow its Prayer Book) and Roman Catholics pray the same collect, a collect that can be traced at least back one and a half millennia to the Gregorian Sacramentary:

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.

My reworking of it, above, has had one eye on Anglican and Roman Catholic translations. My reworking is not a formal equivalent translation. I hope it echoes some of the alliteration etc., is memorable (“by heart”), and does not wear too thin too quickly with repetition. I hope it is clear that preparing my version of the collect has taken considerable time, and care, and prayer.

An earlier commentary I wrote on this collect is here.

In the comments I would be happy to receive suggestions for improvement. I went for “use”/”loose”; govern/guide. I tried some of the following:

…we may live with your good gifts that are passing
in such a way that we do not lose the eternal…

…we may so live with your good gifts in this fleeting world
that we do not lose the eternal…

…we may live with your good gifts in this fleeting world
in such a way that we hold fast to the eternal…

…in such a way that we lose not the good that is eternal…

…that we lose not the good that is eternal…

…in such a way that we do not lose what is eternal…

*****
[Update 26 July 2015: You can find the free book of collects here]

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