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Hear, Read, Mark, Learn, and Inwardly Digest the Scriptures

Heart in the Bible

Inexplicably, the NZ Anglican Church did not put possibly the most famous Anglican collect into its revised services:

BLESSED lord, which hast caused all holy Scriptures to bee written for our learnyng; graunte us that we maye in suche wise heare them, read, marke, learne, and inwardly digeste them; that by pacience, and coumfort of thy holy woorde, we may embrace, and ever holde fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast geven us in our saviour Jesus Christe.

This was written by Thomas Cranmer for the 1549 BCP. As regulars here know, I am working on a project to render shared collects in a contemporary form (Book of Prayers in Common). This is not a collect in the shared western tradition, but it is certainly one that all can say “Amen” to, and one the phrases of which (“hear, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest”) are deeply embedded in our English language (let alone our church culture).

Hence I propose my following reworking:

Let us pray (in silence) [that we may persevere in our growth into God’s life]


God of inspiration,
you caused all holy scriptures to be written for our instruction,
grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,
that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of your holy Word,
we may embrace and ever hold fast to the blessed hope of everlasting life,
which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.

I suggest that (for at least those who are wanting to follow my development of a shared annual set of collects) this be prayed with the millions who will pray it this coming Sunday, November 15, Ordinary Sunday 33.

I provide a commentary here.

Lectio Divina as one way to hear the holy scriptures, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them.

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