Let us pray (in silence) [that we may grow into the likeness of Christ]
before the passion of your beloved Son
you revealed his glory on the holy mountain:
grant that we who by faith behold the light of his face
may be strengthened to bear the cross,
and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory;
through the same Jesus Christ
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
In my church, The Anglican Church of Or, the formularies allow for:
1) reading the Transfiguration story on the Sunday before Lent
Or not [The 2020 Lectionary booklet makes no mention of the allowed pre-Lent Transfiguration option]
2) reading the Transfiguration story on Second Sunday of Lent
3) reading the Transfiguration story on The Transfiguration of the Beloved Son (August 6)
This means that, in the Anglican Church of Or, we have the ridiculous situation in NZ Anglicanism where the Transfiguration story can be completely omitted for half a dozen years of Sundays!
With the majority of the Church, I stand (surprise!) with reading the Transfiguration story on this coming Sunday, the Second Sunday in Lent.
I am still wondering when the Transfiguration and the Second Sunday in Lent were connected. It seems that the BCP followed Sarum at this point in a separate tradition. I’d love more information if you have it. Best we have, so far, is that Leo the Great preached on the Transfiguration on the Saturday before the Second Sunday in Lent. That is an Ember Day. One person suggested that celebrating the Transfiguration on Lent’s Ember Saturday was earlier than the fixing of Lent 2’s reading, and that Lent 2 went on to repeat the Gospel (of the Transfiguration) from the previous day. The history of the Ember days is fascinating and disputed – and the Lent ones were the last to be added. Hence, we might notice, that Leo doesn’t allude to Ember fasting in the sermons this week. The discussion is here.
In any case, the sermon by Leo covers many of the important points about the Transfiguration. You can read it here.
The Transfiguration does seem to be an ideal story to set at this point as the Church journeys with the catechumens preparing for Easter baptism, and those of us already baptised deepening our baptismal transformation.
There is no Transfiguration collect that I am aware of that is shared across (say) Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. Again, if you are aware of such a shared collect, please let me know. So the above is a collect shared within Anglicanism – based on the first occurrence of a Transfiguration collect in BCP texts (1928). Here is my commentary for this collect for Lent 2.