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Prevenient grace

Let us pray (in silence) [that we may know God’s love and grace before, in, and after anything we do]

pause

Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us,
that we may continually be given to good works;
through Jesus Christ
who is alive with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.
Amen.

The above is my reworking of the collect shared by Roman Catholics and Episcopalians/Anglicans this coming Sunday and the week following. Arriving at the above has been for me a long, prayerful process – a type of lectio for me. I worked and reworked it, and kept returning to this, close to the TEC BCP and CofE’s Common Worship version. I am very happy to receive comments and also suggestions for improvement.

The original was

Tua nos, Domine, quaesumus, gratia semper et praeveniat et sequatur, ac bonis operibus jugitur praestet esse intentos.

Cranmer (1549) had this as:
LORD we praye thee that thy grace maye alwayes prevente and folowe us, and make us continuallye to be geven to all good workes thorough Jesus Christe our Lorde.

I have had a commentary on this collect here.

TEC’s BCP has:

Lord, we pray
that your grace may always precede and follow us,
that we may continually be given to good works;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

The Roman Catholic new translation 2011:

May your grace, O Lord, we pray,
at all times go before us and follow after
and make us always determined to carry out good works.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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1 thought on “Prevenient grace”

  1. I must admit I have a penchant for Cranmer’s words – these collects were all I knew in my early years (and I write as one just past the half century.

    I know that ‘prevente’ has somewhat changed its meaning, but there is a sense in which, as in the story of Balaam, the angel of the LORD goes ahead of us in order to block our way, to Prevent us . . . from making an ass of ourselves 🙂

    It’s one of those examples where haste in clearing up a confusion can, in some respects at least, leave us the poorer?? 🙂

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