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Christmas 2

Let us pray (in silence) [that the new light, poured upon us, shines in our lives]

Almighty God,                [or God of Splendour]
by your incarnate Word
you bathe us in new radiance,
may the same light that enlightens our hearts by faith
brightly shine in all we do,
through Jesus Christ, our Saviour,
who is alive with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

This collect is for the second Christmas Mass in the Gregorian Sacramentary (no. 42) – the dawn stational Mass at St Anastasia’s:

Da nobis, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, ut qui nova incarnati Verbi tui luce perfundimur, hoc in nostro resplendeat opere, quod per fidem fulget in mente. Per eumdem.

It remains in the Roman Rite in Christmas missa in mane (Mass at dawn) and is currently there translated as

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, as we are bathed in the new radiance
of your incarnate Word,
the light of faith, which illumines our minds,
may also shine through in our deeds.

The old missals had no provision for the second Sunday after Christmas Day (even though this Sunday occurs four years in every seven). From the 1552 through 1662 the BCP used the Circumcision propers until Epiphany.

This collect was re-introduced into the Anglican tradition in The Episcopal Church’s BCP 1928 for the Second Sunday after Christmas Day

1928 TEC BCP 2nd Sunday after Christmas Day
Almighty God, who has poured upon us the new light of thine incarnate Word; Grant that the same light enkindled in our hearts may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus our Lord.

In the 1979 TEC BCP the collect was assigned to the  First Sunday after Christmas Day:

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

perfundo literally means “to pour over, to wet”. Figuratively, it becomes ‘to flood, to fill’. There are connections made with baptism.

The emphasis and play on light is significant. The (RCL) Gospel reading for this Sunday for each year is John 1:1-18, with its

in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.
He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.