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Ordinary 17

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

Pause

O God, [or Living 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 is my rendering of the Latin Collect of the Sarum Missal for Trinity 4 (the place it also held from BCP 1549 onwards). In the Gregorian Sacramentary it was used for fourth Sunday after Pentecost (no. 1138):

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.

Cranmer in 1549 had this as:

GOD the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothyng is strong, nothing is holy; increase and multiply upon us thy mercye; that thou being our ruler and guyde, we may so passe through thinges temporall, that we fynally lose not the thinges eternall: Graunt this heavenly father, for Jesu Christes sake our Lorde.

The initial phrase is the same as in a collect in the Gelasian sacramentary (no. 1548) and the Gallican Bobbio missal (no. 442).

Cranmer removed “good” it has been restored in NZPB, but not in BCP (USA) or Common Worship (CofE). NZ has reworked the result clause.

“Finally” in Cranmer’s made a (too?) strong division between “temporal” and “eternal”. The removal of “good” by him (restored by NZPB and by me, above) could suggest that we also find God in difficult, not so good times. But the return of “good” can highlight that the “temporal”/ “things of this present life” are also “good” – against the position that encourages a view that this world is a distraction, and we need to avoid it as much as possible, flee it, to focus primarily on a “spiritual” reality. It is to be hoped that the “good” version does not encourage such a dualistic view, in which someone would be so heavenly minded they were of no earthly use! The ambiguity of the word “service”, for worship and for work, is not an ambiguity we should seek to eliminate.

This is used by Roman Catholics on the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the same day as BCP(USA)’s provision.

NZPB:

Eternal God,
protector of all who put their trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy;
fill us with your mercy and your grace
that with you to rule and guide
we may so use the good things of this present life
that we do not neglect things of eternal worth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

NZPB p.639

Common Worship (CofE) Trinity 4:

O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy;
that with you as our ruler and guide
we may so pass through things temporal
that we lose not our hold on things eternal;
grant this, heavenly Father,
for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

BCP (USA) Proper 12:

O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
Increase and multiply upon us your mercy;
that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may so pass through things temporal,
that we lose not the things eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

For the RC 1970 revision, the final two lines were changed:
Protector in te sperantium, Deus,
sine quo nihil est validum, nihil sanctum:
multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam;
ut, te rectore, te duce,
sic bonis transeuntibus nunc utamur,
ut iam possimus inhaerere mansuris.

(literally, the last two lines would be:
we may so use things that pass away
as to be able to adhere to that which will endure.)

ICEL (1973):

God our Father and protector,
without you nothing is holy,
nothing has value.
Guide us to everlasting life
by helping us to use wisely
the blessings you have given to the world.

In the failed 1998 English Missal translation:

O God,
protector of those who hope in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy,
enfold us in your gracious care and mercy,
that with you as our ruler and guide,
we may use wisely the gifts of this passing world
and fix our hearts even now on those which last for ever.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.

ICEL (2011):

O God, protector of those who hope in you,
without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing in holy,
bestow in abundance your mercy upon us
and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may use the good things that pass
in such a way as to hold fast even now
to those that ever endure.

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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