Let us pray (in silence) [that our way is prepared for God’s swift coming]
Stir up your power, O Lord, [or Stir up your power, O God,]
and with your great might
come to our aid,
so that where our sins impede us,
the help of your grace may swiftly deliver us,
through Jesus Christ, our Saviour,
who is alive with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
This is my reworking of the Sarum missal collect that has been with us since at least the Gelasian Sacramentary – over thirteen centuries:
Excita, quæsumus, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni: et magna nobis virtute succurre: ut per auxilium gratiæ tuæ quod nostra peccata præpediunt, indulgentia tuæ propitiationis acceleret. Qui vivis.
It is a prayer shared by Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and others. Advent 2 Sunday focuses on John the Baptist, making straight paths, preparing the way, remembering the first Advent, anticipating the second Advent – all this is wrapped up in the above collect, just as SO much is embodied in the little Child we await(ed). If you want to unwrap some of this, check out my commentary on this prayer.
This collect forms part of my ongoing project The Book of Prayers in Common.
Advent Good Deeds Calendar
Many people have great ideas for an Advent Calendar to do a good deed each day. This can involve children, a family, a class, a Sunday School group, etc. Creating a list of good deeds can be part of the activity (shopping for a toy to give away, making cards to give away, bake something to bring to a neighbour, giving away a toy, learn how another culture celebrates at this time of year,…) You can think of a number of ways of choosing from your created list (randomly, in some specific order,…)
Advent badges to put on your blog or website
Many people like, from time to time, to add a badge to their website or blog. If you like the idea – send your friends the URL of this blog post.
The HTML for adding the above badge to your blog or website is:
Charles de Foucauld
Today is the feast of Charles de Foucauld. Here is his wonderful Prayer of Abandonment:
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.