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run without stumbling

Let us pray (in silence) [that God’s love strengthen us to do God’s will]

pause

Almighty and merciful God,
it is your gift alone
by which your faithful people
offer you true and laudable service,
grant, we beseech you,
that we may run, without stumbling, towards your promises;
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. I am very happy to receive comments and also suggestions for improvement. [Many will be celebrating All Saints’ Sunday this Sunday. Even if that is the case, the All Saints’ Collect is for the feast day alone, not for the week following, so this collect would be used for the weekdays following.]

The original was

Omnipotens et misericors Deus, de cuius munere venit, ut tibi a fidelibus tuis digne et laudabiliter serviatur: tribue, quaesumus, nobis; ut ad promissiones tuas sine offensione curramus.

Cranmer translated this as:

ALMYGHTIE and mercyfull God, of whose onely gifte it cometh that thy faythfull people doe unto thee true and laudable service; graunte we beseche thee, that we may so runne to thy heavenly promises, that we faile not finally to attayne the same; through Jesus Christe our Lorde.

I have had a commentary on this collect here.

TEC’s BCP has:

Almighty and merciful God,
it is only by your gift
that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service:
Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises;
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:

Almighty and merciful God,
by whose gift your faithful offer you
right and praiseworthy service,
grant, we pray, that we may hasten without stumbling
to receive the things you have promised.
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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2 thoughts on “run without stumbling”

  1. The original speaks of obtaining God’s promises – there is a sense of promise fulfilled – whereas all subsequent versions suggest running toward promises without such fulfillment. This calls to mind the image of the donkey forever trying to reach the carrot in front of his nose, whereas the original reminds us that what God promises is truth – God does not lie, nor dangle illusions in front of us, but with divine mercy promises and helps us to attain those promises. Even as we are expected to put forth our own efforts to attain them our efforts are matched by divine grace, and we can be certain that God will not promise that which is unattainable.

    1. Thanks so much for your contribution, Ximon. I would certainly appreciate any improvements that you could offer to improve my rendition, and a deeper interpretation of the original Latin that you refer to.

      Fr John Zuhlsdorf’s literal translation is:

      Almighty and merciful God, from whose gift it comes
      that service be rendered unto You by the faithful worthily and laudably ,
      grant us, we beseech You,
      that we may run toward Your promises without stumbling.

      Blessings

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