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that they may all be one

Seventh Sunday of Easter 2022

that they may all be one
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Let us pray (in silence) [that the God who entices us may also enable us to be transformed]

pause

Almighty and everliving God,
conform our wills freely to yours,
and direct our hearts
to share your glory by our undivided service;
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 for my Book of Prayers in Common in which I seek to provide a set of collects with history and commentary.

Christians have been praying this collect, on the equivalent of the Seventh Sunday of Easter for at least 12 centuries. It has not been used much in post-Reformation churches, and after Vatican II it was moved to the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time in the Roman Rite. But it still fits fine in its historic position.

Read my comments at: Seventh Sunday of Easter or below.

In the Southern Hemisphere, this is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Don’t forget this is still the Easter Season: the Easter Candle is still lit at all services, and “Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!” is still being used, with “Alleluia” added to other responses also.

Commentary on the Collect

This collect appears three times in the Gelasian Sacramentary. It is the collect for the Sunday after the Ascension in the Sarum rite and, for that Sunday, through into the 1962 Roman Missal. After Vatican II, it was moved to the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time in the Roman Rite. I do not know of its occurrence in any post-Reformation Anglican Rites.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, fac nos tibi semper et devotam gerere voluntatem, et maiestati tuae sincero corde servire.

fac present singular imperative of facere do, make, create, ensure, enable, cause

gerere from the third century can mean “to celebrate a festival” or simply “celebrate”, “to be pregnant”, to exercise, conduct

servire (“serve”) “to be useful for, be of service to”.

maiestas is equivalent to gloria (Greek δόξα doxa). See 2 Cor 3:18.

Make us always both exercise a free-will devoted to you
and serve your majesty with a sincere heart.

We will find our glory (a share in God’s glory) in service, in our free-will devoted to God.

God, in Christ, comes in self-emptying service, and we share in God’s glory by our service. God entices and enables us to share in the gift of our transformation. May we behave in this way, with our behaviour only possible by our cooperation with God’s gift. 

ICEL (1973):

Almighty and ever-living God, our source of power and inspiration, give us strength and joy in serving you as followers of Christ.

In the failed 1998 English Missal translation:

God ever faithful and true,
form our wills at all times to accord with your own, and so direct our hearts,
that we may render you undivided service.
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):

Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart.

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