The Collect 1549
ALMIGHTIE God whiche calledst Luke the phisicion, whose prayse is in the gospell, to be a phisicion of the soule ; it may please thee, by the holsome medicines of his doctryne, to heale all the diseases of our soules; through thy sonne Jesus Christe our Lorde.
The Collect 1662
ALMIGHTY God, who calledst Luke the Physician, whose praise is in the Gospel, to be an Evangelist, and Physician of the soul; May it please thee, that, by the wholesome medicines of the doctrine delivered by him, all the diseases of our souls may be healed; through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Latin Collect translates as “We beseech thee, O Lord, that thy holy Evangelist St. Luke may intercede for us, who always bore in his body the mortification of the cross in honor of thy name.” Archbishop Cranmer, rather justifiably, seems to have found that to fall a bit short of due consideration of the author of a Gospel, and crafted a new prayer admirably reflecting, in very short space, the salient facts of his life and ministry.
What a blessed thing it is that this author of a Gospel, historian of the church, supporter of St. Paul, and powerful early leader of the infant Catholic Church should be not only a preacher and teacher of the Good News of our salvation, but himself a trained healer of the body. What a wonderful reminder that we are not mere ‘souls’ who happen to be housed in a discardable body, but rather complete human beings, body, mind, and spirit, destined to be eternally bound into one, eternally praising Him of whom St. Luke wrote. With the beloved physician may we always profess, believe, and “look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come.”
The 1549/1662 Collect contains the phrase "whose praise is in the gospel," which many will not recognize as an allusion to 2 Cor. 8:18, "And we have sent with him [i. e., Titus] the brother who praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches." From early times this unnamed brother, traveling with Titus, has been taken to be Luke, with this being a mention of his literary activity with the third Gospel. Of course this dates the third Gospel much much earlier than most scholarship will allow. Hence the Collect was totally recast in the 1928 Prayer Book. This also explains why RSV and ESV gratuitously paraphrase "gospel" to "the preaching of the gospel." I always use the 1662 Collect as the special collect between the Post-communion Thanksgiving and the Blessing.
Laurence K. Wells+
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