Friday, April 13, 2007

The Collect: Easter I

The Latin Prayer
Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut qui paschalia festa peregimus, haec, et largiente, moribus et vita teneamus

Grant in thy goodness, almighty God, that we who have celebrated these paschal rites may hold to them in our life and conduct.

The Prayer (1549 and later)
Almighty Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

This collect was written by Archbishop Cranmer for the second Communion of Easter Sunday (if there should be a second celebrated). the 1549 Book assigned the same collect also to Low Sunday, the Archbishop presumably having thought the Latin prayer to be a bit lean in content (justifiably, as it refers only to the rites having been celebrated and not to their significance), and a desire to express some seldom expressed, yet thoroughly Catholic, emphases often heard from the Reformers. When the second Communion dropped out of the 1662 Book, this collect remained as specific to Low Sunday.

How appropriate it is to be reminded once again that the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord stand at the center of our worship, and it was for us that he suffered and rose again. How appropriate to remember that it was thus that we were made righteous in His sight, that we were justified and pronounced worthy. How appropriate also to remember the continuing presence of evil thinking and doing in our lives, to express our desire to be kept free of them, and to beg His help to live in the state to which He has raised us. May our celebration not be for a day or a season, but may it manifest our whole lives through.

-----------------------ed pacht

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