Introducing Liturgy!

This post marks the beginning of a new feature of Pray Tell Blog. We will occasionally be reposting material from Liturgy, the website of Rev. Bosco Peters.

profile-500x500Fr. Bosco, is a “former lecturer and examiner in Church, Ministry and Sacraments for L.Th. at College House Institute of Theology, Christchurch, guest lecturer 2007 Bible College of New Zealand in theology and film, member of Societas Liturgica, and an associate of Kopua Cistercian Monastery with a long interest in spirituality.”  Additionally, he is a priest in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and brings a great sense of the liturgical spirit of that Church, as well as giving Pray Tell Blog readers with an ecumenical perspective on liturgical issues. You can read more about Fr. Bosco here.

Liturgy is an “ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities.” 

 

Below is an example of one of the great features of the site where Fr. Bosco highlights when Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and others pray a collect that comes from the same source, as well as providing his own translation and commentary on the sources. It is part of the “Reflections” series he posts as part of his commentary and resources for each week:

Prevenient grace

Let us pray (in silence) [that we may know God’s love and grace before, in, and after anything we do]

Pause

Lord, [or Lifegiving God]
we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us,
that we may continually be given to good works;
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 part of my attempt to provide a set of collects with history and commentary.

The original is:

Tua nos, Domine, quaesumus, gratia semper et praeveniat et sequatur, ac bonis operibus jugitur praestet esse intentos.

In earlier Books of Common Prayer (1549-1928), from the Sixth Sunday after Trinity until the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity there had been a series of collects drawn from the Gelasian Sacramentary. This prayer interrupts that arrangement by using a collect from the Gregorian sacramentary where it is found amongst prayers for morning or evening (966). It is also there in the supplement (1177) as the collect for the seventeenth Sunday after the Pentecost octave. In other words the seventeenth Sunday after Trinity. It stayed at this position, the seventeenth Sunday after Trinity, from the Sarum missal to the 1928 Prayer Book.

Cranmer (1549) had this as:
LORD we praye thee that thy grace maye alwayes prevente and folowe us, and make us continuallye to be geven to all good workes thorough Jesus Christe our Lorde.

“Prevent” was used in the sense of “go before” – a meaning lost on those who think of it in its contemporary sense of “hinder”. At its core this collect highlights that God’s love for us precedes our doing “good works”. God’s love for us is not dependent, not conditional, on our doing “good works”. We pray here not only highlighting God’s anticipating grace but for grace that accompanies us – “co-operating” grace.

Roman Catholics and Episcopalians/Anglicans may not realize they are actually praying the same collect on the same day: 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time – the Sunday closest to October 12. As far as I can see there is no version of this in the New Zealand Prayer Book. …

The Book of Common Prayer (TEC/USA) p.234-5 has:

Lord, we pray

that your grace may always precede and follow us,
that we may continually be given to good works;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

The 1962 Roman Missal moved Domine to after quaesumus rather than having it before quaesumus as above.
ICEL 1973 translated this collect for Roman Catholics as:

Lord,
our help and guide,
make your love the foundation of our lives.
May our love for you express itself
in our eagerness to do good for others.

In the failed 1998 English Missal translation:

Let your tireless grace accompany us, Lord God, let it go before us and follow after,
that we may never slacken in our resolve
to pursue the practice of good works.
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.

The new RC translation (2011) rendered it as:

May your grace,
O Lord, we pray,
at all times go before us and follow after
and make us always determined to carry out good works.

In the Church of England it has been restored to the seventeenth Sunday after Trinity in Common Worship (CofE) as the collect after communion:

Lord, we pray that your grace
may always precede and follow us,
and make us continually to be given to all good works;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

© Rev. Bosco Peters (www.liturgy.co.nz)

One comment

  1. I realize that this comment is naive and ignores 50 years of ecumenical halts and stumbles, but: why not let the English speaking Catholic church just utilize the good translation work that our Anglican brothers and sisters already have done? Not just for collects but more broadly for liturgical translation. Must we always reinvent the wheel?

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