Saturday, December 01, 2018

A year of Collects

I miss regular blogging - I really do - and though experience suggests that I'm unlikely to actually manage to return to the habit (I thought I was busy in the past, but was sadly deluded) I wanted to encourage myself to at least attempt some kind of weekly reflection...
Sometimes, - often - I find myself with so much I'd like to write - but the stories aren't mine to share
Or, once in a while I actually have time and space - and can think of nothing to say.

So, as a new church year begins, I wondered about attempting to write something about the Collects - those liturgical gems, the seasoned and seasonal baskets in which we gather all the prayers of the faithful week by week .
They bring together the attributes of God and the felt needs of humanity in prayers of such beauty that simply to read the words is to begin the process of feeling those prayers answered, and like a sonnet their form is so clearly defined that there is no danger of rambling on in "vain repetitions".
They are the antithesis of those lengthy extemporary prayers whose the use of "just" seems to have no impact in breaking the flow of words with which the Almighty is bombarded.
Collects are refined and focused, each word selected and polished with loving care  - expressing something of the liturgical theme of the day and launching the congregation on a journey which will last for the rest of the Eucharist.

Here's the wikipedia definition (I love "for one thing only and that in the tersest language")....but it is, unsurprisingly, the poetry that draws me and makes the praying of the Collect a joy.

A collect generally has five parts:[1][3]:250
  • Invocation or address: indicating the person of Trinity addressed, usually God the Father, rarely God the Son
  • Acknowledgement: description of a divine attribute that relates to the petition (often qui ... - who ... )
  • Petition: "for one thing only and that in the tersest language"[3]:249
  • Aspiration:
    • The desired result (begins with the word ut - in order that)
    • Indication of a further purpose of the petition
  • Pleading:
    • Conclusion indicating the mediation of Jesus Christ.
    • Response by the people: Amen

We start the new year tomorrow with one of the most beautiful Collects of all.

It may be the only one that I write about - but let's see.
I've always been a great one for MAKING new year resolutions...

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