The Collect on Sunday, the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, was somewhat more wordy than many. Its complexity and length ought not to deter our returning to it, to ponder it and pray with it in these days that follow (not least because this year it will not get much weekday use because of the saints’ feast and memoria days during the week).
There is a certain rise and fall in the business of the language of the Collect.
- It starts quietly, and openly, with lots of ‘o’s, and ‘h’s, lots of breath, and softer consonants – m’s, n’s, f’s – and the digraph ‘th’.
- Then the sound gets busier, more percussive (hard consonants, shorter words), and there is even a little change in complexity of language and rhythm, in consequence of its prepositional phrase, ‘with you as our ruler and guide’.
- In its final section, things slow down again, evoking confidence that there is to be a spiritual soft landing for us, if we will avail of it!
O God, protector of those who hope in you,
without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing is holy,
bestow in abundance your mercy upon us
and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may use the good things that pass
in such a way as to hold fast even now
to those that ever endure.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
A Collect of some verbal complexity that invites us to a simpler trust in God. A Collect that invites us to a more discriminating use of the things of this world – avoiding the bad and making best use of the good so that we might – with God’s help – participate in that which endures, sharing in the life of the kingdom.
- What are the good things that help you become kingdom-ready?
- Give thanks for them! And for God!
- What are the things you do best to avoid? And what helps you with that?
Market, Cracow, Poland. (c) 2013, Allen Morris