Detail from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, Confession of Sinimage :: Detail from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer

What’s a “collect” and why are collects a part of the 2014 Lenten Readings?

A collect is a single-sentence prayer. You’ll see that these short collects are beautiful, memorable & have a certain form to them that teaches us quite a bit about how to pray:

  • They key off of the Scripture
  • They count on the mediation of Christ in worship (through Jesus Christ our Lord)
  • They are Trinitarian (who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever)
  • They call out particular aspects of Who God is
  • They boldly ask the Lord to bless His people in specific ways
  • They always conclude with a corporate “Amen” (so be it)

This year’s Lenten Readings prayers are drawn from the collects of the Book of Common Prayer first published in 1549.  Collected, curated, translated & corrected under English reformer Thomas Cranmer, the BCP is a treasure trove of liturgical elements derived from the old Latin liturgies.

These have been a help to me.  I hope they’ll be a help to you.

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