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The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany MMXII

The Collect


Almighty GOD, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright; Grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through ...


Latin original Collect:


Deus, quis nos in tantis periculis constitutos, pro humana scis fragilitate non posse subsistereda nobis salutem mentis et corporisutea, quae pro peccatis nostris patimurte adjuvante vincamus, per...

--Gelesian Sacramentary


Introit:  Worship him all ye his angles: Zion heard and was glad….

Epistle:  Romans 13:23-27  Owe no man anything, but to love…

Gradual: So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord…

Gospel:  Matthew 8: 23-27  And when he entered into a ship…


See it all here


This translation is like the Anglican 1662, differing only with the "Almighty" where the Anglican uses "O" – There is no "Almighty" used in the Latin.  Here is Strodash's translation:


God, who knowest that because of our human frailty we are not able to stand amid the so many perils surround us: Grant us health of mind and body that those things which we suffer because of our sins, thou aid us, we may conquer, through….


Here is Cranmer's version


GOD, which knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that for man's frailness, we cannot always stand uprightly; Grant to us the health of body and soul that all those things which we suffer for sin, by thy help we may pass and overcome, through Christ our LordAmen

The collect is similar to the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, which attributed to God the knowledge our human weakness.  We admit that we are not able to stand alone against all the perils that surround usHere we speak of actual physical dangers-not only the spiritualThis collect is directly related to the Gospel account, where Jesus entered the ship, slept, and a great storm arose on the Galilee and threatened the very lives of the ApostlesThe waves dashed the little ship about; water flooding the deck.  The Apostles feared for their livesThey expected the little ship would be broken up, and they all would perish.  They called upon Jesus to save them, and he stilled the waters. However, before he did so, he admonished them saying, "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?"


This collect also has a bearing upon events of the dayIt appeared in Gregory's Sacramentary on Lenten Ember SaturdayGregory lived in a very troubled time for the Roman Empire, and one can imagine how he who prayed this collect was aware of the nearness of danger from the foes of Rome.


How does this collect speak to you today?  Consider human nature.  We all are subject to the assaults of the world and the devilWe sometimes follow our weaknesses into situations and behaviors we regretPaul wrote to the Romans, "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.  For that which I do, I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. " [Romans 7:14-15]


Human weakness is the cause, it is the reason, but it is no excuse.  There is a wayPaul said, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.[1 Cor 10:13


But we do in fact failThe judge, the policeman, the minister, the mother and father, we all failWe may aim for that which is holy, and live with an objective of piety, holiness, and righteousness in our thoughts, words, and deeds day in day out – minute by minute, but we all fail sometime,  and all suffer the consequences.  We are not GodHe has not perfected us in this world.  So we confess our sins and ask God to forgive us, be patient with us, support us, and help us to overcome the evil of the day with the good he has commandedWe wish to abide with him, and endeavor to follow his commandments, and finally, day by day, we pray:


"Forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to usAnd lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil…"

[Luke 11:4]




Some may like to contemplate today's Gospel and the collect with this great hymn adopted by the Royal and US Navy  - Eternal Father Strong to Save  -- with lyrics:


(Portions were paraphrased and passages cited from The Collect of the Day, by Paul Zeller Strodach, 1939, The United 


Lutheran Press, Philadelphia)


The Ancient Collect: Its history and form


*The introit and gradual appointed are the same as the Third Sunday after the Epiphany.

Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]


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