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Passion Sunday - The Fifth Sunday of Lent MMXII

Keep, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy household in thine unceasing goodness that, as it leans only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace, so it may be always defended by thy protection; through the Lord...

[Liturgy Explorer]
Latin original Collect:
Familium tuam, quaesumus Domine, continua pietate custodi: ut quae in sola spe gratiae coelestis innititur, tua semper protectione muniatur, per Dominum
--Gelesian Sacramentary

Introit:  Judge me O God: and plead my cause against an ungodly man.
Ps:  O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me: …
Epistle:  Hebrews 9:11-15 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come…
Gradual:  Deliver me O Lord from mine enemies: teach me to do thy will.
Gospel:  John 8:46-59  Which of you convinceth me of sin?...

This Sunday is known also as Judica for the opening of the Latin introit: "Judge"
The Anglican Prayer Book did not use the Latin collect, and the Lutherans adopted the BCP collect. 

Familium tuam, quaesumus Domine
--Your family, we beseech thee Lord

We are family. We are of the household of God. When we were baptized into Christ, we were raised up as sons of God the Father, and brothers of Christ.  Make no mistake about the relation scripture teaches. God the Father is the first person of the family of the Trinity, and we are adopted into that family. Listen to the words of the Gospel today, "I honor my Father", and "He that is of God heareth God's words".  Does the scripture speak to your heart? Know that it does not so speak to all men. Yet, God has called out from all mankind those whom he has chosen as his own, and has given them to Christ, and they hear his voice, and know him as the Son of God, and follow him, and he will lose none of them -- for they are family [John 17]

continua pietate custodi
--Keep in continual godliness

Our first petition. How shall the Father keep his family of saints in godliness? By his Spirit who dwells in us and leads us into all righteousness. By the Blood of Christ; Paul asks in the epistle, "How much more shall the Blood of Christ…purge you from dead works to serve the living God?" [Hebrews 9:14].  He disciplines his children when they stumble to help to keep them in goodness; "But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." [1 Corinthians 11:32]."

ut quae in sola spe gratiae coelestis innititur
which is based solely in the hope of heavenly grace

Our walk with Christ, as adopted sons of God the Father, is based solely upon the heavenly grace of God – It is through that grace that we become a member of that holy family, live in godliness, continue in the family, fall asleep in Christ, and shall finally come into his heavenly kingdom… not by "dead" works, but by grace alone.

tua semper protectione muniatur
May we always be defended by the protection of the Lord

Our second petition. I am reminded of the Breastplate of Patrick often recited on his feast day of 17 March--just passed, and how his prayer to the Lord was to bind himself to the Trinity. Patrick did not rely on his perceived merit to protect him, but only upon the Trinity family and his relation to God, and in Christ who abided with him and went before, behind, above and with him to keep him from every evil. 

Read more: 
See an homily by Chrysostom on the Epistle


(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

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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