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Twenty Second Sunday after Trinity MMXII

God, our refuge and our strength, give ear to the pious prayers of thy Church, Author of all Godliness, and grant that what we ask for in faithfulness, we may obtain effectually, by the Lord.

Dues, refugium nostrum et virtus: adesto piis Ecclesiae tuae precibus, auctor ipse pietatis, et praesta ut quod fidelitar petimus, efficaciter consequamur, per Dominum. [Gelasian Sacrementary]

Original English Translation
GOD, our refuge and strength, which art the author of all godlines, be ready to heare the devoute prayers of thy churche; and graunt that those thynges which we aske faithfully we maye obteine effectually; through Jesu Christe our lorde. Amen.[1549 BCP]

Introit: If thou Lord shouldest mark iniquities...
Ps: Our of the depths have I cried...
Epistle:  Philippians 1:3-11 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you...
Gradual: Behold how good and pleasant it is...
Gospel: Matthew 18:23-35  Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king...

see it all here

Lord willing we will continue this study of the ancient collects that are retained in the traditional liturgical worship of the west and complete it on the Sunday before Advent. One church year since we began.

What a lovely little prayer we have to consider this week.  

I read the lessons for today and the Epistle of Paul seemed to compliment the collect very well.  Let us look at it in some detail:

Salutation: Simply "God" with no descriptive adjectives

Attribute:  "Author of all Goodness, Our refuge and our strength."

In the prayer these two are reversed,  but in my mind these attributes are best discussed as shown above.

* Author of all Godliness. I am reminded of James' epistle where he speaks of every good and perfect gift from God.  I remember too the Gospel where Jesus asked if a father would give his children a serpent, and how much more would God the Father give good gifts to his beloved children.  We have a collect in my tradition that I say nearly every morning in season that echos this scripture: 

Almighty and everlasting God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift; Send down upon our Bishops, and other Clergy, and upon the Congregations committed to their charge, the healthful Spirit of thy grace; and, that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honour of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen

May it ever be so for the Order!

* "Our refuge and our strength"  Two more excellent qualities enumerated here from the opening of Psalm 46 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. They were made to go with each other.

Petition -- "give ear to the pious prayers of thy Church." Again my thoughts return to the Gospel of Luke. "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"  That is his promise, and our comfort and assurance of his goodness.

Result -- "and grant that what we ask for in faithfulness, we may obtain effectually,"  I now turn to today's Epistle. Paul wrote to the Philippians with love, and told them how confident he was in their eternal salvation. He begins by addressing them as saints. That is good to remember on All Saints Sunday, that all that are in Christ are his saints.  He wrote,  "to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi."  Then Paul delivers the bottom line up front (BLUF) as we say, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."   He will indeed brothers. You may count on his word and pledge, "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."

Termination "Through the Lord"...

Affirmation " Amen"



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