Is a collect prayer needed?

I might have missed the lecture about the relevance of the Collect/ Prayer of the day. Is it useful or essential - and, if so, why? A prayer is always a Good Thing; just not clear on its special value, if you see what I mean. I tend to think of it as a dispensable (albeit nice) specialisation.
Tagged:
«1

Comments

  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    Very few things in liturgy are essential. But it depends on the context. If you mean 'is it essential in a Eucharist according to an authorised Anglican or Catholic rite?' I suppose the answer is yes.

    Whether or not it is 'useful' is another question. Its function in the eucharist is to 'collect' or sum up the prayers of the community gathered for worship. We all arrive in church in various states of preparedness; we may have worries or concerns, things we want to give thanks for, or just want space to clear our minds. The presiding minister should recognise this and after the initial greeting allow a time of silence for those thoughts to settle, summing them up in the spoken prayer. I don't see the point in saying 'let us pray' and then launching straight into the collect without giving people chance to pray first.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    I do wonder how many people actually listen to and take in the formal collects found in official liturgical publications.
  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    I for one
    I love Collects!
    So succinct!
  • And often helpful in focussing on the theme of the readings, or of the seasons, e.g. the Anglican collects for the First Sundays of Lent, and Advent, respectively.

    Though I wouldn't call those two particularly 'succinct'.

    The RCC daily Mass collects (which we use during the week) are often short, and very much to the point, but they sometimes sound to me as if they've been written by people whose first language isn't English, IYSWIM.

  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    And often helpful in focussing on the theme of the readings, or of the seasons, e.g. the Anglican collects for the First Sundays of Lent, and Advent, respectively.

    Though I wouldn't call those two particularly 'succinct'.

    The RCC daily Mass collects (which we use during the week) are often short, and very much to the point, but they sometimes sound to me as if they've been written by people whose first language isn't English, IYSWIM.

    This RC member wholeheartedly agrees with your final sentence. Te translation of 2011 is an abomination that explicitly tries to keep to Latin sentence structure and words with Latin rather than Germanic roots. There has been furious online discussion about it.
  • And often helpful in focussing on the theme of the readings, or of the seasons, e.g. the Anglican collects for the First Sundays of Lent, and Advent, respectively.
    In which case I would find it more helpful if they came after the readings, rather than before.
  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    edited January 8
    I do pray but I also remember what Jesus said.

    Matthew 6.8....Your Father knows what things ye have need of before ye ask him.
  • Alan29 wrote: »
    And often helpful in focussing on the theme of the readings, or of the seasons, e.g. the Anglican collects for the First Sundays of Lent, and Advent, respectively.

    Though I wouldn't call those two particularly 'succinct'.

    The RCC daily Mass collects (which we use during the week) are often short, and very much to the point, but they sometimes sound to me as if they've been written by people whose first language isn't English, IYSWIM.

    This RC member wholeheartedly agrees with your final sentence. Te translation of 2011 is an abomination that explicitly tries to keep to Latin sentence structure and words with Latin rather than Germanic roots. There has been furious online discussion about it.

    Yes, I've been told that many RCs heartily dislike the 2011 liturgy.
    And often helpful in focussing on the theme of the readings, or of the seasons, e.g. the Anglican collects for the First Sundays of Lent, and Advent, respectively.
    In which case I would find it more helpful if they came after the readings, rather than before.

    An interesting thought. I wonder if anyone's tried it? Would you suggest having the Collect immediately after the Gospel, and before the sermon/homily - in fact, leading into the sermon/homily?
  • I hadn't thought it through, but I like that idea.
  • I like the collects, as they--well, they help me collect my thoughts, and they give me a form of words I can use privately, too, if I wish. One that is often much, much better phrased than what I struggle to come up with--more comprehensive and insightful.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    When I did the weekly news sheet I used to put the Collect on the front page. People told me they liked to use it through the week. It also saved the priest having to find it elsewhere, in the service.
  • My church doesn’t follow the lectionary, and I tend to think there’s a risk that we become a bit inward looking. Having the collect is one of the things that reminds me that we’re part of a wider church.
  • I hadn't thought it through, but I like that idea.

    Go on! Try it! I dare you!
    :naughty:

  • PhilipVPhilipV Shipmate
    I see what you mean about a summary - although not sure that many will remember the basic meaning of such a short intense prayer and then be able to relate their interpretation of it to the rest of the service; which seems the intention. Clearly it is a devotional theme / area worth working on. The collect can probably work better by using contemporary language in place of obsolete words and phraseology which will be harder to process in the space of 26 seconds. Thank you.
  • PhilipV wrote: »
    The collect can probably work better by using contemporary language in place of obsolete words and phraseology which will be harder to process in the space of 26 seconds. Thank you.
    Well, there is the example of TEC’s ‘79 BCP, in which all the collects appear in both “traditional” and contemporary language, to go with Rite I (traditional language) and Rite II (contemporary language) liturgies.

  • My former director was raised to learn that Sunday's collect by heart, and he would be rewarded by a dime for the movies (this was a while ago....) and another 15c for ice cream. A good half century has passed since then, and he still knows them. He did occasionally puzzle colleagues (only 7% of the Canadian population is Anglican, and the proportion of francophone Anglicans is pretty microscopic) when distributing documents and telling us to Mark, Learn, and Inwardly Digest them.

    I had not previously thought of the collect following the readings.... it's interesting.
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    I had not previously thought of the collect following the readings.... it's interesting.

    My experience is that this works very well at Vespers.

    Because our mission is currently priestless and our only weekly service is Vespers on Saturday evenings, we have our bishop's blessing to incorporate the Divine Liturgy readings into the office, and I usually give a homily after the Gospel.

    With the psalm antiphons, the Ecclesiastical Psalm, the readings, the homily, and the Magnificat antiphon all reinforcing the mystery/theme throughout the office, the Collect in its natural place towards the end is very effective.

    I think the Divine Liturgy already has enough that reinforces the mystery being celebrated all throughout the service so that there would be no real benefit to moving the collect. In our rite at least, it would seem like tampering for the sake of tampering. The praelegendum (which is what our rite calls what is known in the Roman rite as the introit), the hymn, the readings, the gradual, the Alleluia or tract, the homily, the variable parts of the anaphora, as well as other occasional variables, all reflect the theme, and I would go so far as to say that the variables in the anaphora are usually more expositional than the collect.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    I think ‘needed’ in the OP is a strong word.

    In the offices the Collect comes at the end as part of the prayers. In the Eucharist the placing is very different. In either case there may be no clear relationship between the collect and the readings.

    In the Eucharist I take it as a moment when the underlying stream of prayer in the worship comes to the surface (to borrow Michael Perham’s imagery). I try to have looked at the collect sufficiently in advance to have a sense of its theme and purpose. I invite everyone to pray in silence with a brief bidding that fits the theme of the collect, then allow a period for silent prayer before ending it with the collect.
  • I think silence is a very important, and often overlooked, part of any service. However I feel it needs to be earlier than the Collect. My own practice is to have it near the start, immediately before the Collect for Purity, as a chance to lay aside our current preoccupations and listen to God.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    edited January 11
    Alan29 wrote: »
    And often helpful in focussing on the theme of the readings, or of the seasons, e.g. the Anglican collects for the First Sundays of Lent, and Advent, respectively.

    Though I wouldn't call those two particularly 'succinct'.

    The RCC daily Mass collects (which we use during the week) are often short, and very much to the point, but they sometimes sound to me as if they've been written by people whose first language isn't English, IYSWIM.

    This RC member wholeheartedly agrees with your final sentence. Te translation of 2011 is an abomination that explicitly tries to keep to Latin sentence structure and words with Latin rather than Germanic roots. There has been furious online discussion about it.

    The arch comment I got from an RC friend when the 2011 came out was 'I rather like the idea of a Mass in English. Regrettably the Vatican has not yet managed to authorize one.'

    He dislikes both the 1970s translation as clunky, and the 2011 as too Latinate. His current preference is to go to a Latin Mass either ordinary or extraordinary form depending on what is available.

    Collects are something I love, and I even have a fair few memorized, though I have to confess that I find the 1662 easier to memorize than the modern liturgy. At the Lord's Supper they serve to direct our thoughts before we heard the word of God read, whilst at the Office they can often provide a leaping off point for the intercessions before the sermon.
  • PhilipVPhilipV Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    PhilipV wrote: »
    The collect can probably work better by using contemporary language in place of obsolete words and phraseology which will be harder to process in the space of 26 seconds. Thank you.

    Well, there is the example of TEC’s ‘79 BCP, in which all the collects appear in both “traditional” and contemporary language, to go with Rite I (traditional language) and Rite II (contemporary language) liturgies.

    IMO, the 'contemporary' version isn't. It's not quite achieving a sense of holiness in the everyday, which seems necessary. There is still arcane terminology which could appeal to a specialist audience but what if you want to reach a third group for whom Rites I and II does not communicate? The average person will not appreciate: "mercifully grant", "zealous", "multiply", "godly", "armour of light", etc. Most would probably get "cleanse" and "rock of faith".
  • Puzzler wrote: »
    When I did the weekly news sheet I used to put the Collect on the front page. People told me they liked to use it through the week. It also saved the priest having to find it elsewhere, in the service.

    Yeah, we do this, too. I've always thought of the collect for that Sunday (or Feast Day) as even less dispensable than some other rubric bits and bobs (mutter.... creed... mutter), because it summarises the point of the service. It kind of says, 'this is why we're here, God, help us to <whatever it is> Amen'. I notice that the Scottish Episcopal Church has some alternative provision for collects, of variable quality; and re-written others. Some collects - especially as I remember the CofE ones, are a bit wordy and dense to say the least.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    I wouldn't drop either the creed or the collect from a Sunday liturgy.
  • Zappa wrote: »
    I wouldn't drop either the creed or the collect from a Sunday liturgy.

    And quite right too. It is a purely personal bugbear, and I wouldn't inflict it on anyone else.
  • PhilipVPhilipV Shipmate
    What options are there for the creed? Any preferred psalms?
  • The C of E lectionary provides for a different Psalm (or part thereof) for Sunday and weekday Eucharists, as well as Psalms for the Offices, as does the Roman Catholic lectionary (the two are similar, but don't always run in parallel!).

    The options for the Creed are (a) the Nicene Creed, (b) the Apostles' Creed, or (c) any other 'authorised Affirmation of Faith'.

    The latter might be used, say, at an All-Age Service, where the Liturgy of the Word might be shortened, or incorporated into the Baptism part of the service, if that forms part of the Sunday Eucharist (it's a sort of question-and-answer form of the Apostles' Creed).
  • The C of E lectionary provides for a different Psalm (or part thereof) for Sunday and weekday Eucharists, as well as Psalms for the Offices, as does the Roman Catholic lectionary (the two are similar, but don't always run in parallel!).

    The options for the Creed are (a) the Nicene Creed, (b) the Apostles' Creed, or (c) any other 'authorised Affirmation of Faith'.

    The latter might be used, say, at an All-Age Service, where the Liturgy of the Word might be shortened, or incorporated into the Baptism part of the service, if that forms part of the Sunday Eucharist (it's a sort of question-and-answer form of the Apostles' Creed).

    Don't forget the Athanasian Creed, for when you want to ensure maximum length and minimal return attendance for your service.
  • PhilipVPhilipV Shipmate
    I mentioned the Psalms because Psalm 23 has been used as creed. Repeating baptism/ confirmation promises is another option.
  • OblatusOblatus Shipmate
    Don't forget the Athanasian Creed, for when you want to ensure maximum length and minimal return attendance for your service.

    I once attended a Lutheran service on Trinity Sunday for which the pastor was very excited to have planned a responsive recitation of the Athanasian Creed (which is provided in the hymnal). As he greeted me after the service, I said I found that "interesting." He leaned toward one of my ears and whispered, "Never again!"
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    oh, go on, it's rather fun ... all those "incomprehensibles." But drop the sermon and intercessions as chronos-compensation.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    There’s quite a user-friendly Affirmation of Faith in Common Worship which is based on the Athanasian Creed. We use it on Christmas Day.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    There’s quite a user-friendly Affirmation of Faith in Common Worship which is based on the Athanasian Creed. We use it on Christmas Day.

    Does it include all the threats of hell for not believing precisely the right thing?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    The C of E lectionary provides for a different Psalm (or part thereof) for Sunday and weekday Eucharists, as well as Psalms for the Offices, as does the Roman Catholic lectionary (the two are similar, but don't always run in parallel!).

    The options for the Creed are (a) the Nicene Creed, (b) the Apostles' Creed, or (c) any other 'authorised Affirmation of Faith'.

    The latter might be used, say, at an All-Age Service, where the Liturgy of the Word might be shortened, or incorporated into the Baptism part of the service, if that forms part of the Sunday Eucharist (it's a sort of question-and-answer form of the Apostles' Creed).

    Don't forget the Athanasian Creed, for when you want to ensure maximum length and minimal return attendance for your service.

    Rather than say the Athanasian, sing Messiah instead. Not much longer, but will ensure a large return crowd. At the same time, perfectly orthodox as well as non-sectarian.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    edited January 16
    You make me wonder, @Arethosemyfeet, if I’ve got the right meaning of user-friendly. It’s at E7 on this page
  • PhilipV wrote: »
    I mentioned the Psalms because Psalm 23 has been used as creed. Repeating baptism/ confirmation promises is another option.

    Ps 23 as a creed? That sounds interesting, but I've never come across it. Where does that happen please?
  • Choir DroneChoir Drone Shipmate Posts: 13
    Alan29 wrote: »
    And often helpful in focussing on the theme of the readings, or of the seasons, e.g. the Anglican collects for the First Sundays of Lent, and Advent, respectively.

    Though I wouldn't call those two particularly 'succinct'.

    The RCC daily Mass collects (which we use during the week) are often short, and very much to the point, but they sometimes sound to me as if they've been written by people whose first language isn't English, IYSWIM.

    This RC member wholeheartedly agrees with your final sentence. Te translation of 2011 is an abomination that explicitly tries to keep to Latin sentence structure and words with Latin rather than Germanic roots. There has been furious online discussion about it.

    My feelings about that issue are consubstantial with yours.
  • PhilipV wrote: »
    I mentioned the Psalms because Psalm 23 has been used as creed. Repeating baptism/ confirmation promises is another option.

    Ps 23 as a creed? That sounds interesting, but I've never come across it. Where does that happen please?
    I’ve encountered Ps 23 as an affirmation of faith at funerals.

  • BroJames wrote: »
    You make me wonder, @Arethosemyfeet, if I’ve got the right meaning of user-friendly. It’s at E7 on this page

    :D

    I think it's rather telling that the CofE hasn't even bothered to come up with a version of the Athanasian Creed in modern language, they just refer you to the BCP.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    PhilipV wrote: »
    I mentioned the Psalms because Psalm 23 has been used as creed. Repeating baptism/ confirmation promises is another option.

    Ps 23 as a creed? That sounds interesting, but I've never come across it. Where does that happen please?
    I’ve encountered Ps 23 as an affirmation of faith at funerals.

    I've often used Ps 23 at funerals, but not as a creed. In fact, I've never thought of having a creed at a funeral.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    There’s quite a user-friendly Affirmation of Faith in Common Worship which is based on the Athanasian Creed. We use it on Christmas Day.
    I'm not sure it's correct to say that that's a user-friendly Affirmation based on the Athanasian Creed. I can see that the headings might be a bit misleading, but the heading to E6-12 isn't the Athanasian Creed. It's "Authorized (sic) Affirmations of Faith". They are general alternatives.

    E6 itself is quite often used at baptisms. E8 is a metrical creed so that it can be be sung to a hymn tune. I think some of the others are intended to be seasonal.

    Irrespective of what the 1662 Prayer Book orders, I've never heard the Athanasian Creed said or sung. It had died out by my childhood which was in the days when all services were 1662.

  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Gee D wrote: »
    ... sing Messiah instead. Not much longer ...

    :mrgreen:
  • Apparently, they still say the Death by Athanasia Creed at Our Place at BCP Matins on Trinity Sunday.

    This is NOT the main service of the day, but precedes the Parish Mass. It is usually attended only by the priest, and Madam Sacristan.

    I understand that the customary accompanying hosts of Saints and Angels take a fag break whilst it is being dronedsaid.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    @Enoch I’m not sure why you appear to be disagreeing with me. I referred to the text (E7) as an Affirmation of Faith, and the note at the end of E7 says
    from the Athanasian Creed
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    @Enoch I’m not sure why you appear to be disagreeing with me. I referred to the text (E7) as an Affirmation of Faith, and the note at the end of E7 says
    from the Athanasian Creed
    My apologies. I had misunderstood. I thought you had been suggesting that E6-12 were all under the heading,
    The authorized (sic) form of the Athanasian Creed is that contained in The Book of Common Prayer.
    ¶ Authorized (sic) Affirmations of Faith
    So that all the others were somehow related to it.

    I agree that E7 attributes its inspiration to the Athanasian Creed, Its flavour isn't that close. Just as E9-12 get theirs from passages of scripture, some stick much more closely to the originals than others.

    The Nicene Creed has been normative at a Communion Service, and the Apostles' for Morning and Evening Prayer.

    There's a suggestion higher up the page, that if people are going to ring the changes,
    - Affirmation 4 (Apostles' Creed conventional) is particularly suitable for the Incarnation and Lent;
    - Affirmation 5 (Apostles' Creed question and answer) for the Resurrection and memorial services;
    - Affirmation 6 (Baptism service question and answer) for Advent, Trinity and Heaven; and
    - Affirmation 2 (Nicene Creed question and answer) for the Incarnation and Trinity.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    My old parish used to mutter its way through it at Morning Prayer about four times a year, which were funnily enough always Sundays when MP preceded Communion, and therefore was not well attended - i.e. clergyman, and anyone who misread the service sheet.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    The background of the collect is that after the hymn of praise, the liturgist calls on the congregation to pray. There should be a short pause to allow the congregants to pray by themselves. When I am the liturgist, I will give a 60-second pause. At the end of the pause, the liturgist sums up all the prayers in the collect.

    The collect also sets up the theme of the Gospel that follows. For instance, the collect for the third Sunday of Epiphany is
    ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    The Gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Epiphany (St. Matthew 8.1-13) is about the leper who seeks to be healed and then the centurion who intercedes on behalf of his servant.

    In many American Lutheran congregations, the congregants themselves are invited to recite the prayer of the day in unison.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    In many American Lutheran congregations, the congregants themselves are invited to recite the prayer of the day in unison.

    *shudders*
  • A Hideous Practice, which makes the Baby Jesus cry.

    One of our neighbouring churches used to do this Awful Thing, until an enlightened new incumbent put a stop to it.
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    The background of the collect is that after the hymn of praise, the liturgist calls on the congregation to pray. There should be a short pause to allow the congregants to pray by themselves. When I am the liturgist, I will give a 60-second pause. At the end of the pause, the liturgist sums up all the prayers in the collect.

    'The liturgist'??? Don't you mean the presiding minister? (Priest or otherwise).
  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    A Hideous Practice, which makes the Baby Jesus cry.
    .
    Oh no, He loves it and so does his Blessed Mother because it gets everyone on the same page. Literally. And simultaneously too! Better and better!

Sign In or Register to comment.