Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Advent Collect - Rector's Rambling for December 8, 2013

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever.  Amen.

This Collect is to be repeated every day, after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Day.

The “Collects” are those collected prayers of the Church, gathered and ordered over the centuries, that express the intentions of the people to God.  Some Collects, such as the Collect for Purity said at the beginning of every Communion Service (“Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known…”) are very ancient.  The Collects appointed for each Sunday of the year in the propers (the appointed prayers and readings for Sundays and Holy Days) in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer are English translations of those of the ancient Western Liturgies codified in the old Latin Mass.  Other newer Collects are added and supplemented as necessary.  The Collects appointed for the day set the theme or tone for the worship of that day.
Some Collects not only set the tone for the day, but for an “octave” – that day and the seven days following for major Feasts such as All Saints’ Day.  Other collects set the tone for an entire season.
The Collect for the First Sunday in Advent is one of those “All Season” Collects.  It is intended to be said daily between that first Sunday and until Christmas (the next season).  At Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Communion services, this Collect is said after the collect that might be appointed for that day.  It is a daily reminder that, for the Season of Advent, we are to put away darkness (sin) and put on the armor of light (God’s righteousness), in preparation for the upcoming celebration of his Nativity (Christmas), and we are to do this in anticipation of his return in glorious majesty to judge the quick (the living) and the dead.
Even if you do not pray Morning and/or Evening Prayer every day from the prayer book (you can and are encouraged to do so) you may still recite this Collect every day in your own personal moments of prayer.