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The Morning And Evening Collects





The First Collect is the Collect of the Day. The Preface (last rubric
before the Table of Lessons) orders that the Collect "appointed for the
Sunday shall serve all the week after, where it is not in this Book
otherwise ordered." The Book 'orders otherwise' for Saints' Days, and
at such special times as Christmas, Ash-Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter
Even, but has omitted, by some accident, to provide for the two days
after Ascension Day, for the week days between The Epiphany and the
First Sunday after, and for the three days after Ash-Wednesday.

A rubric at the beginning of the Collects, Epistles, and Gospels
provides that the Collect for a Sunday, or for a Holy Day having a
Vigil or Eve, shall be said at the Evening Service next before.

We have said something of the source of these Collects: their detailed
consideration belongs to a {141} book on the Communion Service, or on
the Epistles and Gospels.

The Second Collect, both at Mattins and Evensong, is a Collect for
Peace. Both are taken from the same chapter of Prayers for Peace in
the Gelasian Sacramentary.

The Morning Collect, desiring that our trust in God, and our
fearlessness, may be strengthened by continual knowledge of God's
protection, addresses Him as the author and lover of peace, and also as
the One whom we know and serve, and thereby have life and freedom.

Standeth our eternal life. Notice the phrase standeth in as a
substitute for is. We could not have said whose knowledge is eternal
life, because of the momentary doubt whether it referred to the
knowledge which God has, or to the knowledge which we have of Him. By
the use of an idiom not now in common use, we express the belief taught
by the Saviour's words S. John xvii. 3.

Notice also the phrase whose service is perfect freedom: here the
Latin original has whom to serve is to reign. Our eagerness to do
God's Will is, on the one hand, a service or bondage to Him; but, on
the other hand, it is what makes us masters of ourselves, and, in the
spiritual sense, kings (1 Cor. iv. 8; Rev. i. 6).

The prayer for defence from external assault has for its real motive
the attainment of trust and fearlessness.

The Evening Collect for Peace asks more plainly for spiritual peace; in
relation to (1) the tumults {142} occasioned in our consciences by
disobedience to God's commands, (2) the tumults occasioned in our lives
by outward interference. For (1), we appeal to God as the author of
good and holy desires within us: for (2), we appeal to Him as the
counsellor who helps us against our enemies. For both, we appeal to
Him who enables us, and others, to do what is just.

The Third Collect in the Morning is styled a Collect for Grace.
Because He is Almighty and Everlasting; because He is our Father and
our God and Lord; and, in particular, because He has brought us to the
beginning of the day; we ask Him to keep us from harm, and sin, and
danger, as the day goes on.

The corresponding Evening Collect is styled a Collect for Aid against
all Perils. Accepting the figure suggested by the close of the day,
we ask God to defend us from the perils and dangers of darkness. The
light which we seek is evidently inward and spiritual light; the
defence, in like manner, a defence from spiritual perils, though not
excluding the others: cf. Psalm xviii. 28: xxvii. i.





Next: The Other Prayers

Previous: Origin Of The Word 'collect'



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