The difference one line makes: changing Anglican prayers


One of the benefits of having a ministry trainee who is steeped in all things Anglican, which I am not, is having someone to remind me about the church calendar, which I knew existed but didn’t think anyone used. I had done two services yesterday before I knew it was All Saints day.

For the evening service, I came prepared, by including the collect for All Saints. I had to change a line from Common Worship (even though the prayer is the same as the one in the book of common prayer), just for clarity:

Almighty God,
you have knit together your elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord:
grant us grace so to follow your blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living
that we may come to those inexpressible joys
that you have prepared for those who truly love you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Almighty God,
you have knit together your elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord:
grant us grace so to follow your blessed saints
in true repentance, Christ-centred faith and godly living
that we may come to those inexpressible joys
that you have prepared for those who truly love you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

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2 Responses to The difference one line makes: changing Anglican prayers

  1. Steve says:

    Hi Neil.

    I can see where you’re coming from but I think you were needlessly worried. True repentance and Christ-centred faith are understood to be part of the “virtuous and godly living” of which the All Saints’ Day collect speaks. (If you have a look at the “commissioning” section of the Common Worship Baptism service you’ll perhaps see what I mean – especially the bit that goes “Will you…. whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?”)

    By the way, I’m surprised that you say that you didn’t think anyone used the church calendar any more. There is a tranche in the Evangelical sector who do not (and I get the impression that you’re in that area), but apart from them (and from the extreme Anglo-Catholics who use the Roman calendar!), it does get followed in the C of E. I belong to a C of E church that would call itself “evangelical” and we do.

    Shalom, Steve.

  2. neilrobbie says:

    Hi Steve, welcome to TG and thank you for commenting. When I said “I didn’t think anyone used [the church calender]” I meant to expose my ignorance rather than express surprise that anyone paid any attention to it, but I can see why you left your comment, as the way I worded the sentence wasn’t clear.

    Thanks too for explaining the term “virtuous living”. I still think it needs clarification in context as not everyone, especially in this post-Christian generation, is familiar with the rest of Common Worship. The prayer book prayers are not in copyright and are not perfect and so can be subject to change. I take what our liturgical commissions produce and happily alter prayers I find unhelpful or unclear.

    In Christ

    Neil

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