Scripture Verse

LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.

— Psalm xxvi:8, Opening Sentence for Evening Prayer

New Collects

Liturgy is a lively thing. New events and circumstances are continually calling forth new prayers. Our Head Lay Reader and “Chief Liturgical Officer”, Peter Threadgill, has written a number of collects for special occasions. We have collected them here for reference, and in the hope that others will find these original prayers useful.

Collects of Time

Collects for Others

Collects for Times of Adversity

Collects for the State

Collects for the Church

Collects for the New Jerusalem

General Collects

————————-

International Women’s Day

Written for International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2015.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast given us a wonderful example of faith and obedience in the person of thy blessed Mother Mary: Grant us to see her image in all women, that we should treat them with honor and respect; and likewise vouchsafe to endow all women with the strength and courage of thy blessed Mother, that they may shew forth thy glory to all the world; and this we ask through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

For St Isaac the Great

Sahak Partev Catholicos

Sahek Partev Catholicos (Pontiff Isaac the Parthian) by Francesco Maggiotto (1750-1805)

Written for the Feast of St Isaac the Great (Catholicos St Sahak Parthev, Pontiff St Isaac the Parthian), February 11th, 2012. St Isaac the Great is the patron saint of Isaac the lectern eagle at St Stephen’s.

Be mindful, Lord, of thy holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, and bless it with shepherds who will lead it as St Isaac the Great led the ancient church in Armenia: causing an alphabet to be created, and the Holy Bible to be translated into the tongue of the people, that they might know wisdom and instruction, and perceive the words of understanding; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all glory, dominion, and honor, now and always and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

St Isaac and his colleague, St Mesrop Mashtots, began their translation of the Bible into Armenian with the Book of Proverbs: “To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding” (Proverbs 1:2).

Download a PDF Poster of this collect.

Return to top

May the Fourth

Written as a commemoration of May the Fourth (as in, “… be with you”); first used at Evensong on May 4th, 2014. For the postlude at this service, the Choirmaster–Organist played “Atrio solii”, a tour–de–force transcription of the final cue from John Williams’s score for Star Wars: A New Hope (entitled “The Throne Room”).

Almighty God, King of Heaven: Grant, we beseech thee, that as we go forth against the forces of darkness, so we may be prevented by the force of thy Holy Spirit and all the heavenly host; that at the last we may enter into the Kingdom of Peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

Saint Constantine and Saint Helena, Equal-to-the-Apostles

The Feast of St Helena (finder of the Holy Cross) is observed in the Anglican kalendar on May 21st (August 18th in the Roman Catholic kalendar). But in Orthodox denominations, she is co-commemorated with her son, the Emperor Constantine, as “Equal-to-the-Apostles” because of their rôles in the establishment of the Eastern Church.

Almighty God, King of kings, and Lord of lords, who leddest the Emperor Constantine to victory by the Sign of the Cross, and who madest his mother Helena to find that same instrument of thy Son’s death: Grant that we, too, may be led to the victory of faith; and even as Constantine established thy Church and delivered it from persecution, so may we plant the seeds of thine eternal kingdom here on earth, deliver the faithful from persecution, and find within our own hearts the sign of thy mercy and salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all glory, dominion, and honor, now and always and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Return to top

For Towel Day

Written as a commemon of Towel Day, May 25th; first used on Whitsunday, May 27th, 2012.

O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, whose angels tell us to fear not, nor be dismayed: We beseech thee that we may always know the presence of thy Holy Comforter; that we should not panic in the face of all the dangers and temptations which beset us on the way, but may go forth in confidence, and come with joy and gladness unto thine eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

For the Anniversary of D-Day

Written for 71st anniversary of D-Day, and first used at Sunday services on June 7th, 2015.

Almighty and All-Terrible God, Creator of all the world and Father of all men: we thank thee for the strength and courage of all those who planned and participated in the assault of Normandy on D-Day, and particularly for the valour of those who sacrificed their lives in the service of God and country. Grant that we may forever cherish the freedom which they so dearly purchased for us; and grant that we may join them in that Kingdom where thy peace reigns eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Return to top

Juneteenth

Although the Civil War ended officially on May 9th, 1865, news spread slowly to those areas distant from the main battlefields. On June 19th, 1865, Union Gen. Gordon Granger made a public announcement of the total emancipation of slaves to the people of Galveston Island, Texas. The celebration of “Juneteenth” has spread from Texas to African-American communities across the country.

O Lord God of hosts, who with a mighty arm delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt: Let not our hearts be hardened like Pharaoh’s, but incline our hearts to mercy; that we might fight against slavery of body and mind, and oppression of the soul. Help us to welcome the liberated into the fulness of the family of Christ, that their children and our children may share the bread of brotherhood, and that hand in hand they may enter into thine eternal Kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

For the Solstices

Written to celebrate the Nativity of St John Baptist, and the Summer Solstice, June, 2011. First used 17 June 2012, the Second Sunday after Trinity.

O Lord Christ, who wast born in the bleak mid-winter, and yet was the Light of the world: shine thy love upon us even as the mid-summer sun shone upon the birth of thy cousin blessèd John Baptist; and enkindle faith in our hearts, that we may join him in preparing thy way, even as the bonfires of the night dispel the darkness of the world in anticipation of the coming day; and this we ask for thy love’s sake. Amen.

Download a PDF Poster of this prayer.

Return to top

For All Anglican Saints and Worthies

Written for the Feast of All Anglican Saints and Worthies, November 8th, 2011 (the Octave of All Saints)

Almighty God, we bless thy Holy Name for all thy saints, and most especially for all the Anglican saints and worthies who have laboured in thy vineyard. Endow us, we beseech thee, with minds clear, faith firm, courage true, and charity thorough; that we, following their example, may keep thy commandments with boldness: having innocency in simplicity, peaceableness in love, modesty in lowliness, diligence in service, watchfulness in helping those who toil, mercifulness in succouring the poor, constancy in defending the truth, and severity in keeping discipline. For these are the footprints which the saints have left us, even as they returned to their fatherland, that we, treading in their steps, might follow them into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This collect draws on the excerpt from the Sermons of the Venerable Bede appointed for the Sixth Lesson at Matins for the Fifth Day in the Octave of All Saints.

Download a PDF Poster of this collect.

Return to top

For Veterans Suffering from PTSD

Written for the comfort of a staff member whose brother was struggling with a variety of mental health issues stemming from PTSD.

Almighty Father, our help and our shield: look with mercy upon thy servants who have suffered in the service of our country. Soothe their distress, and grant them a sure recovery from the wounds of heart and mind and spirit. Grant also that we, who have asked them to do so much for us, should not fail them in their time of need. All this we ask for the love of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Return to top

For Those Beyond Our Help

Written for the comfort of a staff member who had become soul–sick at the inability to help a family member who was struggling with mental health issues, and who was going to great lengths to refuse any help from friends or family.

Gracious Father in heaven, who art patient and long–suffering, bountiful and ever ready to give where it needeth; take pity on thy children who need our help but cannot accept it. Incline their hearts to understanding and reconciliation, that they may be restored to health of body, mind, and soul; and grant us the perseverance to wait patiently until their hearts turn, that we may be ever ready to accept them into the bosoms of our love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

For a Soul in Distress

Heavenly Father, whose Son was ever ready to search for the one lost sheep: have mercy upon thy servant N., who hath lost his way. Assuage his fears, cool his anger, soothe his sorrow, and fill his heart with hope and grace. Lead him back to the warm embrace of his family, and grant us to love his as fully as doth thy son Jesus, that we may give each other comfort; through the same Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd of our souls. Amen.

Return to top

For a Person in Hospice

Watch over thy servant N., O Lord, as his death approacheth. Give him the strength and grace to endure his afflictions, comfort his family and friends, and bless them that minister unto him. Let his days be filled with cherished memories, and let his nights be free of pain. Grant him a peaceful passing, and may choirs of angels assemble to greet him as he entereth into thy kingdom. All this we ask for the sake of thy Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Return to top

For Them That Mourn a Pet

Almighty Father, who in a wonderful mystery didst suffer the animals to be the first witnesses of the birth of thy Son: We bless thee for the companionship of animals: for the protection they give to them that are endangered; for the assistance they give to them that weak; for the comfort they give to them that are sorrowful; and for the joy they give to them that love them. And although we do grieve at losing them, especially thy creature N., still do we cherish the memory of their devotion; and with the help of thy Holy Spirit, we will endeavour to love thee and our fellow man with the same purity of heart as these thy creatures have loved us; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Return to top

For Safety from a Natural Cataclysm

Written in anticipation of “Frankenstorm”, the predicted collision of Hurricane Sandy, a nor’easter, a southerly jet stream, a full moon, and the first effects of the end of the current b’ak’tun of the Mayan Calendar; first used on Sunday, October 28th, 2012 (The Feast of St Simon and St Jude, Trinity XXI, and the Feast of Christ the King).

O God, who makest the clouds thy chariot, and who walkest upon the wings of the wind: Preserve us, we beseech thee, from storm and tempest, earthquake and fire. Keep us safe in our homes, and give strength to them that succour those in peril, that we may pass through these tribulations without harm to body or soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Download a PDF Poster of this collect.

Return to top

For the Victims of a Natural Cataclysm

Written for remembrance of the victims Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which made landfall on 7 November 2013.

O Lord of Hosts, who lookest on the earth, and it trembleth; who touchest the hills, and they smoke: in thy great mercy, soothe the suffering of thy servants devastated by the typhoon in the Philipines. Grant peace to them that perished, and comfort to them that mourn them. Defend them from the perils of instability as they rebuild their lives, and grant them like Job to be restored to a full faith in thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

For the Victims of an Act of Terrorism

Written for remembrance of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing of April 15th, 2013, and first used on Sunday, April 21st, 2013. Reused on September 22nd, 2013, for the victims of the shooting at the Navy Yard, Washington, DC, and on too many occasions since.

Merciful God in heaven: Grant, we beseech thee, peace and rest to those whose lives were taken in the Boston Marathon bombing, and comfort those who mourn them. Give strength and courage to those who were injured, and bless those who minister unto them. Grant our nation the resolve to carry on our lives with faith and dignity, that we may bear witness to thy salvation, and may come eventually to know the joys of thy kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Download a PDF Poster of this collect.

Return to top

For All True Martyrs

Written for the Tenth Anniversary of the September 11th attacks, September 11th, 2011.

O Lord God, whose Son hath taught us that the greatest love is to lay down one’s life for one’s friends: we bless thee for the example of all thy martyrs who have answered pride with humility, anger with forgiveness, and hatred with charity. Grant, we beseech thee, that like thy proto-martyr St Stephen, all true martyrs may face their tribulations with fortitude and faith, and that they may sow in their oppressors the seed of repentance; to the glory of thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Download a PDF Poster of this collect.

Return to top

For the Cessation of Violence

Written after the assaults in Baton Rouge, St Paul, and Dallas, on July 5th, 6th, and 7th, 2016.

Almighty God, Creator of all men, unto whom the blood of Abel crieth from the ground: Deliver us, we beseech thee, from the fear and anger which driveth Cain to rise up and slay his brother. Grant us the courage to forgive, and the humility to be forgiven; cast away the beams from our eyes, that we may truly see all men as our brothers in Christ; and vouchsafe us to live in peace and harmony until the coming of thy Kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

May the souls of those lost to violence in N. (or, the soul of N.), and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
℣. Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord.
℟. And let light perpetual shine upon them.
℣. May they rest in peace.
℟. Amen.

Return to top

For the Victims of Hatred

Written after the assault on the Pulse night club in Orlando on 12 June 2016.

Almighty God, Father of all mankind: we beseech thee to turn the hearts of those who through malice and hatred would seek to injure or oppress the stranger, the sojourner, and the Samaritan in our midst; for these are the neighbours whom thou hast commanded us to love, and it is in our demonstration of this love that we shew forth to all nations that we are, indeed, thy children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

For the Refugees of the World

Written in response to the plight of Syrian refugees following the attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015. As “original” collects go, this collect is fairly unoriginal, being as it is cribbed largely from Holy Scripture—specifically Psalm 39:12, Deuteronomy 5:15, Psalm 145:9, and Matthew 25:36-37. Suitable for World Refugee Day, June 20th.

Hear our prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto our cry: We are strangers with thee, and sojourners, as all our fathers were: bondmen whom thou leddest out of oppression through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm. Grant us, therefore, the meekness of heart to preserve the stranger, as thou hast done, and to relieve the fatherless and widows. Send us thy Holy Spirit to inspire us to feed the hungry, and give drink to the thirsty; to take in the stranger; to clothe the naked; and to visit the sick and the prisoner. For only as we do unto the least of these our brethren do we show forth the love of Jesus Christ to all unbelievers; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with the and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Return to top

For an Inauguration

Written for the second inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States, and used on Sunday, January 20, 2013.

O Lord our Governor, Ruler of all nations: Look favourably upon thy servant N. as he dedicateth* himself to the service of our country. Grant him the wisdom, courage, and strength to lead our country in the paths of righteousness, that we may dwell in peace and prosperity, and be an example to all peoples; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

* or re-dedicateth, for a second inauguration.

Return to top

For the Unity of the Church

Written for the comfort of a staff member who despaired at the lack of good will—let alone ecumenism—among those professing the Christian faith.

Lord God Almighty, whose Name is a blessing in the mouth of the nations: Unfetter our hearts, that we may share our bread with our neighbour, and shew the hospitality of Abraham to the wayfarer; for we are all sojourners in the wilderness, and desirous to enter the Promised Land together, where we may evermore dwell with thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

For Christian Charity and All Oxymorons

Written for a soul whose bereavement was aggravated by uncooperative clergy.

Almighty God, whose Apostle hath taught us that, of grace, hope, and charity, charity is the greatest: Teach us that charity fettered is false charity, that charity constrained by a hard heart is hurtful to the soul; for such works are works of the Adversary, and not worthy of the name of Christ; through him whose charity was the salvation of the world, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

At the Presentation of Pre–Sanctified Gifts

To be said at a Deacon’s Mass or Mass of the Pre–Sanctified in place of the Prayer of Consecration. Fr John Novicki, who had recently been ordained a deacon, asked for a prayer to be said in the place of the Prayer of Consecration at a Deacon’s Mass, or Mass of the Pre–Sanctified. Strictly speaking, no prayer is needed. However, some of the elderly and shut–in visitants were uncomfortable with a large piece of the liturgy being missing (even though Fr John explained in advance that the bread and wine have been duly consecrated previously by a priest of the parish). This prayer was written to address their discomfort. (It may be modified if the visitant is receiving only in one kind.)

Gracious Lord, we present before thee these gifts of bread and wine, which have been previously consecrated to our use. Grant that as we receive them, so we may partake of the same communion as those here on earth who have received before us, and as those who have attained thy presence in the company of the angels in heaven; through him who hath sacrificed his body and blood for us, thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Return to top

For the Works of Faith

Written after the assault on the Pulse night club in Orlando on 12 June 2016.

Merciful God, whose Son warned his apostles that, like good trees and corrupt, we should be known by our fruit: Grant that we may prove our living faith with good works, and that we may proclaim the Gospel not only in our words but also in our deeds. Give us eager hearts to confront evil, to overcome the ills of the world, and to build thy Kingdom here on earth; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

Oratio Choristae

A translation into Latin of the RSCM Chorister’s Prayer. Prepared for a quondam Head Chorister, and first used on Advent I, December 6th, 2009 (which also happened to be the Feast of St Nicholas, Patron of Choristers (among others)).

Bénedic Dómine * nos sérvos túos, qui mínistrant in témplum túum. Dóna, ut quod óre cantámus, córde credámus; et quod córde crédimus, opéribus comprobémus; per Chrístum Dóminum nóstrum. Amen.

Original: Bless, O Lord, * us thy servants, who minister in thy temple. Grant that what we sing with our lips, we may believe in our hearts; and what we believe in our hearts, we may show forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

For the Rapture

Written, along with A Collect for Aid against All Gullibility, in anticipation of the Rapture predicted by Harold Camping for May 21st, 2011.

O Lord, All-Knowing and Unknowable God, whose Son hath warned that he shall return like a thief in the night, and that no man on earth, nor any angel in heaven, knoweth the time of his coming, but only thee: Save us from arrogancy and pride, and from vain presumption; for not every man that crieth, “Lord, Lord”, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Grant us to accept the choice which thou hast foreordained for us, that they who lead the way may walk in humility, and a full understanding of their unworthiness; and that they who follow may persevere in faith, and in the knowledge of thy mercy and loving–kindness. For though one in the field shall be taken, and the other left, yet are both sinners, and precious in the sight of the Lord. And this we beg in the name of Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

For Aid against All Gullibility

Written, along with A Collect for the Rapture, in anticipation of the Rapture predicted by Harold Camping for May 21st, 2011.

O God, who seest the wise man and the simple, the clever man and the fool: Grant us to believe upon thy Holy Word with the faith of children, yet grant us also the wisdom to discern the folly of false prophets; and save us from false shepherds who would lead thy faithful flock astray. For where faith is weak, doubt creepeth in, and vanity leadeth to destruction; but where faith is strong, the good man possesseth an unassailable trust in the Lord, and succumbeth not to deception. All this we ask in the name of the one True Shepherd, the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

For the Awakening of the Force of Righteousness

Inspired by the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and by the Choirmaster-Organist’s post-service voluntary, “Atrio solii”, a tour-de-force transcription of the final cue from John Williams’s score for Star Wars: A New Hope (entitled “The Throne Room”). First used on Advent IV, Sunday, December 20th, 2015.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Captain of our souls, who, after thy crucifixion didst harrow hell and bring salvation to the penitent: we beseech thee to awaken within us the force of thy righteousness, that we may put on the armour of God and resist the temptations of the Evil One, and may in time cross the river Jordan and reach that side where thou art the Light eternal; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Return to top

For Civil Discourse

Written at the suggestion of one of the priests at St Stephen’s, in light of the vitriolic arguments engendered by the 2016 presidential election, but it is generally applicable to the comments sections on the internet.

Almighty God, who spakest to Elijah, not in a strong wind, nor in earthquake, nor in fire, but in a still small voice: Vouchsafe us to refrain our tongues from evil, and our lips, that they speak no guile. Teach us to beware of murmuring, which is unprofitable, and to refrain our tongues from backbiting. Let our every discourse be civil, and let us always be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath; for sweet language multiplieth friends, and a fairspeaking tongue increaseth kind greetings; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Return to top

For the Unity of Purpose in Seeking God’s Will

Written at the suggestion of one of the priests at St Stephen’s.

Almighty Father, whose only-begotten Son taught us to pray that thy will be done: Grant us true understanding of thy will, and the dedication to be the doers thereof. Rouse us from our complacency, shield us from the distractions of the material world, and inspire us to build amity among all men and all nations, that we may be of one purpose in seeking after thee; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Return to top

For a Sports Team

Audubon Raven

Raven (Plate CI) from Birds of America by John James Audubon

Audubon Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole (Plate XII) from Birds of America by John James Audubon

Written for the AFC Championship between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots, January 22nd, 2012.

Be mindful of thy servants the NN., O Lord, and watch over their endeavors on the field*; grant them to fight the good fight with courage and strength in adversity, and grace in victory; that their good example and their success may bring credit to our city**, and earn them the approbation of all; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

* Substitute court, field, ice, or pitch, as appropriate.
** Substitute school, county, state, or nation, as appropriate.

Download a PDF Poster of this collect.

Return to top