Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Praying the Ember Day Collects and More

The Anglican Collects, or prayers of the day, are very helpful in giving shape and focus to our prayers. They can take us out of ourselves and too much emphasis on our own desires. They can also provided the perfect words when we're struggling with what exactly we want to say. They can express and articulate those sighs which have been too deep for words (Ro 8.26). The Ember Day Collects are no exception. 

Here are some Collects to pray on these Lenten Ember Days—today, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday—if you're feeling called to join ARM Canada in our Ember Days of fasting and prayer for our Church. Pray them however you feel led—slowly, silently, out loud, over and over, morning, noon, evening and night—with the Anglican Church of Canada, General Synod 2019 and the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ in mind.  

First, to prepare our souls for Ember Day prayer, the Collect for Ash Wednesday, which, according to The Book of Common Prayer  "is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the day until Holy Week."
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all them that are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. (BCP, p138)

Then, the Ember Day Collect "To be used at times of prayer for the whole ministry of the Church": 
ALMIGHTY God, the giver of all good gifts, who of thy divine providence hast appointed divers Orders in thy Church: Give thy grace, we humbly beseech thee, to all those who are to be called to any office and administration in the same; and so replenish them with the truth of thy doctrine, and endue them with innocency of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee, to the glory of thy great Name, and to the benefit of thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

…may it be so, indeed, for all in the Anglican Church of Canada who lead us and will be members of General Synod 2019. 

Pray the Ember Day Collect in The Book of Alternative Services: 
Almighty God, by your grace alone we are accepted and called to your service. Strengthen us by your Holy Spirit and make us worthy of our calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. (p395)

In addition, we have the Collects for the First Sunday in Lent, which are usually prayed through the following week: 
O LORD, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights: Give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness and true holiness, to thy honour and glory; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. (BCP, p140)  
Almighty God,
whose Son fasted forty days in the wilderness,
and was tempted as we are but did not sin,
give us grace to discipline ourselves
in submission to your Spirit,
that as you know our weakness,
so we may know your power to save;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  (BAS, p286)
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