Thinking allowed

trial Canadian Collects

The Anglican Church of Canada is trialling some new collects

The [Canadian] General Synod of 2010 mandated Faith, Worship, and Ministry to establish a Liturgy Task Force to work on the revision of our contemporary language liturgical texts. This Task Force has, in turn, been authorized by the Council of General Synod to release the first phase of its new texts for trial use and feedback as they become available. These draft materials — beginning with Collects for Sundays — are encouraged for use where permitted by the diocesan bishops. We ask that those who use them also participate in the process to feed back your evaluation of the resources to the Liturgy Task Force for its consideration in the final editorial phase.

The text of the Collects for use this year (Year A) ‘from Pentecost to the Reign of Christ’ can be downloaded as a pdf via the above link. Unlike the Collects in Common Worship which are determined by the named Sundays after Trinity, these prayers are aligned to the Sunday reading cycle.

(Thanks to Phillip Tovey for drawing my attention to this. Readers are welcome to send suggestions of suitable links either by email or as a comment on an existing article.)


  • James says:

    This is interesting for a number of reasons. First, because Canada obviously considers the Collect as a prelude to the Ministry of the Word (whereas Common Worship regards it as the conclusion of the Preparation). Second, because the language, on the whole, is resonant of the scriptural provision and (as use of the Alan Griffiths translations of the Ambrosian collects betrays) Canada has gone for the more extended shape, whereas the CW Additional Collects are more linguistically economic.

    Reading them reminded me of David Brown’s point (which all drafters of liturgical texts should have graven on their minds) that ‘The Bible must in some sense be allowed to speak for itself. Otherwise, it is another Gospel that is being proclaimed.’ Scriptural resonance is one thing; but when adjectives are applied to God (scandalous, Lord of the teasing riddle, destitute King) which are more the outcome of an individual hermeneutic than an expression of the corporate faith of the Church, we find ourselves in rather un-Anglican territory. The assumption that the personal and novel somehow provides a better proclamation of the gospel than the grounded tradiĀ­tion poses questions for the principle of Lex Orandi Lex Credendi. Doubtless, others will disagree; but it is a question that should be at the heart of a project like this.

  • Rod Gillis says:

    @ James. Interesting set of observations. One wonders if some of the trial collects, because of their (perhaps novel) creative wording, will find a place along side traditional collects like that for “Stir up Sunday”, or Advent 1 and IV, or Ash Wednesday, or Purity, all in the old BCP, collects that resonate as much for their wording as their theology. On the other hand, many of these may within a decade or so sound hopelessly outdated and rather”schlocky”? One may try too hard.

    One wonders as well, living as we do in a deconstructionist age,if scripture ever speaks for itself in any context past or present?

    Reading the experimental collects ( I may feel differently after praying them over time) I am reminded of the prayers of Janet Morley, All Desires Known. Her collects are very much a hermeneutic; but ones which gave a fresh speaking voice to scripture. I think the various sources for the collects, taken as they are from materials already in use by Anglicans or the wider church in North America, are worth noting.

    PS: Great Site!!!

  • jonathan macgillivray says:

    “Opening Prayers”, the ICEL collects published in 1999 always struck me as the best recent attempt to relate the lectionary to the collective prayer of the eucharistic assembly week by week. It’s a pity the CW lectionary sometimes departs from RCL, so they’re not usable all year. I reckon they’re a missed opportunity.

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