I’ve got a post up at the Cafe on collects. Most of what’s there will be familiar to long-time readers.
In your comments of the Cafe posting you raised the question of the 1 year calendar and collect cycle, vs. the 3 year lectionary cycle. It seems to me that retaining the 1 year collect cycle is important for two reasons that you touch on in your post. First, the ability to memorize the collect, or at least live deeply with it through the week – and to welcome various phrases as they roll around each year, as a way to mark the day and season, just like watching the organic growing season out-of-doors. Second, your observation about the both/and use of language that helps to keep our theological interpretation open and multivalent argues for not writing new collects for lectionary years B and C. If the collect become a lens through which to read the Scriptures then, one could argue, that a single, multi-layered collect helps to remind us that our reading of Scripture and the doctrine we draw from it is also multi-layered and open – within appropriate parameters. If I could vote, I’d say stick with the 1 year cycle!
I’ve been pondering the 1 vs. 3 year cycle for several years now and I’m back to the conclusion that 1 yr really is best. The probalem is that as far as standard prayer book materials, the collects are pretty much the only things anchoring down the cycle.
Hence my interest in the lesser propers of the mass…
First- I want to say how much I appreciated the post on the Prayer Book- and second- in relation to the collects- I’ll echo the previous comment- it seems to me we need less variation and more consistency- not least as people’s habits are perhaps less regular. Less- taken more deeply into one’s mind and heart — might well be more than more variation. Years into celebrating weekly and often daily- the collects are becoming a richer point of reflection and prayer as the years roll by.
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