Yesterday, I printed a hand-out for those who were interested in taking something home to reflect upon this week. It included two versions of the Gospel from yesterday (Matthew 25:14-30) and some information about Collects in general, and then specifically, the Collect of the Day yesterday. In case you missed worship yesterday, here is the information and scripture.
What is a COLLECT?
A COL-lect (emphasis on first syllable) is a word that signifies the summing up of the prayers of all the individual people who have come together to pray and worship together. In other words, a COL-lect col-LECTS (emphasis on second syllable) the prayers. The Collect of the Day, which comes right after the Salutation (“Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. . .”) serves, on some level, to “the collecting of the people at the start of the Mass.”
Over the years (since the 1549 Book of Common Prayer), the Collect acquired a formal structure—kind of like Haiku. The simplest form has three parts: a preamble (address, invocation), a petition, and a conclusion (mediation). No matter what Collect we pray on Sunday, it has these three parts. In many Episcopal Churches, only the priest says the Collect of the Day. At St. Philip’s, our norm is that all of the gathered pray it. The priest alone prays “The Collect for Purity” on behalf of all of us.
HISTORY OF THE COLLECT FOR PROPER 28
“New emphasis on the Scriptures in the Reformation period is reflected in this collect, composed for the 1549 Book. It is based on Romans 15:4, the initial verse of the Epistle for the second Sunday in Advent, the day with which this collect was associate in earlier Prayer Books. The word ‘learning’ means ‘instruction,’ not ‘memorization’ and the phrase ;by patience and comfort of thy holy Word,’ in the traditional version means ‘by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the Scriptures’ (Revised Standard Version). The word ‘all’ in the preamble recalls the criticism of the medieval service books in the preface to the first Prayer Book (Historical Documents, (pp 866-867 [of our BCP]): course readings from scripture were so often interrupted by saints’ days that the Scriptures were never read in their entirety toward the close of the middle ages. The first Prayer Book provided an orderly arrangement for reading almost the whole of the Scriptures within the course of each year in the daily office.”
COLLECT FOR PROPER 28 (Traditional, prayed at 8:00 service)
Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them; that, by patience and comfort of thy holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Contemporary, prayed at 10:15 service)
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
 Marion J. Hatchett, Commentary on the American Prayer Book, (San Francisco: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995), 163.
 Ibid., 195.
Matthew 25:14-30 Common English Bible (CEB) Parable of the valuable coins
14 “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who was leaving on a trip. He called his servants and handed his possessions over to them. 15 To one he gave five valuable coins,[a] and to another he gave two, and to another he gave one. He gave to each servant according to that servant’s ability. Then he left on his journey.
16 “After the man left, the servant who had five valuable coins took them and went to work doing business with them. He gained five more. 17 In the same way, the one who had two valuable coins gained two more. 18 But the servant who had received the one valuable coin dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.
19 “Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received five valuable coins came forward with five additional coins. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five valuable coins. Look, I’ve gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Excellent! You are a good and faithful servant! You’ve been faithful over a little. I’ll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.’
22 “The second servant also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two valuable coins. Look, I’ve gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done! You are a good and faithful servant. You’ve been faithful over a little. I’ll put you in charge of much. Come, celebrate with me.’
24 “Now the one who had received one valuable coin came and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man. You harvest grain where you haven’t sown. You gather crops where you haven’t spread seed. 25 So I was afraid. And I hid my valuable coin in the ground. Here, you have what’s yours.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You evil and lazy servant! You knew that I harvest grain where I haven’t sown and that I gather crops where I haven’t spread seed? 27 In that case, you should have turned my money over to the bankers so that when I returned, you could give me what belonged to me with interest. 28 Therefore, take from him the valuable coin and give it to the one who has ten coins. 29 Those who have much will receive more, and they will have more than they need. But as for those who don’t have much, even the little bit they have will be taken away from them. 30 Now take the worthless servant and throw him outside into the darkness.’ “People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth.
- Matthew 25:15 Or talantas (talents)
Matthew 25:14-30 The Message (MSG) The Story About Investment
14-18 “It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.
19-21 “After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
22-23 “The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
24-25 “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’
26-27 “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
28-30 “‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’