Today we look at the Collect for Purity in the Anglican Standard Text of the 2019 BCP. This prayer has deep meaning for me and my family. We pray this prayer together every night before we begin our family worship.
The Collect for Purity
The Celebrant prays (and the People may be invited to join)
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Thomas Cranmer, the author of the original English Prayer Book, translated the Collect of Purity from an 11th century prayer written in Latin. It is thought that this prayer was originally based on Psalm 51. The Collect of Purity has made it into almost every Anglican Prayer Book in the world. Needless to say, it has become a distinctive of Anglican Liturgy.
The 2019 Book of Common Prayer restores the Collect of Purity to its proper place by making it a requirement in the Liturgy. In Rite II of the 1979 BCP the Collect for Purity was an optional. The 2019 BCP also allows for the Priest to invite the congregation to pray the collect in unison.
What is a Collect?
A collect is a prayer that is intended to collect or sum up the prayers of the community. They can be seasonal or for other special intentions. Collects typically follow a four fold pattern. This pattern is true of the Collect of Purity.
The Collect for Purity is a powerful way to start worship. It reminds us when we come before God we are laid bare. God sees and knows all that we are and all that we bring to him. He knows our intentions in coming to worship. He knows if our heart is in the words that we speak to Him or if our minds have wandered.
The prayer asks God to use his supreme insight and the power of the Holy Spirit to filter our thoughts so that we can worship properly. It is a recognition that we cannot really worship God in the way that he deserves and requires without His merciful help.
It also reminds us what kind of worship God desires. A perfect love. A love that is whole. A love that includes our heart, mind and soul. It is also a worship that magnifies the Name of the Lord. It is a worship that makes God’s character known throughout the world. We ask God help us to be worthy of this task. Worthy of bearing the name of God and sharing that name through our praise of Him. Our worship is such that God’s fame and greatness is planted in those who we interact with.
As you come to worship this Sunday I challenge you to pray this collect to yourself. May those words guide and inform what you do unto the Lord.
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
PO Box 81804, San Diego, CA 92138