New Advent Prayers

New Advent Prayers

Today, the first day of Advent, has been set as the date for the implementation of the entire third edition of the Roman Missal in Australia.
Below are the new Collects for the four Sundays of Advent with the Opening Prayers of the 1973 Missal which they replace immediately below.
These Advent texts typify the Mass prayers in the revised translation: loftier, more formal, more reverential (“Grant…we pray..”), and generally longer than those we have been using.


New Collect
Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.

Previous Opening Prayer
All-powerful God,
increase our strength of will for doing good
that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming
and call us to his side in the kingdom of heaven,

It will be disconcerting to some that “your faithful” in line 1 of the Collect is later referred to as the third person “they” rather than the first person “we”!


New Collect
Almighty and merciful God,
may no earthly undertaking hinder those
who set out in haste to meet your Son,
but may our learning of heavenly wisdom
gain us admittance to his company.

Previous Opening Prayer
God of power and mercy,
open our hearts in welcome.
Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy,
so that we may share his wisdom
and become one with him
when he comes in glory,

In this Collect, “those who set out” are later referred to in the first person (“our”, “us”).


New Collect
O God, who see how your people
faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity,
enable us, we pray,
to attain the joys of so great a salvation,
and to celebrate them always
with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.

Previous Opening Prayer
Lord God,
may we, your people,
who look forward to the birthday of Christ
experience the joy of salvation
and celebrate that feast with love and thanksgiving.

The “O God, who see” construct, used frequently in the new Missal, sounds like incorrect English and will take some getting used to.


New Collect
Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord,
your grace into our hearts,
that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son
was made known by the message of an Angel,
may by his Passion and Cross
be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.

Previous Opening Prayer
Lord, fill our hearts with your love,
and as you revealed to us by an angel
the coming of your Son as man,
so lead us through his suffering and death
to the glory of his resurrection,

Many people will know this Collect by heart: it is the traditional form of the prayer that concludes the Angelus.


Elizabeth Harrington