10 March 2008


I think I liked the original better.

In LSB we have in the altar book this prayer:

Almighty God, since You have granted us the favor to call on You with one accord and have promised that where two or three are gathered together in Your name You are in the midst of them, fulfill now the prayers of Your servants, granting us in this world knowledge of Your truth and in the world to come life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (218)

In TLH we have this version:

Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto Thee and dost promise that, when two or three are gathered in Thy name, Thou wilt grant their requests, fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of Thy servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of Thy truth and in the world to come to come life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. (TLH 75)

The original is from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom of the Eastern Christians and runs as follows:

O thou who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee; and dost promise that where two or three are gathered together in thy Name thou wilt grant their requests: Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants as may be most expedient for us, granting us in this world the knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come, life everlasting. For thou art a good God and lovest mankind, and unto thee we ascribe glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. (Prayer of the Third Antiphon)

Do you notice was the LSB version left out??? "As may be most expedient for them (or us)." I think that's a sad loss! The path of wisdom in prayer is to ask boldly, but to always submit to the will of God in all things. The loss of that phrase weakens the whole prayer in my opinion.


braunhaus said...

Fr William

I agree. Further, changing the promise from "where two or three are gathered together in thy Name thou wilt grant their requests" to "where two or three are gathered together in Your name You are in the midst of them" loses the promise of the granting of the supplication.

But perhaps the saddest loss of all is the dropping of "For thou art a good God and lovest mankind, and unto thee we ascribe glory" for the goodness of God and His love toward mankind is not only the basis for our supplication but also the basis of our trusting in His good and gracious will, not the sovereignty of God, nor anything else than that He is good and loves us, and for that we must truly ascribe unto Him glory!

Fr Allen

William Weedon said...

I suspect, since it is the normal termination to prayers in the Eastern liturgy, they felt free to substitute the typical Western termination. But I agree that the Eastern termination is absolutely wonderful, and it would be nice to see it attached to this prayer in particular.

Miss you guys! Give my Maria Johanna a special kiss and hug from her godfather.

William Weedon said...

Oh, and speaking of the termination, my father-in-law framed Laura's gift using those words - and so every time I look up from my piano, I can see the REASON behind all music in the world!

Christopher Palo said...

Fr. Weedon,

Screw with Chrysostom in or on anything, and he will turn back and bite you! Indeed such is a sad loss.

Again, it begs the question why, whenever a new hymnal comes out or anything, certain portions of great prayers have to be excised? What is wrong with the original?

Malacandra said...

Maybe it was left out so that the collect would not appear to support the current synodical practice of close(d) communion or the application of Synodical resolutions, both of which make reference to "expediency" in some manner! ;-)

Robert + VDMA + said...

Fr William,

I've been quite disappointed with the new wording of the Collects. We came straight out of TLH to LSB. Much of the beauty of the original has been lost.

I have the same lament for the Proper Preface for Holy Week. I suppose one can say that it reads a bit better but it seems clumsy and wordy now.

Oh well . . . maybe next time ;)

Fr Robert Wurst

William Weedon said...


Nothing wrong with the original, which is why I am saddened by the needless change.


LOL! By the way, great name!

Fr. Robert,

Yes, I too am disappointed over all. It seems the collect moved in the direction of Rome's post-Vatican II English.

The Preface for Holy Week bothers me because though it could be argued the original was unclear, it seemed purposely to avoid naming the Serpent when high praise is being given to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The poetry of the old way will stay in my mind, even as I sing the new wording, but I grieve a bit for those who will never grow up hearing: "that he who by a tree once overcame likewise by a tree might be overcome through Jesus Christ, our Lord..."

Past Elder said...

It's another illustration of my divided feelings about the LSB.

On the one hand, given the times and their manifest follies, that such a service book could be produced now is just real close to a miracle, and watching it take shape while in another synod was one of the major factors leading me to think Lutherans like me who take seriously the things I do from being Lutheran are or ought to be in LCMS, so I joined.

On the other, there are many bittersweet instances such as this one, so at the end of the day, I'm a Red Hymnal guy even while liking DSIII over p. 15 et seq. And you're quite right, the culprit is the novus ordo, whose gestation and birth it was my unenviable fate to have witnessed and endured.

I'll go with Father Robert -- maybe next time. Ad multos annos, then, I'm 57 already!

Anonymous said...

This LSB collect, "Answer to Prayer" was taken verbatim from the LW collect "For an Answer to Prayer" (LW, p. 129). It appears to have seemed "expedient" to the LW editors to remove the phrase in question.

LBW (p. 48) also included a version of this collect "Answer to Prayer," not including the "expedient" phrase, and breaking the collect in to two sentences, which was the LBW style.


Rev. Jon Vieker
St. Louis

Anonymous said...

Along a different line, I might also observe that it is somewhat the Western way to tighten up collects, services, ordos, etc.; whereas the Eastern way tends to retain everything complete, intact, with relatively little change. This is painting in broad strokes, of course . . .

As Lutherans, we probably find ourselves prone to follow the Western tradition in this regard, as well as its more eclectic tendencies--i.e., drawing from a variety of sources, rather than sticking to one tradition.

Rev. Jon Vieker
St. Louis

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

This ties in and relates to what I think is the most profound part of the Lord's Prayer - Thy will be done. We pray boldly, but our boldness rests in the fact that God loves us, not that we know best and that our desires must surely be met.

The arrogant human heart doesn't like that idea - and it is one that we as Christians can't emphasize enough.

Past Elder said...

The LBW always struck me as something that just as easily could have been produced by an office within the Sacred Congregation for the Liturgy called "Vatican II for Lutherans".

Nonetheless, they got one really big deal right where the novus ordo went right off the rails, and that's in re-Greekifying the Kyrie back to something like in the First Litany. Namely, by keeping a confession of sin (though if memory serves the LBW makes it optional, yikes) then preserving the "In peace let us pray to the Lord" and continuing on with the first three or so petitions, rather than the novus ordo chopping it up and making it penitential replacing the confiteor -- for the times we have (insert sin of choice), Lord have mercy, usw.

Past Elder said...

Oh I forgot. Curial congregations aren't "sacred" any more. They got that one right!