Scot McKnight – Why Be Anglican: The Collects

churchcalendar

Dr. McKnight continues his efforts of explaining why has he joined Anglicanism. As many friends are asking me the same question, I have decided to share here Professor McKnight’s responses. I will not be able to do it better than him, anyway. So, here is a new epidoee in this series. Today, about the Collects.

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The collects of the church reveal the church’s practices and beliefs about prayer; a collect is a set prayer for a set time in the church calendar.

In them we see the church’s theology of prayer come to expression. I posted about the collects here and included a reference to a fine book “collecting” the collects: C. Frederick Barbee and Paul F.M. Zahl,The Collects of Thomas Cranmer.

There are five basic elements of a collect, and each of these expresses the Christian theology of prayer:

1. Address to God
2. Naming a context in which God has been active and therefore why God can be addressed now.
3. The petition.
4. Hoped for outcome.
5. Shaping the prayer in a Trinitarian context.

As Kevin Maney observed in the comments to the post (linked above), writing your own prayers using this outline can be a wonderful experience for each of us. So once we learn this basic set of observations, and they are fully studied in Samuel Wells and Abigail Kocher,  Shaping the Prayers of the People: The Art of Intercession, what can we do to “fine tune” them? This is the question they ask in their fifth chapter.

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Read HERE the entire text.

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