1st Week of Advent – Wednesday

Here is the Collect for Wednesday of the 1st Week of Advent.

COLLECT:
Praepara, quaesumus, Domine Deus noster,
corda nostra divina tua virtute,
ut, veniente Christo Filio tuo,
digni inveniamur aeternae vitae convivio,
et cibum caelestem, ipso ministrante, percipere mereamur.

This prayer was in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary.

Ministro is "to attend, wait upon, serve, esp. at table, to serve up, pour out, hand food or drink".  Percipio is to "to take possession of, to seize, occupy" but also "to learn, know, conceive, comprehend, understand, perceive".  

LITERAL VERSION:
O Lord our God, we beseech You, prepare
our hearts by means of Your divine power,
so that, as Christ Your Son is coming,
we may be found worthy of the banquet of heavenly life,
and, He Himself acting as the servant, we may merit to receive the celestial food.

What is really interesting here is the image of Christ as the "minister" of the heavenly Communion.  Remember what the Lord said about the master of the house who goes away and, on his return, finds the servants ready to let him in when he knocks even if it is at a very inconvenient hour?  Jesus says that in the master of the house himself will serve the servants.  The Pope has used also the referene to the Lord knocking on the door.  Fascinating.

Also, in the verb percipio we have the idea of "perceiving" with the faculties of reason what is going on.  In heaven we will moe from faith to understanding.  There will be amazing moments of realization in heaven.  Never ending opportunities of discovery and amazment before the Beatific Vision.  What food for the soul!  But since we are living in a state of "already but not yet", this can also refer to what will happen in this very Mass later on after reading of Scripture (in which the Lord comes) and the consecration (in which the Lord comes) and in Communion when the alter Christus gives Him to us as we kneel in wonder and gratitude.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA, WDTPRS. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 1st Week of Advent – Wednesday

  1. George Terry says:

    Does the “ipso ministrante” refer back to “veniente Christo Filio tuo” or to the directly preceding “cibum caelestem”? (Or both?) I really like the structure and implication that we pray to merit the Food of Life who serves Himself to us!

    Thanks for these wonderful articles!

  2. I think the ipso ministrante is refering to Christ.

  3. Lame-duck ICEL:

    Lord our god,
    grant that we may be ready
    to receive Christ when he comes in glory
    and to share in the banquet of heaven.

    Talk about lame! Think of how many words and sentences would be required to detail all the imagery and theology of the original prayer that’s missing from the ICEL version. (Please, let’s not call it a translation.) So far, at least, the hypothesis that ICEL might have done better work with the collects for seasons like Advent does not seem to be holding up well.

  4. It’s common to complain about the thinness of Novus Ordo collects – even in their Latin originals – in comparison with the collects in the old missal which they replace. And it appears that, in regard to Sunday collects, there’s frequent basis for such complaints.

    But it occurs to me that the Novus Ordo collects (in their original Latin, again) for these past three weekdays might be wholesome alternatives to those found in the old missal – or use in the divine office, for instance. Thus, compare today’s Novus Ordo collect for the 1st Wednesday of Advent with the traditional alternatives, such as using the collect for St. Nicholas or repeating Sunday’s collect again.

  5. Prepare our hearts
    with your divine power,
    we entreat you, O Lord our God,
    so that, at the coming of Christ your Son,
    we may be found worthy of the banquet of eternal life,
    and ready to receive the food of heaven from his hand.
    Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
    who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    God, forever and ever.

  6. Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
    A Study of the Collect

    Ps 8: 1; Is 25:8
    Praepara, quaesumus, Domine Deus noster,
    Prepare, we beseech you, Lord our God
    Cf. Is 25:7-9 and Mt 15:30-31
    corda nostra divina virtute,
    our hearts by your divine energy/power/strength
    Cf. Lk 12:37
    ut veniente Christo Filio tuo,
    so that at the coming of Christ your Son
    Is 25:6; Ps 22:5; Mt 15:35-36; Rev 19:9
    digni inveniamur aeternae vitae convivio,
    we may be found worthy of the banquet of eternal life
    Lk 12:37; Rev 2:17
    et cibum caelestem, ipso ministrante, percipere mereamur.
    and may be privileged to receive the heavenly food served by him.

    Translations

    Don Marco
    Prepare our hearts
    with your divine power,
    we entreat you, O Lord our God,
    so that, at the coming of Christ your Son,
    we may be found worthy of the banquet of eternal life
    and ready to receive the food of heaven from his hand.

    Martin D. O’Keefe, S.J.
    Oremus, Speaking With God in the Words of the Roman Rite
    Institute of Jesuit Sources, Saint Louis, 1992
    Lord our God,
    we ask that you prepare our hearts with your divine power,
    so that when Christ your Son comes,
    we may be found worthy of the banquet of eternal life
    and may be privileged to receive our heavenly food at his hands.

    The Divine Office (Collins, 1974)
    Prepare our hearts, Lord,
    by the power of your grace.
    When Christ comes
    may he find us worthy
    to receive from his hand the bread of heaven
    at the feast of eternal life.

    St. Michael’s Missal
    (For public use: Hierarchy of England and Wales, 1973)
    O Lord our God,
    prepare our hearts through your grace,
    so that when your Son comes,
    he may find us worthy to share with him eternal life
    and to be his guests at the heavenly table.

    ICEL (1973)
    Lord our God,
    grant that we may be ready
    to receive Christ when he comes in glory
    and to share in the banquet of heaven.

    Second Prayer of The Great Invocation
    in the Rite of Monastic Consecration

    Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Way
    and no one comes to the Father but through you.
    We implore your merciful goodness:
    your servant has been drawn away from the desires of the flesh;
    guide him now along the paths determined by the Holy Rule.
    In your lovingkindness, you called sinners, saying:
    “Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened,
    and I will give you rest.”
    Grant that the words of your invitation may echo so strongly in his heart,
    that casting off the burden of sin, and tasting your sweetness,
    he may receive his nourishment from your hand
    as you have promised.
    Acknowledge him as a sheep of your own flock and let him acknowledge you
    that he follow not after any stranger, but you alone,
    nor listen to a stranger’s voice, but yours alone, as you say:
    “If anyone serves me, let him follow me.”

    The Icon of the Communion of the Apostles

    “This image represents the liturgic interpretation of the image of the Last Supper, taken as an historical episode from the life of the Saviour and the moment of the establishment of the sacrament of the Eucharist. The subject of the Apostles’ communion emphasizes and singles out the sacerdotal office of Christ, which is here expressed in His direct action as Priest. The characteristic feature of this image is that in it essentially the same composition is repeated twice; in this way it depicts the two elements of communion which are obligatory in the Orthodox Church. On one side six Apostles are about to partake of bread, in accordance with the words of the Lord, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ On the other side the other six approach the cup according to the words: ‘Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament’ (Mt xxvi, 26-28). This sacrament, represented immediately above the place where the communion of the faithful takes place, continues, administered by the successors of the Apostles to the members of the Church, uniting them to one another and by lifting them up to Christ, making them participants of His flesh and His Divinity, as Saint John of Damascus says.”

    Ouspensky and Lossky, The Meaning of Icons, 66-67.