1st Week of Advent – Monday

Here is the Collect for Monday of the 1st Week of Advent:

Fac nos, quaesumus, Domine Deus noster,
adventum Christi Filii tui sollicitos exspectare,
ut, dum venerit pulsans, orationibus vigilantes,
et in suis inveniat laudibus exsultantes.

Today’s prayer had its origin in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary.

The adjective sollicitus can have a physical sense of "agitated" as in "busy", but an interior dimension as well, as in "anxious" or "apprehensive". In our context, we are given an image of someone who is interiorly "worked up", excited about the coming of the Lord and is therefore engaged in the appropriate works. You will also want to "attract" that suis to the subject of inveniat rather than exsultantes.


Cause us, we beg You, O Lord our God,
to await as anxious people the coming of Christ Your Son,
so that, when He will have come, knocking,
He will find people vigilant in prayers and rejoices in His praises.

We entreat You, O Lord our God,
to make us into a people anxiously awaiting the coming of Christ, Your Son,
that, when he arrives and knocks upon the door,
He will find us vigilant in prayer and rejoicing in His praises.

Tell me if you don’t think what the Holy Father said during his Angelus address yesterday echoes this Collect (my translation):

He comes in the history of humanity, to knock upon the door of every man and woman of good will, to bring to every individual, family and people the gift of fraternity, of concord and of peace. For this Advent is the preeminent time of hope, when believers in Christ are invited to remain in vigilant and industrious expectation, nourished by prayer and effective diligence of love. May the approach of the Birth of Christ fill the heart of all Christians with joy, serenity and peace.

Anyone have the lame-duck ICEL version presently being used?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Demerzel says:

    This one is from the UK version…

    Lord our God,
    help us to prepare
    for the coming of Christ your Son.
    May he find us waiting,
    eager in joyful prayer.

  2. The “UK version” is indeed the lameduck ICEL version I’ll hear at Mass here in the U.S. within the hour. So in this instance, at least, we’re not separated by a common language, but united in a tortured one. Although, this particular boy-scout collect is not really so bad, is it?

  3. Demerzel says:

    Well with the current standard of English Translation for the Missal, one can just understand why some people find the Mass boring.

  4. Tom says:

    The other lame-duck UK version (NLC) reads:

    O Lord our God, help us to look eagerly for the coming of our savious. When He arrives and knocks, may He find us awake and at prayer, singing His praises with joy.

  5. Andrew says:

    Fr. Z:

    I’m sure you have better things to do with your time: but if I may, whatever it is worth:

    I don’t like the connotation of “anxious people” or the “people anxiously awaiting”. I would rather translate the “fac nos sollicitos expectare” as “make us watchfully await or diligently await”. Instead of “anxiety” – “watchfulness, diligence, care” would seem more appropriate. Anxiety, seems to me, is a negative concept for us, whereas “sollicitudo” is not so much. “Sollicitudo, sedulitas, curatio” go together as in e.g.:”haec eam sollicite seduloque curantem Ceres alma deprehendit … (Apuleius). I just don’t like the “anxious people”.

    Anyway, I don’t like to be picky, but who knows, perhaps you don’t mind the comment.

  6. The only thing that particularly struck me in the prayer was the comma after vigilantes. Why is it there? We have vigilantes and exsultantes nicely balanced on either side of inveniat, each receiving the action of the verb, except that that comma seems to disturb the balance.

    Andrew’s point seems on the mark.

  7. And I rendered it:

    O Lord our God, we beseech you,
    grant that we may await the advent of Christ your Son
    with eager anticipation,
    so that when He knocks at the door
    He may find us vigilant in prayer
    and joyful in singing His praises.
    Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,God, forever and ever.

  8. And we commmemorated Saint Barbara at the General Intercessions:

    Almighty and ever–living God,
    who inspired the virgin martyr Saint Barbara
    to glorify the deifying light of the Most Holy Trinity,
    mercifully grant that with souls illumined by that same light
    we may persevere in hope and, at length,
    praise your mercy with all the saints.
    Through Christ our Lord.

  9. ignorant redneck says:

    from my missal:

    O Lord our God,
    Help us to prepare
    for the coming of Christ your Son.
    May he find us waiting
    eager in joyful prayer.

    published under the authority of thr USCCB, imprimatur 2003.

  10. UK/Ireland Breviary
    Give us the grace, Lord
    to be ever on the watch for Christ, your Son.
    When he comes and knocks at our door
    let him find us alert in prayer,
    joyfully proclaiming his glory

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