Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent

Here is the Collect for the 2nd Week of Advent.

This prayer was in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary but not in any edition of the Missale Romanum before the Novus Ordo.

Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, plebi tuae
adventum Unigeniti tui cum summa vigilantia expectare,
ut, sicut ipse docuit auctor nostrae salutis,
accensis lampadibus in eius occursum
vigilantes properemus.

Almighty God, we beseech You, grant it to Your people
to await the Coming of Your Only-Begotten with the greatest vigilance,
so that, just as the author of our salvation Himself instructed,
we may wide awake rush with lighted lamps to meet Him in His approach.

Here in the North, our days are very short.  The darkeness of night is profound.  A small light immediately pulls the eye, like a stark rebuke to the darkness.  Any light draws every eye, friendly or unfriendly. 

When the Lord comes, will He find faith?  Will He find those who profess His Name to be waiting or will they be drifting? Inattentive?

As the days of Advent fly onward, we have more and more language about a people rushing, running, dashing to meet the Lord. 

I imagine us diligently sweeping the path, moving obstacles lest His feet ("how beautiful the feet") be offended by any stumbling block of our own making, or left out of negligence. 

We do our part knowing full well that the Lord Himself will straighten all that we have not.

Grant your people, we pray, almighty God,
to keep wide awake for the coming of your Only-begotten,
that as he himself, the author of our salvation, has taught,
we may, wakeful and with lamps alight,
hurry out to greet him.

I find the above a little conceptually choppy.  Perhaps you have your own version to propose.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. danphunter1 says:

    I love Jesus so much.
    I want Him to come again so badly.
    Please pray for the Church for She is His Body.
    That all may be one.

  2. Alter Tomassus says:

    From the British edition of the Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours:

    Lord, keep us ever alert and watchful
    as we await the coming of Your Son,
    so that, faithful to His teaching,
    we may hasten to meet our Saviour with lamps alight.

  3. Ansjo says:

    I’m not sure of the origin of these ‘proposed versions’ but they’re pretty good – and infinitely better than the current ones. My only quibble would be the consistent rendering of “quaesemus” by the rather bland “we pray”. No doubt “beseech” is considered insufficiently “ordinary” English – but, as Fr Z is always pointing out, this isn’t ordinary speech, it’s liturgy and “beseech” is a great example of English liturgical register. Bring back beseech, I beseech you, new ICEL!

  4. Jeff says:


    The origin of the “proposed versions” is, of all places, ICEL. The proposed version is from the Green Book of the Proper of Seasons. This has since been revised and submitted to the Bishops in the form of the Grey Book. The prayers in this book will receive the canonical vote and then be submitted to Rome. Expect the prayers in the new Missal to look very similar to the “proposed versions.”

    In most of the orations the translators have opted to render “quaesumus” as “we pray” but this is not universal, taking advantage of the many ways of asking that the English languages has, “beseech” finds its way into a number of prayers.

    Father Z noted that the “proposed version” was a little choppy, and it seems a number of others did as well. It has been refined a bit. Here is another “proposed version.”

    Grant your people, we pray, almighty God,
    to keep wide awake for the coming of your Only-Begotten Son,
    that as he himself, the author of our salvation, has taught,
    we may be alert, with lamps alight,
    and hurry out to greet him as he comes.

  5. Rob F. says:

    The new ICEL translations are a great improvement, IMHO. I suspect that this is because the document “Liturgicam authenticam” has clarified the confusing (not to say misleading) points in “Comme le Prevoit”, which seemed in some places to require the translators to bias their translations to reflect the spirit of the times. The more I re-read “Comme le Prevoit”, the more I think that the original ICEL translators where not incompetent, just very confused.

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