Posted by - Julian Mann, December 2013

The Collect for the Sunday Next Before Lent (this year March 2nd) beautifully reflects the sound biblical spirituality of the Book of Common Prayer:

'O Lord, who has taught us that all our doings without love are nothing worth: Send your Holy Spirit, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever lives is counted dead before you: Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.'

The biblical texts inspiring this wonderful prayer are 1 Corinthians 12v31b-13v13: 'And now I will show you a more excellent way....If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing....Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud...And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.'

And Colossians 3v13-15: 'Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against each other. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.'

Galatians 5v22, with its description of love as the fruit of the Spirit, underlies the request that God send us his Holy Spirit and pour his gift of love into our hearts.

The reason why the Prayer Book's spirituality is so rich is because its collects and prayers are steeped in the Bible and shot through with a passion for God. It is after all the Word of Christ that nourishes our souls. 

Julian Mann
March AD 2014

BibleGateway Reform Diocese