Put upon us…

An almost imperceptible difference between contemporary versions of the Advent Collect and its original comes very near the beginning. It may just be a difference in emphasis, but it’s one I’ve needed to sit with these past four Sundays. Contemporary versions read like this: “give us grace that *we may…put on* the armour of light.” God gives grace, but we’re the ones putting on the armour. This reading has passed into the customary public prayer of the original: our inflection and emphasis still sounds like we’re the subject of the action, that the mood is the same subjunctive as the first request, “that we may cast away the works of darkness.”

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O Sapientia

O Sapientia,
quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom,
coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

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