For Grace

O our Lord and God,
do not look on our many sins,
and do not turn away
because of the seriousness of our iniquities.
In your unspeakable grace
sanctify your servants,
forget our many sins,
and be merciful when you will appear at the end of time,
in the Man whom you have appointed to be our judge,
that we may receive your grace and mercy,
and praise you with all your holy ones. Amen.

Source: Liturgy of the Blessed Apostles

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

“In your unspeakable grace …” Original: “through Thine unspeakable grace sanctify this sacrifice of Thine, and grant through it power and capability, so that Thou mayest forget our many sins…”

Extend the Right Hand of Heavenly Help

O Lord,
extend your mercy over all your servants everywhere
with the right hand of heavenly help,
that they may seek you with their whole heart,
and obtain what they rightly ask;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gelasian Sacramentary

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

To Witness for Christ

Grant, O merciful God,
that as your holy apostle St. James,
quickly leaving his father and all that he had,
was obedient to the call of your Son Jesus Christ,
and followed him,
and at last cheerfully laid down his life for his gospel’s sake,
so I, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections,
may always be ready to follow your holy commandments,
and whenever your providence will make it my duty,
may readily and cheerfully embrace death,
though armed with his utmost terror,
rather than forsake or deny you.
Let me rejoice in every happy occasion
to testify the sincerity of my love,
by suffering for your truth,
and let the firm belief of those glorious eternal rewards
which you have prepared for those who lay down their lives for your sake,
support me under all the cruelties of the most merciless persecutors.
Grant this,
O blessed Lord,
who died for me,
and rose again,
and now are seated at the right hand of the Father,
to intercede for me,
and all your faithful disciples. Amen.

Source: Liturgy of St. James, Second Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

Purify Our Souls and Bodies

O God,
in your deep counsel
and foresight for humanity,
you sent your Son to heal the hearts of the weak[1]
and purify our souls and bodies.
You are the Savior of body and soul.
You are the loving bestower of eternal happiness!
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gelasian Sacramentary, fifth century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953, also in The New Ancient Collects, #100.

[1] “sent your Son…” Original translation: “…hast appointed holy fasts, whereby the hearts of the weak might receive salutary healing…”

 

For over 150 years, Bright’s Ancient Collects has been a standard resource for classic Christian prayers. The New Ancient Collects is a complete revision and refreshing of all the prayers in Bright’s Ancient Collects with updated language. It is available in paperback and for Amazon Kindle from Amazon.com.

For Light

O Lord,
incline your merciful ears to our prayers
and enlighten the darkness of our hearts
by the light of your visitation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gelasian Sacramentary, fifth century, Advent 3.

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953, also in The New Ancient Collects, #48.

 

For over 150 years, Bright’s Ancient Collects has been a standard resource for classic Christian prayers. The New Ancient Collects is a complete revision and refreshing of all the prayers in Bright’s Ancient Collects with updated language. It is available in paperback and for Amazon Kindle from Amazon.com.

Intercession

Almighty God,
hear our prayers for all who sin against you,
or neglect to serve you,
all who forget you,
all who leave you out of their lives.
O Lord, have mercy on them.
Lead us all to true repentance
and an earnest longing for you.
Strengthen and confirm all your faithful people,
and lift up the light of your face on them,
always renewing in them heavenly desires;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: An Ancient Collect, fifth century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953