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Collect and Gospel

16 August 2013


Your questions

Is there any provision for the Sunday collects to be chosen - say, by the preacher - to echo that day's Principal Service Gospel? The Gospel for Trinity 9 (Jesus's teaching on prayer) seemed well matched with Trinity 10's collect. Again, Trinity 10's Gospel (rich fool) might be matched with the choice of the collect for Trinity 12 (or indeed  any other). If a connection were made in this way, collects might come less "out of the blue".

Unlike the collects in the Alternative Service Book 1980, those in Common Worship are not related to the themes of the readings in the lectionary (in this instance, the three-year cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary), but are independently assigned to the Sundays. Except during Christmas and Easter seasons, clear connections are rare, and a mismatch is not unusual, as the questioner discovered.

If and when necessary, a preacher or president can adopt another collect that is more appropriate to the theme of the Gospel reading. This should not dislodge the official Sunday collect at its usual place before the Ministry of the Word, but can used in the post-communion at the eucharist. This arrangement is permitted in Order One of the holy eucharist, where the rubric provides that "The Post Communion or another suitable prayer is said" (page 182).

The other suitable prayer will be the chosen collect that best echoes and matches the Principal Sunday Service Gospel, or other reading on which, earlier in the service, a sermon has been based.

(Canon) Terry Palmer
Magor, Monmouthshire

In 1999, Canterbury Press published Opening Prayers: Collects in contemporary language, which provided "Scripture-related prayers for Sundays and Holy Days, Years A, B and C".

(The Revd) Chris Mitchell, York

Your answers

It appears to be increasingly common for deacons to conduct baptisms. What is the Church's teaching on this? As baptism is a sacrament, should it not be the responsibility of a priest who has the cure of souls to conduct baptisms? Also, the officiant sanctifies/blesses the water. Should a deacon be doing this?  B. B.

In pictures of the annunciation, why is the angel Gabriel usually shown on the left, and the Virgin Mary on the right?  N. A. R.

Functions of a PCC include "co- operation with the incumbent . . .", etc. Should this still apply when the incumbent is deliberately flouting the Canons, the conventions of our Church, or even diocesan policy?

Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, London EC1Y 0TG.


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