What is a “Collect” Prayer?

Once in a while I post a prayer that comes from the Daily Office or The Book of Common Prayer called a “collect.” In case you’ve noticed and have found yourself wondering why it’s called a collect, here’s an explanation I found on an Anglican website:

“A collect is simply a prayer meant to gather (collect) the intentions of the people and the focus of worship into a succinct prayer. All of the collects more or less fit a pattern that was developed and some would say perfected by Archbishop Cranmer in the first Book of Common Prayer (1549).”

The form of collects is actually quite simple.

  1. There is an address to God and to his character or actions in the world on our behalf.
  2. There is a request.
  3. There is an invocation and doxology.
  4. And there is The Amen.

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