We have entered the long Season After Pentecost (some churches call it the “Trinity Season”). The season is calculated based on where Easter falls each year, itself a calculation based on the first full moon after the equinox (Cartoonist Dave Walker at right can explain this).
What all this means is that there are Sundays and weekdays with assigned biblical readings and prayers from the prayer book that we almost never get to hear.
In fact, the first of these prayers won’t be heard again in church on a Sunday for another 215 years. The next time Easter will be early enough will be March 23, 2228.
This year we begin the Season after Pentecost with the prayer and readings for “Proper 3,” which is church-speak for starting three weeks into the earliest possible date for Pentecost. Had Easter come three weeks earlier (like in 2228) we would have started on the Pentecost readings and prayers three weeks ago. Since we are not going to hear these prayers for a very long time on a Sunday, today I am offering you these prayers that you didn’t get to hear.
And since this coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday, you don’t get to hear the prayer for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost either. So here are all four Sunday prayers – or “Collects of the Day” that you won’t get to hear:
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Proper 1 Week of the Sunday closest to May 11
Remember, O Lord, what you have wrought in us and not what we deserve; and, as you have called us to your service, make us worthy of our calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Proper 2 Week of the Sunday closest to May 18
Almighty and merciful God, in your goodness keep us, we pray, from all things that may hurt us, that we, being ready both in mind and body, may accomplish with free hearts those things which belong to your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Proper 3 The Sunday closest to May 25
Grant, O Lord, that the course of this world may be peaceably governed by your providence; and that your Church may joyfully serve you in confidence and serenity; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Proper 4 The Sunday closest to June 1
O God, your never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and earth: Put away from us, we entreat you, all hurtful things, and give us those things which are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.