Monday, August 25, 2014

"Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace."

"Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified; Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."
  • Heb 12:1-2, RSV:  "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."  Note that this follows immediately upon chap. 11, that great list of those who, for "things not seen" but "hoped for" (because set before them), endured very much.  For the connection between the cross and glory, see, besides the Gospel of John 17:1-5, 24 and passim, Lk 24:26; Rom 5:1-5; 8:18; 1 Pet 1:11, 21; 4:13-14; 5:1; and Rev 5:12.  That between the cross (or death) and life is of course pervasive.  The combination "life and peace" occurs in Rom 8:6.
  • 1549:  "exhort[ation]" to "the sicke person", "order for the visitacion of the sicke", Booke of the common prayer:  "For he himselfe wente not up to ioy, but firste he suffered payne:  he entred not into his glory, before he was crucified.  So truely our waye to eternall ioy is to suffre here with Christe, and our doore to entre into eternal life:  is gladly to dye with Christe, that we may ryse againe from death, and dwell with him in euerlasting life" (The first and second prayer books of Edward VI, Everyman's Library 448 (London:  J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd; New York:  E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1910), 261; The book of common prayer:  the texts  of 1549, 1559, and 1662, ed. Brian Cummings (Oxford:  Oxford University press, 2011), 75, where "joy" rather than "ioy" is given).
  • 1882:  "For the Monday before Easter" ("Compiled from the Visitation Office"), Rev. Dr. William Reed Huntington (27 July), Materia ritualis:  an appendix to a paper on "The revision of the common prayer" in the American church review for April 1881 (Worcester [NY]: Press of Charles Hamilton, 1882).
  • 1885:  "For Patience under Suffering," "Prayers . . . upon Several Occasions," The Book [of common prayer] annexed to the report of the Joint Committee on the Book of common prayer as modified by the action of the General Convention of MDCCCLXXXIII (General Convention, 1885), 49.
  • 1886:  William Reed Huntington, The book annexed:  its critics and its prospects.  Three papers (New York, 1886), 67.
  • 1892:  rejection of occasional prayer under "For Patience under Suffering" under 1885, above?
  • 1905 April 11:  "It delights me to have you refer in such terms to the Collect which ought to have got into the Prayer Book at the Revision, but failed to do so.  I was told, at the time, that the failure was due to a criticism of some of your erudite brethren of the House of Bishops, to the effect that the prayer savored of the Kenotic theory.  This was too much for me.  Shall I shock you if I say that the criticism suggested, to my mind the Kenotic condition of the critics’ heads?" (the Rev. Dr. William Reed Huntington to Bishop Hall in a letter reproduced on p. 432 of  John Wallace Suter, Life and letters of William Reed Huntington:  a champion of unity (New York:  Century, 1925)).  I have not yet mined the other references to this prayer that occur in (e.g.) The Hathi Trust.
  • 1928:  collect for the Monday before Easter, American Book of common prayer.
  • 1979:  collect for the Monday before Easter; station collect, Palm Sunday; collect for Fridays, Morning prayer, American Book of common prayer.
  • 1992:  collect for the Tuesday of Holy Week, The United Methodist book of worship, where it reads as follows:  "Holy and compassionate God, your dear Son went not up to joy before he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified.  Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it the way of life and peace; through" (346).
Bibliography:  Shepherd (1950), 138; & Hatchett (1980), 125; Prayer book parallels, vol. 1, p. 20.

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