Archive E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

“Visit the Darkness of Our Mind”: The Collect for the Third Sunday in Advent

Here is the Collect for the Third Sunday in Advent from the Order of Worship for the Reformed Church in the United States. Once again, the prayer is different from the one for the same week in The Book of Common Prayer, which reads:

O Lord Jesus Christ, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee: Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

(That prayer, incidentally, is used for the second week in Advent in the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship [1906]. Its prayer for week three, in turn, is:

O GOD, who dost gladden us with the continual looking for of our redemption; Grant that Thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we now receive as our Redeemer, we may one day in safety behold coming as our Judge, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Godhead, world without end. Amen.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.)

What is below is different from what is in The Book of Common Prayer, yes. (For one thing, it is shorter.) But it is about the same thing: Christ’s Second Coming to judge the world. As ever, pondering Christ’s first coming is to be an opportunity to reflect on the fact that he will come again in triumphant glory. For the first three Advent Collects in the Order, we have seen a rigorous adherence to that principle.

Third Sunday in Advent


INCLINE, O Lord, we beseech Thee, thine ear to our prayers, and visit the darkness of our mind with the dayspring from on high; that at the second coming of thy Son to judge the world, we may hasten with joy to meet Him, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.