A time to collect and reflect on our thoughts

Holiday messages from Wrangell's religious community

Each Sunday at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church we say, as part of our service, a “collect” for the day. Collect, with the accent on the first syllable, is a prayer to collect a particular thought for the day, one that often echoes the scripture readings of that day. The collect we’ll say for Christmas goes this way:

“O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.”

On Christmas, we celebrate the mystery and the joy that is light, in all its multitude of forms — family and friends with their love, our island home on both Wrangell and Earth, all that is good in the world. We know that this goodness has ever been and will continue in some way beyond our thinking.

Writing our own collect can be a thoughtful way to condense our thoughts. To help, collects have a particular form:

- Address God in one of God’s aspects

- Ask something of God

- Ask in another way

- Close with amen or another ending

Here is one I wrote thinking about God as Creator:

“Ah, Creator, artisan who crafted all, we ask one thing more — plant in us fierce love for your making. Guide us to revere what is and to repair the riven. Amen.”

How might you collect your thoughts about this season? Take some time during these over-busy days, and the ones to follow, to write, then reflect on your words.

Bonnie Demerjian

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church


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