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Setting the Collects

Opening bars of the Advent IV: Succour
Setting the Collects
The Collect is a form of prayer that gathers or 'collects' silent or expressed petitions. The chief characteristics have been described as variety and terseness. It has a unique and unwavering three-fold structure: an address, a petition, an ascription. This can be clearly seen for instance, in the collect for Trinity XVII:

Lord, we pray thee - that thy grace may always prevent and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; - through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Nigel Morgan's setting of the Collects is unusual in the canon of English liturgical music. Many composers have used lines from the collects within anthems, but it is rare to find complete settings of any of these beautifully concise prayers. J.W.C.Wand's Reflections on the Collects, a celebrated selection of homilies on the collects for every week of the Church's year, has been used to provide an authoritative choice of texts divided into the principal seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Trinity.

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