Saturday, 15 December 2012



O God, who see how your people
faithfully await the feast of the Lord's Nativity,
enable us, we pray,
to attain the joys of so great a salvation,
and to celebrate them always
with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.

From the Rotulus of Ravenna, though not so scriptural in its expression as the prayers from the same source that we have considered so far.
The phrase 'great salvation' (but not 'so great') occurs in 1 Sam 14,45 and 19,5, but not in the New Testament.
I am puzzled as to what we are praying to attain in this prayer. Is it the joys of Christmas, or the eschatological joys that flow from the Incarnation? If the latter, we will be celebrating them in anticipation. This being so, perhaps the former is the more likely interpretation, though it seems strange to pray in a Collect that we will live long enough to see Christmas.