Alternative Collects: Prayers to a Disruptive & Compassionate God


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Book Details

Format: Paperback (118 pages)

Publisher: Sacristy Press

Date of Publication:

ISBN: 978-1-910519-80-6

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These radical prayers break the mould of the “collect” prayers that are so familiar to millions of Christians worldwide. They are the result of the author’s struggle with the blandness and predictability of so many of the church’s traditional prayers.

Useful for both personal and liturgical devotion, these prayers will both challenge and nourish.

Many churches use a traditional collect in their Sunday service. Some of the familiar collects stand out in our minds as we remember their helpful phrases and expressions. But many seem to pass us by as they appear safe or predictable.

Graham Turner provides us with an exciting and challenging set of alternative collects. They adopt the direct and gritty style and language often found amongst the Psalms and prophets of the Old Testament, and are honest about the discomfort we often experience as we seek to live lives following Jesus Christ whilst also acknowledging the audacious grace of God towards us.

These alternative collects are also different because they relate directly to all the readings for the Sundays and Principal Feasts of the Common Worship Lectionary. This means they better “collect” together the various elements of the service, while mindful its place within the church’s year.

“Graham Turner has written a new set of collects that follow in the wake of Cramner. Turner fully understands and appreciates the force of the genre; his offer is a set of prayers that are fiercely timely, bold in their claims, and venturesome in their voicing. I cannot think of better access points to worship than those offered by Turner.”
WALTER BRUEGGEMANN (Columbia Theological Seminary)

During the Reformation period, a distinguished Puritan scholar criticized Thomas Cranmer for the Collects he had either translated or composed for his new Book of Common Prayer. The Puritan scholar said that Cranmer’s collects “savoureth not of that confidence and reverent familiarity that the children of God have through Christ with their heavenly Father.” He had a point. Cranmer’s collects were miniature marvels of English prose, but distance and formality tend to take precedence in them over intimacy with God. Graham Turner’s fresh and vivid alternatives are the ideal complement to Cranmer. Like the Psalms, they encourage us to bring all of ourselves, and all of our world’s needs, into the presence of God in language that is accessible, direct and personal. They should enrich our prayers lives as well as our worship.

GORDON MURSELL (former Bishop of Stafford)

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