Grant Us Breathing Space

Tiziano-cristo-alla-colonna.gifMonday of Holy Week

Today’s Collect is, without any doubt, one of the most poignant of the whole liturgical year. Here it is in the original Latin, and in three different English translations:

Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus,
ut, qui ex nostra infirmitate deficimus,
intercedente unigeniti Filii tui passione, respiremus.
Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti,
Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.

The Marquess of Bute renders it thus:

O Almighty God,
Which knowest that we be in such straits
that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves,
we pray Thee mercifully to relieve us
for whom continually pleadeth the Suffering of Thine Only-Begotten Son.
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
one God, world without end.

Monsignor Knox gives this:

Fainting, thou seest us, Almighty God;
so many perils about us, and we so frail!
Let but the Passion of thy only-begotten Son come between,
to grant us breathing space:
who with thee in the bond of the Holy Spirit
liveth and reigneth and is God,
world without end.

And here is my translation:

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God,
that we who, out of the infirmity that is ours, falter and fail,
may once again breathe freely
through the intercession of the Passion of Thine only-begotten Son,
who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
God forever and ever.

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