Wednesday, December 07, 2005

But I did forget St Nicholas Day

. . .which was yesterday.

Well, not so much forget as run out of time. So a day late, and in honour of the great bishop, who according to one story punched an Arian bishop in the nose at the Council of Nicæa, ecumenism not being his strong suit, the old collect for his feast:

Deus, qui beatum Nicolaum Pontificem tuum innumeris decorasti miraculis: tribue, quæsumus; ut eius meritis et precibus a gehennæ incendiis liberemur. Per Dominum. Amen.

O God, Who didst glorify the blessed bishop Nicholas by countless miracles, grant, we pray Thee, that by his merits and prayers we may be delivered from the fires of hell: through our Lord. Amen.

That gets right to the point, doesn't it.

The collect in the Pauline rite is completely different and, avoiding those outdated and problematical miracles, sticks to praying that via salutis nobis pateat expedita. A noble sentiment, no doubt. And it has the added benefit of preventing the modern, educated, wise and independent laity from coming over all faint at the mention of the fires of hell.

In the English, the ICEL dilutes it anyway. Just to be on the safe side.

And so it goes.

Oh, who loves Nicholas the saintly!
Oh, who serves Nicholas the saintly!
Him will Nicholas receive
And give help in time of need,
Holy Father Nicholas!