Collect addressed to Christ

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Fr. Paul, I wondered if the opening words of the Collect for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord might actually be in error.  The prayer is addressed to God, but goes on to refer to the memorial of “your Passion”, and “your Body and Blood”.  Finally, the words at the end read “Who live and reign with God the Father”.  Although the Collect normally is directed to God the Father, and certainly we believe in the full divinity of Jesus and can refer to him as God, why didn’t the translators simply begin with the words e.g. “Lord Jesus”…  (I see the Spanish language Missal begins in this way – “Señor nuestro Jesucristo” – and the Collects in the previous Missal translation both began the same – “Lord, Jesus Christ”.

As always, I value your answers to these questions!


A: That is no mistake. Indeed, the prayer is addressed to God, and indeed, it means Jesus Christ.

It was in the preconciliar missal too, and it reappears in places such as holy communion outside Mass and eucharistic adoration. 

The original Latin prayer is addressed to Deus, and only as the prayer unfolds do people realize that it is addressed to Christ. I think the idea is that first you recognize Christ is God, and then you realize that our eucharistic food is the Body and Blood of Christ, who is God.

The only other collect addressed to Christ is the one for the morning Mass on December 24. Many parishes do not celebrate that Mass because of the manifold duties later in the day. But the prayer goes straight to Christ and prays for him to come quickly.

The prayer after communion on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is also addressed to Christ. These are rare exceptions that are probably meant to get the attention of worshipers because of the special nature of the day.