Q: Why are there two options for the Collect for the 5th Friday in Lent?
A: The alternative collect was added to the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal in 2002, and we’ve only seen it in English for the past 10 years. The first collect is the one that dates to the first edition of the Missal, and it was the only option until this change.
In the past, Friday of the 5th Week of Lent was observed in honor of our lady of sorrows. It seemed a duplication of the Sept 15 observance, so it was removed from the calendar. However, many countries in Latin America and in Spain, Malta and the Philippines, the day had attracted popular devotions of some size. In recognition of those traditions, the Vatican added an alternative collect for that day, one that explicitly mentions Mary contemplating the passion of Christ. There’s no previous record of this particular collect. It was composed for the third edition of the missal.
Either one may be used, but the alternative especially fits those places that preserve Marian devotions on Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent.