Q: I love the collects that were prepared for the 1989 Sacramentary. They sync with the three year cycle of readings and have vivid, Biblical imagery—powerful. Two questions: is there any chance that they will every become usable either in Mass or maybe in the revised Liturgy of the Hours? Second, do they diverge from the form of traditional Roman Rite collects; are they nice, but not really what collects are supposed to be?
A: The collects to which you refer were published in a book called Opening Prayers: Scripture-related Collects for Years A, B & C from The Sacramentary—The ICEL Collects. They have not been approved for use in English. However, a few years ago the revised Italian translation of the Roman Missal did carry over such collects from their previous edition.
In my view, they are beautifully composed and inspiring, but they are not what collects were supposed to be. They show the powerful impact that the revised lectionary has had on Catholic spirituality. We choose music, homily themes, catechetical topics, banners, even bulletin covers based on the readings of the day. Many want collects swept into that stream. But the collects have their own history and tradition. Many of them are 1500 years old or more. They deserve their day in the sun.