Lutheran Worship Part 6: Salutation and Collect
In the salutation, pastor and people responsively speak the words, “The Lord be with you. And also with you.” Similar expressions are found in the Bible at several places (Ruth 2:4, Judges 6:12; Lk 1:28, 2 Thess 3:16). Pastor and people bless each other, and so it is a sign of the bond of love in Jesus that should reside among God’s people. Some pastors may include hand gestures that accompany the salutation. The pastor may extend his hands when he speaks, and receiving the blessing he may fold them together and slightly bow his head.
The Collect is the prayer following the salutation. The prayer often focuses on the content of the day’s Gospel or Epistle reading. It is part of the “propers” of the day meaning it changes from Sunday to Sunday just like the Introit. The prayer is “proper” for a particular Sunday. Thus, it aids in the unity of thought in the service. The Collect serves the Gospel by focusing our faith outwardly on the presence and promises of God! This is a great
"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57
strength of liturgical worship over against emotion based, charismatic style praise services that often focus one inward. If emotion become too much a focus, it obscures what God has said and done for us.
Many of the collects we use are ancient dating back centuries. They tend to be somewhat poetic and reverent in nature, not written/ spoken in a free, extemporaneous style. Yet, we should never fall into the mistaken notion that written prayers are not spiritual. On the contrary, a written prayer is a well thought out reflection of the God of order. It has been said of the collects, “Their humility of spirit is balanced by certainty of faith, and their brevity of form by breadth of thought.” (L. Reed, The Lutheran Liturgy) Both written and extemporaneous prayers have a place among God’s people as long as the prayer is truly spiritual in the thought it conveys and in the heart of faith that prays it. The Collect will often follow this five part pattern: