ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility ; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and for ever. Amen.The collect for Advent is prayed in many churches today. A year ago I reflected on the continuing joys of the Advent season. This year it is my estimation that the national mood is more sombre, that for many people Christmas will be a short season of escape from great anxiety. Some will say that the hope attained from repetition of the seasonal prayer, from seeking solace in devotion, is merely another form of escape. I do not think so; for it is in devotion that the spirit is strengthened and the heart steadied for the travails that await us.