[Between American Thanksgiving Day and Advent Sunday, St Andrew can get forgotten. Here is a reminder!] -- P.T.
If Archbishop Cranmer had used the Collect for St Andrew's Day in the Latin Sarum Missal (which had been used for many years in Ecclesia Anglicana) he would have translated it something like this:
"We humbly implore thy Majesty, O Lord, that as the blessed Apostle Andrew appeared on earth as a preacher and ruler of the Church, so he may be for us a perpetual intercessor with thee in heaven. Though Christ our Lord."
But this Collect was not used because the Reformed Church of England had set aside the medieval practice of asking for the intercession of saints.
Instead, for the first Book of the Common Prayer (1549) either Cranmer or a colleague provided this Collect:
"Almighty God, which hast given such grace to thy Apostle saint Andrew, that he counted the sharp and painful death of the cross to be an high honour, and a great glory: Grant us to take and esteem all troubles and adversities which shall come unto us for thy sake, as things profitable to us for the obtaining of everlasting life: through Jesus Christ our Lord."
But this Collect was rejected and a new one provided for the second edition of The Book of Common Prayer in 1552. Why? Because the foundation ( established in the relative clause, "which hast given.") was recognized to be a legend and not either a sure fact of history or a sound doctrine of the sacred Scriptures. We do not know for sure how Andrew died but a prominent legend states that he was martyred at Patras in Achaia in AD 60 on a cross shaped like a capital X. [See also Eusebius, Book 3. i.1]
By 1552 Cranmer was insistent that the basis of any petition to the Lord our God through Christ the Saviour must be on a sure biblical foundation.
Thus we come to the Collect placed in the 1552 Prayer Book which has remained the Anglican Collect for St Andrew's Day since then. This reads:
"Almighty God, who didst give such grace unto thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, that he readily obeyed the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him without delay: Grant unto us all, that we, being called by thy holy word, may forthwith give up ourselves obediently to fulfil thy holy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
Here the foundation for the petition in the relative clause ("who didst give.") is certainly scriptural, found in Matthew 4:18-10 & John 1:35-43.
In the Anglican Communion St Andrewstide has long been associated with intercession for foreign missions.
Since circa 750 St Andrew has been regarded as the patron saint of Scotland.
For all of us, St Andrew's Day is first and foremost a day of to pray that we shall be as ready to obey the call of the Lord as was Andrew.
The Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon