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Collection basket

A collection (from Latin : colligere "to collect") is a collection of money for church or charitable purposes, especially the collection of cash during or after a service in the Christian church. For this one is collection plate or simply a basket or plate passed around, or the worshipers to throw their part in the offertory or collection boxes , or take him to the altar ( sacrifice or altar handling).

Biblical justification and early Christian practice

Already in the 2nd Book of Kings 12: 9–11 EU it is reported that the Solomonic Temple was repaired during the reign of King Joasch with money that temple visitors threw into an ark with a hole drilled in it when leaving the temple . In return, the priests were instructed not to collect any more money from relatives.

In the early Christian communities , too , money was collected for special purposes. The apostle Paul writes, for example, in his letter to the Romans 15.25 to 29 EU : "But now I go unto Jerusalem to serve the saints. Because those in Macedonia and Achaia have willingly put together a common gift for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem . They did it willingly and are also their debtors. For if the Gentiles have had a share in their spiritual goods, it is right and just that they also render service to them with bodily goods. When I have arranged that and reliably handed over this income to you, I will move to Spain from you . But I know when I come to you that I will come with the full blessing of Christ . ”( 2 Corinthians 8 EU and 9 EU ; Galatians 2.10 EU ). In 1 Corinthians 16 : 1–3 EU , more precise instructions are given for the practice of collecting: On the first day of the week , the day of the early Christian church service, money should be set aside for the purpose mentioned.

In the early church liturgy it became customary in the 3rd and 4th centuries to bring bread and wine for the celebration of the Eucharist and to donate it ( oblatio ). The gifts necessary for the celebration were set apart, the surplus were given to the poor in the community. In this way, the charity practiced from the beginning of Christianity and the sacrifice of the Eucharist were linked. On Sundays and feast days the congregation brought their gifts to the altar in the form of an " offering ". This is done today vicariously through acolytes or altar in the offertory of the Mass ; The donation of goods in kind by the congregation turned into a monetary offering that is collected at the collection.


Roman Catholic Church

During the Holy Mass on Sundays and public holidays, the bell bag is passed around to prepare gifts and the collection is collected. This is then brought to the altar along with the Eucharistic gifts . The believers symbolically bring their gifts to the altar.

Already in the old church the believers brought their gifts - bread, wine, also natural produce - to the altar, or deacons collected the gifts and carried them to the front. In the Middle Ages, the form of the sacrificial passage developed, in which the believers brought their money offerings in a procession to the altar and laid them there. This was practiced on Sundays and feast days until the 16th or 17th centuries, and since then the offering has been restricted to certain occasions. At exequies it was regional, for example in the Rhineland, well into the 20th century.

Often the proceeds of the collection go to the respective community. However, there are also special collections in which the collection is taken to an aid organization or collected for a specific purpose. For example, there are collections for:

Evangelical regional churches (Germany)

In the parishes of the Protestant regional churches , collections are collected in every service. There are three types of divine service collections: the bell bag , the starting collection and the offering box .

For Sundays and church holidays, the respective church leadership or regional synod defines the collection purposes for all parishes. The purpose of the collection is summarized in the regional church collection plan, which is resolved anew for each church year. The collection plans differ considerably from regional church to regional church. What they have in common, however, is that there are three types of collection purposes:

  • Purposes that are determined by the regional church,
  • Purposes that congregations, church districts or church districts decide themselves
  • Compulsory elective collections, for which the regional church provides a list of purposes from which parishes can choose.

Traditionally, there are regional churches in which the majority of the collection purposes are centrally prescribed, and other regional churches in which the congregations can decide on most of the collection purposes themselves. With around 65 church services per year (different regionally and church year), the Ev. Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia presents more than 50 purposes to its parishes. In the Ev. Church of Württemberg, on the other hand, the congregations can determine the purposes themselves on more than 50 dates.

This so-called official collection is usually collected in the bell bag during the service. In regional churches that do not have an initial collection, this happens between the end of the sermon and the intercessory prayers . If there is an initial collection, the bell bag is usually passed around during the song before the sermon. The practice in a church can differ from this.

In most parishes, a second collection is also collected at the exit. This is freely available to the community or is used for a purpose determined by the community itself. The same applies to the offering box, a permanently installed donation box or chest, in which people usually collect for a purpose throughout the year.

In the summer of 2018, the Protestant Church applied for a patent for the digital bell pouch . This has a display and, in addition to the traditional cash deposit in the cloth bag, also enables card payments without entering a PIN . A nationwide app is also being planned with which a collection can be given using a smartphone.

Evangelical Free Churches

In most Evangelical Free Churches , the collection, which is collected with a bell bag or collection basket, is an integral part of the service. In normal Sunday worship services, no project is usually named for which the money collection is intended. The collection then goes to the household of the community.

In contrast, at festive worship services, gatherings are made for specific purposes about what the congregation has been informed as specifically as possible in advance. These collections are also known as sacrifices. The following terms are common:

  • Thanksgiving offer (1st Sunday in October), which is mostly used in part for the supraregional work of the Evangelical Free Churches
  • Mission sacrifice that the external mission of the Federation of Evangelical Free Churches belongs
  • Construction sacrifice, which is used for the construction of our own or other church building projects
  • Need in the world - almost all Evangelical Free Churches take part in this context at Christmas time in the Bread for the World collection that is common in all Protestant churches

In many Evangelical Free Churches there is also a so-called Last Supper or Hebrew Fund , through which needy parishioners are supported. At sacrament services and other occasions, this cash register is provided with the funds through a collection.

Web links

Wiktionary: Collection  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Josef Andreas Jungmann : Missarum Sollemnia. A genetic explanation of the Roman mass. Second volume, 5th edition. Nova & Vetera, Bonn and Herder, Vienna / Freiburg / Basel 1962, pp. 1–34.
  2. ^ Josef Andreas Jungmann : Missarum Sollemnia. A genetic explanation of the Roman mass. Second volume, 5th edition. Nova & Vetera, Bonn and Herder, Vienna-Freiburg-Basel 1962, pp. 30f.
  3. a b c press report