A collection of traditional prayers, composed by some of the Church’s greatest doctors and saints, in preparation to attend the Holy Mass and receive the Eucharist. Prayers for sinners, for the faithful, for the Church and for oneself.
Act of Oblation before Mass:
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Sacrifice wherein Thy dear Son, Jesus, offered Himself upon the Cross and which He now renews upon this altar:
To adore Thee and to render to Thee that honour which is Thy due, acknowledging Thy supreme dominion over all things and their absolute dependence on Thee, for Thou art our first beginning and our last end;
To give Thee thanks for countless benefits received;
To appease Thy Justice, provoked to anger by so many sins, and to offer Thee worthy satisfaction for the same;
And finally to implore Thy Grace and Mercy for myself, for all those who are in tribulation and distress, for all poor sinners, for the whole world and for the blessed souls in purgatory. Amen.
O God, in Whose sight every soul may well fear and every conscience tremble, be gracious to every cry of sorrow and heal the wounds of sins in all. Even as none of us is free from fault, so may none be a stranger to Thy Mercy. Amen
(Rite of Evesham, 13th Century; taken from The Order of Mass: Missal of Blessed John XXIII by Michael Sternbeck)
For the Church:
Almighty, Eternal God, by ever giving strength to our weakness, Thou enable the Church to flourish even amidst its trials, so that when it appears to men to be utterly cast down, then rather does it gloriously prevail. Whilst, then, it accepts affliction as a proving of its faith, let it persevere, by Thy grace, in triumphant loyalty. Amen
(Missal of Robert of Jumieges, 11th Century; taken from The Order of Mass: Missal of Blessed John XXIII by Michael Sternbeck)
For the Faithful:
To all who live in the truths of the faith give grace, most tender Father, that they may lead upright and holy lives, never departing from Thy teaching. To those who as yet have not found faith in Thou, grant that before they quit this life they may believe and know the love of Thy Holy Name. Then, having known it, may they keep it firm and inviolate. Let the Sacrifice of Thy Body and Blood win pardon of the sins for the living and the dead. Amen.
(Anselm of Bury St. Edmunds, 12th Century; taken from The Order of Mass: Missal of Blessed John XXIII by Michael Sternbeck)
In Preparation to Receive Communion:
Lord Jesus Christ, I approach Thy banquet table in fear and trembling, for I am a sinner, and dare not rely on my own worth, but only on Thy goodness and mercy. I am defiled by my many sins in body and soul, and by my unguarded thoughts and words. Gracious God of majesty and awe, I seek Thy protection, I look for Thy healing. Poor troubled sinner that I am, I appeal to Thee, the fountain of all mercy. I cannot bear Thy judgment, but I trust in Thy salvation. Lord, I show my wounds to Thee and uncover my shame before Thee. I know my sins are many and great, and they fill me with fear, but I hope in Thy mercies, for they cannot be numbered.
Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal King, God and man, crucified for mankind, look upon me with mercy and hear my prayer, for I trust in Thee. Have mercy on me, full of sorrow and sin, for the depth of Thy compassion never ends.
Praise to Thee saving sacrifice, offered on the wood of the Cross for me and for all mankind. Praise to the noble and Precious Blood, flowing from the wounds of my crucified Lord Jesus Christ and washing away the sins of the whole world.
Remember, Lord, Thy creature, whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy blood; I repent my sins, and I long to put right what I have done. Merciful Father, take away all my offences and sins; purify me in body and soul, and make me worthy to taste the Holy of Holies. May Thy Body and Blood, which I intend to receive, although I am unworthy, be for me the remission of my sins, the washing away of my guilt, the end of my evil thoughts, and the rebirth of my better instincts. May it incite me to do the works pleasing to Thee, and a firm defence of body and soul against the wiles of my enemies. Amen.
… or …
Almighty and everlasting God, behold I come to the Sacrament of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: I come as one infirm to the physician of life, as one unclean to the fountain of mercy, as one blind to the light of everlasting brightness, as one poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore I implore the abundance of Thy measureless bounty that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to heal my infirmity, wash my uncleanness, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty and clothe my nakedness, that I may receive the Bread of Angels, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, with such reverence and humility, with such sorrow and devotion, with such purity and faith, with such purpose and intention as may be profitable to my soul’s salvation.
Grant unto me, I pray, the grace of receiving not only the Sacrament of our Lord’s Body and Blood, but also the grace and power of the Sacrament. O most gracious God, grant me so to receive the Body of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which He took from the Virgin Mary, as to merit to be incorporated into His mystical Body, and to be numbered amongst His members. O most loving Father, give me grace to behold forever Thy beloved Son with His face at last unveiled, whom I now purpose to receive under the sacramental veil here below. Amen.
(St. Thomas Aquinas)
… or …
O Lord Jesus Christ, by the desire of the Father and the co-operating of the Holy Spirit, Thou willingly and mercifully redeemed the world from sin and from eternal death. Though it be with lowly devotion, and all too little love, yet it is with thankfulness for so great a grace and to the best of my power that I desire to receive, to the cleansing of my soul and a defence against sin, Thy sacred Body and Blood. But my confidence is all in that loving-kindness by which, that sinners might find grace, Thou offered and laid down Thy Life as a sacrifice to the Father. Therefore do I dare, sinner though I be, to receive these holy gifts that through them I may find holiness…. Make me, O Lord, to receive Thy gifts on my lips and into my heart with such feelings of faith and love that, by their power and my own repentance and renewed goodness of life, I may have some likeness to Thy Death and Resurrection. So may I be a worthy member of Thy Body which is the Church, that I may also be a member of Thee, that Thou may live in me and I in Thee. Amen.
(St. Anselm, 12th Century; taken from The Order of Mass: Missal of Blessed John XXIII by Michael Sternbeck)
Having Received Communion:
I give thanks to Thee, O Lord, most holy, Father almighty, eternal God, that Thou hast vouchsafed, for no merit of mine own, but out of Thy pure mercy, to appease the hunger of my soul with the precious Body and Blood of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Humbly I implore Thee, let not this holy communion be to me an increase of guilt unto my punishment, but an availing plea unto pardon and salvation. Let it be to me the armour of faith and the shield of good will. May it root out from my heart all vice; may it utterly subdue my evil passions and all my unruly desires. May it perfect me in charity and patience; in humility and obedience; and in all other virtues. May it be my sure defence against the snares laid for me by my enemies, visible and invisible. May it restrain and quiet all my evil impulses, and make me ever cleave to Thee Who art the one true God. May I owe to it a happy ending of my life.
And do Thou, O heavenly Father, vouchsafe one day to call me, a sinner, to that ineffable banquet, where Thou, together with Thy Son and the Holy Ghost, art to Thy saints true and unfailing light, fullness of content, joy for evermore, gladness without alloy, consummate and everlasting happiness. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
(St. Thomas Aquinas)
… or …
Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have Thou present so that I do not forget Thee.
Thou knowest how easily I abandon Thee.
Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak, and I need Thy strength, so that I may not fall so often.
Stay with me, Lord, for Thou art my life, and without Thee, I am without fervour.
Stay with me, Lord, for Thou art my light, and without Thee, I am in darkness.
Stay with me, Lord, to show me Thy Will.
Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Thy Voice and follow Thee.
Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love Thee very much, and always be in Thy company.
Stay with me, Lord, if Thou wishest me to be faithful to Thee.
Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I want it to be a place of consolation for Thee, a nest of love. Amen.
(St. Padre Pio, Prayer After Communion)
And also …
Last Gospel and Leonine Prayers:
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, may the whole world burn with love for Thee!
Anima Christie (Soul of Christ):
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy Wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me,
And bid me come to Thee.
That with Thy saints, I may praise Thee.
Forever and ever.
Prayer Before a Crucifix:
Behold, O Kind and most sweet Jesus, before Thy Face I humbly kneel, and with the most fervent desire of soul, I pray and beseech Thee to impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins and a firm purpose of amendment.
With deep affection and grief of soul, I ponder within myself, mentally contemplating Thy five Wounds, having before my eyes the words which David the Prophet spoke concerning Thee: “They have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones.” Amen.
(Conclude with Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory Be for the Holy Father’s intentions)