A Prayer Before Communion

One thing I have enjoyed in my devotional life is carrying about a wee book of prayers which I have compiled. I use this little book especially before and after Holy Communion. It helps me focus my thoughts and heart, especially if I communicate in a setting that does not use the Book of Common Prayer.

Here’s one I found today in Ancient Collects and Other Prayers, Selected from Various Rituals by W. Bright:

Lord our God, the Bread of Heaven, the Life of the world, I have sinned against Heaven and before Thee, and am not worthy to partake of Thine immaculate Mysteries; — but in Thy divine tenderness do Thou vouchsafe me by Thy grace to partake of Thy holy Body and precious Blood, without condemnation, unto remission of sins and eternal life. –Liturgy of St. James

The ancient prayers are very good at keeping in mind our unworthiness and God’s grace at the Communion Table.

Consider also Charles Wesley, Hymn 28 from Hymns on the Lord’s Supper:

Author of our salvation thee
With lowly thankful hearts we praise
Author of this great mystery,
Figure and means of saving grace.

The sacred true effectual sign
Thy body and thy blood it shows,
The glorious instrument divine
Thy mercy and thy strength bestows.

We see the blood that seals our peace,
Thy pard’ning mercy we receive:
The bread doth visibly express
The strength through which our spirits live.

Our spirits drink a fresh supply,
And eat the bread so freely given,
Till borne on eagles’ wings we fly,
And banquet with our Lord in heaven.

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