13 February 2006

Thee before Whom as My Judge I Cannot Stand...

A Pre-Communion Prayer of St. Ambrose of Milan

To the Table of thy most sweet Feast, O loving Lord, Jesus Christ, I, a sinner, presuming nothing on my own merits, but trusting in thy mercy and goodness, approach with fear and trembling.

For my heart and my body are stained with many and grievous sins, my thoughts and my lips have not been carefully kept.

Wherefore, O gracious God, O awful Majesty, I, in my misery, being brought into a great strait, turn to thee, the Fountain of mercy; to thee I hasten to be healed, and flee under thy protection: and thee, before whom as my Judge I cannot stand, I long to have as my Savior.

To thee, O Lord, I show my wounds, to thee I discover my shame.

I know my sins, for which I am afraid, are many and great. My trust is in thy mercies, of which there is no end.

Look therefore upon me with the eyes of thy mercy, O Lord Jesus Christ, eternal God, God and Man, crucified for man.

Hearken unto me whose trust is in thee; have mercy upon me who am full of misery and sin, thou Fountain of mercy that will never cease to flow.

Hail, Victim of salvation, offered for me and all mankind upon the Altar of the cross!

Hail, noble and precious Blood, flowing from the wounds of my Crucified Lord Jesus Christ, and washing away the sins of the whole world!

Remember, O Lord, thy creature whom thou hast redeemed with thine own Blood. It grieves me that I have sinned, and I desire to amend what I have done.

Take away therefore from me, O most merciful Lord, all my sins and iniquities; that being purified both in soul and body, I may be made meet worthily to taste the Holy of Holies; and grant that this holy foretaste of thy Body and Blood, which I, unworthy, purpose to take, may be for the remission of my sins, the perfect cleansing of my faults; the driving away of shameful thoughts, and the renewal of good desires; the healthful performance of works well-pleasing unto thee; and the most sure protection of soul and body against the wiles of my enemies. Amen.


Wartburg said...

Psalm 119
169Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word.
170Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.
171My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.
172My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.
173Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.
174I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight.
175Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.
176I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

Mimi said...

That's beautiful.

William Weedon said...

It is, isn't it? It comes from the priest's preparation in the Orthodox Missal (Western Rite) of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful prayer. I have been praying it before receiving Holy Communion ever since I first read it in my 1945 St. Andrew Daily Missal.