28 March 2009

A Prayer Before Communion

Know, O Lord my God, I am unworthy that You should enter beneath the roof of the temple of my soul, because it is all empty and dead. There is in me no worthy place where You may lay Your head. But since from Your loftiness You humbled Yourself for our sake, please humble Yourself now toward my humility. And as it seemed good to You to lie down in the cavern and in the manger of dumb beasts, so also now graciously lie in the manger of my dumb soul, and enter into my defiled body. Just as You did not refuse to enter into the house of Simon the leper, and there to sit at meal with sinners, so also graciously enter into the house of my humble soul, which is leprous and sinful. Just as You did not feel loathing for the polluted lips of a sinful woman who kissed Your feet, so also do not loathe my even more defiled and polluted lips and unclean tongue. Amen. -- of St. John Chrysostom, Treasury, p. 1441


Past Elder said...

The words of the centurion were once part of Commuion itself.

The confiteor is said again, then

Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi.
Domine non sum dignus ut intres sub tecum meum, sed tantum dic verbo et sanabitur anima mea (three times)


Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animan tuam in vitam aeternam.

William Weedon said...


I still pray before communing:

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you into my self, but only speak the word and your servant will healed. The Body of Christ given for the forgiveness of my sin. Amen.

And before the Chalice:

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to praised and I am saved from my enemies. The blood of Christ shed for the forgiveness of my sin. Amen.

And after communing:

Lord Jesus Christ, may this Your most holy body and Your precious blood, which I, an unworthy sinner, have received, be to me for the forgiveness of all my sins, for strength in resisting temptations, for service in Your kingdom, and finally for the glories of life everlasting. Amen.

Past Elder said...

That's the pastor's prayers before his own Communion -- although before the chalice as I learned it quoted the Psalmist first, Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quae retribuit mihi.

Qway not qwiy of course!

William Tighe said...

Corpus tuum, Domine, quod sumpsi, et calix, quam potavi, adhaereat visceribus meis; et praesta, omnipotens sempiterne Deus, quod nulla remaneat peccati macula, ubi introierunt sancta tua sacramenta.

William Weedon said...

Yes, Dr. Tighe, we have that prayer too:

May Thy Body, O Lord, which we have eaten, and Thy Blood, which we have drunk, cleave to our inmost souls; and do Thou grant that no stain of sin remain in us, whom Thou hast comforted with Thy pure and holy Sacrament; who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.



Past Elder said...

Interesting. I learned it this way:

Corpus tuum Domine, quod sumpsi, et Sanguis quem potavi, adhaereat visceribus meis, et praesta ut in me non remaneat scelerum macula, quem pura et sancta refecerunt sacramenta. Qui vivs etc.

Of course, to me the 1962 Mass is the "new" Mass.

Trent said...

Here is the unedited version of the prayer of St. John Chrysostom, just so we get a sense of the entirety of St. John's thoughts; including the not so Lutheran parts and all.

"O Lord my God, I know that I am not worthy nor sufficient that thou shouldest enter under my roof into the habitation of my soul, for it is all deserted and in ruins, and thou hast not a fitting place in me to lay thy head. But as from the heights of thy glory thou didst humble thyself, so now bear me in my humility; as thou didst deign to lie in a manger in a cave, so deign now also to come into the manger of my mute soul and corrupt body. As thou didst not refrain from entering into the house of Simon the leper, or shrink from eating there with sinners, so also vouchsafe to enter the house of my poor soul, all leprous and full of sin. Thou didst not reject the sinful woman who ventured to draw near to touch thee, so also have pity on me, a sinner, approaching to touch thee. And grant that I may partake of thine All-holy Body and Precious Blood for the sanctification, enlightenment and strengthening of my weak soul and body; for the relief from the burden of my many sins; for my preservation against all the snares of the devil; for victory over all my sinful and evil habits; for the mortification of my passions; for obedience to thy Commandments; for growth in thy divine Grace and for the inheritance of thy Kingdom. For it is not with careless heart that I approach thee, O Christ my God, but I come trusting in thine infinite goodness, and fearing lest I may be drawn afar from thee and become the prey of the wolf of souls. Wherefore I pray thee, O Master, who alone art holy, that thou wouldest sanctify my soul and body, my mind and heart and reins, and renew me entirely. Implant in my members the fear of thee, be thou my helper and guide, directing my life in the paths of peace, and make me worthy to stand at thy right hand with thy Saints; through the prayers and intercessions of thine immaculate Mother, of thy Bodiless Servitors, of the immaculate Powers, and of all the Saints who from all ages have been well-pleasing unto thee. Amen."

William Weedon said...

Thanks, Trent, for the "rest of the story." And though some might find the ending objectionable (I don't, for it is not asking their intercessions but relying upon them), I don't see why the whole wouldn't have been included.

In our Prayer of the Church, at the commemoration of the saints, we conclude with:

"and in accordance with their prayers grant us a share in their heavenly fellowship."