Preparing For Mass And Holy Communion

Holy Communion

Holy Communion Prayer: Prayers before Holy Communion are a great way of preparing ourselves for receiving the Eucharistic mass of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Eucharist, Jesus really intends to be with us. Our Lord once said to St. Faustina, ‘with my fingers full of all kinds of graces I wish to offer to the soul, when I enter into human heart at the holy communion.’


Prayer of St Ambrose

Preparation for Mass; attributed to St Ambrose (c. 339-397), bishop of Milan

Lord Jesus Christ,

I approach your banquet table in fear and trembling, for I am a sinner and dare not rely on my own worth but only on your goodness and mercy.

I am defiled by many sins in body and soul and by my unguarded thoughts and words. Gracious God of majesty and awe,

I seek your protection, I look for your healing.

Poor troubled sinner that I am,

I appeal to you, the fountain of all mercy. I cannot bear your judgement,

but I trust in your salvation.

Lord, I show my wounds to you and uncover my shame before you. I know my sins are many and great and they fill me with fear,

but I hope in your mercies, for they cannot be numbered.

Lord Jesus Christ, eternal king,

divine and human, crucified for humanity,

look upon me with mercy and hear my prayer, for I trust in you…

Have mercy on me, full of sorrow and sin,

for the depth of your compassion never ends. Praise to you, saving sacrifice,

offered on the wood of the cross for me and for all.

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, your creatures,

whom you have redeemed with your blood.

I repent of my sins

and I long to put right what I have done.

Merciful Lord, take away all my offences and sins; purify me in body and soul,

and make me worthy to taste the holy of holies. May your 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 spur me on to works pleasing to you and be profitable to my health in body and soul and a firm defence against the wiles of my enemies.


Prayer of St Augustine

Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know you, And desire nothing, save only you.

Let me hate myself and love you.

Let me do everything for the sake of you. Let me humble myself and exalt you.

Let me think of nothing except you.

Let me accept whatever happens as from you. Let me banish self and follow you,

And ever desire to follow you.

Let me fly from myself and take refuge in you, That I may deserve to be defended by you.

Let me fear for myself, let me fear you,

And let me be among those who are chosen by you. Let me be willing to obey for the sake of you.

Let me cling to nothing, save only to you, And let me be poor because of you.

Look upon me, that I may love you. Call me, that I may see you,

And for ever enjoy you.


Prayer of St Thomas Aquinas

Preparation for Mass; attributed to St Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274)

Almighty and ever-living God,

I approach the sacrament of your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

I come sick to the doctor of life, unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the radiance of eternal light,

poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Lord in your great generosity,

heal my sickness, wash away my defilement, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness.

May I receive the bread of angels, the King of kings and Lord of lords, with humble reverence,

with purity and faith,

with the repentance and love and the determined purpose

that will help to bring me to salvation. May I receive the sacrament of the Lord’s body and blood

and its reality and power. Kind God,

may I receive the body of your only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

born from the womb of the Virgin Mary, and so be received into his mystical body and numbered among his members.

Loving Father,

as on my earthly pilgrimage

I now receive your beloved Son under the veil of a sacrament,

may I one day see him face to face in glory, who lives and reigns with you for ever.


Adoro Te Devote (Latin version)

Attributed to St Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274)

Adóro te devóte, latens Déitas, Quae sub his figúris vere látitas: Tibi se cor meum totum súbiicit, Quia te contémplans totum déficit.

Visus, tactus, gustus in te fállitur, Sed audítu solo tuto créditur.

Credo, quidquid dixit Dei Fílius: Nic hoc verbo Veritátis vérius.

In cruce latébat sola Déitas,

At hic latet simul et humánitas; Ambo tamen credens atque cónfitens, Peto quod petívit latro paénitens.

Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intúeor; Deum tamen meum te confíteor.

Fac me tibi semper magis crédere, In te spem habére, te dilígere.

O memoriále mortis Dómini!

Panis vivus, vitam praestans hómini! Praesta meae menti de te vívere.

Et te illi semper dulce sápere.

Pie pellicáne, Iesu Dómine,

Me immúndum munda tuo sánguine. Cuius una stilla salvum fácere

Totum mundum quit ab omni scélere.

Iesu, quem velátum nunc aspício, Oro fiat illud quod tam sítio;

Ut te reveláta cernens fácie,

Visu sim beátus tuae glóriae.


Adoro Te Devote (English version)

Attributed to St Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274)

Hidden here before me, Lord, I worship you, Hidden in these symbols, yet completely true. Lord, my soul surrenders, I longing to obey, And in contemplation wholly faints away.

Seeing, touching, tasting; these are all deceived; Only through the hearing can it be believed.

Nothing is more certain; Christ has told me so; What the Truth has uttered, I believe and know.

Only God was hidden when you came to die; Human nature also here escapes the eye.

Both are my profession, both are my belief; Bring me to your Kingdom like the dying thief.

I am not like Thomas, who could see and touch; Though your wounds are hidden, I believe as much. Let me say so boldly, meaning what I say.

Loving you and trusting, now and every day.

Record of the Passion when the Lamb was slain, Living bread that brings us back to life again;

Feed me with your presence, make me live on you; Let that lovely fragrance fill me through and through.

Once a nesting pelican gashed herself to blood For the preservation of her starving brood;

Now heal me with your blood, take away my guilt; All the world is ransomed if one drop is spilt.

Jesus, for the present seen as through a mask, Give me what I thirst for, give me what I ask; Let me see your glory in a blaze of light,

And instead of blindness give me, Lord, my sight.


The Prayer of Humble Access

The Book of Common Prayer, based on a prayer of St Ambrose

We do not presume to come to this your table,

O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in your many and great mercies.

We are not worthy even to gather up the crumbs under your table.

But you are the same God whose property is always to have mercy:

grant us, therefore, gracious Lord,

so to eat the flesh of your dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood,

that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body,  and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us.

Prayer of Thomas à Kempis

Lord Jesus Christ,

to whom belongs all that is in heaven and earth,

I desire to consecrate myself wholly to you and be yours for evermore.

This day I offer myself to you in singleness of heart, to serve and obey you always,

and I offer you without ceasing a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.