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the acts of all virtues, and especially of faith, repentance, charity, and thanksgiving: to the exercise of these four graces, let the person, that intends to communicate, in the times set apart for his preparation and devotion, for the exercise of his faith recite the prayer or litany of the passion; for the exercise of repentance, the form of confession of sins with the prayer annexed; and for the graces of thanksgiving and charity, let him use the special forms of prayer above described. Or if a less time can be allotted for preparatory devotion, the two first will be the more proper, as containing in them all the personal duty of the communicant. To which, upon the morning of that holy solemnity, let him add A Prayer of preparation or address to the holy sacrament.
An Act of Love. O most gracious and eternal God, the helper of the helpless, the comforter of the comfortless, the hope of the afflicted, the bread of the hungry, the drink of the thirsty, and the Saviour of all them that wait upon thee; I bless and glorify thy name, and adore thy goodness, and delight in thy love, that thou hast once more given me the opportunity of receiving the greatest favour, which I can receive in this world, even the body and blood of my dearest Saviour. O take from me all affection to sin or vanity; let
affections dwell below, but soar upwards to the element of love, to the seat of God, to the regions of glory, and the inheritance of Jesus: that I may hunger and thirst for the bread of life, and the wine of elect souls, and may know no loves but the love of God, and the most merciful Jesus. Amen.
An Act of Desire. O blessed Jesus, thou hast used many arts to save me, thou hast given thy life to redeem me, thy Holy Spirit to sanctify me, thyself for my example, thy word for my rule, thy grace for my guide, the fruit of thy body hanging on the tree of the cross for the sin of my soul; and, after all this, thou hast sent thy apostles and ministers of salvation to call me, to importune me, to constrain me, to holiness, and peace, and felicity. O now come, Lord Jesus, come quickly:
my heart is desirous of thy presence, and thirsty of thy grace, and would fain entertain thee, not as a guest, but as an inhabitant, as the Lord of all my faculties. Enter in and take possession, and dwell with me for ever; that I also may dwell in the heart of my dearest Lord, which was opened for me with a spear
An Act of Contrition. Lord, thou shalt find my heart full of cares and worldly desires, cheated with love of riches, and neglect of holy things, proud and unmortified, false and crafty to deceive itself, intricated and entangled with difficult cases of conscience, with knots which my own wildness and inconsideration and impatience have tied and shuffled together. O my dearest Lord, if thou canst behold such an impure seat, behold the place, to which thou art invited, is full of passion and prejudice, evil principles and evil habits, peevish and disobedient, lustful and intemperate, and full of sad remembrances, that I have often provoked to jealousy and to anger thee my God, my dearest Saviour, him that died for me, him that suffered torments for me, that is infinitely good to me, and infinitely good and perfect in himself. This, 0 dearest Saviour, is a sad truth, and I am heartily ashamed, and truly sorrowful for it, and do deeply hate all my sins, and am full of indignation against myself for so unworthy, so careless, so continued, so great a folly: and humbly beg of thee to increase my sorrow, and my care, and my hatred, against sin; and make my love to thee swell up to a great grace, and then to glory and immensity.
An Act of Faith. This indeed is my condition : but I know; O blessed Jesus, that thou didst take upon thee my nature, that thou mightest suffer for my sins, and thou didst suffer to deliver me from them and from thy Father's wrath: and I was delivered from this wrath, that I might serve thee in holiness and righteousness all my days. Lord, I am as sure thou didst the great work of redemption for me and all mankind, as that I am alive. This is my hope, the strength of my spirit, my joy and my confidence: and do thou never let the spirit of unbelief enter into me and take me from this rock.
Here I will dwell, for I have a delight therein: here I will live, and here I desire to die.
Therefore, O blessed Jesu, who art my Saviour and my God, whose body is my food, and thy righteousness is my robe, thou art the priest and the sacrifice, the master of the feast and the feast itself, the physician of my soul, the light of my eyes, the purifier of my stains : enter into my heart and cast out from thence all impurities, all the remains of the old man; and grant I may partake of this holy sacrament with much reverence, and holy relish, and great effect, receiving hence the communication of thy holy body and blood, for the establishment of an unreprovable faith, of an unfeigned love, for the fulness of wisdom, for the healing my soul, for the blessing and preservation of my body, for the taking out the sting of temporal death, and for the assurance of a holy resurrection, for the ejection of all evil from within me, and the fulfilling all thy righteous commandments, and to procure for me a mercy and a fair reception at the day of judgment, through thy mercies, O holy and ever-blessed Saviour Jesus.
[Here also may be added the prayer after receiving the cup.] Ejaculations to be said before, or at, the receiving the holy
Sacrament. Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks: so longeth my soul after thee, O God. My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God: when shall I come before the presence of God ? Psal. xlii. 1, 2.
O Lord my God, great are thy wondrous works which thou hast done; like as be also thy thoughts, which are to usward : and there is no man, that ordereth them unto thee. Psal. xl. 6.
O send out thy light and thy truth, that they may lead me, and bring me unto thy holy hill and to thy dwelling: and that I may go unto the altar of God, even unto the God of my joy and gladness: and with my heart will I give thanks to thee, O God my God. Psal. xliii. 3, 4.
I will wash my hands in innocence, O Lord; and so will
I go to thine altar: that I may shew the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. Psal. xxvi. 6, 7.
Examine me, O Lord, and prove me, try thou my reins and my heart. For thy loving-kindness is now and ever before my eyes : and I will walk in thy truth. ver 2, 3.
Thou shalt prepare a table before me against them that trouble me: thou hast anointed my head with oil, and my cup shall be full. But thy loving-kindness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psal. xxiii. 5, 6.
This is the bread that cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. John, vi. 50.
Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him, and hath eternal life abiding in him, and I will raise him up at the last day. ver. 54. 56.
Lord, whither shall we go but to thee? thou hast the words of eternal life. John, vi. 68.
If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. John, vii. 37.
The bread which we break, is it not the communication of the body of Christ? and the cup which we drink, is it not the communication of the blood of Christ? 1 Cor. x. 16.
What are those wounds in thy hands? They are those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. Zech. xiii. 6.
Immediately before the receiving, say, Lord, I am not worthy, that thou shouldest enter under my roof. But do thou speak the word only, and thy servant shall be healed. Matt. viii. 8.
Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall shew thy praise. O God, make speed to save me: O Lord, make haste to help me.
Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.
O taste and see how gracious the Lord is: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. The beasts do lack and suffer hunger; but they which seek the Lord, shall want no manner of thing that is good. Lord, what am I, that my Saviour should become my food; that the Son of God should be the
meat of worms, of dust and ashes, of a sinner, of him that was his enemy? But this thou hast done to me, because thou art infinitely good and wonderfully gracious, and lovest to bless every one of us, in turning us from the evil of our ways. Enter into me, blessed Jesus : let no root of bitterness spring up in my heart; but be thou Lord of all my faculties. Olet me feed on thee by faith, and grow up by the increase of God to a perfect man in Christ Jesus. Amen. Lord, I believe: help mine unbelief.
Glory be to God the Father, Son, &c.
After the receiving the Cup of blessing. It is finished. Blessed be the mercies of God revealed to us in Jesus Christ. O blessed and eternal high-priest, let the sacrifice of the cross, which thou didst once offer for the sins of the whole world, and which thou dost now and always represent in heaven to thy Father by thy never-ceasing intercession, and which this day hath been exhibited on thy holy table sacramentally, obtain mercy and peace, faith and charity, safety and establishment, to thy holy church, which thou hast founded upon a rock, the rock of a holy faith ; and let not the gates of hell prevail against her, nor the enemy of mankind take any soul out of thy hand, whom thou hast purchased with thy blood, and sanctified by thy spirit. Preserve all thy people from heresy and division of Spirit, from scandal and the spirit of delusion, from sacrilege and hurtful persecutions. Thou, O blessed Jesus, didst die for us: keep me for ever in holy living, from sin and sinful shame, in the communion of thy church, and thy church in safety and grace, in truth and peace unto thy second coming. Amen.
Dearest Jesu, since thou art pleased to enter into me, O be jealous of thy house and the place, where thine honour dwelleth : suffer no unclean spirit or unholy thought to come near thy dwelling, lest it defile the ground, where thy holy feet have trod. O teach me so to walk, that I may disrepute the honour of my religion, nor stain the holy robe, which thou hast now put upon my soul, nor break my holy vows, which I have made, and thou hast sealed, nor lose my right of inheritance, my privilege of being co-heir with Jesus, into the hope of which I have no further entered : but be