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A Prayer before receiving the Holy
BEHOLD, gracious LORD, I come to
this holy table as a sick man to the great Physician of life: I beseech thee, O LORD, to cure my infirmities; and let me not only receive the outward and visible sign, but the inward and spiritual grace, the body and blood of thy Son Jesus Christ, that so all carnal affections may die in me, and that all things belonging to the spirit may live and grow in me; that I may have power, and strength, and victory, to triumph against the world, the flesh, and the devil; and also may be endued with all such heavenly virtues which are pleasing to thee, and which thou wilt eternally reward for the merit of thy Son's death; to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
I am the bread of life. If any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever. John vi. 51.
GOD, my GOD, assist me now and ever with thine effectual grace. Grant that I may not receive bread alone, but that I may eat the mystical body of Christ. I do praise, I worship, I love, I adore thee, O blessed Jesus, for the sacrifice of thyself: for giving us the true bread from heaven to feed our souls. O do thou grant that being refreshed by this sacrament, and renewed by thy grace, and strengthened by thy Spirit, and comforted with thy mercies, my heart and my affections may be lifted up on high.
Another Prayer just before receiving the consecrated Bread, if time will permit.
If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remember that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first, be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Matt. v. 23, 24.
ET it be thy pleasure, O GOD, to work
in me whatsoever is wanting to fit me for thy divine acceptance, and a worthy
receiving of these holy mysteries: give me repentance unto salvation, not to be repented of; endue me with a lively faith, a perfect love, and a universal charity; pity my weakness, and forgive my imperfections, negligences, and ignorances; that I may worthily receive these elements of bread and wine to my support and comfort in this life, and my eternal happiness in that which is to come. Amen.
DIRECTIONS.-When the Minister is drawing near you, and before you receive the Bread, fix your thoughts upon Jesus Christ dying for the sins of the world.
And when the Priest delivereth the Bread to any one, he shall say,
THE body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.
After receiving the Bread.
DIRECTIONS.-When the Minister comes to give you the consecrated Bread and Wine, I would
have you very intent upon what you are about; but take great heed lest while you are striving to raise your heart, you be not lost and bewildered in your thoughts. Be sober and watch unto prayer; endeavour to realize a solemn and profound attention; expect rather a devout and holy calmness, than an exalted and transported frame-seek to rivet your thoughts on what the Minister says; and when he has repeated that excellent Prayer, The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life," be sure you say softly a most hearty Amen; for is not that the thing you come for and desire? When he has said, "Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving," take it with your right hand, and glove off, but without lolling with your elbows on the rails, or any other careless and indecent posture; and while you are taking it, say, "O blessed Jesu !" &c. as follows:
BLESSED JESU! who vouchsafest to be my food, nourish my soul to eternal life; create in me a more lively hungering and thirsting after righteousness; and let this divine food instil into my weak and languishing soul new supplies of grace, new life, new vigour, and new resolutions; that I may never again faint, or droop, or grow weary or languid in my duty.
Before receiving the Cup.
DIRECTIONS.- When the Minister is drawing near you with the cup, fix your thoughts upon Jesus Christ dying for the sins of the world.
MERCIFUL GOD, grant that this cup, which I am now about to receive, may be unto me a cup of blessing. Sprinkle me with the blood of the ever-blessed Jesus, that my soul, being cleansed from all corruptions, may attain to life everlasting. Amen.
DIRECTIONS.-When the Minister delivers the Cup, and says, "The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life," be sure you say, in heart, Amen. And when he has said, "Drink this in remembrance that Christ's blood was shed for thee, and be thankful," take it, and drink very moderately, regarding neither thirst nor pleasure in that draught. But let me remind you that you cannot with propriety repeat, either aloud or softly, the words the Minister uses in delivering the Bread and Wine; your part being to attend soberly to what he says, and then to say, Amen. I tell you this, because an idle custom has prevailed of people repeating what the Minister says, to the disturbance of the Minister, and to the hinderance, it is to be feared, of their own devotions, which