DEVOTIONS

BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER

THE HOLY EUCHARIST

Chapel of All Saints' Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, Texas

AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

Some Notes for the Communicant


Original Text Prepared and Edited by
The Rev. James P. DeWolfe, Jr., Past Rector
All Saints' Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, Texas

This web page composed in loving memory of
Frona S. Deken, Past Parishioner,
Communicant In Good Standing
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Maumee, Ohio


PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION

This Preparation may be made the night before receiving Holy Communion or in church before the service begins.

+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O great and good God, I have (will) come into your presence to share in offering to you the great Sacrifice of your Blessed Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ (and to receive the Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of the same Jesus Christ) in remembrance of his life, death, and Passion, and in thanksgiving for all our blessings bestowed upon your whole church and to me a most unworthy sinner. I desire to offer (and to receive) with all the love and contrition of which I am capable, in conformity with those sacred intentions wherewith our Saviour instituted and our holy Mother the Church ever offers it. I wish, then, to offer (and to receive) it:

1. For your greater glory.

2. For the continual remembrance of the Sacrifice of Christ.

3. To give you thanks for all the blessings you have bestowed especially...

4. To ask your help in any matter I have in hand, especially...

5. To ask you to bless all my friends and relatives, especially...

6. For the dead, especially Frona Deken and...

Bless the Priest who will celebrate the Eucharist. Bless all the people who are to participate in this glorious action, and all who would like to be here (there). Convert all sinners. Heal the anguish of the world. And have mercy upon all the faithful departed.

O God, accept all my prayers during this holy service of our bounden duty, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

Graciously hear me, O Lord, holy Father Almighty, everlasting God: and vouchsafe to send your Angel from heaven, to guard, cherish, protect, visit and defend all who are (will be) assembled in you holy temple this day; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Make a careful examination of all sins of commission and omission that you have committed since your last Communion or since you last confession. Tell God how sorry you are for having committed them and humbly ask him to forgive you. If time permits, say Psalm 130.

Put away my iniquities far from me, O Lord, I beseech you, that with a pure mind I may be worthy to enter into the Holy of holies; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

To be said in church before the service begins-
The Lord's Prayer and Psalm 43.

Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me;
Blood of Christ, inebriate me;
Water from the side of Christ, wash me;
Passion of Christ, strengthen me;
O good Jesu, hear me;
Within thy wounds hide me;
Suffer me not to be separated from thee;
From the malicious enemy defend me;
In the hour of my death call me,
And bid me come to thee.
That with thy Saints I may praise thee
For all eternity. Amen.

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At the Offertory

While the Bread and Wine is being offered at the Altar, remember that these are symbols of your life and work and say the following prayers:

Receive, O holy Father, Almighty and Everlasting God, this spotless host, which I your unworthy servant now offer unto you, my God, the living and the true, for all my countless sins, wickedness, and neglect; and for all those here present, as also for all the faithful in Christ, both living and dead; that it may set forward their salvation and mine, unto life everlasting.

I offer unto you, O Lord, the Cup of Salvation, beseeching your mercy that it may ascend in the sight of your Divine Majesty as a sweet-smelling savour of my salvation, and that of the whole world.

In a contrite heart and humble spirit let us be accepted of you, O Lord, and so let our sacrifice be in your sight this day that it may be well-pleasing unto you, O Lord our God.

Come, O Sanctifier, Almighty and Everlasting God, and bless this sacrifice made ready for your Holy Name.

Receive, O Holy Trinity, this oblation which we now offer unto you, in memory of the passion, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ; and in honor of blessed Mary Ever-Virgin, of blessed John Baptist, of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul; of these and all the Saints; that it may be to their honour and our salvation: and that like as we remember them on earth, so in heaven they may plead for us; through the same Christ our Lord.

The Fraction

After the Lord's Prayer, while the Priest is breaking the Host, you may say:

Deliver us, we beseech you, O Lord, from all evils, past, present, and to come: and at the intercession of the blessed and glorious Ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with your blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and with Andrew, and with all Saints, give peace graciously in our days, that we, being helped by the succour of your mercy, may both always be free from sin and safe from all disquietude; through the same Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

May this mingling and consecration of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ our Lord be unto us who receive it an approach to everlasting life. Amen.

Before Communion

While waiting to go forward to receive Communion, you may say the following:

O Lord, Jesus Christ, who said unto your Apostles, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; regard not my sins, but the faith of your Church; and grant to it that peace and unity which is according to you will. Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, whom the Father with the Holy Spirit has willed by death to make the world to live: by this most holy Body and Blood of yours, set me free from all my sins, and from all evil things; and make me in such wise ever to abide in your commands that I may never be separated from you. Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

What reward shall I give unto the Lord for all the benefits that he has done unto me? I will receive the bread of heaven and the cup of salvation and call upon the Name of the Lord. I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be safe from my enemies.

Thanksgiving After Receiving
Holy Communion

As soon as you have received your Communion, return to your place, kneel quietly, and say the following prayers:

+ I adore you, O Christ, and I bless you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

I thank you, O heavenly Father.
I thank you, O Divine Son.
I thank you, most Holy Spirit of God.

I praise, bless, and magnify you, O Holy, Blessed, and Glorious Trinity, for your power, wisdom and love displayed in this wonderful Sacrament, beseeching you that through its grace and virtue I may be so hallowed in body and soul, that I may be counted worthy, through the merits of Christ, to praise and adore you with thanksgiving in your kingdom forever. Amen.

Grant that what we have received with the mouth, O Lord, we may keep with a pure heart; and that from this temporal gift may come unto us life everlasting. Amen.

May your Flesh which I have taken and your Blood which I have drunk, O Lord, cleave unto my inmost soul; and grant that no spot of sin may abide in me, whose meat has been your incorrupt and holy sacraments. Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Let this my bounden duty and service be pleasing unto you, O Holy Trinity; and grant that this sacrifice which I, all unworthy, have offered in the sight of your divine Majesty, may be acceptable unto you; grant all of the special intentions I have offered at this service, and grant that this blessed Sacrament may be for me and all them for whom I have offered it, a propitiation of your loving-kindness; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

If time permits, read the prologue to the Gospel according to St. John which follows:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Thanks be to God.

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Private Prayers After the Eucharist

Grant, O Lord, that we who are your soldiers here may enjoy your peace hereafter; that the eyes which have looked upon you in your Sacrament of love may also behold the fruition of you blessed hope; that the tongues which have sung your praises may also speak the truth; that the feet which have stood in your sanctuary may walk in the land of light; and that the bodies which have feasted on your living Body may be restored in newness of life, to dwell with you where you reign with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, in the Unity of the Godhead, King for evermore. Amen.

Behold, O Eternal Father, the Salutary Sacrifice of the Eucharist is done. May it be acceptable to you, inasmuch as in it your Son, in whom you are ever well pleased, is set forth before you. May he now, I beseech you, perform the office of a Mediator and Advocate, where he sits at your right hand, and makes intercession for us. Remember all his patience, love, and pity; and vouchsafe to listen to one who prays in the Name of your beloved Son; for he himself has said, if you shall ask anything in my Name, he will give it to you. This one thing I ask, O Lord, let this Sacrifice be well pleasing to you, to the glory of your Name; and may it be profitable to the salvation of all your faithful servants. Amen.

God our Father, whose Son our Lord Jesus Christ gave us in this wonderful sacrament the memorial of his passion: Grant us so to reverence the sacred mysteries of his Body and Blood, that we may always discern within ourselves the fruit of his redemption, who now lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

You have given us bread from heaven containing in itself all sweetness.

Blessed, praised, and adored be our Lord Jesus Christ, upon His throne of glory in heaven, in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, and in the hearts of His Faithful people.

Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!

If time permits, you may want to continue with a meditation on one of the hymns (numbers 189-213) or a Hymn Litany (numbers 229-234) or one of the following Psalms: 8, 15, 18:1-20, 19, 27, 29, 30, 34, 100, 103, 110, 118, 145, 150.

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AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

For those who for any reason are not to receive the Holy Communion, it would be appropriate to make an Act of Spiritual Communion before or after going to the Altar Rail for a blessing.

I worship thee, Lord Jesus,
And kneeling unto thee,
As thou didst come to Blessed Mary,
I pray thee come to me.

O Most loving Jesus, O most blessed Saviour, come to me, I beseech you, and unite me to yourself. Though I cannot now receive you sacramentally, yet I believe that you are able, even when received by faith and desire only, to heal, enrich and sanctify me. Come spiritually into my heart. I desire to unite myself to you, with all the affections of my soul. Possess me wholly; let the consuming fire of your love absorb me, and your presence abide so intimately in me, that it will be no longer I that live, but you who lives in me. Amen.

+Come, Lord Jesus, and dwell in my heart. Amen.

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Some Notes for the Communicant

Fasting before Holy Communion is always desirable and is the general rule in the Episcopal Church. The sick, pregnant women, and very old, and the very young, are dispensed from this rule and may eat before receiving if they wish to do so. A fast from all solid food and alcoholic beverages for at least two hours before Communion is the usual modern rule.

Preparation for receiving Holy Communion may be made by making an examination of conscience and an act of contrition, asking God for forgiveness. If the conscience cannot be quieted in this way, speak to the Priest about it.

A private confession to the Priest is always helpful, especially when one is ill. If you have a St. Augustine's Prayer book, use the preparation on pages 55-56 (pages 50-52 in the old edition). For help in self-examination, see pages 111-124 (pages 124-137 in the old edition).

It is an ancient custom for women to wear a head covering in the church. In no case, however, should a woman not attend because she does not have one.

Women should remove gloves before receiving Holy Communion.

If a woman is wearing a veil, it should be removed before coming to the Altar Rail.

Lipstick should be either removed or carefully blotted before receiving.

Helpful directions for receiving (remembering that genuflections and the sign of the cross are optional gestures in our Church):

-Genuflect or bow as you leave your pew.

-Epistle Side - fill the rail from the wall to the center.
Gospel Side - fill the rail from the center to the wall.

-Kneel in an upright position and make the sign of the cross.

-Make a cross with your hands, putting the right hand on top of the left and lift them up to receive the Precious Body of Our Lord. If you are not to receive, place one finger on your lips to indicate this and the priest will give you a blessing.

+Make the sign of the cross.

-Take the base of the Chalice (do not touch the cup) with one hand and help guide it to your lips. Receive only a few drops of the Precious Blood on your lips. Little children may stand to receive the Chalice.

+Make the sign of the cross.

-Wait until the person on your left has received the Chalice, then rise and return to your pew.

-Genuflect or bow before entering the pew.

-Kneel and begin your Thanksgiving. Unless physically impaired remain on your knees until the end of the Eucharist.

All Saints' Episcopal Church
5001 Crestline Road
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
(1975?)

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As a Lay Eucharistic Visitor, I, Dave Watts, celebrated Holy Communion with Frona S. Deken on a monthly basis from July 20, 1997 until July 16, 2000. It was truly a Holy Eucharist for even though Frona was shut-in, she dressed-up for the occasion, treasured the sacrament, and was ever thankful for my visits. Frona gave me many home baked loaves of bread and on one occasion gave me her well worn copy of "Devotions Before, During and After The Holy Eucharist".

I kept the Devotions with my Prayer Book, used them in my prayers, and included parts of the Devotions in some of my Holy Communion services. On the night before Frona departed for Heaven, I showed her the same worn copy of the Devotions and she recognized them with a smile. I shared with Frona, the Lord's Prayer, the Anima Christi, and An Act Of Spiritual Communion. I will miss Frona and have created this web page of the Devotions in her honor and memory.

I have attempted to maintain the same format and look as Father DeWolfe's original publication, augmented by some hypertext navigation, and relating to the web site of All Saints' Episcopal Church as the source of the Devotions.

Even though there is no copyright indicated on the Devotions, All Saints' Episcopal Church is being contacted to gain fuller permission for the use of the Devotions and the graphic of their chapel on my web site.

This page last updated on 11-28-2004.
Send your thoughts to me from the STRUGGLING ANGLICAN page.