Preparing for Holy Communion

I wonder if sometimes we don’t reflect sufficiently upon the holiness of the Eucharist and thus do not prepare properly to receive the Lord. We need to both repent of our sins and to become aware of the greatness of the Gift. The following is a series of short prayers from the Eastern Church which are meant as a preparation for Holy Communion. You’ll see that every now and then we also ask Our Lady to help prepare us. Perhaps you will find something here that you can use to help dispose yourself to receive more reverently and fruitfully this grace flowing from Christ’s all-holy and perfect sacrifice. We approach the Holy Mysteries of the Son of the living God. May we always do so in a manner pleasing to Him and beneficial for our souls!

O compassionate Lord, may Your holy Body and Your precious Blood become the Bread of everlasting life to me, and the healing of manifold diseases.

Defiled as I am, O Christ, by unbecoming deeds, I am not worthy of the communion of Your most pure Body and divine Blood. Nevertheless, make me worthy thereof.

O you most blessed Bride of God, the good soil which grew the untilled Wheat that saves the world, grant that partaking thereof I may be saved.

O Christ, Master, give me those tearful drops which cleanse my heart’s impurity, that with a pure conscience, I may approach with faith and reverence the communion of Your divine Gifts.

O Lover of Mankind, may Your most pure Body and divine Blood be for the remission of my sins, for the communion of the Holy Spirit, for life everlasting, and for estrangement from passions and afflictions.

O you most holy table of the Bread of Life, which for mercy’s sake came from above and gives new life to the world—grant that I may now, unworthy as I am, taste thereof in faith and live thereby.

O most merciful One, when You took flesh for our sake, You were willing to be slain as a lamb for the sins of men. Wherefore I beseech You, cleanse me also from my sins.

O Lord, heal the wounds of my soul and sanctify me wholly, and grant, O Master, that I, a wretched man, may partake of Your divine and Mystical Supper.

O Lady, propitiate in my behalf Him who was born of you, and preserve me, your supplicating servant, pure and undefiled, so that by receiving the spiritual Pearl I may be sanctified.

As You, O Christ, foretold, so let it be unto Your unprofitable servant, and abide in me, as You promised. For lo! I eat Your divine Body and drink Your precious Blood.

O God and Word of God, may the live coal of Your Body be to the enlightenment of my darkness, and Your Blood to the cleansing of my defiled soul.

O Mary, Mother of God, honorable tabernacle of Sweet Fragrance—make me, by your prayers, a chosen vessel, that I may receive the sanctification of your Son.

O Savior, sanctify my mind, my soul, my heart, and my body, and prepare me, O Lord, to approach uncondemned Your awe-inspiring Mysteries.

Grant that I may be rid of my passions, increase in Your grace, and be confirmed in my life by the communion of Your holy Mysteries, O Christ.

O God, O holy Word of God, wholly sanctify me now approaching Your divine Mysteries, through the supplications of Your holy Mother.

Turn not away from me, a wretched man, O Christ, Master, as I now receive Your awe-inspiring Mysteries, Your pure Body and Your precious Blood. Let not my partaking thereof be to my judgment, but to everlasting and immortal life.

O Christ, Fountain of blessings, may the communion of Your immortal Mysteries now be to me light and life, freedom from passions, and for my progress and increase in divine virtues, that I may glorify You who alone are good.

Grant that now approaching Your immortal and divine Mysteries in trembling, longing, and piety, I may be delivered, O Lover of Mankind, from passions and enemies, and from every affliction, distress, and sorrow, and grant that I may sing to You: Blessed are You, O Lord God of our Fathers.

O you God-favored one, who above comprehension bore the Savior Christ, I, your impure servant, desiring now to approach the most pure Mysteries, pray you, who are pure: cleanse me from all defilement of flesh and spirit.

O Christ God my Savior, grant that I Your despairing servant may become now a partaker of Your heavenly, awesome, and holy Mysteries, and of Your divine and Mystical Supper.

Seeking refuge in Your loving-kindness, O good Savior, I cry unto You with faith: abide in me, and let me also, as You promised, abide in You. For lo! trusting in Your mercy, I eat Your Body and drink Your Blood.

I tremble in taking this Fire, lest I should be consumed as wax and grass. O awesome Mystery! O the loving-kindness of God! How is it that I, an earthly creature, partake of the divine Body and Blood, and am made incorruptible?

O taste and see that the Lord is good, who for our sake was made like unto us of old, and once for all offered up Himself as an offering to His Father, and is now forever slain and risen, sanctifying the communicants.

O Master, let me be sanctified in body and soul; let me be enlightened and saved; and let me become Your dwelling through the communion of Your holy Mysteries, having You, O most merciful Benefactor, living in me, with the Father and the Spirit.

May Your Body and Your precious Blood, O Savior, be as fire and light to me, consuming the substance of sin and burning the tares of my passions, and wholly enlightening me, that I may fall down, worshiping Your Divinity.

O Lord who were born of the Virgin, turn away from my transgressions and purify my heart, making it a temple for Your most pure Body and precious Blood, and cast me not away from Your presence, O You who have mercy without measure.

(Adapted from Divine Prayers and Services of the Catholic Orthodox Church of Christ, Rev S. Nassar)

About Father Joseph

I am a priest and monk currently serving with the Contemplatives of St Joseph in South San Francisco, CA. I am in my 33rd year of monastic life and in my 24th as a priest.

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