O God, who hast prepared for them that love thee such good things as pass man’s understanding: pour into our hearts such love toward thee; that we, loving thee in all things and above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
A reading from Thomas Ken, A Manual of Prayers for Winchester Scholars
O Blessed Saviour! what more powerful Motives can I have to persuade me to Communicate, than thy Command, and the admirable effects of the Holy Sacrament?
But alas! my corrupt Nature is apt to suggest to me low and base inducements to this Duty, such as are, fear of my Superior’s displeasure, if I abstain, or shame of not appearing as devout as my equals, or the mere custom of the Place, or of the Season! But, Lord, I do from my Heart renounce all these and the like carnal considerations, and I come to thy Altar to renew my Baptismal Covenant with thee, of which thy Sacrament is the Seal.
I come to testify my sense of thy Love, O Heavenly Father, in so loving the World, as to give up thy only Son to die for me. I come to testify my Faith in thee, and my Love towards thee, O Blessed Saviour, and thankfully to commemorate thy wonderful Love in dying for me. I come, Lord, to testify my steadfastness in the Communion of thy Church, and my Charity to all the World. I come to thy Table, O Lord, out of the sense I have of the want of that spiritual Food, to which thou there invitest me.
Alas, alas! I am soon apt to grow weary of well-doing: a few Prayers, every little Duty is apt to tire me, every slight Temptation is apt to overcome me, and I know there is no food can strengthen my Soul but thy Body, no cordial can revive my drooping Obedience, but thy Blood; – and it is thy most Blessed Body and Blood I hunger and thirst after: – O gracious Lord, grant that I and all that communicate with me, may feel its saving efficacy. O Feed, O refresh, O Nourish our Souls with it to Life Everlasting, and that for thy Own infinite Mercy’s sake, which moved thee to offer up thy Body and Blood for us. […]
O Heavenly Father, clothe me with the wedding-garment, even the Graces of my Blessed Saviour, for then am I sure to be welcome guest to thy Table, when I shall come thither in the Likeness of thy only well-beloved Son, in whom thou art always well pleased.
O Heavenly Father, fill me with a lively Faith, profound Humility, filial Obedience, inflamed Affections, and universal Charity; O raise in my Soul all those heavenly Transports of Zeal and devotion, of Love and Desire, of Joy and Delight, of Praise and thanksgiving, which become the remembrance of a Crucified Saviour, – which become one redeemed by the Blood of God, and that for his sake only who redeemed me.