Recently I was reminded of the need to both prepare ourselves to receive Communion and
say a prayer of thanksgiving after Mass. This practice helps us to receive the graces that God
desires to give us during Communion. The back of our missalette has several prayers to this
end, and I encourage you to make use of them both before and after Mass. Many saints have
written prayers for this same purpose. I share here two prayers written by St. Thomas
Aquinas as a lesson in how to prepare and give thanks for the Eucharist. The language in this prayer is certainly not how we usually speak today, but these prayers are worth at least reading through, to learn a lesson in how the saints pray!
Prayer Before Mass
Almighty and everlasting God, behold I come to the Sacrament of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: I come as one infirm to the physician of life, as one unclean to the fountain of mercy, as one blind to the light of everlasting brightness, as one poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore I implore the abundance of Thy measureless bounty that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to heal my infirmity, wash my uncleanness, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty and clothe my nakedness, that I may receive the Bread of Angels, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, with such reverence and humility, with such sorrow and devotion, with such purity and faith, with such purpose and intention as may be profitable to my soul’s salvation. Grant unto me, I pray, the grace of receiving not only the Sacrament of our Lord’s Body and Blood, but also the grace and power of the Sacrament. O most gracious God, grant me so to receive the Body of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which He took from the Virgin Mary, as to merit to be incorporated into His mystical Body, and to be numbered amongst His members. O most loving Father, give me grace to behold forever Thy beloved Son with His face at last unveiled, whom I now purpose to receive under the sacramental veil here below. Amen.
Prayer After Mass
Lord, Father all-powerful and ever-living God, I thank You, for even though I am a sinner, your unprofitable servant, not because of my worth but in the kindness of your mercy, You have fed me with the Precious Body & Blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that this Holy Communion may not bring me condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation. May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will.
May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions.
May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience, and growth in the power to do good. May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses, bodily and spiritual.
May it unite me more closely to you, the One true God, and lead me safely through death to everlasting happiness with You.
And I pray that You will lead me, a sinner, to the banquet where you, with Your Son and holy Spirit, are true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end, and perfect happiness to your saints.
Grant this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
St. Thomas Aquinas
Prayers taken from catholic.com
Fr. Dominic Vahling serves as a teacher and chaplain at
Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield.