Prayers of preparation before Mass
Prayer of St Ambrose
I draw near, loving Lord Jesus Christ,
to the table of your most delightful banquet
in fear and trembling,
a sinner, presuming not upon my own merits,
but trusting rather in your goodness and mercy.
I have a heart and body defiled by my many offenses,
a mind and tongue over which I have kept no good watch.
Therefore, O loving God, O awesome Majesty,
I turn in my misery, caught in snares,
to you the fountain of mercy,
hastening to you for healing,
flying to you for protection;
and while I do not look forward to having you as Judge,
I long to have you as Savior.
To you, O Lord, I display my wounds,
to you I uncover my shame.
I am aware of my many and great sins,
for which I fear,
but I hope in your mercies,
which are without number.
Look upon me, then, with eyes of mercy,
Lord Jesus Christ, eternal King,
God and Man, crucified for mankind.
Listen to me, as I place my hope in you,
have pity on me, full of miseries and sins,
you, who will never cease
to let the fountain of compassion flow.
Hail, O Saving Victim,
offered for me and for the whole human race
on the wood of the Cross.
Hail, O noble and precious Blood,
flowing from the wounds
of Jesus Christ, my crucified Lord,
and washing away the sins of all the world.
Remember, Lord, your creature,
whom you redeemed by your Blood.
I am repentant of my sins,
I desire to put right what I have done.
Take from me, therefore, most merciful Father,
all my iniquities and sins,
so that, purified in mind and body,
I may worthily taste the Holy of Holies.
And grant that this sacred foretaste
of your Body and Blood
which I, though unworthy, intend to receive,
may be the remission of my sins,
the perfect cleansing of my faults,
the banishment of shameful thoughts,
and the rebirth of right sentiments;
and may it encourage
a wholesome and effective performance
of deeds pleasing to you
and be a most firm defence of body and soul
against the snares of my enemies.
Prayer of St Thomas Aquinas
Almighty and Eternal God,
behold, I come to the sacrament
of Your only-begotten Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
As one sick I come to the Physician of life;
as one unclean, to the fountain of mercy;
as one blind, to the Light of eternal brightness;
as one poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth.
Therefore, I ask of You, through Your infinite mercy and generosity
heal my weakness, wash my uncleanness,
give light to my blindness, enrich my poverty,
and clothe my nakedness,
so that I may receive the Bread of Angels,
the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords,
with such reverence and humility, contrition and devotion,
purity and faith, purpose and intention,
as shall aid the salvation of my soul.
Grant, I pray, that I may receive
not only the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord,
but also its full grace and power.
O most gentle God,
grant that I may so receive
the Body of your only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
which he took from the Virgin Mary
that I may be made worthy to be incorporated into His Mystical Body
and to be counted among its members.
O most loving Father,
grant that I may at last gaze forever
upon the unveiled to face of your beloved Son,
whom I, a wayfarer,
propose to receive now veiled under these species:
Who lives and reigns with you, forever and ever.