Prayers

Common Catholic Prayers

Our Father

Our Father,
Who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory Be

Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.
The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and earth;
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven,
sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty;
from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Hail Holy Queen

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve:
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious Advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.

Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, make me holy
Body of Christ, be my salvation
Blood of Christ, let me drink your wine
Water flowing from the side of Christ, wash me clean
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
Kind Jesus, hear my prayer
Hide me within your wounds
And keep me close to you
Defend me from the evil enemy
And call me at the hour of my death
To the fellowship of your saints
That I might sing your praise with them
for all eternity. Amen.

Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known
that any one who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help
or sought thy intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
We fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother;
to thee do we come, before thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful;
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not our petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer them. Amen.

The Angelus

V- The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R- And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
(Hail Mary….)
V- Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R- Be it done unto me according to thy word.
(Hail Mary….)
V- And the Word was made Flesh.
R- And dwelt among us.
(Hail Mary….)
V- Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R- That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
LET US PRAY:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts;
that, we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son,
was made known by the message of an Angel,
may by His Passion and Cross,
be brought to the glory of His Resurrection
through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Michael Prayer

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartfully sorry for having offended thee, and I detest all my sins because of
Thy just punishment, but most of all because I have offended Thee my God, Who is all good
and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more, and
to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.

Miraculous Medal Prayer

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee, and for those who do
not have recourse to thee, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to
thee. Amen.

Morning Offering

Dear Lord, I do not know what will happen to me today. I only know that nothing will happen
that was not foreseen by You, and directed to my greater good from all eternity. I adore Your
holy and unfathomable plans, and submit to them with all my heart for love of You, the Pope,
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Amen.

Guardian Angel Prayer

Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day (or
night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Grace Before Meals

Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Grace After Meals
We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, O Almighty God, who livest and reignest world
without end. Amen. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in
peace. Amen.

PREPARING FOR PRAYER

From the Jesus Psalter, written by Richard Whitford, an English Bridgettine monk, in the sixteenth century.

Jesus, grant me grace to fix my mind on thee, especially in time of prayer, when I directly converse with thee.

Stop the motions of my wandering head, and the desires of my unstable heart; suppress the power of my spiritual enemies,

who endeavour at that time to draw my mind from heavenly thoughts, to many vain imaginations.

So shall I, with joy and gratitude,

look on thee as my deliverer from all the evils

I have escaped; and as my benefactor for all the good I have ever received, or can hope for.

I shall see that thou art my only good,

and that all other things are but means ordained by thee to make me fix my mind on thee,

to make me love thee more and more, and, by loving thee, to be eternally happy.

O beloved of my soul, take up all my thoughts here, that my eyes, abstaining from vain and hurtful sights, may become worthy to behold thee face to face

in thy glory for ever. Amen.

BEGINNINGS

The Sign of the Cross

Christians begin their day, their prayers, and their activities with the Sign of the Cross. The Sign of the Cross strengthens us in our temptations and difficulties.

In nómine Patris, et Fílii, et Spíritus Sancti.

Amen.

Per signum crucis de inimicis nostris líbera nos, Deus noster. In nómine Patris…

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

By the sign of the cross deliver us from our enemies, you who are our God. In the name…

The Lord’s Prayer

This is the prayer which Jesus taught his apostles when they asked him to show them how to pray

(see Matthew 6:19 and Luke 11:2-4).

Pater noster, qui es in caelis: sanctificétur nomen tuum; advéniat regnum tuum; fiat volúntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra.

Panem nostrum quotidiánum da nobis hódie; et dimitte

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our

nobis débita nostra, sicut et nos dimíttimus debitóribus nostris; et ne nos indúcas in tentatiónem; sed líbera nos a malo. Amen.

trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Glory be to the Father

The giving of glory and adoration to God is the basic duty of mankind, his creatures. In this form, called ‘The little Doxology’, it appears at the end of most psalms in the Divine Office.

Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.

Sicut erat in princípio et nunc et semper et in saecula saéculórum. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

Daily Dedication

Formerly the collect for Ember Saturday in Lent, this prayer is now used on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday. Lord, may everything we do begin with your inspiration and continue with your help, so that all our prayers and works may begin in you and by you be happily ended.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

MORNING PRAYER

An order for Morning Prayer

V. O Lord open our lips

R. And we shall praise your name.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall  be, world without end. Amen. (Alleluia)

(A suitable hymn such as the following is said)

Transcendent God in whom we live, The Resurrection and the Light,

We sing for you a morning hymn, To end the silence of the night.

When early cock begins to crow, And everything from sleep awakes, New life and hope spring up again, While out of darkness colour breaks.

Creator of all things that are, The measure and the end of all, Forgiving God, forget our sins,

And hear our prayer before we call.

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Blest Trinity and source of grace, Who call us out of nothingness,

To find in you our resting-place.

One or more of the following psalms can be said:

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting,

My body pines for you

like a dry, weary land without water.

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, my lips will speak your praise. So I will bless you all my life,

in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you.

On you I muse through the night for you have been my help;

in the shadow of your wings I rejoice. My soul clings to you;

your right hand holds me fast.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it…

Psalm 149

Sing a new song to the Lord,

his praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel rejoice in its Maker,

let Sion’s sons exult in their king.

Let them praise his name with dancing and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people. He crowns the poor with salvation.

Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, shout for joy and take their rest.

Let the praise of God be on their lips and a two-edged sword in their hand, to deal out vengeance to the nations and punishment on all the peoples; to bind their kings in chains

and their nobles in fetters of iron;

to carry out the sentence pre-ordained:

this honour is for all his faithful.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it…

(Other psalms suitable for morning prayer include Psalms 24, 67 & 100)

Scripture Reading Rm 13:11b, 12-13a

You know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. The night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day.

Short Responsory

R. You are the Christ, Son of the living God. Have mercy on us. (Repeat)

V. You are seated at the right hand of the Father.

R. You are the Christ, Son of the living God. Have mercy on us.

V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

R. You are the Christ, Son of the living God. Have mercy on us.

The Benedictus (Canticle of Zechariah)

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel!

He has visited his people and redeemed them.

He has raised up for us a mighty saviour in the house of David his servant,

as he promised by the lips of holy men,

those who were his prophets from of old.

A saviour who would free us from our foes, from the hands of all who hate us.

So his love for our fathers is fulfilled and his holy covenant remembered.

He swore to Abraham our father to grant us,

that free from fear, and saved from the hands of our foes, we might serve him in holiness and justice

all the days of our life in his presence.

As for you, little child,

you shall be called a prophet of God, the Most High.

You shall go ahead of the Lord to prepare his ways before him.

To make known to his people their salvation through forgiveness of all their sins,

the loving kindness of the heart of our God who visits us like the dawn from on high.

He will give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death, and guide us into the way of peace.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it…

Intercessions

V. Let us pray to Christ our Lord, the sun who enlightens all people:

R. Lord our Saviour, give us life!

V. We thank you for the gift of this new day.

R. Lord our Saviour, give us life!

V. May your Holy Spirit guide us to do your will.

R. Lord our Saviour, give us life!

V. Help us to manifest your love to all those we meet.

R. Lord our Saviour, give us life!

V. Renew in us your gifts, may we go forth in peace.

R. Lord our Saviour, give us life!

Our Father…

Concluding Prayer

Almighty God, you have given us this day; strengthen us with your power

and keep us from falling into sin,

so that whatever we say, or think, or do,

may be in your service and for the sake of the kingdom. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

9 May the Lord bless us, keep us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

PRAYERS THROUGHOUT THE DAY

Morning Prayer of St Francis

St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)

Lord, help me to live this day, quietly, easily;

to lean on your great strength, trustfully, restfully;

to wait for the unfolding of your will, patiently, serenely; to meet others, peacefully, joyfully;

to face tomorrow, confidently, courageously.

Prayer of St Thérèse of Lisieux

My life is but an instant, a passing hour.

My life is but a day that escapes and flies away. O my God! You know that to love you on earth I only have today.

Lord, what does it matter if the future is gloomy? To pray for tomorrow, oh no, I cannot!

Keep my heart pure, cover me with your shadow Just for today.

O divine Pilot! whose hand guides me. I’m soon to see you on the eternal shore.

Guide my little boat over the stormy waves in peace Just for today.

Prayer of Abandonment

Charles de Foucauld

Father, I abandon myself into your hands; Do with me what you will.

Whatever you may do, I thank you; I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me and in all your creatures. I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul:

I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,

for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,

to surrender myself into your hands without reserve and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.

St Patrick’s Breastplate

I bind unto myself today,

the power of God to hold and lead, his eye to watch, his might to stay, his ear to harken to my need:

the wisdom of my God to teach,

his hand to guide, his shield to ward; the word of God to give me speech, his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Prayer for Humility

St Alphonsus Ligouri

Most humble Jesus, give me a share of your humility. Take from my heart everything that displeases you; convert it totally to you,

so that I may no longer will or desire anything other than what you will.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

We give you thanks for all your gifts,

Almighty God, living and reigning now and forever. Amen.

Grace Before Meals

Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive through thy bounty.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer to our Guardian Angel

Angel sent by God to guide me, be my light and walk beside me; be my guardian and protect me; on the paths of life direct me.

Angel of God

Angel of God, my guardian dear,

to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side,

to light, to guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Te Deum

Written at the beginning of the fifth century, perhaps by St Nicetas of Remesiana (335-415)

You are God; we praise you;

You are the Lord; we acclaim you; You are the eternal Father.

All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise; Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you;

Father, of majesty unbounded,

your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death,

and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.

We believe that you will come, and be our judge. Come then, Lord and help your people,

bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints

to glory everlasting.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance. Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.

We praise your name for ever. Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy. Lord, show us your love and mercy; for we put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope;

and we shall never hope in vain.

Act of Faith, Hope and Love

My God, I believe in you, I trust in you,

I love you above all things,

with all my heart and mind and strength. I love you because you are supremely good and worth loving;

and because I love you,

I am sorry with all my heart for offending you. Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Amen.

Come Holy Spirit

The first versicle and response are taken from the alleluia verse before the gospel of Pentecost; the second versicle and response from the third antiphon for the Office of Readings on Pentecost and the prayer from the votive Mass of the Holy Spirit in the Roman Missal.

V. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful

R. And kindle in them the fire of your love.

V. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created

R. And you will renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.

Lord, by the light of your Holy Spirit

you have taught the hearts of your faithful.

In that same Spirit

help us to relish what is right

and always rejoice in your consolation. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Prayer for Benefactors

Reward those who have been good to us for the sake of your name, O Lord

and give them eternal life. Amen.

Prayer for Final Perseverance

St Alphonsus Ligouri

Our dear Redeemer, relying on your promises,

because you are faithful, all-powerful and merciful, we hope, through the merits of your Passion,

for the forgiveness of our sins, perseverance until death in your grace; and at length

we hope, by your mercy, to see and love you eternally in heaven.

Prayer for Christian Unity

John Henry Newman; adapted from ‘Meditations and Devotions.’

O Lord Jesus Christ,

when you were about to suffer,

you prayed for your disciples to the end of time, that they might all be one,

as you are in the Father, and the Father in you.

Look down in pity on the many divisions

among those who profess your faith and heal the wounds which the pride of man and the craft of Satan have inflicted on your people.

Break down the walls of separation which divide one party and denomination of Christians from another. Look with compassion on the souls who have been born

in one or another of these various communions and bring them all into that one communion which you set   up in the beginning: the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

St Patrick’s Prayer

I arise today, through the power of the Trinity, through the faith in threeness, through trust in the oneness of the Maker of the earth, and the Maker of heaven.

Prayer of St Richard

St Richard of Chichester (1198-1253)

Praise be to Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ,

For all the benefits which You have given us,

For all the pains and insults which You have borne for us. O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,

May we see You more clearly, love You more dearly, And follow You more nearly, Day by day. Amen.

Prayer of St Ignatius Loyola

St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

Teach us Good Lord, To serve You as You deserve, To give and not to count the cost,

To fight and not to heed the wounds, To toil and not to seek for rest,

To labour and not to ask for any reward,

Save that of knowing that we do Your will. Amen.

Prayer to St Anthony for things that are lost

O great St Anthony, who has received from God a special power to recover lost things, help me that I may find that which I am now seeking.

An Old French Prayer for Friends

Blessed Mother of those whose names you can read in  my heart, watch over them with every care. Make their way easy and their labours fruitful. Dry their tears if they weep; sanctify their joys; raise their courage if they weaken; restore their hope if they lose heart, their health if they be ill, truth if they err, and repentance if they fall. Amen.

Prayer of Self-Dedication to Jesus Christ (Oblatio Sui)

Ascribed to St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)

Lord Jesus Christ, take all my freedom, my memory, my understanding, and my will. All that I have and cherish you have given me. I surrender it all to be guided by your will. Your grace and your love are wealth enough for me. Give me these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more.

Oblatio Sui (Prayer of Self-Dedication to Jesus Christ)

Suscipe, Domine, universam mean libertatem. Accipe memoriam, intellectum atque voluntatem omnem. Quidquid habeo vel possideo, mihi largitus es: id tibi totum restituo, ac tuae prorsus voluntati trado

gubernandum. Amorem tui solum cum gratia tua mihi dones, et dives sum satis, nec aliud quidquam ultra posco.

Evening Prayer of St Augustine

Watch, Lord, with those who wake or weep tonight. Give the angels and saints charge over those who sleep. O Lord Jesus Christ, tend Your sick ones, rest Your weary ones, bless Your dying ones, soothe the suffering ones, pity all the afflicted ones, shield the joyful ones, and all for Your love’s sake. Amen.

Prayer of Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Founder of the Missionaries of Charity (1910-1997)

The fruit of Silence is Prayer. The fruit of Prayer is Faith. The fruit of Faith is Love.

The fruit of Love is Service.

Prayer of Daily Service

Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our fellow men throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands this day their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give peace and joy. Make us, Lord, worthy to serve our brothers and sisters who are scattered all over the world, who live and die alone and poor. Give them today, using our hands, their daily bread. And, using our love, give them peace and happiness. Amen.

Prayer of St Teresa of Avila

My God, dispose of me, and of all that belongs to me, according to your good pleasure. Amen.

Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)

Most sacred, most loving Heart of Jesus, you are concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and you bear for us still. Now, as then, you say: “With desire I have desired.” I worship you with all my best love and awe, with fervent affection, with my most subdued, most resolved will. For a while you take up your abode within me. O make my heart beat with your Heart! Purify it of all that is earthly, all that is proud and sensual, of all perversity, of all disorder. So fill it with you, that neither the events of the day, nor the circumstance of the time, may have the power to ruffle it; but that in your love and your fear, it may have peace. Amen.

PREPARING FOR CONFESSION

De Profundis

Psalm  130 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, Lord, hear my voice!

O let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleading.

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?

But with you is found forgiveness; for this we revere you.

My soul is waiting for the Lord, I count on his word.

My soul is longing for the Lord,  more than watchmen for daybreak. (Let the watchman count on daybreak and Israel on the Lord.)

Because with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption,

Israel indeed he will redeem from all its iniquity. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning,

is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.

My God,

Act of Contrition

This prayer is taken from

the revised Rite of Penance, 1974.

I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.

In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,

I have sinned against you

whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend,

with your help, to do penance, to sin no more,

and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.

Our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.

Amen.

Confíteor Deo omnipoténti, beatáe Maríae semper Vírgini, beáto Michaéli Archángelo, beáto Ioánni Baptístae, sanctis apostólis Petro et Paulo, ómnibus Sanctis, et vobis, fratres: quia peccávi nimis cogitatióne, verbo et ópere: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa.

Ideo precor beátam Maríam semper Vírginem, béatum Michaélem Archángelum, beátum Ioánnem Baptístam, sanctos apóstolos Petrum et Paulum, omnes Sanctos, et vos, fratres, oráre pro me ad Dómimum, Deum nostrum.

I confess to almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore, I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

Act of Contrition

St John Chrysostom (adapted)

O God, loose, remit, and forgive my sins against you, whether in word, in deed, or in thought;

and whether they are willingly or unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly committed, forgive them all. For you are good and you love all human beings.

And through the prayers of your most holy Mother, or your heavenly servants and holy spirits,

and all the Saints who have found favour with you, enable me to receive without condemnation your holy Body and your Precious Blood.

Let my soul and body be thus healed and my evil imaginings be driven away,

for yours is the kingdom,

the power, and the glory: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen

Prayer of Firm Purpose of Amendment

Prayer of St Benedict of Nursia (480-547)

O Lord, I place myself in your hands and dedicate myself to you. I pledge myself to do your will in all things: To love the Lord God with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength. Not to kill. Not to steal. Not to covet. Not to bear false witness. To honour all persons. Not to do to another what I would not wish done to myself. To chastise the body. Not to seek after pleasures. To love fasting. To

relieve the poor. To clothe the naked. To visit the sick. To bury the dead. To help in trouble. To console the sorrowing. To hold myself aloof from worldly ways. To prefer nothing to the love of Christ. Not to give way to anger. Not to foster a desire for revenge. Not to entertain deceit in the heart. Not to make a false peace. Not to forsake charity. Not to swear, lest I swear falsely. To speak the truth with heart and tongue. Not to return evil for evil. To do no injury: yes, even to bear patiently any injury done to me. To love my enemies. Not to curse those who curse me, but rather to bless them. To bear persecution for justice’s sake. Not to be proud. Not to be given to intoxicating drink. Not to be an over-eater. Not to be lazy. Not to be slothful. Not to be a murmurer. Not to be a detractor. To put my trust in God. To refer the good I see in myself to God. To refer any evil in myself to myself. To fear the day of judgement. To be in dread of hell. To desire eternal life with spiritual longing. To keep death before my eyes daily. To keep constant watch over my actions. To remember that God sees me everywhere. To call upon Christ for defence against evil thoughts that arise in my heart. To guard my tongue against wicked speech. To avoid much speaking. To avoid idle talk. To read only what is good to read. To look at only what is good to see. To pray often. To ask forgiveness daily for my sins, and to seek ways to amend my life. To obey my superiors in all things rightful. Not to desire to be thought holy, but to

seek holiness. To fulfill the commandments of God by good works. To love chastity. To hate no one. Not to be jealous or envious of anyone. Not to love strife. Not to love pride. To honour the aged. To pray for my enemies. To make peace after a quarrel, before the setting of the sun. Never to despair of your mercy, O God of Mercy. Amen.

Prayer for Divine Mercy

From the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy (1905-1938)

O Greatly Merciful God, Infinite Goodness, today all mankind calls out from the abyss of its misery to Your mercy – to Your compassion, O God; and it is with its mighty voice of misery that it cries out: Gracious God, do not reject the prayer of this earth’s exiles! O Lord, Goodness beyond our understanding. Who are acquainted with our misery through and through, and know that by our power we cannot ascend to You, we implore You, anticipate us with Your grace and keep on increasing Your mercy in us, that we may faithfully do Your holy will all through our life and at death’s hour. Let the omnipotence of Your mercy shield us from the darts of our salvation’s enemies, that we may with confidence, as Your children, await Your final coming – that day known to You alone. And we expect to obtain everything promised us by Jesus in spite of all our wretchedness. For Jesus is our Hope: Through His merciful Heart as through an open gate we pass through to heaven.

PREPARING FOR MASS AND HOLY COMMUNION

Prayer of St Ambrose

Preparation for Mass; attributed to St Ambrose (c. 339-397), bishop of Milan

Lord Jesus Christ,

I approach your banquet table in fear and trembling, for I am a sinner and dare not rely on my own worth but only on your goodness and mercy.

I am defiled by many sins in body and soul and by my unguarded thoughts and words. Gracious God of majesty and awe,

I seek your protection, I look for your healing.

Poor troubled sinner that I am,

I appeal to you, the fountain of all mercy. I cannot bear your judgement,

but I trust in your salvation.

Lord, I show my wounds to you and uncover my shame before you. I know my sins are many and great and they fill me with fear,

but I hope in your mercies, for they cannot be numbered.

Lord Jesus Christ, eternal king,

divine and human, crucified for humanity,

look upon me with mercy and hear my prayer, for I trust in you…

Have mercy on me, full of sorrow and sin,

for the depth of your compassion never ends. Praise to you, saving sacrifice,

offered on the wood of the cross for me and for all.

Praise to the noble and precious blood

flowing from the wounds of my crucified Lord, Jesus Christ and washing away the sins of the whole world.

Remember, Lord, your creatures,

whom you have redeemed with your blood.

I repent of my sins

and I long to put right what I have done.

Merciful Lord, take away all my offences and sins; purify me in body and soul,

and make me worthy to taste the holy of holies. May your body and blood,

which I intend to receive, although I am unworthy, be for me the remission of my sins,

the washing away of my guilt, the end of my evil thoughts

and the rebirth of my better instincts.

May it spur me on to works pleasing to you and be profitable to my health in body and soul and a firm defence against the wiles of my enemies.

Amen.

Prayer of St Augustine

Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know you, And desire nothing, save only you.

Let me hate myself and love you.

Let me do everything for the sake of you. Let me humble myself and exalt you.

Let me think of nothing except you.

Let me accept whatever happens as from you. Let me banish self and follow you,

And ever desire to follow you.

Let me fly from myself and take refuge in you, That I may deserve to be defended by you.

Let me fear for myself, let me fear you,

And let me be among those who are chosen by you. Let me be willing to obey for the sake of you.

Let me cling to nothing, save only to you, And let me be poor because of you.

Look upon me, that I may love you. Call me, that I may see you,

And for ever enjoy you. Amen.

Prayer of St Thomas Aquinas

Preparation for Mass; attributed to St Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274)

Almighty and ever-living God,

I approach the sacrament of your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

I come sick to the doctor of life, unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the radiance of eternal light,

poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Lord in your great generosity,

heal my sickness, wash away my defilement, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness.

May I receive the bread of angels, the King of kings and Lord of lords, with humble reverence,

with purity and faith,

with the repentance and love and the determined purpose

that will help to bring me to salvation. May I receive the sacrament of the Lord’s body and blood

and its reality and power. Kind God,

may I receive the body of your only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

born from the womb of the Virgin Mary, and so be received into his mystical body and numbered among his members.

Loving Father,

as on my earthly pilgrimage

I now receive your beloved Son under the veil of a sacrament,

may I one day see him face to face in glory, who lives and reigns with you for ever.

Amen.

Adoro Te Devote (Latin version)

Attributed to St Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274)

Adóro te devóte, latens Déitas, Quae sub his figúris vere látitas: Tibi se cor meum totum súbiicit, Quia te contémplans totum déficit.

Visus, tactus, gustus in te fállitur, Sed audítu solo tuto créditur.

Credo, quidquid dixit Dei Fílius: Nic hoc verbo Veritátis vérius.

In cruce latébat sola Déitas,

At hic latet simul et humánitas; Ambo tamen credens atque cónfitens, Peto quod petívit latro paénitens.

Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intúeor; Deum tamen meum te confíteor.

Fac me tibi semper magis crédere, In te spem habére, te dilígere.

O memoriále mortis Dómini!

Panis vivus, vitam praestans hómini! Praesta meae menti de te vívere.

Et te illi semper dulce sápere.

Pie pellicáne, Iesu Dómine,

Me immúndum munda tuo sánguine. Cuius una stilla salvum fácere

Totum mundum quit ab omni scélere.

Iesu, quem velátum nunc aspício, Oro fiat illud quod tam sítio;

Ut te reveláta cernens fácie,

Visu sim beátus tuae glóriae. Amen.

Adoro Te Devote (English version)

Attributed to St Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274)

Hidden here before me, Lord, I worship you, Hidden in these symbols, yet completely true. Lord, my soul surrenders, I longing to obey, And in contemplation wholly faints away.

Seeing, touching, tasting; these are all deceived; Only through the hearing can it be believed.

Nothing is more certain; Christ has told me so; What the Truth has uttered, I believe and know.

Only God was hidden when you came to die; Human nature also here escapes the eye.

Both are my profession, both are my belief; Bring me to your Kingdom like the dying thief.

I am not like Thomas, who could see and touch; Though your wounds are hidden, I believe as much. Let me say so boldly, meaning what I say.

Loving you and trusting, now and every day.

Record of the Passion when the Lamb was slain, Living bread that brings us back to life again;

Feed me with your presence, make me live on you; Let that lovely fragrance fill me through and through.

Once a nesting pelican gashed herself to blood For the preservation of her starving brood;

Now heal me with your blood, take away my guilt; All the world is ransomed if one drop is spilt.

Jesus, for the present seen as through a mask, Give me what I thirst for, give me what I ask; Let me see your glory in a blaze of light,

And instead of blindness give me, Lord, my sight. Amen.

The Prayer of Humble Access

The Book of Common Prayer, based on a prayer of St Ambrose

We do not presume to come to this your table,

O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in your many and great mercies.

We are not worthy even to gather up the crumbs under your table.

But you are the same God whose property is always to have mercy:

grant us, therefore, gracious Lord,

so to eat the flesh of your dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood,

that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body,  and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us.

Prayer of Thomas à Kempis

Lord Jesus Christ,

to whom belongs all that is in heaven and earth,

I desire to consecrate myself wholly to you and be yours for evermore.

This day I offer myself to you in singleness of heart, to serve and obey you always,

and I offer you without ceasing a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.