Preparation for Mass

The prayers in this section form part of the preparation for priests before the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Aside from the Formula of Intent, they may also be used by laypersons, with appropriate changes where necessary.

Prayer of Saint 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 defense of body and soul
against the snares of my enemies.

Prayer of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Almighty eternal God,
behold, I come to the Sacrament
of your Only Begotten Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
as one sick 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.

I ask, therefore, for the abundance of your immense
that you may graciously cure my sickness,
wash away my defilement,
give light to my blindness,
enrich my poverty,
clothe my nakedness,
so that I may receive the bread of Angels,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
with such reverence and humility,
such contrition and devotion,
such purity and faith,
such purpose and intention
as are conducive to the salvation of my soul.

Grant, I pray, that I may receive
not only the Sacrament of the Lord’s Body and Blood,
but also the reality and power of that Sacrament.
O most gentle God,
grant that I may so receive
the Body of your Only Begotten 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 for ever
upon the unveiled face of your beloved Son,
whom I, a wayfarer,
propose to receive now veiled under these species:
Who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

O most blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of tenderness and mercy,
I, a miserable and unworthy sinner,
fly to you with all the affection of my heart
and I beseech your motherly love,
that, as you stood by your most dear Son,
while he hung on the Cross,
so, in your kindness,
you may be pleased to stand by me, a poor sinner,
and all Priests who today are offering the Sacrifice
here and throughout the entire holy Church,
so that with your gracious help
we may offer a worthy and acceptable oblation
in the sight of the most high and undivided Trinity.

Formula of Intent

My intention is to celebrate Mass
and to consecrate the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
according to the Rite of Holy Roman Church,
to the praise of almighty God
and all the Church triumphant,
for my good
and that of all the Church militant,
for all who have commended themselves to my prayers
in general and in particular,
and for the welfare of Holy Roman Church.

May the almighty and merciful Lord
grant us joy with peace,
amendment of life,
room for true repentance,
the grace and consolation of the Holy Spirit
and perseverance in good works.

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