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Prayers before and after Mass

St. Thomas Aquinas provides these prayers before and after Mass. These are my daily Mass prayers and I have enjoyed them:

Prayer Before Mass

Almighty and ever-living God, I draw near to the sacrament of your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I come sick to the physician of life, unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the light of eternal brightness, poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. So I ask you, most generous Lord: graciously heal my infirmity, wash me clean, illumine 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 such reverence and humility, such contrition and devotion, such purity and faith, and such resolve and determination as may secure my soul’s salvation. Grant as I may receive not only the visible sign of the Lord’s Body and Blood, but also all the reality and the power of the sacrament. Grant most kind God, that I may receive the Body of your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which he received from the Virgin Mary, and may receive it in such a way that I become a loving part of his Mystical Body and counted among his members. O most loving Father, grant me your beloved Son. While on this earthly pilgrimage, I receive him under the veil of this sacrament; so may I come at last to see him face to face for all eternity. For he lives and reigns with you for ever and ever. Amen.


“…which he received from the Virgin Mary.”
I have found this line very helpful in meditating on the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our salvation. Inasmuch as Christ’s body is received in the Eucharist, something of Mary is received, for His body was received from hers.

“I receive him under the veil of this sacrament.”
I have found this line helpful in thinking about how Christ is present in the sacrament. Thinking of the sacrament as a “veil” is helpful, behind which Our Lord is truly present.

Prayer After Mass

Lord, holy Father, almighty and ever-living God, I thank you. For though I am a sinner and your unprofitable servant, you have fed me with the precious Body and Blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. You did this not because I deserved it, but because you are kind and merciful. I pray that this holy Communion may not add to my guilt and punishment, but may lead me to forgiveness and salvation. May it be for me the armor of faith and the shield of good will. May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my base passions. May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience, and may it strengthen my power to do every kind of good. May it be a strong defense against the deceit of all my enemies, visible and invisible. May it calm perfectly all my evil impulses, bodily and spiritual. May it unite me more closely to you, the one true God; may it bring me full possession of the goal I am longing for. And I pray that you will lead me, a sinner, to the magnificent banquet where you, with your Son and the Holy Spirit, are for all your saints the true light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end, exquisite delight, and most perfect happiness. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


…not because I deserved it, but because you are kind and merciful.
I find this line encouraging when life is difficult. We do not receive the grace of this sacrament because we are deserving of it, but because God loves us and desires to give it to us. It is not a reward for the faithful, but strength for the weak.

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