PRAYERS OF PREPARATION FOR MASS
Prayer of St. Ambrose
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 judgment, 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, God and man, crucified for mankind, 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 mankind. 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 creature, whom you have redeemed with your blood. I repent my sins, and I long to put right what I have done. Merciful Father, take away all my offenses 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 incite me to do the works pleasing to you and profitable to my health in body and soul, and be a firm defense against the wiles of my enemies. Amen.
Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas
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, and 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 the purity and faith, 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.
The Following Two Prayers Are Specifically For Priests
Prayer to the Virgin Mary
Mother of mercy and love, blessed Virgin Mary, I am a poor and unworthy sinner, and I turn to you in confidence and love. You stood by your Son as he hung dying on the cross. Stand also by me, a poor sinner, and by all the priests who are offering Mass today here and throughout the entire Church. Help us to offer a perfect and acceptable sacrifice in the sight of the holy and undivided Trinity, our most high God. Amen.
Statement of Intention
My purpose is to celebrate Mass and to make present the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the rite of the holy Roman Church to the praise of our all-powerful God and all his assembly in the glory of heaven, for my good and the good of all his pilgrim Church on earth, and for all who have asked me to pray for them in general and in particular, and for the good of the holy Roman Church.
May the almighty and merciful Lord grant us joy and peace, amendment of life, room for true repentance, the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit, and perseverance in good works. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AFTER MASS
Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas
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 and 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.
Prayer to Our Redeemer
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. Call me at my death to the fellowship of your saints, that I may sing your praise with them through all eternity. Amen.
Prayer of Self-dedication to Jesus Christ
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.
Prayer to Jesus Christ Crucified
My good and dear Jesus, I kneel before you, asking you most earnestly to engrave upon my heart a deep and lively faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm. resolve to make amends. As I reflect upon your five wounds, and dwell upon them with deep compassion and grief, I recall, good Jesus, the words the prophet David spoke long ago concerning yourself: they have pierced my hands and my feet, they have counted all my bones!
The Universal Prayer (Attributed to Pope Clement XI)
Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith.
I trust in you: strengthen my trust.
I love you: let me love you more and more.
I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow.
I worship you as my first beginning,
I long for you as my last end,
I praise you as my constant helper,
and call on you as my loving protector.
Guide me by your wisdom,
correct me with your justice,
comfort me with your mercy,
protect me with your power.
I offer you, Lord, my thoughts: to be fixed on you;
my words: to have you for their theme;
my actions: to reflect my love for you;
my sufferings: to be endured for your greater glory.
I want to do what you ask of me: in the way you ask,
for as long as you ask, because you ask it.
Lord, enlighten my understanding, strengthen my will,
purify my heart, and make me holy.
Help me to repent of my past sins and to resist temptation in the future.
Help me to rise above my human weaknesses and to grow stronger as a Christian.
Let me love you, my Lord and my God, and see myself as I really am:
a pilgrim in this world, a Christian called to respect and love all whose lives I touch,
those in authority over me or those under my authority, my friends and my enemies.
Help me to conquer anger with gentleness, greed by generosity, apathy by fervor.
Help me to forget myself and reach out toward others.
Make me prudent in planning, courageous in taking risks.
Make me patient in suffering, unassuming in prosperity.
Keep me, Lord, attentive at prayer, temperate in food and drink,
diligent in my work, firm in my good intentions.
Let my conscience be clear, my conduct without fault,
my speech blameless, my life well-ordered.
Put me on guard against my human weaknesses.
Let me cherish your love for me, keep your law, and come at last to your salvation.
Teach me to realize that this world is passing,
that my true future is the happiness of heaven,
that life on earth is short, and the life to come eternal.
Help me to prepare for death with a proper fear of judgment,
but a greater trust in your goodness.
Lead me safely through death to the endless joy of heaven.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer to the Virgin Mary
Mary, holy Virgin Mother, I have received your Son, Jesus Christ. With love you became his Mother, gave birth to Him, nursed Him, and helped Him grow to manhood. With love I return Him to you, to hold once more, to love with all your heart, and to offer to the Holy Trinity as our supreme act of worship for your honor and for the good of all your pilgrim brothers and sisters.
Mother, ask God to forgive my sins and to help me serve Him more faithfully. Keep me true to Christ until death, and let me come to praise Him with you for ever and ever. Amen.
The above prayers are taken from the Sacramentary of the Roman Missal, Appendix I
© 1985 Catholic Book Publishing Company