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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Andrewes: Preparation for Holy Communion

Taken from the Preces Privitae

We then remembering too, O sovereign LORD,
in the presence of Thy holy mysteries,
the salutary passion of Thy CHRIST,
His lifegiving cross,
most precious death,
three days sepulture,
resurrection from the dead,
ascent into heaven,
session at the right hand of Thee, O LORD,
that we, receiving in the pure testimony
of our conscience,
our portion of Thy sacred things,
may be made one with the holy Body and Blood
of Thy CHRIST;
and receiving them not unworthily,
we may hold CHRIST indwelling in our hearts,
and may become a temple
of Thy HOLY SPIRIT
Yea, O our GOD,
nor make any of us guilty
of Thy dreadful and heavenly mysteries,
nor infirm in soul or body
from partaking of them unworthily.
But grant us
until our last and closing breath,
worthily to receive a hope of Thy holy things,
for sanctification, enlightening, strengthening,
a relief of the weight of my many sins,
a preservative against all satanic working,
a riddance and hindrance of my evil conscience,
a mortification of my passions,
an appropriation of Thy commandments,
an increase of Thy divine grace;
and a securing of Thy kingdom.

2 Comments:

Anonymous William Tighe said...

When I was reading Andrewes *Preces Privatae* for the first time, years ago, I was struck by how many of the prayers seemed to me to be translations or paraphrases of prayers of the Liturgy of St. James -- especially on Communion. I wonder if this is one.

11:07 pm  
Blogger Jeff said...

Prof. Tighe

I just looked through the prayers throughout the communion of St. James' liturgy and that of St. Chrysostom as well and it seems as though he draws heavily from both. This is a prayer that followed consecration so when we look closely at the language involved we see his understanding of the memorial offering and its *Godward* direction as opposed to our recollecting some past event. We see that his opening section actually brings us back to the event and unites us to it. The Chrysostom liturgy had a very similar statement from the priest about receiving unworthily that is very close to Andrewes' words here. He ends the prayer with the efficacy of grace that the Eucharist gives to worthy receivers.

There is also an eschatalogical movement throughout the prayer focusing on the ultimate appropriation of the Sacrament to bring us to the consummated kingdom. Andrewes frequently ends his sermons with a connection to the Eucharist that has the eschatalogical element within it. I think this is where Wainwright has done us a favour with his work on Eucharist and Eschatology. I may need to say something about this in my thesis.

8:06 am  

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