Do you remember how you felt when you first received the Holy Eucharist? Were you excited, anxious, or curious about how it tastes like, perhaps? For some, the enlightening feeling of receiving the Body of Christ for the first time stays with them even as they move forward and start to regularly receive the Holy Communion every Sunday. For others, it becomes a mere ritual.
Pope Francis describes the Holy Eucharist as a great gift, saying that it is a reminder of God’s greatest sacrifice to save us from our sins. “Going to Mass not just to pray, but to receive Communion, the Bread and Body of Christ, is so important,” he says. “It saves us, forgives us, and makes us one with the Father. How beautiful!”
But did you know that the minute of silence the priest gives us before and after we receive the Holy Communion is actually dedicated to a specific prayer? Make the act of receiving the Body of Christ more worthwhile with these prayers before and after you receive the Holy Communion! (Read: Prayers Of The Vatican In Difficult Times)
Prayer Before Receiving the Holy Communion
I believe and confess, Lord, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first. I also believe that this is truly Your pure Body and that this is truly Your precious Blood. Therefore, I pray to You, have mercy upon me, and forgive my transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in word and deed, known and unknown. And make me worthy without condemnation to partake of Your pure Mysteries for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life. Amen
How shall I, who am unworthy, enter into the splendor of Your saints? If I dare to enter into the bridal chamber, my clothing will accuse me, since it is not a wedding garment; and being bound up, I shall be cast out by the angels. In Your love, Lord, cleanse my soul and save me.
Loving Master, Lord Jesus Christ, my God, let not these holy Gifts be to my condemnation because of my unworthiness, but for the cleansing and sanctification of soul and body and the pledge of the future life and kingdom. It is good for me to cling to God and to place in Him the hope of my salvation.
Receive me today, Son of God, as a partaker of Your mystical Supper. I will not reveal Your mystery to Your adversaries. Nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas. But as the thief I confess to You: Lord, remember me in Your Kingdom. Amen.
Prayer After Receiving the Holy Communion
I thank Thee, O Lord my God, that Thou hast not rejected me, a sinner, but hast granted me to be a communicant of Thy holy Things. I thank Thee that Thou hast granted me, unworthy as I am, to partake of Thy pure and heavenly Gifts.
But, O Lord, Lover of men, Who didst die for us and rise again and bestow upon us these Thy dread and life-giving Mysteries for the well being and sanctification of our souls and bodies, grant that these maybe even to me for the healing of my soul and body, for the averting of everything hostile, for the enlightenment of the eyes of my heart, for the peace of the powers of my soul, for unashamed faith, for sincere love, for the fullness of wisdom, for the keeping of Thy commandments, for an increase of Thy divine grace, and for familiarity with Thy Kingdom; that being kept by Them in Thy holiness I may ever remember Thy grace, and never live for myself but for Thee our Lord and Benefactor. And so when I have passed from existence here in the hope of eternal life, may I attain to everlasting rest, where the song is unceasing of those who keep festival and the joy is boundless of those who behold the ineffable beauty of Thy face. For Thou art the true desire and the unutterable gladness of those who love Thee, O Christ our God, and all creation sings of Thee throughout the ages. Amen.
Prayers from orthodoxprayer.org.