Prayer before receiving the body and blood of Christ,
by Anselm of Canterbury
Lord Jesus Christ
by the Father's plan and by the working of the Holy Ghost
of your own free will you died
and mercifully redeemed the world
from sin and everlasting death.
I adore and venerate you
as much as ever I can,
though my love is so cold, my devotion so poor.
Thank you for the good gift
of this your holy Body and Blood,
which I desire to receive, as cleansing from sin,
and for a defence against it.
Lord, I acknowledge that I am far from worthy
to approach and touch this sacrament;
but I trust in that mercy
which caused you to lay down your life for sinners
that they might be justified,
and because you gave yourself
willingly as a holy sacrifice to the Father.
A sinner, I presume to receive these gifts
so that I may be justified by them.
I beg and pray you, therefore, merciful lover of men,
let not that which you have given for the cleansing of sins
be unto me the increase of sin,
but rather for forgiveness and protection.
Make me, O Lord, so to perceive with lips and heart
and know by faith and by love,
that by virtue of this sacrament I may deserve to be
planted in the likeness of your death and resurrection,
by mortifying the old man,
and by renewal of the life of righteousness.
May I be worthy to be incorporated into your body
'which is the church',
so that I may be your member and you may be my head,
and that I may remain in you and you in me,
Then at the Resurrection you will refashion
the body of my humiliation
according to the body of your glory,
as you promised by your apostle,
and I shall rejoice in you for ever
to your glory,
who with the Father and the Holy Spirit
lives and reigns for ever. Amen.
Statue of Anselm
Exterior of Canterbury Cathedral