A Prayer of Lancelot Andrewes


O LORD, I am not worthy, I am not fit,
that Thou shouldest come under the roof of my soul;
for it is all desolate and ruined;
nor hast Thou in me fitting place
to lay Thy head.
But, as Thou didst vouchsafe
to lie in the cavern and manger of brute cattle,
as Thou didst not disdain
to be entertained in the house of Simon the leper;
as Thou didst not disdain
that harlot, like me, who was a sinner,
coming to Thee: and touching Thee; as Thou abhorredst not
her polluted and loathsome mouth; nor the thief
upon the cross
confessing Thee:
So me too the ruined, wretched,
and excessive sinner,
deign to receive to the touch and partaking
of the immaculate, supernatural, lifegiving,
and saving mysteries
of Thy all-holy Body
and Thy precious Blood.
Listen, O Lord, our God,
from Thy holy habitation,
and from the glorious throne of Thy kingdom,
and come to sanctify us.
O Thou who sittest on high with the Father, and art present
with us here invisibly; come Thou to sanctify
the gifts which lie before Thee,
and those in whose behalf, and by whom,
and the things for which,
they are brought near Thee.
And grant to us communion,
unto faith, without shame,
love without: dissimulation, fulfilment
of Thy commandments,
alacrity for every spiritual fruit; hindrance of all adversity,
healing of soul and body;
that we too, with all Saints,
who have been well-pleasing to Thee from the beginning,
may become partakers
of Thy incorrupt and everlasting goods, which Thou hast prepared,
O Lord, for them that love Thee;
in whom Thou art glorified
for ever and ever.
Lamb of God,
that takest away the sin of the world, take away the sin of me,
the utter sinner.

We then remembering, O sovereign Lord,
in the presence of Thy holy mysteries,
the salutary passion of Thy Christ, His life-giving cross,
most precious death,
three days’ sepulture, resurrection from the dead,
ascent into heaven,
session at the right hand of Thee,
the Father,
His fearful and glorious coming;
we beseech 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. It is finished and done,
so far as in our power,
Christ our God,
the mystery of Thy dispensation.
For we have held remembrance of Thy death,
we have seen the figure of Thy resurrection,
we have been filled with Thy endless life,
we have enjoyed Thy uncloying dainties, which graciously vouchsafe
all of us, in the world to come. Lord, the good God,
pardon every soul, that purifieth his heart to seek God,
the Lord God of His fathers,
though he be not cleansed according
to the purification of the sanctuary.

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