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Prayer at Communion

Christ instituted the Eucharist (or Holy Communion) at the Last Supper. We find the relevant texts in Mathew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:17-20 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

"This is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me." (cf Lk 22:19-20 & par; 1 Cor 11:23-25)

The Church has always understood the verb is (in the words "this is my body", "this is my blood") in a very literal sense. The Saviour did not say; "this means my body, my blood", or "this is a sign, a symbol of my body, my blood", He said: "this is ...." This means that bread and wine were changed into the body and blood of Christ, though they appeared still as bread and wine. But in a mysterious way a total change has taken place : under the appearance of bread and wine Christ is really present.

The Holy Eucharist (or Holy Communion) contains the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and therefore the whole Christ, under the appearances of bread and wine. By the consecration of the priest, bread and wine cease to be what they are and are (miraculously) changed into His (glorified) body and blood.

Jesus said to Nicodemus: "Except you eat of the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has everlasting life, and I will raise him up in the last day." (John 6:54-55)


Prayer before Communion

O my God, I firmly believe that you are truly present in the Holy Eucharist. I confess that I am a poor sinner and am not worthy to receive you. But you just say a word and my soul shall be healed, and then I can receive you into my soul. I am sorry for all my sins, because they have offended you and I resolve never to commit them again. Lord, have mercy and forgive me. Lord, I desire to receive you with my whole heart; come into my poor soul and make my heart your abode.

Prayer after Communion

Lord Jesus, I believe that I have received your body and blood. I adore you. I praise you. I thank you. I love you. Thank you for giving yourself to me. Now I give myself to you - every part of my body that it may always love you and live for you.