September 26: Lancelot Andrewes “For Holy Communion”

Today is the commemoration of Lancelot Andrewes. Here’s a biography.


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.

–From Lancelot Andrewes, The Devotions of Bishop Andrewes, Vol. I (accessed at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library)

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