The Minister before Sacrament
Teach me the nature of a sacrament
as a seal and pledge of love,
that Christ is faithful to make himself
a present reality to his own who are guests
at his table.
Assure me by it
that his Word is made good to my faith,
that he by sacramental union is given to me,
that I shall have strength not to fall into sin,
that his life begun in me will be perfected
that my covenant with him is confirmed,
that he gives himself to all who take him
As I come to the feast, help me to recall
my neglect of duties towards myself,
my family, church, friends,
by not instructing, exhorting, being
Grant me to see my ignorance,
not knowing how or what to pray,
my unsavouriness, not delighting in,
but loathing to speak for thee,
my pride, because I would not speak
what I could from fear of not doing it well,
my lukewarmness, in not reaching for thy glory,
my idleness and sloth,
my want of tender love,
my apprehension of unfruitfulness
in case I should attempt and do no good,
and hence sow seed upon rocks.
Let me know
that even if I have done right, yet I must
lament the principles that caused my neglect,
that good duties might be done or omitted
out of ill principles or motives,
and only when these are dealt with shall
I know what is my duty and its extent.
Heal me now, as I approach thy table,
and fill me with all grace, with thyself.
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