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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
    an example.
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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