Beginning with the Last Supper, the Most Holy Eucharist has been the source and summit of the Christian life. Through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we come to a deeper union with Christ, our Lord and Savior, who is truly present – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – in the Most Blessed Sacrament. However, this union is not only reserved for Mass alone. Under certain circumstances, we can receive sacramental Communions outside of Mass, and spend time spent in prayer with the Eucharistic Christ residing in the tabernacle or when exposed at adoration. St. Alphonsus Liguori observed, “Know also that you will probably gain more by praying fifteen minutes before the Blessed Sacrament than by all the other spiritual exercises of the day.”
The following contain just some examples of a large collection of prayers regarding the Holy Eucharist, and can be a tool to help you start as you strive to spend quiet time in front of Jesus in the Eucharist. If you are not able to receive Holy Eucharist in sacramental form, you can still make a Spiritual Communion. In fact, unlike sacramental Communion, which we can only receive once (or occasionally twice) a day, we are encouraged to make Spiritual Communions as often as possible. It can be as simple as thinking of Jesus in the Eucharist and His great Love for us, and asking Him to come into our hearts. Below are two of the most common formal prayers:
by St. Alphonsus de Liguori
My Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
I wish, my Lord, to receive you with the purity, humility and devotion with which Your most holy mother received You, with the spirit and fervor of the saints. Amen.
“Make as many Spiritual Communions as possible, to supply for the many Sacramental Communions which are not made. One every quarter of an hour is not enough. Make them shorter, but more numerous.” ~ Our Lord to Sr. Benigna Consolata
“In this golden chalice I put your sacramental communions. In this silver chalice I put your spiritual communions. Both chalices are quite pleasing to me.” ~ Jesus to St. Catherine of Siena
Act of Humility before Holy Communion
Jesus, my Lord, I confess that I am a sinner. But in Your goodness, You invite me to approach Your Holy Table and to partake of Your heavenly Banquet. Trusting in Your mercy, I come to You with confidence and with a contrite and humble heart. Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof; but say only the word, and my soul shall be healed. Come to me, Jesus, come to me, and keep me in Your love and Your grace forevermore. Amen.
Act of Faith and Adoration before Holy Communion
My good Jesus, I believe with a firm and lively faith that in this adorable sacrament are Your body and blood, soul and divinity. I believe that in this consecrated Host, I shall receive that same body which was born of the most pure Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, which suffered so many pains and torments for love of me on the Way of the Cross and on Calvary, and which rose gloriously the third day from the dead. I believe that I shall receive God Himself.
I adore You, O my God, as my Creator, my Preserver, my Redeemer, and my Judge, truly present in the Holy Eucharist. Divine Host, I adore You with the angels who fill the sanctuary and hover over the tabernacle as they hovered over the cave of Bethlehem in the Holy Night; I adore You, my God, with the Blessed Virgin, and in union with all the saints.
Lord and Master of the universe, Who has fixed Your dwelling among men, I adore You with profound gratitude. O my Jesus, bless this temple where You reside, but still more the heart that I offer You as a living abode and place of rest. Deign ever to inhabit it by Your grace and Your love, and may my sins never banish You from it! Lord, I have a firm faith, but I ask You to increase my faith that I may love You more, and be more generous in my sacrifices for love of You and for the love of my neighbors. Amen.
Act of Thanksgiving after Holy Communion
My good Jesus, I thank You with all my heart for giving me Yourself, the Source of all graces, in Holy Communion. I thank You for all the blessings that I have received from You, especially through the Holy Eucharist, in which You are ever present to console us and to help us in our needs. In thanksgiving of all Your favors, I offer You all that I am and have.
- I give myself to You, that I may always serve You.
- I give You my body, that it may be chaste and pure.
- I give You my soul, that it may be free from sin.
- I give You my heart, that it may always love You.
- I give You every breath that I shall breathe, and especially my last.
O Jesus, may I lead a good life; may I die a happy death. May I receive You in Holy Viaticum before I die. May I say when I am dying, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and soul.“
O Jesus, have mercy on Your holy Church. Bless our Holy Father, and have pity on all sinners, heretics, and infidels. Save them by Your most Precious Blood.
O Jesus, bless my family, relatives, friends and benefactors; and all for whom I have promised to pray; bless them as Your kind Heart know how to bless them.
O Jesus, have pity on the poor souls suffering in purgatory, and give them eternal rest. Amen.
Prayer after Holy Communion
Dear Lord, help me to remove from my mind every thought or opinion which You would not sanction, every feeling form my heart which You would not approve. Grant that I may spend the hours of the day gladly working with You according to Your will.
Help me just for today and be with me in it. In the long hours of work, that I may not grow weary or slack in serving You. In conversations, that they may not be to me occasions of uncharitableness. In the day’s worries and disappointments, that I may be patient with myself and with those around me. In moments of fatigue and illness, that I may be mindful of others rather than of myself. In temptations, that I may be generous and loyal, so that when the day is over I may lay it at Your feet, with its successes which are all Yours, and its failures which are all my own, and feel that life is real and peaceful, and blessed when spent with You as the Guest of my soul. Amen.
PRAYERS OF ADORATION
Angel of Fatima Prayer
(Given to the three children by the Angel)
MOST Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly. I offer You the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference by which He is offended. And through the infinite merit of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of poor sinners. (say 3 times)
Prayer of Saint John of Damascus
Master and Lord, Jesus Christ our God, You alone have authority to forgive my sins, whether committed knowingly or in ignorance, and make me worthy to receive without condemnation Your divine, glorious, pure and life-giving Mysteries, not for my punishment, but for my purification and sanctification, now and in Your future Kingdom. For You, Christ our God, are compassionate and loves mankind and to You we give glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit now and forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas
Almighty and ever-living God, I approach the sacrament of your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I come sick to the doctor of life, unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the radiance of eternal light, and poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth.
Prayer before a Crucifix
Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before Your face I humbly kneel and with burning soul, pray and beseech You to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins and a firm purpose of amendment, while I contemplate with great love and tender pity, Your five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me and calling to mind the words that David, Your prophet, said of You, my Jesus: “They have pierced My hands and feet, They have numbered all my bones.”
Prayer Before the Blessed Sacrament
by St. Alphonsus de Liguori
O LORD Jesus Christ, Who, through the love which You bore to men, remain with them day and night in this Sacrament, full of mercy and of love, expecting, inviting, and receiving all who come to visit You; I believe that You are present in the Sacrament of the altar. From the abyss of my nothingness I adore You; and I thank You for the favors which You have bestowed upon me, particularly for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament, for having given me for my advocate Your most holy Mother Mary, and for having called me to visit You in this church.
I, this day, salute Your most loving Heart, and I wish to salute it for three ends: first, in thanksgiving for this great gift; secondly, in reparation for all the injuries You have received from Your enemies in this Sacrament; thirdly, I wish, by this visit, to adore You in all places in which You are least honored and most abandoned in the Holy Sacrament.
My Jesus, I love You with my whole heart. I am sorry for having offended Your infinite goodness. I purpose, with the assistance of Your grace, nevermore to offend You; and, at this moment, miserable as I am, I consecrate my whole being to You. I give You my entire will, all my affections and desires, and all I have. I ask and desire only Your holy love, the gift of final perseverance, and the perfect accomplishment of Your will. I recommend to You the souls in Purgatory, particularly those who were most devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and to most Holy Mary; and I also recommend to You all poor sinners. Finally, my dear Savior, I unite all my affections with the affections of Your most loving Heart; and, thus united, I offer them to Your Eternal Father; and I entreat Him, in Your Name, and for Your sake, to accept them. Amen.