« AnteriorContinuar »
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid ; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall the penitent man stand up and say this Exhortation.
Dearly beloved in the Lord, ye that mind to come to the holy Communion of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ, must consider how Saint Paul exhorteth all persons diligently to try and examine themselves, before they presume to eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup. For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy Sacrament; (for then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood; then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us :) so is the danger great, if we receive the same unworthily. For then we are guilty of the Body and Blood of Christ our Saviour ; we eat and drink our own damnation, not considering the Lord's Body; we kindle God's wrath against us ; we provoke him to plague us with divers diseases, and sundry kinds of death. Judge therefore yourselves, brethren, that ye be not judged of the Lord; repent you truly for your sins past; have a lively and stedfast faith in Christ our Saviour; amend your lives, and be in perfect charity with all men; so shall ye be meet partakers of those holy mysteries. And above all things ye must give most humble and hearty thanks to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the redemption of the world by the death and passion of our Saviour Christ, both God and man; who did humble himself
, even to the death upon the Cross, for us, miserable sinners, who lay in darkness and the shadow of death; that he might make us the children of God, and exalt us to everlasting life. And to the end that we should alway remember the exceeding great love of our Master, and only Saviour, Jesus Christ, thus dying for us, and the innumerable benefits which by his precious blood-shedding he hath obtained to us; he hath instituted and ordained holy mysteries, as pledges of his love, and for a continual remembrance of his death, to our great and endless comfort. To him therefore, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, let us give (as we are most bounden) continual thanks; submitting ourselves wholly to his holy will and pleasure, and studying to serve him in true holiness and righteousness all the days of our life. Amen.
Let us pray
O God, whose blessed Son was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil, and make us the sons of God, and heirs of eternal life; Grant us, we beseech thee, that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves, even as he is pure; that, when he shall appear again with power and great glory, we may be made like unto him in his eternal and glorious kingdom ; where with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, he liveth and reigneth, ever one God, world without end. Amen.—Collect for the sixth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The examination. Question. What is required of them who come to the Lord's Supper ?
Answer. To examine themselves, whether they repent them truly of their former sins, stedfastly purposing to lead a new life ; have a lively faith in God's mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death; and be in charity with all men.—Catechism.
When the minister giveth warning for the celebration of the Holy Communion, (which he shall always do upon the Sunday, or some Holy-day, immediately preceding,) after the Sermon or Homily ended, he shall read this Exhortation following.
Dearly beloved, on -day next I pur
pose, through God's assistance, to administer to all such as shall be religiously and devoutly disposed the most comfortable Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ;
Do I rejoice to be among those whom the Church, through her priesthood, calls “ dearly beloved ?”
Am I warmed with Christian joy, and filled with Christian hope, whenever I hear that Holy Communion is to be celebrated, and especially that opportunity for receiving it is shortly to be given, by God's blessing?
Am I also religiously and devoutly disposed to take it, and do I truly conceive of it that it is a most comfortable sacrament ? to be by them received in remembrance of his meritorious Cross and Passion ; whereby alone we obtain remission of our sins, and are made partakers of the kingdom of heaven.
Is the celebration of the Lord's Supper a remembrance to me of the Saviour's Cross and Passion, because so appointed by Him?
Do I accept His sacrifice as meritorious because Divine, and worthy of the acceptance of Almighty God in a way that no human sacrifice can be ?
Do I accept His sacrifice in faith, as the meritorious cause whereby alone we obtain remission of sins, and are made partakers of the kingdom of heaven?
And am I sincerely impressed with the infinite nature of God's goodness, in providing the sacrifice of His Son, for all mankind; and especially with His distinct goodness towards me, in offering me this Holy Sacrament, for the direct application to my own soul and body of all the benefits of the same adorable sacrifice ? Wherefore it is our duty to render most
humble and hearty thanks to Almighty God our heavenly Father, for that he hath given his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, not only to die for us, but also to be our spiritual food and sustenance in that Holy Sacrament.
Do I regard the duty of thanksgiving which is here enjoined, not merely as an obligation, but as a blessed and great privilege ? And is my sense of it humble when I think of the necessity for this sacrifice, but hearty when I reflect that it has been already made for us men and for our salvation ? Have I also a full sense of the mercy of Almighty God in these two particulars : first, that He has given His Son to die for us ; and secondly, that He has given Him to be our spiritual food and sustenance in the Holy Sacrament?
Impressed with these amazing privileges, do I fully recognize, as a sinful man undeserving of such mercy and favour, the necessity of discovering, by strict ex amination, the true nature of my convictions on the use and value of the Holy Sacrament, in order that I may guard against the danger of lightly esteeming it? Which being so divine and comfortable a thing to them who receive it worthily, and so dangerous to them that will presume to receive it unworthily;
Do I clearly comprehend the distinction between worthily and unworthily receiving of the Holy Communion ; that it refers not to any absolute worthiness in myself, but to due preparation for the ordinance by examination, repentance, and prayer, with faith, thankfulness, and charity ; and the wilful neglect of such preparation ? And having a clear knowledge of this distinction,