I attended my first Byzantine Mass the other night and was struck by this beautiful prayer:
Prayer Before Holy Communion
O Lord, I believe and profess that You are truly Christ, the Son of the Living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first.
Accept me today as a partaker of Your mystical Supper, O Son of God, for I will not reveal Your mystery to Your enemies, nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas, but like the thief, I profess You.
Remember me, O Lord, when You come into Your Kingdom.
Remember me, O Master, when You come into Your Kingdom.
Remember me, O Holy One, when You come into Your Kingdom.
May the partaking of Your holy mysteries, O Lord, be not for my judgment or condemnation but for the healing of soul and body.
O Lord, I also believe and profess that this, which I am about to receive, is truly Your Most Precious Body and Your Life-Giving Blood, which, I pray, make me worthy to receive for the remission of all my sins and for life everlasting. Amen.
O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
O God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy of me.
Lord, forgive me for I have sinned without number.
I would like to share my observations. We can see similarities with the Latin Rite prayers, with some interesting differences. I don’t think anyone can say the above “Prayer Before Holy Communion,” and receive Our Blessed Lord unworthily. This prayer effectively accomplishes 3 things:
A profession of faith. This takes away any doubt about the Real Presence.
Acknowledgment of one’s unworthiness and contrition for sins. This should hopefully prevent any sacrilege and prepare us to receive with proper humility.
An appeal to God’s mercy and acceptance prior to the consummation of Holy Communion. This extends from the spirit of humility. We are asking for His agreement before entering into this most sacred union.
I was impressed with this Mass and would definitely like to go again. Does anyone have anything else to share on their experience of the Byzantine Mass?