I’ve just started my RCIA and have been attending Mass for a while now. I’ve noticed that before Mass and right after receiving the Eucharist, people are kneeling and praying. What exactly are people praying for at these times? Is it a “set” prayer like the Hail Mary, or is it a “free form” type of prayer?
You can pray in thanksgiving for the gift of the Eucharist that has been just received, or you can talk to Jesus, or you can just say or think nothing and let Jesus speak to you. I usually pray a prayer of thanksgiving that I composed and then the Amina Christi then just listen. Well, if they are still singing I sing along and then do my prayers during the time of silent reflection.
Before Mass, I pray for the grace of being open to the things Jesus might want me to hear during Mass and the grace of being present (and not a million miles away). Then I might ask for God’s assistance with certain intentions. Then sometimes I just “be”. Jesus sometimes speaks in that stillness.
If I get there way early - which I’ve been making an effort to during the week - I will pray some of the Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. Usually I don’t get through all of it before Mass starts, but it is nice to pray the Psalms or read the reading in the presence of the Lord.
After Communion, I take that time to ask Jesus to help me bring His presence to the world. I also ask His blessing on those closest to me - family, friends, priests, etc. That time passes way too quickly. The past few weeks, Father has been leading the congregation in prayer during the period of reflection (after he returns to his seat). I think many thought of that time as just a “delay” because most pray when they return from Communion. The first week or two, he offered the prayer aloud (it was beautiful) thanking Jesus for His gift to us. Last week, he said a few sentences, relating the Eucharist to his homily, and then invited us to speak to Jesus in the silence of our hearts.
Too much info?
No, not too much, thank you!! I can never get too much information This helps a lot. I’ve been doing pretty much the same thing, I just didn’t know if it was customary to add any other prayers.
Free form or saying prayers you have memorized.
My parish has a laminated prayer card in front of each missalette with prayers to pray after Communion. I don’t know where they came from, but they’re great. When I go to other parishes during the week, I try to bring a little prayer card I have that has the Anima Christi and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Prayer of Thanksgiving After Receiving Communion, also beautiful. We pray the Rosary before weekend Masses.
But there’s nothing specifically required. Pray as you will at those times.