Friday, June 8, 2012

Making a "Spiritual Communion"

Spiritual Communion

When unable to attend the Holy Eucharist

Below is a modified form of a traditional way to address those times when illness, travel, or other circumstance prevents an Anglican from attending the Sunday Eucharist and receiving the Holy Mysteries. The point of this devotion is connected with intentionality. In the normal course of the Christian life, participation in the Sunday Liturgy is essential. There can be no complete replacement for this, the "central act of Christian worship," as the Book of Common Prayer puts it. 

However, when for good reason one is unable to participate directly in the Eucharistic liturgy, the Christian is called to offer the intention of worship, if not the fullness of that worship itself, as part of what it means to honor the Day of the Resurrection. This loving intention is at the core of all Christian prayer, being a response to the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Making a “Spiritual Communion” is a reminder that God’s grace is not something we control, but something given and received. It is also a re-affirmation that when we are unable to attend the Liturgy, we are not cut adrift from the power and presence of God. Our God is available to us always.

If one has the time and opportunity, it is perfectly appropriate to read the first portion of the Eucharist from the Prayer Book with the collect and lessons from Scripture for that particular day, in place of the collect and short lessons provided below.

X In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Let the power of the Holy Spirit come upon me, O Lord, I pray you: that he may both mercifully cleanse my heart and defend me from all adversities. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Epistle (Revelation 3:20)
Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.

The Gospel (St. John 15:5)
I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.

Act of Contrition
O God, I confess my sin against you, the author of life and giver of all good things, and I humbly repent. Forgive me for Jesus’ sake, and grant me the grace to walk in your ways hereafter.

Act of Reception
In union, dear Lord with the faithful at every altar of your Church where the Holy Mysteries of your blessed Body and Blood are be celebrated and received, I desire to offer you praise and thanksgiving. I believe that you are truly present to your people in this Holy Sacrament. And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I pray you to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to you, and embrace you with all the affection of my soul. Let me never be separated from you. Let me live and die in your love. Amen.

Come Lord Jesus, dwell with your servant in the fullness of your strength, in the perfection of your ways, and in the holiness of your spirit, and rule over every hostile power in the might of the Spirit, and to the Glory of the Father. Amen.

May the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my body and soul unto everlasting life. Amen.

Act of Praise and Thanksgiving
X Blessed, praised, hallowed, and adored be Jesus Christ on his high throne of glory in heaven, in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar, and in the hearts of his faithful people. Amen.

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