12 August 2017

"Never Let Anger ..."

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"Never let anger or irritability
get a grip on you, 
for as scripture says: 

"The angry man becomes a fool,"

whereas Wisdom makes her abode
in the heart of the gentle."


St. Theodoros the Ascetic

01 August 2017

Prayer Request for My Mother

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Please pray for my mother Mary Rose Uher 
who has been moved to ICU (Intensive Care Unit) in hospital.




Update 12 August 2017: I rejoice to share with you that my mother has made enough of a recovery to be released home for therapists to visit her there.  We witnessed the power of Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick) with my mother's inexplicable recovery, and we thank God she remains with us and is slowly but surely growing stronger.  
Praise God from whom all good things flow!

31 July 2017

Prayer Requests

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My mother is very ill and is in hospital.  Please add her to your prayer intentions.
Blessed Trinity, come to her aid.
Blessed Mother, pray for her. St. Cecilia, pray for her.

As for me I underwent oral surgery, and it has been a very difficult experience. I would thank you for your prayers for me and my family.

24 July 2017

From a Syriac daily prayer

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Lord, it is good to give thanks to you 
and to sing praise to your exalted name, 
to proclaim your goodness in the morning 
and your faithfulness in the night. 
Lord, hear my voice in the morning. 
May I be seen ready before you in the morning. 
Lord, have compassion on your people. 
Lord, pardon and forgive all our sins. 
Holy One, let your right hand overshadow us 
and your Name heal our weaknesses.


Prayers from the East 
Edited by Richard Marsh 
Fortress Press

15 July 2017

A Fervent Prayer (Anglican Patrimony)

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Yea, Lord, Thou rewarder of them that diligently seek Thee,
Who art rich unto all that call upon Thee ;
the spirit indeed is willing,
but the flesh is weak.
Grant me, then grace by Thine ineffable mercy
like Thee to be in an agony,
to strive in prayer,
to wrestle till the breaking of the day ;
in spirit and in truth,
in union with the ceaseless prayer
of the Church ;
that my prayer may come up
for a memorial before Thee,

And as of old the place was shaken
when the HOLY GHOST helped the infirmity
of the prayer of the Church ;
and as there was a great earthquake
when the Apostles prayed
and sang praises unto God ;
so may it be now
while even I pray and praise Thee ;
to the pulling down of strongholds of satan,
to the glorifying of GOD the FATHER in Thee ;
in Whose name I call,
in Whose promise I trust,
JESUS, my Intercessor, my SAVIOUR,
my LORD, and my God.

Sursum Corda
A Handbook of
Intercession 

and Thanksgiving
W.H. Frere, D.D.
A.L. Illingworth



10 July 2017

A Nuptial Prayer

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Most merciful God, 
our Maker and our Judge,
thou hast consecrated 
the holy covenant of Marriage,
that wonderful and sacred Mystery,
that in it is manifested 
the spiritual marriage and unity
betwixt Christ and his Church:
Look in thine abundant charity
upon thy servant and handmaiden
that N may love his wife
as Christ loves his Bride the Church
and that N may love her husband
as the Church is called to love her Lord.
Bless them both
that they may inherit thine endless kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.


01 July 2017

R. Somerset Ward: THE BLESSED SACRAMENT (Anglican Patrimony)

"Holy Communion"
To Jerusalem
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R. Somerset Ward and Bede Griffiths, Guildford Cathedral, England

Of the Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ we may well say with the Patriarch Jacob, “This is none other than the Gate of heaven,” for assuredly at the consecration a door is opened into Heaven and through it comes the Lord of Love bearing His Life to men.  

Nevertheless this sight is not for all eyes to see, and it is with Christians at the Eucharist as it was with the blind man healed by our Lord ; at first they see nothing but hear a voice ; then they see but dimly “men as trees walking” ‘ and lastly they see the Glory that is there.  Let us, therefore, set down in poor words that which happens in the Blessed Sacrament, and then the way to know it.

It is hard for us who live in this world, manifest to our senses, to know that it is a prison ; that we are bound by earthly bodies in a circular prison while all round the outside of our prison is freedom and the other and true world : the world of eternal life.   Nevertheless so it is, nor are there any ways by which we may escape from prison into the true life save three : prayer, the Blessed Sacrament, and death.  in all these ways a soul may leave the body and pass through a door opened in the shell of the prison into the world of eternal life.  In the first two ways the soul must return from its excursion, but in the third it remains.  We may not compare these ways, for in order to make comparison we need to know the whole extent of each and no human being may do this.  Nevertheless we may say that each in its order is more universal than the one before it.

So in the Blessed Sacrament there is opened, before each Christian, a door.  Through this door our Lord Himself enters this world. I beseech you to consider this a moment.  We know that our Lord is in all things our perfect example.  Here daily He sets before us an example of perfect humility.  In all the glory of His Ascended Majesty, the Judge of all the world comes to us, not as in Bethlehem for all the race, but for a few poor dazed and blind souls gathered together to meet Him.  While they wait there, battling with distracting thoughts, cold and with little love, He lowers Himself in exquisite pity to come to their prison for love of them.  Truly He does, Himself, that which He requires of us in the Day of Judgement, for we are sick and He visits us, we are in prison and He comes unto us. 

Nor is this all, for He Himself brings with Him the food of life.  All life is in Him, and from this overflowing store He feeds the sick prisoners, giving them life and strength for their bodies in His Body and for their souls in His blood.  It is this Eternal Life, from the world of eternal life, which keeps alive the soul of the world ; which glows and vibrates in each soul, lighting something in other souls, and feeding the spiritual life of the world.  Daily is the prison of the world of our senses broken into by the victorious Lord, daily are the souls therein filled with the life which will enable them to break out of it into their true home, the world of eternal life.

It would, however, be a narrow view of this great means of grace which limited its purpose to this world of ours.  For the life which proceeds from the other world is like a wave which, passing through the door, floods those who receive it, and then like a wave recedes, drawing them with it through the gate.

Many are they who know these things to be true yet long to experience them.. It were well that they should remember in the first place that in general the approach to any spiritual experience is by a long and slow growth ; that, above all, long training and practice are needed.  This seems to be especially true of the Blessed Sacrament : for it is usually only by slowly learning devotion and concentration, by a long desire, and by the constant frequenting of this Holy Communion that the soul comes to the experience.  First comes the conviction, the certainty, that there is a Presence in the Blessed Sacrament.  Then perchance the soul is aware on certain occasions of a direct message at the time of Communion and this may happen frequently.  Then very dimly the Presence becomes more real, bringing a new sense of awe.  While, finally, for those happy few whom God brings to this state, comes the frequent entry into the world of eternal life, the overpowering sense of the entering Lord, and the moment of blissful Communion.

There is no royal way for those who seek the full revelation of this Sacrament.  It is only by patient discipline and long practice that clear sight comes.  I held as more important than they are, but I append a few maxims which may assist the soul.

I.  It is Desire which is they key to the door of experience.
2. True desire manifests itself in patience and perseverance.
3. Perseverance is chiefly shown in maintaining constant standard in preparation for Holy Communion, and thanksgiving after it.
4.  Distracting thoughts are not sins unless they are consciously persisted in.
5. It is as well to have certain places in the service at which the attention is always specially concentrated (e.g., Prayer for Church militant.  Sanctus.  Prayer of oblation) ; this serves as a safeguard against vagueness.
6.  The true experience may be known by the joy and vitality it brings.
7. There is no way to prolong experience beyond the time our Lord wills, but we can remove all hindrances to its prolongation on our part by complete and constant surrender.

It is painful to write words on this subject knowing their poverty and how little they touch even the fringe of that which is in this Sacrament. Nevertheless I pray that all who read them may be aware of the open door, and of the Lord Who enters, of the life He brings, and, if it be His will, of the world from which He comes.

+Panis Angelicus

Wales: Post-Communion 1984 (Anglican Patrimony)

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The Book 
of Common Prayer
for use in
The Church in Wales
1984


TREFN GWASANAETH
Y CYMUN BENDIGAID
A ELWIR HEFYD YR OFFEREN



Diolchwch i'r Arglwydd, oblegid graslon yw ef;
Oherwydd ei drugaredd sy'n dragywydd.


O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious;
For his mercy endureth for ever.

Almighty and everlasting God, we thank thee for the spiritual food of the Body and Blood of thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, which thou hast given us in these holy mysteries, assuring us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us who are members of the mystical body of thy Son, and heirs through hope of thy eternal kingdom:


Wherefore, we offer and present unto thee, O Lord,
ourselves, our souls and bodies,
to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee,
beseeching thee
to keep us, by thy grace, in this holy fellowship
and to enable us to to do all those good works
which thou hast prepared for us to walk in;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom with thee and the Holy Spirit
be all honour and glory,
world without end. Amen.





I have quoted above the Post-Communion in English but placed the Post-Communion versicle and response in Welsh at the first as a way to indicate that this liturgy is as important in its Welsh form as it is instructive in its English translation. (The secondary note is that Ordinariate liturgies only in the English language are only half measures without a proper Anglican missionary purpose.)

Unlike the liturgies of the Church of England which at times have gone to some lengths so as to avoid the use of material from the Scottish Episcopal Church and the American Episcopal Church, the Church in Wales freely crafts its clearly Anglican rite by the incorporation and weaving of material from several sources in the Anglican Communion in order to produce a beautiful Liturgy that is Anglican not in the parochial Church of England sense but rather Anglican in the world sense of the Communion of Churches by that name. 

It is also rooted in its Celtic identity, and provides a clue to the Anglican diaspora in the Catholic Church how some beautiful Eucharistic language can be reclaimed and given new life in the Post-Communion. The lesson is one that can be taken from The Book of Common Prayer, 1662 but is given some refinement here. 

Also, of interest is the avoidance of rubrics preferring instead alternating typefaces to indicate the Celebrant on the one hand and the Faithful on the other.

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Dr Margaret Barker: Original Settings, Original Ideas

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"All religious belief is expressed, transmitted and received in code.  even the simplest statements, when they are examined carefully by an outsider, have very little meaning.  This is because every religious community has its own way of speaking about faith, and the most effective way to do this is in pictures.  People brought up in a Christian community recognise immediately what is meant by the Lamb of God, or by bread and wine; to someone from another culture, however, these are not vivd images but a solid wall which separates those inside, those 'in the know', from everyone else. 'Other cultures' are no longer those who can be identified as other faith communities.  The 'other cultures' now are the vast mass of people who have lost all touch with Christian tradition.

"It used to be thought that putting the code into modern English would overcome the problem, and make everything clear to people who had no roots in a Christian community.  This attempt has proved misguided, since so much of the code simply will not translate into modern English.  It was not the words themselves which were the problem, but rather the pictures, the signs and symbols which the words were describing.  The 'blood of the Lamb' is a phrase familiar to all Christians; it is perfectly good modern English, but, unexplained, is meaningless.

"There has also been an attempt to put the Bible, more particularly the New Testament, into a code-free form.  Remove the symbols and the pictures, it was thought, break the pure truth free from the story in which it was unfortunately embedded, and then all would be clear.  The result proved to be exactly the opposite; a fog of contemporary philosophical jargon was offered in place of the vivid symbols and stories of the Bible, and the problem remained.

"The task, then, has had to alter. The need now is not just for modern English, or modern thought forms, but for an explanation of the images and pictures in which the ideas of the Bible are expressed.  These are specific to one culture, that of Israel and Judaism, and until they are fully understood in their original setting, little of what is done with the writings and ideas that came from that particular setting can be understood.  Once we lose touch with the meaning of biblical imagery, we lose any way into the real meaning of the Bible.  This has already begun to happen, and a diluted 'instant' Christianity has been offered as junk food for the mass market.  The resultant malnutrition, even in churches, is all too obvious."


Margaret Barker

"On Earth as it is in Heaven"
[2009: Sheffield Phoenix Press]
pp. 1-2.

30 June 2017

Heart of Jesus, Think of Me. [Anglican Patrimony]




Heart of Jesus, think of me.
Eyes of Jesus, look on me.
Face of Jesus, comfort me.
Hands of Jesus, bless me.
Feet of Jesus, guide me.
Arms of Jesus, hold me.
Body of Jesus, feed me.
Blood of Jesus, wash me.
Jesus, make me thus thine own,
Here and in the world to come. Amen.

from St. Augustine's Prayer Book Order of the Holy Cross
Episcopal Church USA

An Armenian Apostolic Prayer for the Sick at the Sixth Hour




Dispel the pain 
and heal the sickness of thy people, 
Lord our God,
and grant to all perfect health 
by the sign of thine all-conquering cross 
through which thou removed the weakness of mankind
and condemned the enemy of our life and salvation.

Thou art our life and salvation,
beneficent and all merciful God,
who alone can forgive us our sins
and remove diseases and sickness from us,
to whom are known our needs and necessities.

Bestower of gifts, 
grant thy bounteous mercy to thy creatures 
according to their individual needs, 
through whom thy Holy Trinity is always glorified and praised, 
now and always and forever and ever.
Amen.

24 June 2017

Keble: SAINT JOHN BAPTIST in "The Christian Year". (Anglican Patrimony)

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In The Christian Year
John Keble offers this for 
St. John Baptist:


Behold, 
I will send you Elijah the prophet 
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: 
and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, 
and the heart of the children to their fathers. 
Malachi iv. 5, 6.


Twice in her season of decay
The fallen Church hath felt Elijah’s eye
Dart from the wild its piercing ray:
Not keener burns, in the chill morning sky,
The herald star,
Whose torch afar
Shadows and boding night-birds fly.

Methinks we need him once again,
That favoured seer—but where shall he be found?
By Cherith’s side we seek in vain,
In vain on Carmel’s green and lonely mound:
Angels no more
From Sinai soar,
On his celestial errands bound.

But wafted to her glorious place
By harmless fire, among the ethereal thrones,
His spirit with a dear embrace
Thee the loved harbinger of Jesus owns,
Well-pleased to view
Her likeness true,
And trace, in thine, her own deep tones.

Deathless himself, he joys with thee
To commune how a faithful martyr dies,
And in the blest could envy be,
He would behold thy wounds with envious eyes,
Star of our morn,
Who yet unborn
Didst guide our hope, where Christ should rise.

Now resting from your jealous care
For sinners, such as Eden cannot know,
Ye pour for us your mingled prayer,
No anxious fear to damp Affection’s glow,
Love draws a cloud
From you to shroud
Rebellion’s mystery here below.

And since we see, and not afar,
The twilight of the great and dreadful day,
Why linger, till Elijah’s car
Stoop from the clouds? Why sheep ye? Rise and pray,
Ye heralds sealed
In camp or field
Your Saviour’s banner to display.

Where is the lore the Baptist taught,
The soul unswerving and the fearless tongue?
The much-enduring wisdom, sought
By lonely prayer the haunted rocks among?
Who counts it gain
His light should wane,
So the whole world to Jesus throng?

Thou Spirit, who the Church didst lend
Her eagle wings, to shelter in the wild,
We pray Thee, ere the Judge descend,
With flames like these, all bright and undefiled,
Her watch-fires light,
To guide aright
Our weary souls by earth beguiled.

So glorious let thy Pastors shine,
That by their speaking lives the world may learn
First filial duty, then divine,
That sons to parents, all to Thee may turn;
And ready prove
In fires of love,
At sight of Thee, for aye to burn.

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21 June 2017

Hurricane Season: Litany of Our Lady of Prompt Succour

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We pray the following Litany especially during hurricane season.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour, New Orleans, Louisiana


In the Name + of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The Litany
of
Our Lady of Prompt Succour

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy upon us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy upon us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy upon us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Mother of the Infant Jesus, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succour, pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 of all who invoke you with confidence, 
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
of all who are devout toward the Infant Jesus, 
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
for obtaining a lively faith,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 for sustaining the hope of Christians,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
for obtaining and persevering in charity,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
for observing the law of God, 
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
for observing perseverance in virtue and good works, 
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 in every spiritual necessity,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 against the revolt of self-will,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 in the occasion of sin, 
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 in every temptation,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 against the evil spirit,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 for obtaining contrition,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 of those wishing to re-enter the path of salvation,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
for the conversion of sinners,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
in every temporal necessity,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
in every affliction,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
of afflicted families,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
of the sick and the poor,  
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
against contagious diseases and epidemics,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour in every accident,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 against destruction by fire,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 against lightning and tempest,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 against destruction by flood, 
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour of travelers,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour of navigators,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour of the shipwrecked,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 against the enemies of our country,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour in time of war,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour of those aspiring 
to the holy priesthood and the religious life, 
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
of laborers in the Lord's vineyard,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
of missionaries who spread the faith,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
of our Holy Father the Pope,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour
for those searching for the faith,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour against the enemies of the Church,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour at the hour of death,
pray for us.

Our Lady of Prompt Succour 
 for the deliverance of the souls in purgatory,
pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.

V: Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us.
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

O Almighty and Eternal God, Who sees us surrounded by so many dangers and miseries, grant in Your infinite goodness that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Your Divine Son, may defend us from the evil spirit and protect us against all adversities, that always and with prompt succor she may deliver us from every evil of soul and body, and safely guide us to the kingdom of heaven, through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Contemplation:
If our eyes are always on heaven and God, at the end of life we will find ourselves in His Presence.

(Recitation of the Rosary)

Imprimatur:

Joseph F. Rummel
Archbishop of New Orleans.
New Orleans.
February 11, 1936.


+Kyrie eleison!

19 June 2017

A Prayer to God the Father from the First Letter of Clement

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We ask you, Master, 
be our helper and defender.
Rescue those of our number in distress;
raise up the fallen;
assist the needy;
heal the sick; 
turn back those of your people who stray; 
feed the hungry; 
release our captives; 
revive the weak; 
encourage those who lose heart. 
Let all the nations realise 
that you are the only God, 
that Jesus Christ is your Child, 
and that we are your people 
and the sheep of your pasture. 


from The First Letter of St. Clement
(circa A.D. 96) 


14 June 2017

Prayers for Peace [Church of Scotland]

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Once again I have been moved to post these prayers which come from the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian).  

Before we find ourselves suddenly engulfed in warfare or violence on every side, let us pray for God's Peace and the Divine Will to prevail over the hearts and wills of all those who would sew division, create chaos, and inflict violence and pain on everyone.



A Prayer in time of war.
from The Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland

God of infinite mercy, we trust in your good purposes of peace for all your children. We pray for those who at this time face danger in the defence of justice. Watch over those in peril; support those who are anxious for loved ones; gather into your eternal purpose those who will die. Remove from the hearts of all people the passions that keep alive the spirit of war, and in your goodness restore peace among us; for the sake of the Prince of peace, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


A Prayer that the Will of God may prevail.
from The Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland


Lord God, Sovereign over all, bring in the day of the splendour of your kingdom and draw the whole world into willing obedience to your reign. Cast out the evil things that cause war, and send your Spirit to rule the hearts of people in righteousness and love. Repair the desolations of many generations, that the wilderness may rejoice, and the city be made glad with your law. Confirm every work that is founded on truth, and fulfil the desires and hopes of your people, through the victory of Christ our Lord. Amen.


A Prayer for Guidance and Protection.
from The Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland

God of light and love, in your tender compassion you sent your Son to shine on those who sit in darkness and to guide our feet into the way of peace. Grant us, in our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us do. By your Spirit of wisdom, save us from false choices. And since it is by your light that we are enlightened, lead us and protect us, and give us a straight path to follow, that we may neither stumble nor fall; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


By thy love and pity, save us, O Lord Christ.

A Child's Prayer for Peace [Anglican Patrimony]

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  From an old Anglican Children's Prayer Book




A  PRAYER  FOR  PEACE

O GOD,
send Thy Spirit into men's hearts 
that they may hate war 
and love peace.
Teach the children of every land 
that it is better to love one another 
than to fight,
so that war may cease
and Thy Kingdom of love and brotherhood
may be set up through all the world,
for the sake of JESUS CHRIST, 
Our Lord. 
Amen.

11 June 2017

Most Holy Trinity Sunday

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Benedictus sit Deus
K. 117
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

This was composed when Mozart was 12 years old.

10 June 2017

Suscipe Sancta Trinitas

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Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic Church, Buffalo, New York
Photo credit: Gary Kelley

There are a number of lost prayers I cannot help but wish were brought back into the authorised forms for the celebration of the Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass. The following may be the most important one:


Accept, holy Trinity, this offering which we make to you in remembrance of the passion, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in honour of blessed Mary ever Virgin, of blessed John the Baptist, of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, of those whose relics rest here, and of all the Saints. To them may it bring honour, and to us salvation; and may they, whose memory we keep on earth, be pleased to intercede for us in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


Suscipe, sancta Trinitas, hanc oblationem, quam tibi offerimus ob memoriam passionis, resurrectionis, et ascensionis Jesu Christi Domini nostri: et in honorem beatae Mariae semper Virginis et beati Joannis Baptistae, et sanctorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, et istorum, et omnium Sanctorum: ut illis proficiat ad honorem, nobis autem ad salutem: et illi pro nobis intercedere dignentur in caelis, quorum memoriam agimus in terris. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.