17 March 2017

Evelyn Underhil: Preparatory Prayers for Mass


The following are the prayers selected by Evelyn Underhill for the Preparation of the Liturgy in her volume Eucharistic Prayers:



     VOUCHSAFE unto us, O Lord God, that we may stand before thee in purity and holiness; and with knowledge and fear, in the beauty of spiritual order, may serve thee, the Lord and Creator of all, to whom worship is due from all, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, world without end, Amen. Liturgy of the Syrian Jacobites.
Evelyn Underhill

     HEAVENLY King, Paraclete, Spirit of truth, present in all places and filling all things, Treasury of good and Master of life; come and dwell within us, cleanse us from all stain, and save our souls.Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

     LET us pray with faith to our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, that at this hour of sacrifice and prayer we may be found acceptable to him. May he listen to the voice of our hearts and receive their requests, forgive us our sins, and ever have mercy upon us. May our needs and petitions be ever in the sight of his sovereign Majesty, and may he strengthen us in the unity of the faith and in the justification of good works; that he may bestow on us the grace of his mercy, pity us and save us.Armenian Liturgy.


     O MIGHTY God, most great and omnipotent Father of Goodness and Power, not without dure reverence, yet unadorned by any dignity of office, I come before the might of thine immeasurable greatness, and before thine unspeakable sight, O wondrous Majesty—a suppliant nothing worth. I stand here, conscious of guilt and bearing witness to it. What shall I ask, I that deserve nothing? What shall I seek? For must it not be said of me, that he who should mediate for sins, must rather himself be charged with sin?
     Therefore I come to thee, not to excuse but to accuse myself; confessing my wrong-doing unto thee before witnesses, my Lord God. I confess, yea, I make open confession of mine iniquity; that thou mayst forgive me the wickedness of my sin. I confess things which, if thou forgive not, thou dost rightly punish. I stand before thee confessing my sin, yet well I know that I make not amends, save with words: for with words I seek to appease thee, whilst with deeds I offend. My fault I know, my amends I delay. Help, help me, therefore, O ineffable Goodness. Forgive, forgive me, O wondrous Trinity. Spare, spare, spare I beseech thee, O God that hearest prayer. Hearken, hearken, hearken unto me when I cry aloud unto thee in the words of thine own Son, “Father, eternal God, I have sinned before heaven and before thee; I am no more worthy to be called thy son. Make me as one of thine hired servants.”
     And now, merciful Father, I seek by Christ's help the only haven of thy mercy; that thou mayst see fit to take and accept through him what in me is nothing worth. Who with thee evermore liveth and reigneth. Amen.Gothic Missal.

     HOLY, Most High, Terrible, thou that art present in holy things; Lord, do thou thyself make us holy, and bring us to thy precious altar with a good conscience. Cleanse our hearts from all defilement, and count us worthy of the awful priesthood. Drive away from us all evil feeling, and hallow our mind and soul, that we may perform the worship of the holy fathers in thy fear; seeking the favour of thy countenance through all things, for thou art he that blessest and hallowest all things.Liturgy of St. Mark.