26 February 2014

A Prayer of Lancelot Andrewes

There are a number of former Anglicans who count Lancelot Andrewes as their spiritual father on their journey into the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Oriental Orthodox Churches.  For many others his theological frame of thought continues to undergird their lives as Anglicans within and without the Anglican Communion.  

This prayer of Confession by the Anglican divine Lancelot Andrewes is very helpful and is especially well suited to Pre-Lent as well as Lent:

Essence beyond essence, Nature increate,
Framer of the world,
I set Thee, Lord, before my face,
and I lift up my soul unto Thee.
I worship Thee on my knees,
and humble myself under Thy mighty hand.
I stretch forth my hands unto Thee,
my soul gaspeth unto Thee as a thirsty land.
I smite on my breast and say with the Publican,
God be merciful to me a sinner, the chief of sinners;
to the sinner above the Publican,
be merciful as to the Publican.

Father of mercies,
I beseech Thy fatherly affection,
despise me not an unclean worm,
a dead dog, a putrid corpse,
despise not Thou the work of Thine own hands,
despise not Thine own image
though branded by sin.

Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean,
Lord, only say the word, and I shall be cleansed.
And Thou, my Saviour Christ,
Christ my Saviour,
Saviour of sinners, of whom I am chief,
despise me not, despise me not, 0 Lord,
despise not the cost of Thy blood,
who am called by Thy Name;
but look on me with those eyes
with which Thou didst look upon
Magdalene at the feast,
Peter in the hall,
the thief on the wood ;
that with the thief I may entreat Thee humbly.

Remember me, Lord, in Thy kingdom;
that with Peter I may bitterly weep and say,
0 that mine eyes were a fountain of tears
that I might weep day and night;
that with Magdalene I may hear Thee say,
Thy sins be forgiven thee,
and with her may love much, for many sins yea manifold
have been forgiven me.
And Thou, All-holy, Good, and Life-giving Spirit,
despise me not, Thy breath,
despise not Thine own holy things;
but turn Thee again, 0 Lord, at the last,
and be gracious unto Thy servant.

Lancelot Andrewes
pray for us.