It can be difficult to get into the appropriate frame of mind before Mass.
Distractions transport our minds and souls to a million other locations, and before we know it, the priest is preparing to administer Holy Communion, and we've scarcely noticed we're in a church.
What can we do to prepare our souls for Mass so that we can worship more deeply?
A quick prayer of preparation is a simple yet powerful age-old habit. It could be said upon entering the church or while traveling. It's amazing how much a little prayer, uttered from the heart, can calm us down and direct our attention to the marvel unfolding before our eyes.
Prayers before Mass
Below are a few short prayers to help with distractions before Mass.
The Prayer of Saint Ambrose Before Mass
“I draw near to the table of your most delectable banquet, dear Lord Jesus Christ. A sinner, I trust not in my own merit; but, in fear and trembling, I rely on your mercy and goodness. I have a heart and body marked by my grave offenses, and a mind and a tongue I have not guarded well. For this reason, God of loving kindness and awesome majesty, I, a sinner caught by many snares, seek safe refuge in you. For you are the fountain of mercy.
I would fear to draw near to you as my judge, but I seek you out as my Savior. Lord, I show you my wounds, and I let you see my shame. Knowing my sins are many and great, I have reason to fear. But I trust in your mercies, for they are beyond all numbering.
Look upon me with mercy, for I trust in you, my Lord Jesus Christ, eternal king, God and man, you who were crucified for mankind. Have mercy upon me, you who never cease to make the fountain of your mercy flow, for I am full of sorrows and sins.
I praise you, the saving Victim offered on the wood of the cross for me and for all mankind. I praise the noble Blood that flows from the wounds of my Lord Jesus Christ, the precious Blood that washes away the sins of all the world.
Remember, Lord, your creature, whom you have redeemed with your own Blood. I am sorry that I have sinned, and I long to put right what I have done. Most kind Father, take away all my offenses and sins, so that, purified in body and soul, I may be made worthy to taste the Holy of holies.
And grant that this holy meal of your Body and Blood, which I intend to take, although I am unworthy, may bring forgiveness of my sins and wash away my guilt. May it mean the end of my evil thoughts and the rebirth of my better longings. May it lead me securely to live in ways that please you, and may it be a strong protection for body and soul, against the plots of my enemies. Amen.
Prayer of Saint Thomas Aquinas Before Mass
Almighty and ever-living God, I draw near to the sacrament of your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
I come sick to the physician of life, unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the light of eternal brightness, poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth.
So I ask you, most generous Lord: graciously heal my infirmity, wash me clean, illumine my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness.
May I receive the Bread of angels, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, with such reverence and humility, such contrition and devotion, such purity and faith, and such resolve and determination as may secure my soul's salvation. Grant as I may receive not only the visible sign of the Lord's Body and Blood, but also all the reality and the power of the sacrament.
Grant most kind God, that I may receive the Body of your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which he received from the Virgin Mary, and may receive it in such a way that I become a loving part of his Mystical Body and counted among his members.
O most loving Father, grant me your beloved Son.
While on this earthly pilgrimage, I receive him under the veil of this sacrament; so may I come at last to see him face to face for all eternity. For he lives and reigns with you for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer of St. John Chrysostom Before Mass
I believe, O Lord, and I confess that thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who didst come into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
And I believe that this is truly thine own immaculate Body, and that this is truly thine own precious Blood.
Wherefore I pray thee, have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance; and make me worthy to partake without condemnation of thine immaculate Mysteries, unto remission of my sins and unto life everlasting. Amen.
Want to better sanctify your mass experience? Consider taking a journal to Mass. Checkout the Everyday Prayer Co Mass Journal.
Other great prayer resources
How to pray the Rosary - A free booklet guide.
Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus - Prayer Guide
The Anima Christi Prayer Card - PDF Download
The Rosary Card - Built For Convenience
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