PRIVATE PREPARATORY LITURGY

To be used with the morning devotions on
Communion day, or at any suitable time
during private preparation for the Lord’s
Supper.

Begin by devoutly reading some portion of
Scripture. The following passages are
particularly suitable: Is. iii.; St. Matth.
xxvi.; St. Mark xv.; St. Luke xxiii; St.
John xviii. xix.; 1 Cor. xi. 23-34; Ps. li.

The blessed communion in the Sacrament
of the Body and Blood of our Lord and Sa-
viour, Jesus Christ, is the most solemn act
of worship in which we can engage in the
Church on earth. Hence the Holy Scrip-
tures, in divers ways, warn those who turn
not to God with sincere hearts, lest they in-
crease their guilt and condemnation by an
unworthy approach to the Table of the Lord.
It becomes you, therefore, earnestly, de-
voutly, humbly, and reverently to seek that
preparation to which the Holy Ghost in the
Sacred Scriptures move you, saying:

Whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of
the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and
blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and
so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he
that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh
damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. I
will wash my hands in innocency; and so will I compass
thine altar, O Lord.

Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of
devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and
the table of devils. Know ye not that the unrighteous
shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

When the King came in to see the guests, he saw there
a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he
saith unto him. Friend, how camest thou in hither, not
having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
Then said the King to the servants. Bind him hand and
foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer dark-
ness!

As they sat, and did eat, Jesus said. Verily I say unto
you, One of you which eateth with me, shall betray me.
And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one
by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? And he said,
It is one of the twelve that dippeth with me in the dish.
The Son of Man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but
wo to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!
Good were it for that man if he had never been born!

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? and who
shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands,
and a pure heart. He that walketh uprightly, and work-
eth righteousness; he shall receive the blessing from the
Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Unworthy, therefore, to come to the Table
of the Lord are all whom the Scriptures de-
clare unworthy:

All enemies and despisers of Jesus Christ
our Lord:

All who wilfully and deliberately commit
sin, continue in sin, and take pleasure in
those that follow after evil:

All who openly or secretly lead an immoral
and vicious life:

All who for temporal gain, earthly honor,
or pleasure defile their consciences:

All who practise dishonesty or fraud with
their fellow-men:

All who, for earthly advantage, follow an
unlawful and wicked calling:

All who are enemies to peace, and wick-
edly instigate disturbance, mischief, and
disorder in society:

All who are wilfully unfaithful in keeping
their words, promises, and vows:

All who knowingly withstand the truth,
or seek to pervert and darken it:

All who take delight in the misfortune of
others, who bear, and cherish, in their hearts,
hatred, enmity, and grudging, and all who
will not be reconciled; and all unforgiving
and revengeful persons:

All who are under the power of impure
passions and lusts, and who suffer them to
reign in their hearts:

All who follow not after holiness, and
peace with God, through our Lord Jesus
Christ.

All such are by the word and spirit of
the gospel excluded from the Table of the
Lord, until they have sincerely repented of
these sins, and shown amendment of life;
and, excluded from the Holy Sacrament,
they are also, by God, himself, excluded from
the Kingdom of Christ, and stand exposed to
the divine wrath and eternal condemnation,
so long as they turn not to God and amend
their lives. Therefore also now, saith the
Lord, Turn ye even to me with all your
heart, and with fasting and with weeping,
and with mourning: and rend your hearts,
and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is
gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of
great kindness, he will return and pity His
people that have sinned.

The Lord’s Supper is instituted for those
who are truly sorrowful for all their sins,
and yet trust that these are forgiven them
for the sake of Christ: and that their re-
maining infirmities are covered by his pas-
sion and death: and who also earnestly de-
sire to have their faith more and more
strengthened, and their lives more holy.

Welcome and invited, therefore, to the
table of the Lord, are all whom Jesus invites
to Himself:

All who are poor in spirit;
All who mourn under a sense of sin;
All who are meek and lowly in heart;
All who hunger and thirst after righteous-
ness;
All who are pure in heart;
All who are peace-makers;
All who are reviled, falsely accused, and
persecuted for righteousness’ sake;
All who are of an humble and contrite
heart;
All who labor and are heavy-laden, and
seek rest and peace.

Invited are:

All who truly believe in the Lord Jesus
Christ, even though their faith be small as a
grain of mustard seed, weak as the bruised
reed, and feeble like the smoking flax.

Invited are:

All who earnestly strive to walk in the
Spirit, and so crucify the flesh with its affec-
tions and lusts;

All who desire to cultivate the graces and
fruits of the Spirit;

All who prayerfully endeavor to follow
after charity, peace, holiness, and eternal
life, in the kingdom of Jesus Christ our
Lord.

To all such the Spirit and the Bride say,
Come. All such Jesus Himself invites; and
the Spirit and the Bride say. Come. He
will not break the bruised reed, nor quench
the smoking flax. Though conscience con-
demn, and guilty fears arise. His promise is
sure: Him that cometh to me, I will in no
wise cast out. Everlasting praises be unto
Him who receiveth sinners, and eateth with
them; unto Him be all honor and glory for
ever and ever. Amen.

Blessed are they who are called to the
marriage supper of the Lamb! Blessed are
they who can receive out of this fulness
grace and life! Assurance of pardoned sin,
increased love to God and man, greater
power for doing and suffering, a more inti-
mate union and communion with Christ, and
a joyful foretaste of life eternal, are the
blessings which those receive who eat and
drink worthily. Heavenly food for a hea-
venly life!

The Holy Scriptures assure us that to
attain unto a true comfort in life and in
death, it is needful for us first of all to know
and to feel how great our sins and miseries
are. He that covereth his sins shall not
prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh
them shall have mercy. If we say that we
have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the
truth is not in us. If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Do you feel and acknowledge that sin is
the greatest evil? Do you confess your
own sins and infirmities with shame and
sorrow of heart? Do you deeply realize
that you are not able, by your own power,
to deliver yourself from your sins and
miseries?

All this I acknowledge and confess. Lord
Jesus, have mercy upon me. Amen.

We are also assured that whosoever con-
fesseth Jesus Christ, and from the heart be-
lieveth in Him, shall be saved:

Do you confess Jesus Christ as the only
Redeemer from sin and death; and do you
seek by a confiding faith, or by a hopeful
trust, or, at least, by an ardent longing of
desire, to find in Him alone the forgiveness
of your sins, the redemption of your soul,
and life everlasting?

So I confess, and so I hope and desire.
Lord, in Thee have I trusted, let me never
be confounded. Amen.

As an evidence of our interest in the par-
doning love of Christ, it becomes us to show
our gratitude to God by a life of holy obe-
dience to His will:

Are you fully persuaded that true faith
must be active in love and good works; and
is it your solemn purpose earnestly to seek
the influences of the Holy Ghost, that He
may work in you the fruits and graces of
the Spirit, so that you may show your grati-
tude to God your Redeemer by a holy life,
especially by humility and meekness; by
cultivating and exercising a forgiving spirit;
by cleansing your heart from hatred and
revenge; by benevolence and watchfulness;
by perseverance in prayer, and a holy zeal
in all that is good? And is it your ardent
desire thus to become more and more like
your Saviour in spirit and in life?

So am I persuaded, and so, by the help of
God, I promise to do. Lord Jesus, assist me
by Thy Holy Spirit. Amen.

Be assured that the Lord has heard your
confession, and that He will accept it, with
the solemn renewal of your vows; and,
having a great High-priest which can be
touched with a feeling of our infirmities,
and who was in all points tempted as we
are, yet without sin, come now boldly to the
throne of grace, that you may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need.

print
Spread God's love