Sunday, August 10, 2008

Humble Access

Determined as I have been to find a home in a liturgical church, we've got something less traditional on our shortlist. At communion this morning, I missed the Prayer of Humble Access.

Of course, even if we stayed in the Episcopal Church, we likely wouldn't say the prayer. Most ministers choose to use the Rite II service, which omits it. Why? Maybe they figure it's bad for one's self-esteem. Yet I can't imagine any news more wonderful than that which is proclaimed in these words. This message is the very reason I go to church:

We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.