Here Are Some Prayers You Might Consider After Returning to Your Pew After Receiving Holy Communion
There is a brief moment in your day or week when you are most intimately connected to Jesus Christ. It’s right after you receive Our Lord in the most Holy Eucharist. It’s a very special moment that shouldn’t be taken for granted or squandered. If COVID lockdowns taught us anything, it’s that we should never take the mass, or the Eucharist for granted.
“This Bread of Angels, containing in itself all delights, satisfies by an admirable virtue the taste of all those who receive it worthily and with devotion.”
It’s highly appropriate to say nothing at all, once you return to your pew; kneeling in contemplation and gratitude expressed from the heart, without words. It opens your heart and mind to the promptings of God. A moment of silence, in fact, should be a part of your post-communion practice. But it’s also appropriate to say something—to pray—after returning to your pew after reception of the Eucharist.
Here are some ideas for prayers you might consider. Modify or incorporate them into your current practices as you see fit.
The Anima Cristi
When I asked my followers on Twitter and Substack Notes to chime in with their favorite post-communion prayers, I was very surprised that the Anima Cristi was so prominent on the list. This prayer has everything! It asks the Lord to make you holier, to forgive and heal you of your sins, to draw you closer to himself, and to rescue you at the final moment of life. Because the prayer invokes the body, blood, soul of Christ, which you have just consumed in Holy Communion, it’s particularly fitting for reciting after Communion.
“This prayer touches us on a profound level. The words are most sacred and, with the Spirit’s help, they can lead us into an immediate union with Christ. The Anima Christi (Soul of Christ) has been attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), but historians say that it predates Ignatius by as much as a century-and-a-half. Also, a long tradition tells us that it was a favorite of his. In many cases, in fact, it served as the opening prayer of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. This sacred prayer is sublime and seems to transcend all time, all centuries.”
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds conceal me.
Do not permit me to be parted from you.
From the evil foe protect me.
At the hour of my death call me.
And bid me come to you,
to praise you with all your saints
for ever and ever.
Canticle of Mary (the Magnificat)
These are the very words of Our Blessed Mother, spoken during her visit to her cousin Elizabeth. Since the Eucharist is the Body of Christ, and Jesus received his body from His Mother, it’s fitting (but not necessary or required) to include her in your moment of reflection and thanksgiving. You may want to modify which segments, or how much of the Magnificat you say, as the entire prayer isn’t necessarily applicable. You might also simply this to one line, which is something I do often.
“The Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is His name!”
Almighty God has done great things for us, by making it possible to receive his son in the Holy Eucharist
Here’s The Magnificat
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Prayer of Humility
Another option is the prayer of Humility. As the name may imply, it’s a humble little prayer. But it is in no way lacking in depth!
O Jesus, my God!
Thou art infinite in all perfections;
and I am but dust,
and unto dust shall I return.
Depart from me, O Lord,
for I am a sinful man.
Yet, O my sweet Jesus,
if Thou leavest me,
to whom shall I go?
What will become of me?
Rather will I say,
“Stay with me, Lord;
abide always within my heart;
and may my heart make ever sacrifice for Thee.”.
BONUS: Prayer by St. Bonaventure
I’d never heard of this prayer before, but it was shared by two of my followers on Twitter and Substack Notes I thought I’d include it here as a bonus. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who had never seen or heard this prayer before.
Pierce, O most sweet Lord Jesus, my inmost soul with the
most joyous and healthful wound of Thy love, and with true,
calm and most holy apostolic charity, that my soul may ever
languish and melt with entire love and longing for Thee,
may yearn for Thee and for thy courts, may long to be
dissolved and to be with Thee.
Grant that my soul may hunger after Thee,
the Bread of Angels, the refreshment of
holy souls, our daily and supersubstantial bread, having
all sweetness and savor and every delightful taste.
May my heart ever hunger after and feed upon Thee,
Whom the angels desire to look upon,
and may my inmost soul be filled with
the sweetness of Thy savor;
may it ever thirst for Thee,
the fountain of life, the fountain of wisdom and knowledge,
the fountain of eternal light, the torrent of pleasure, the
fulness of the house of God;
may it ever compass Thee, seek
Thee, find Thee, run to Thee, come up to Thee, meditate on
Thee, speak of Thee, and do all for the praise and glory of
Thy name, with humility and discretion, with love and
delight, with ease and affection, with perseverance to the
and be Thou alone ever my hope, my entire confidence,
my riches, my delight, my pleasure, my joy, my rest and
tranquility, my peace, my sweetness, my food, my
refreshment, my refuge, my help, my wisdom, my portion, my
possession, my treasure; in Whom may my mind and my heart
be ever fixed and firm and rooted immovably.
Finally, just say thank you! Say thank you from your heart in some simple, honest way. Tell the Lord a simple little thing during that moment after receiving him, and then remain in silence and stillness listening to him, and just “being with him” in that moment.
Ave Maria, Virgo Fidelis!