Divine Worship the Missal: The Prayer of Humble Access

In the Ordinariate mass, Divine Worship: The Missal, the third form of the Roman Rite Mass authorized for use by Roman Catholics in the Personal Ordinariates established under Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Cœtibus, the Prayer of Humble Access is located before communion.  What is the Prayer of Humble Access?

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 we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us.

The history of this prayer is rather unique though it does bear some correlation to the earlier Apologia Sacerdotes[i], or the Apology of a Priest, said before the altar by the priest alone.  It first appears in English, in the “1548 Order of the Communion, a newly-decreed collection of prayers in English to prepare worshippers for the sacrament in both species, bread and wine.” [ii]   It was written by Thomas Cranmer who was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1532 until his trial for heresy when he was deprived of his Archbishopric on December 4th 1555.  One could ask the question, could anything good come from a heretic, and the answer must be that God uses all, even heretics…

The rest of the paper can be read at the-prayer-of-humble-access

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