During this season of physical distancing, we are unable to materially receive the Eucharist. This is not a fast we have chosen but it is one we have been given. From its earliest days, the Church has taught that when a Christian is unable to receive Holy Communion due to sickness, infirmity, or even in the midst of a national health crisis, the desire to receive grants all the same spiritual benefits as reception itself. In short, when we desire communion, but cannot physically partake, Christ honors that desire and dwells within us. During this season, we invite you to participate in the Holy Eucharist celebrated at the St. Peter’s altar and to make your spiritual communion until we are reunited.
A Form for Spiritual Communion, from St. Augustine’s Prayer Book
The Book of Common Prayer reminds us that if one is unable to actually consume the consecrated bread and wine due to extreme sickness or disability, the desire is enough for God to grant all the benefits of communion. When being present at a celebration of the Eucharist is absolutely impossible, this act of prayer and meditation can provide the means by which you can associate yourself with the Eucharistic Action and open yourself to God’s grace and blessing.
Blessed be God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed by his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.
Let the power of the Holy Spirit come upon me, O Lord, to mercifully cleanse my heard and defend me from all adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle: Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door I will come in to you and eat with you and you with me.
The Psalm: Psalm 23:5-6
You prepare a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over. Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The Gospel: John 15:5
I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me, you can do nothing.
If time and circumstances permit, either the Apostles’ Creed (p. 96, BCP) may be said.
In your own words, pray for your own needs, for those on your heart, for the peace of the world, and for the Church. After offering these intercessions, continue with this
Act of Contrition
O God, I am very sorry that I have sinned against you and for all the wrongs I have done and the good I have not done. Especially I confess… Forgive me for Jesus’ sake, and grant me strength and wisdom to amend my life. Amen.
Act of Reception
In union, blessed Jesus, with the faithful gathered at every altar of your Church where your blessed Body and Blood are offered this day, (and remembering particularly my own parish and those worshiping there) I long to offer praise and thanksgiving, for creation and all the blessings of this life, for the redemption won for us by your life, death, and resurrection, for the means of grace and the hope of glory.
And particularly for the blessings given me… I believe that you are truly present in the Holy Sacrament, and, since I cannot at this time receive communion, I pray you to come into my heart. I unite myself with you and embrace you with all my heart, my soul, and my mind. Let nothing separate me from you; let me serve you in this life until, by your grace, I come to your glorious kingdom and unending peace. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Come Lord Jesus, and dwell in my heart in the fullness of your strength; be my wisdom and guide me in right pathways; conform my life and actions to the image of your holiness; and, in the power of your gracious might, rule over every hostile power that threatens or disturbs the growth of your kingdom, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
And may the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep my heart and mind in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ my Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, be with me now and always. Amen.