What is the Holy Mass? “The Mass is the sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine. ‘For, from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles; and in every place there is sacrifice and there is offered to my name a clean oblation’ (Malachi 1:11)” (Baltimore Catechism).
The beauty and importance of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass cannot be overstated. Let’s listen to the wisdom of the saints on this topic:
“It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass” (St. Pio of Pietrelcina).
“The Mass is the most perfect form of prayer!” (Pope St. Paul VI).
“For each Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at death” (St. Gertrude the Great).
Once, St. Teresa of Avila was overwhelmed with God’s goodness and asked Our Lord, “How can I thank you?” Our Lord replied, “Attend one Mass.”
“Know, O Christian, that the Mass is the holiest act of religion. You cannot do anything to glorify God more, nor profit your soul more, than by devoutly assisting at it, and assisting as often as possible” (St. Peter Julian Eymard).
“One merits more by devoutly assisting at a Holy Mass than by distributing all of his goods to the poor and traveling all over the world on pilgrimage” (St. Bernard).
Before assisting at Holy Mass, we should recollect ourselves and prepare ourselves to prayerfully participate. Afterwards we should thank God for His immense goodness in giving us the Mass and the Eucharist. With this in mind, we offer a Prayer before Mass and a Prayer after Mass. We recommend you print out these awesome prayers by St. Thomas Aquinas and carry them with you!
Prayers before and after Mass
St. Thomas Aquinas
Prayer before Mass
Almighty and ever-living God, I approach the sacrament of Your only-begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. I come sick to the doctor of life, unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the radiance of eternal light, and poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Lord, in Your great generosity, heal my sickness, wash away my defilement, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness. May I receive the Bread of Angels, the King of kings and Lord of lords, with humble reverence, with the purity and faith, the repentance and love, and the determined purpose that will help to bring me to salvation. May I receive the sacrament of the Lord’s Body and Blood, and its reality and power.
Kind God, may I receive the Body of Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, born from the womb of the Virgin Mary, and so be received into His mystical body and numbered among His members.
Loving Father, as on my earthly pilgrimage I now receive Your beloved Son under the veil of a sacrament, may I one day see Him face to face in glory, who lives and reigns with You forever. Amen.
Prayer after Mass
Lord, Father all-powerful and ever-living God, I thank You, for even though I am a sinner, Your unprofitable servant, not because of my worth but in the kindness of Your mercy, You have fed me with the Precious Body and Blood of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that this Holy Communion may not bring me condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation. May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will. May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions. May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience, and growth in the power to do good. May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses, bodily and spiritual. May it unite me more closely to You, the One True God, and lead me safely through death to everlasting happiness with You.
And I pray that You will lead me, a sinner, to the banquet where You, with Your Son and Holy Spirit, are true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end, and perfect happiness to Your saints. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.