I noticed that the book contains several “new” old prayers of the Church. One of those is the prayer of St. Ambrose before Communion. This is a wonderful prayer by this wonderful 4th century saint of the Undivided Church. Below is the version of this prayer from the book, “Orthodox Prayers of Old England” by St. Hilarion Press. I thank my friend Huw for this book.
I beseech Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, by the most holy Sacrifice of Thy Body and Blood, wherewith we are fed and given drink every day in Thy Church, are washed and sanctified, and are made partakers of Thy single and most high Divinity: Grant me Thy holy virtues, so that, filled with them, I may approach unto thine altar with a good conscience, and so that these heavenly, holy Mysteries may be my health, salvation, and life. For Thou hast said with Thy holy and blessed mouth, “The bread that I will give is my Flesh, for the life of the world. If any man eat of this Bread, he shall live forever. And he that eateth Me, liveth because of Me” (Jn 6:51,57).
O most sweet Bread, heal the palate of my heart, that I may come to know the sweetness of Thy love. Cure it of all inaction, that it may know no sweetness save Thee, seek no love save Thee. O whitest, most radiant Bread, possessing every delight and every taste of sweetness, Who ever nourishest us upon Thee and Thyself art never diminished, allow my heart to feed on Thee, and with the sweetness of Thy savour let the bowels of my soul be filled. The Angel feedeth upon Thee with a full mouth; suffer mankind on pilgrimage to feed upon Thee according to his measure, lest he who hath been rejuvenated by such a Viaticum, mayhap, should faint upon the way.
O holy Bread, living Bread, fair Bread, pure Bread that dist come down from heaven and givest life to the world, (Jn 6:51) come into my heart and cleanse me from every defilement of flesh and spirit. Enter into my soul; heal and sanctify me within and without. Be the defence and continual safety of my body and soul. Let all evils depart straightway from the presence of Thy majesty, so that I, outwardly and inwardly armed, may arrive by the right path at Thy kingdom, where we shall see Thee, not in mysteries as it is done at this time, but face to face: when Thou shalt deliver up the kingdom to God the Father, and as God Thou shalt be all things to all men. For then Thou wilt fill me with Thyself, to a wonderful fullness, so that I will neither hunger nor thirst for ever. Amen.