Holy Eucharist Rite I – An Exhortation
This Exhortation may be used, in whole or in part, either during the
Liturgy or at other times. In the absence of a deacon or priest, this
Exhortation may be read by a lay person. The people stand or sit.
Beloved in the Lord: Our Savior Christ, on the night before
he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and
Blood as a sign and pledge of his love, for the continual
remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, and for a spiritual
sharing in his risen life. For in these holy Mysteries we are
made one with Christ, and Christ with us; we are made one
body in him, and members one of another.
Having in mind, therefore, his great love for us, and in
obedience to his command, his Church renders to Almighty
God our heavenly Father never-ending thanks for the
creation of the world, for his continual providence over us,
for his love for all mankind, and for the redemption of the
world by our Savior Christ, who took upon himself our flesh,
and humbled himself even to death on the cross, that he
might make us the children of God by the power of the Holy
Spirit, and exalt us to everlasting life.
But if we are to share rightly in the celebration of those holy
Mysteries, and be nourished by that spiritual Food, we must
remember the dignity of that holy Sacrament. I therefore call
upon you to consider how Saint Paul exhorts all persons to
prepare themselves carefully before eating of that Bread and
drinking of that Cup.
For, as the benefit is great, if with penitent hearts and living
faith we receive the holy Sacrament, so is the danger great, if
we receive it improperly, not recognizing the Lord’s Body.
Judge yourselves, therefore, lest you be judged by the Lord.
Examine your lives and conduct by the rule of God’s
commandments, that you may perceive wherein you have
offended in what you have done or left undone, whether in
thought, word, or deed. And acknowledge your sins before
Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life, being
ready to make restitution for all injuries and wrongs done by
you to others; and also being ready to forgive those who have
offended you, in order that you yourselves may be forgiven.
And then, being reconciled with one another, come to the
banquet of that most heavenly Food.
And if, in your preparation, you need help and counsel, then
go and open your grief to a discreet and understanding priest,
and confess your sins, that you may receive the benefit of
absolution, and spiritual counsel and advice; to the removal
of scruple and doubt, the assurance of pardon, and the
strengthening of your faith.
To Christ our Lord who loves us, and washed us in his own
blood, and made us a kingdom of priests to serve his God
and Father, to him be glory in the Church evermore. Through
him let us offer continually the sacrifice of praise, which is
our bounden duty and service, and, with faith in him, come
boldly before the throne of grace [and humbly confess our
sins to Almighty God].
Decalogue I 317