Two Celtic Communion Prayers

The Lorrha Missal (also called the Stowe Missal) was a book containing the texts of the mass, written in Ireland in the late 8th century. The first prayer below was prayed after the consecration (Words of Institution) and before the distribution. The second prayer was the post-communion prayer.

We believe, O Lord.
We believe we have been redeemed
by the breaking of Christ’s body,
and the pouring of his blood.
We rely on this sacrament for strength,
confident that what we now hold in hope,
we will enjoy in true fulfillment in heaven;
through our Lord Jesus Christ
who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
now and forever.

We give you thanks, O Lord,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
for you have satisfied us
with the body and blood of Christ your Son.
In your mercy, O Lord,
let this sacrament not be for our condemnation or punishment,
but for our salvation and forgiveness,
for strengthening the weak
as a firm foundation against the dangers of the world.
May this communion forgive all our guilt,
and give us the heavenly joy of sharing in it;
through our Lord Jesus Christ
who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
now and forever.

Source: Freely modified from Tthe Lorrha-Stowe Missal, p. 6-7. Translated and prepared for A Collection of Prayers.

In the first prayer, “fulfillment” may be substituted with the more literal “fruition.”

Originals in Latin:

Credimus domine, credimus in hac confractione corporis et effuione sanguinis nos esse redemptos et confidimus sacramenti huius adumptione munitios ut quod spe inerim hic tenemus mansuri in celestibus veris fructibus perfruamur; per dominum…

Gratias tibi agimus domine sangte pater omnipotens aeternae deus qui nos coporis et sanguinis christi filii tui commonione satiasti tuamque misericordiam humiliter postulamus ut hac tuum domine sacramentum non sit nobis reatus ad penam sed intercessio salutaris ad veniam sit ablutio scelerum sit fortitudo fragilum sit contra mundi periculo firmamentum haec nos communio purget a crimine et caelestis gaudi tribuat esse participes; per…

More literal translations may be found  here:


The Lorrha-Stowe Preface and Sanctus

The Lorrha Missal (also called the Stowe Missal) was a book containing the texts of the mass, written in Ireland in the late 8th century. It begins in the same way as the Roman rite, but becomes a beautiful poem on the attributes of God.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It good and right.

It is truly good, right and salutary
for us to give thanks to you always and everywhere,
holy Lord, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord;
with your only Son and the Holy Spirit you are
one immortal God,
incorruptible and unchangeable God,
invisible and faithful God,
wonderful and praiseworthy God,
honorable and mighty God,
most high and magnificent God,
living and true God,
wise and powerful God,
holy and glorious God,
great and good God,
awesome and peaceful God,
beautiful and righteous God,
pure and benevolent God,
blessed and just God,
pious and holy God,
not one singular person,
but one Trinity of substance.

We believe you.
We bless you.
We adore you.
We praise your name forever and ever
through him who is the salvation of the world,
through him who is the life of humanity,
through him who is the resurrection of the dead.

Through him the angels praise your majesty,
the dominions adore,
the powers of the highest heaven tremble,
the virtues of the blessed seraphim rejoice together.
We pray, grant that we may join our voices with theirs, confessing you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of Sabaoth.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who came down from heaven that he might live on the earth, be made fully human, and gave his flesh as a sacrificial victim, and by his passion gave eternal life to those who believe.

Source: Lorrha-Stowe Missal, eighth century. Translated by Paul C. Stratman for A Collection of Prayers.

Original in Latin:

Stowe Preface.png

A facsimile of the book can be seen here:

O Sacred Banquet

O sacred banquet, in which Christ is received, the memory of his Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory given to us.

V. You gave them bread from heaven;
R. Containing in itself all sweetness.

Let us pray;
O God, in a wonderful Sacrament you left us a memorial of your Passion; may we so reverence the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we always feel within ourselves the fruit of your Redemption; you live and reign forever and ever.

In Paschaltide the following is said:
Let us pray;
O Lord, pour on us the Spirit of your love to make us of one heart, since by your tender mercy you have filled with the paschal sacrament. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

Source: Roman Missal. English translation modified.

Original in Latin:

O SACRUM convivium, in quo Christus sumitur: recolitur memoria passionis eius; mens impletur gratia et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur.

V. Panem de caelo praestitisti eis;
R. Omne delectamentum in se habentem.

Deus, qui nobis sub Sacramento mirabili Passionis tuae memoriam reliquisti; tribue, quaesumus, ita nos Corporis et Sanguinis tui sacra mysteria venerari, ut redemptionis tuae fructum in nobis iugiter sentiamus: Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Tempore paschali sequens dicitur oratio:

Spiritum nobis, Domine tuae caritatis infunde, ut, quos Sacramentis paschalibus satiasti, tua facias pietate concordes. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate eiusdem Spiritus Sancti Deus per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

For Communicants

Hear us, O merciful Father,
and grant to all communicants of your Church this day,
who partake of this bread and wine,
and receive his most blessed Body and Blood
according to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ’s holy institution,
remember of his death and passion
in true repentance and living faith;
to him, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be all honor and glory,
now and forever. Amen.

Source: An Ancient Liturgy, fifth century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

For the Holy Communion

We thank you, our Father,
for that life which you have made known to us by Jesus your Son,
by whom you made all things,
and take care of the whole world.
You sent him to become man for our salvation.
You allowed him to suffer and to die.
You raised him up,
glorified him,
and have set him at your right hand,
and in him you have promised us the resurrection of the dead.
O Lord Almighty, eternal God,
gather together your Church from the ends of the earth into your kingdom,
as grain was once scattered,
and now has become one loaf.
Our Father,
we also thank you for the precious blood of Jesus Christ,
which was shed for us,
and for his precious body,
as himself appointed us,
“to proclaim his death.”
For through him glory is to be given to you forever. Amen.

Source: Apostolic Constitutions

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

Christmas Communion Prayer

Light, Holy Communion, Church, Fair, Bible, Bread, Wine

O merciful God,
open the depths of our souls
that we may receive
the immortality of our spirits
through the new birth of your Son
by the power of his body
and precious blood;
for he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God,
forever and ever.

Source:  Wilehelm Loehe, Agende für christliche Gemeinden des lutherischen Bekenntnisses, 1844

Original in German:

O gütiger Gott, eröffne uns den Abgrund unsrer Seelen, daß wir die Unsterblichkeit unsers Gemüthes mögen vernehmen durch die neue Geburt Deines Sohnes, in der Kraft Seines Fleisches und theuern Blutes, der mit Dir lebt und herrschet…

Confession before Communion

PommeranianAgendaConfession, when a Christian wishes to come to the Lord’s Table.

Dear sir, I ask, would you hear my confession and pronounce the forgiveness of sins to me for God’s sake?


I, a poor sinner, confess to God and to you that I have sinned much against all the commandments of God in my thoughts, words and actions, that I am sinful by nature, born in sin and am condemned, under God’s wrath and worthy of eternal death. My heart is troubled, and I am sorry that I have angered God, my Lord, and humbly pray that God would forgive all my sins for the sake of his dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me by his grace, and renew my heart with his Holy Spirit. Since you have the command from our Lord Jesus Christ to forgive all those who are repentant of their sins, so I ask you through Christ that you would instruct and comfort me with God’s Word, and pronounce the forgiveness of sins in his name, that I may receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ for the strengthening of my faith, and that I may better my life with God’s help. 

Believe steadfastly and certainly that the almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is gracious and merciful to you, and has forgiven all your sins for his sake, because his beloved Son suffered and died for your sins. In the name of this Lord Jesus Christ, your Savior, and by his divine command and the power of his Word, (where he says, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you. …Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them.”) I pronounce to you the forgiveness of sins, and declare you free, separated, and released from all your sins, that they have all been completely been forgiven by God, so richly and completely. Jesus Christ has earned you such grace through his suffering and death, and has commanded that this gospel be preached in all the world. This comforting command, which I announce to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, you should receive as a greatest assurance, so that your conscience and heart may be at peace and that you may steadfastly believe that all your sins are certainly forgiven, in the name of the + Father and of the + Son and of the + Holy Spirit. Amen.

Go in peace and sin no more.

Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 38 (142), 152. Translated for A Collection of Prayers.

The original of the confession is on p. 38 (also on p. 142) of the Pomeranian Agenda:

Ich armer sündiger Mensch bekenne für Gott und für euch, daß ich wider alle Gebote Gottes mit Gedanken, Worten, Werken viel gesündiget habe und von Natur in Sünden empfangen und verdorben bin, unter Gottes Zorn des ewigen Todes schuldig; darum ift mein Herz betrübet und ist mir leid, daß ich Gott meinen Herrn erzürnet habe und bitte von Herzen, Gott wolle mir alle meine Sünde, um seines lieben Sohns, des Herrn Jesu Christi willen, aus Gnaden vergeben, mein Herz mit dem heiligen Geist erneuern. Und dieweil ihr vom Herrn Jesu Christo Befehl habet, allen Bußfertigen ihre Sünde zu vergeben, so bitte ich euch durch Christum, ihr wollet mich mit Gottes Wort unterrichten und trösten und mir in seinem Namen die Vergebung der Sünden sprechen, den Leib und Blut Jesu Christi zu Stärkung meines Glaubens verreichen, ich will mich mit Gottes Hilfe bessern.

The original of the absolution is on p. 152 of the Pomeranian Agenda:

Gläube fest und gewiß, daß der Allmächtige Gott, Vater unsers Herrn Jesu Christi, dir gnädig und barmherzig sei und dir alle deine Sünden vergeben habe um deßwillen, daß sein lieber Sohn für deine Sünde gelitten hat und gestorben ist. Und im Namen desselbigen Herrn Jesu Christi, deines Heilandes, auf seinen Göttlichen Befehl, in Kraft seines Worts, da er spricht: Wie mich mein Vater gesandt hat, sende ich euch auch; nehmet hin den heiligen Geist, denen ihr die Sünden vergebet, denen sind sie vergeben, sage ich dir zu Vergebung der Sünden und spreche dich aller deiner Sünden frei, ledig und los, daß sie dir Gott allzumal vergeben habe, so reichlich und vollkommen, als Jesus Christus dir solche Gnade durch sein Leiden und Sterben verdienet und durch das Evangelium in aller Welt zu predigen, befohlen hat. Dieser tröstlichen Zusage, die ich dir an Gottes Statt im Namen des Herrn Jesu Christi verkündige, sollst du dich tröstlich annehmen, dein Gewissen und dein Herz darauf zufrieden stellen und fest gläuben, daß dir alle deine Sünden gewißlich vergeben seien, im Namen des Vaters und des Sohns und des heiligen Geistes, Amen.

Gehe hin im Friede und sündige nicht mehr.