How do you use those moments before Mass to prepare yourself to meet the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? I've developed the habit of saying the following five traditional prayers right before Mass begins to focus my soul on the great mystery I'm about to behold and on the wonderful Sacrament I am about to receive (assuming I'm in a state of grace). I've found that taking the time to really focus on what the Mass is all about helps me delve deeper in the mystery - helps me participate actively as the Second Vatican Council called for. I stumbled upon these prayers in a missal produced by the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei (get yours HERE), but they work as well before Mass in the forma ordinaria as they do before the traditional Latin Mass.
These prayers help us to recall who Christ is, what the Eucharist is, what really is happening at Mass, the three theological virtues, and our great need for forgiveness for our sins. If you don't like the old English (the 'thees' and 'thous') feel free to "update" them by going with 'you' and 'yours'.
1. Prayer to Christ the King
O LORD, JESUS CHRIST, King of everlasting glory, behold I desire to come to Thee this day, and to receive Thy Body and Blood in this heavenly Sacrament, for Thy honor and glory and the good of my soul. I desire to receive Thee because it is Thy desire, and Thou hast so ordained: blessed be Thy Name forever. I desire to come to Thee like Magdalen, that I may be delivered from all my evils, and embrace Thee my only Good. I desire to come to Thee, that I may be happily united to Thee, that I may henceforth abide in Thee, and Thou in me; and that nothing in life or death may ever separate me from Thee. Amen.
2. An Act of Faith
I FIRMLY BELIEVE, O my divine Jesus, that Thoy art truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I believe that it really and substantially contains Thy Body and Blood, Thy soul and divinity. I ackowledge these truths; I believe these wonders; I adore the Power that hath wrought them, the same Power that said: "Let there be light," and light was made. Verily, Thou art a hidden God, the Savior. Amen.
3. An Act of Hope
SINCE THOU dost deign to come and dwell within me, O my Redeemer, what may I not expect from Thy bounty! I therefore present myself before Thee with that lively confidence which Thine infinite goodness inspires. Thou not only knowest all my wants, but Thou art also wiling and able to relieve them. Thou hast not only invited me, but also promised me Thy gracious assistance. Amen.
4. An Act of Charity
O GOD, Who art Charity! Behold, he who oabides in charity abides in Thee. I desire to receive Thee in this Sacrament, that I may be more strngly united to Thee int he bond of love. Who shall separate me from the love of Christ my Savoir? Oh, that neither life nor death, nor any accident of fortune, nor any creature may ever be able!
5. An Act of Contrition
O MY GOD, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
What prayers do you say before Mass?