Thanksgiving Prayers After Mass, East and West
Today, we examine one common Thanksgiving prayer after Mass and one after Divine Liturgy. NOTE: While the prayer below (on the left) has a long history in Western churches and still appears in many missals, it is not an approved Western Rite devotion, and thus it is not in The Orthodox Missal:
Thanksgiving Prayer after Mass (Western)
Thanksgiving Prayer after Divine Liturgy (Byzantine)
I thank Thee holy Lord, Almighty Father, eternal God,who deigned to feast me, Thy sinful and unworthy servant, with the precious Body and Blood of Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, not for any merit of mine, but only because of Thy merciful goodness.
|I thank Thee, O Lord my God, that Thou hast not rejected me, a sinner, but hast suffered me to be a partaker of Thy holy things. I thank Thee that, unworthy as I am, Thou hast enabled me to receive of Thy most pure and heavenly gifts.|
|And I pray that this Holy Communion, far from condemning me to punishment, may bring about my pardon and salvation, encompassing me with the armor of faith and the shield of a good will. By it let my vices be done away, all lustful desires extinguished.||And yet moreover I beseech Thee, O Lord and Lover of mankind, who for our sakes didst die and rise again, and hast provided us these dread and life-giving mysteries unto the benefit and hallowing of our souls and bodies. Grant that these Thy gifts may be even unto me for the healing of soul and body, and the driving out of every adversary; for the enlightening of the eyes of my understanding,|
|May it advance me in charity, patience, humility, obedience, and every other virtue. Let it be a strong defense against the wiles of all my enemies, visible and invisible, allaying for me every disturbance of flesh and spirit, binding me firmly to Thee, the One true God,||and peace for the powers of my soul; for faith unashamed, and love without dissimulation; for the fullness of wisdom, and the keeping of Thy commandments; for the increase of Thy divine grace, and an inheritance in Thy Kingdom. That preserved by Them in Thy holiness I may be ever mindful of Thy grace, and not henceforth live unto myself but unto Thee, our bountiful Lord.|
|and bringing my last hour to a happy close. I pray, too, that it may be your pleasure to call my sinful self one day to that banquet, wonderful past all telling, where Thee, with Thy Son and the Holy Spirit, feast Thy saints with the vision of Thyself, Who art true light, the fulfillment of all desires, the joy that knows no ending, gladness unalloyed, and perfect bliss: through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.||And when I have departed this life in the hope of life everlasting, vouchsafe that I may enter into eternal rest, where the voice of those who feast is unceasing, and the gladness of those who behold the goodness of Thy countenance is unending. For Thou art the true desire and the ineffable joy of those who love Thee, O Christ our God, and all creation sings of Thy praise for ever. Amen.|
Of course, this Western prayer is attributed to the arch-rationalist, scholastic heretic Mr. Thomas Aquinas.