Anglican Moment: Post-Communion Prayer of Thanksgiving

Anglican Moment: Post-Communion Prayer of Thanksgiving

imageBeing the last prayer of the Divine Liturgy, the Post-Communion Prayer of Thanksgiving (BCP 339) is often the most rushed through and least thought about prayer that we pray in our service. This is a real shame since it summarizes so beautifully both what God has promised us receiving   the body and blood of our savior, Jesus Christ, and that which we have asked Him to do for us in receiving the Sacrament.     What has God promised us “who have duly received these Holy Mysteries?” First, He has “vouchsafe to feed us with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son.” This refers to His giving us the grace through the Eucharist that we need in order to grow in our relationship with Christ and to live a godly and righteous life.

Next, God assures us through the Sacrament that we have just received of His favor and goodness towards us. Think about that amazing promise for just a moment-we receive through the Eucharist God’s Divine favor! God favors us and pours His goodness upon us in the Mass.

Third, God promises us who have received the Body and Blood of Jesus “that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son.” In other words, we have been engrafted into Christ’s family-His Church-and corporately we are unified with each other and with Christ in such a close union that we are referred to as one body.

Finally, through the Eucharist God promises that we “are heirs through hope of thine everlasting kingdom,” Here, we are reminded that we have been made sons and daughters of God through our union with His Son in the Sacrament. Therefore, we have become rightful heirs of all that God has promised for His children which included a place in the Kingdom of God.

Not only are we reminded of these four glorious promises made by God to us through receiving the Eucharist in this prayer, but we also beseech God to “assist us with thy grace” through the Sacrament in doing two things. First, we ask for His grace through His Son’s Body and Blood to “continue in that holy fellowship.” By this request, we are admitting our need for God to supernaturally enable us to remain part of the faithful body of Christians. This is, of course, what He does every time we partake of the Sacrament. Without the strengthening of the Sacrament, we are prone to wander away from the Church.

Second, we beseech God to enable us through the Sacrament to “do all such good works as thou hast prepared for us to walk in. We see a recognition here of the fact that God has many important things which He wants us to accomplish in this life and in the world for Him. However, we cannot accomplish these things in our own strength. Therefore, this prayer concludes with a request for God’s enabling power to accomplish these works in and through us.

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