St Paul's Anglican Church, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Exhortation to Examination before Receiving Holy Communion

Fellow baptized Christians, it is appropriate that we recall how St. Paul, in writing to the church in Corinth, urged Christians to examine themselves before presuming to eat the holy Bread and drink from the holy Cup of the Lord's Supper.  If we receive the holy Sacrament with truly penitent and believing hears, then we spiritually eat the body of Christ and drink his blood; then also we dwell in Christ and Christ in us, for we are one with Christ and he with us.  However, if we receive the Sacrament unworthily, then we will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 

Therefore, brothers and sisters, examine yourselves, and repent of your past sins; have a lively and steadfast faith in Christ our Savior; amend your lives, and be in perfect love with all people; then you will be worthy partakers of this holy Sacrament.  And, above all things, give humble and hearty thanks to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for the redemption of the world by the death of our Savior Christ, who is both God and man.

He humbled himself, even to the death on the Cross, for us unworthy sinners, who were in darkness and under the shadow of death; that he might make us the children of God and exalt us to everlasting life.  And so that we should always remember both the exceeding great love of our Master and only Savior Jesus Christ, who died for us, and also the benefits, too many to be numbered, which he obtained for us by the shedding of his blood, he has instituted and ordained holy mysteries, as pledges of his love and for a continual remembrance of his death, to our great and endless support and comfort.  To him, therefore, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, let us give, as we are required, continual thanks; let us submit ourselves wholly to his holy will and good pleasure, and seek to serve him in true holiness and righteousness all the days of our life.  Amen.

- this exhortation is taken from An Anglican Prayer Book, 2008, published by the Prayer Book Society of the U.S.A.  www.pbsusa.org