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Feb 18, 2020

Saints’ Thoughts on Prayer after Communion

Caroline Harvey

Perhaps the most important moments of our lives are the moments after we receive Holy Communion. It is a bold statement to make, but it is easy to see why. After all, we have just received the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, what could be more important? And yet, these moments are also, perhaps, some our most wasted opportunities. 

How often do you find yourself, after receiving Communion, completely and utterly distracted. Oh the agony upon coming to our senses and realizing that the Dweller of our hearts has been completely ignored, perhaps not even welcomed! The One to whom the angels ceaselessly fall before in adoration chooses the absent-minded reverent glances we might cast upon him over his heavenly throne. This thought constantly astounds me. 

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Through the ages many saints have commented on the importance of praying a prayer of thanksgiving after receiving the Eucharist. Now, before sharing their comments, I would like to address distractions. The Lord knows us well, and knows that we are weak. A heart humbly and fully returned to him after moments of distraction pleases him more than a heart that prays half-attentively for hours. Never be discouraged by distraction. Only thank the Lord more that he has allowed us, once again, to realize how much we need him. 

What can help us in our distraction is understanding the grave importance of those fleeting moments after receiving the Eucharist. And to underscore its importance, I leave you with these quotes. 

St. John Paul II:

“The faithful are to be recommended not to omit to make a proper thanksgiving after Communion. They may do this during the celebration with a period of silence, with a hymn, psalm or other song of praise, or also after the celebration, if possible by staying behind to pray for a suitable time.”

Pope Benedict XVI:

“Since the precious time of thanksgiving after communion is personal encounter with the Lord Jesus in the sacrament, it can be most helpful to remain recollected in silence.”

St. Louis de Montfort:

“I would not give up this hour of Thanksgiving even for an hour of Paradise.”

St. Alphonsus Liguori:

“There is no prayer more agreeable to God, or more profitable to the soul than that which is made during the thanksgiving after Communion.”

St. Josemaria Escriva:

“Surely you have nothing so important on that you cannot give Our Lord 10 minutes to say thanks. Love is repaid with love.”

And lastly, St. Philip Neri once sent two acolytes with candles to accompany a member of his congregation who had left the church without any adoration after Mass. The man returned to the church to find out St. Philip’s purpose. The saint answered:

“We have to pay proper respect to Our Lord, Whom you are carrying away with you. Since you neglect to adore Him, I sent two acolytes to take your place.”

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Do you have a prayer you pray, or perhaps something you do, to help you remain reverent after receiving Communion. Let us know in the comments.

You May Also Like:

Extraordinary Ministry of Holy Communion Pros & Cons

Why We Have to Attend Mass and Receive Communion in a State of Grace

Addicted to Social Media, Helping the Homeless, and Communion on the Tongue

Caroline Harvey is the associate communication director for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Prior to working at the archdiocese, Caroline worked in various ministry positions throughout southeast Wisconsin, focusing on teaching and discipleship. She is currently pursuing a doctor of ministry degree in liturgical catechesis from the Catholic University of America. She holds master of arts degree in biblical theology and bachelor of arts in communications media from John Paul the Great Catholic University.  

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  • I agree that the time after Holy Communion to be the most important prayer and everything. I go through the ACTS. A- meaning that I ADORE Him. C meaning contrition for all my sins. T is for Thanksgiving for everything He has done. S is for supplication and asking things of Jesus. Usually this is the easiest for me. I always ask Jesus to remain in me always as He is now. I’m not able to go to Mass or Holy communion that often because of my health, but if I’m feeling good, I’m happy as I can be and go off to Mass.

  • I consider the time both before and after receiving the Eucharist extremely reverent and Holy. I prepare myself before receiving in prayer, I am not worthy and give all the ways in which I know I am not worthy up the Lord and ask through His Grace and Mercy to be made worthy.
    After I receive I am in prayer of Thanksgiving until it’s time to sit again. I keep my head down and my eyes closed as to not get distracted and thank God for the selfless gift of His Son and I thank Jesus for His selfless gift of sacrifice. If I do become distracted by chatter or whatever, I apologize and ask God to help me direct my thoughts only to Him.

    This, for me, is a very intimate time for me with my Lord God and my Savior Jesus Christ.

  • One of my favorite prayers I say after receiving communion is: My Lord and my God!
    A hundred thousand welcomes.
    A hundred thousand thanks.
    Jesus, present in my soul,
    I adore you, I thank you, I love you. I am sorry for the sins that have offended you. Let me accept and do your will today. Stay with me throughout this day. Let me to see others with your eyes and love with your heart. My Lord and my God. Amen.

  • I get to church early to pray in anticipation of the receiption of Eucharist and them stay after Mass to thank God for the Body and Blood Soul and Divinity of His Son Jesus. It always marvels me, and saddens me, when the congregation files out of the church like speeding rabbits, chatting up a storm or noise, and do not stay to thank God in the same way!……✝❗🙏🤓🤔😥

  • I always thought that there was an official or recommended prayer that everyone said silently after communion, but that I was never taught it. Maybe there was such a pray in another time and place, but now we are left to our own creativity, for better or worse. I was looking to this article for advice on what to teach my kids to pray after communion. Any recommendations?

    • Hello Lee. At our parish, we sing the first verse of “Jesus, my Lord, My God, My All” after communion:

      Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all
      How can I love thee as I ought
      And how revere this wondrous gift
      So far surpassing hope or thought
      Sweet Sacrament, we thee adore
      Oh make us love thee more and more
      Oh make us love thee more and more.

      There are many other great prayers. You can find some in this post: Thank you for you comment.

    • the Anima Christi: Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O good Jesus, hear me. Within Thy wounds hide me. Separated from Thee let me never be. From the malignant enemy, defend me. At the hour of death, call me. And close to Thee bid me. That with Thy saints I may be Praising Thee, forever and ever. Amen.

    • The prayer for after receiving the Eucharist that I was taught is the Anima Christi:
      Soul of Christ, sanctify me;
      Body of Christ, save me;
      Blood of Christ inebriate me;
      Water from the side of Christ, wash me;
      Passion of Christ, strengthen me;
      I good Jesus hear me;
      Within your wounds hide me;
      Separated from you, let me never be;
      From the evil one, protect me;
      At the hour of my death, call me;
      And close to you bid me;
      That with your saints, I may be praising you forever and ever.

    • I was taught this prayer to say after receiving communion by the Sisters in Catholic School. I still say it after 50 years of receiving communion and with eyes closed to avoid the distraction of the communion line:
      Prayer before The Crucifix
      Behold O kind and gentle Jesus, I kneel before you and pray, that you would confess upon my heart the virtues of faith, hope, and charity with true repentance for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment. I meditate on your five precious wounds, having in mind the words which the prophet David spoke: “They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have counted all My bones.” Amen. Followed by personal prayers of thanksgiving and petition. It is such a special time with Our Lord!

    • A beautiful, traditional prayer recited after receiving the Holy Eucharist is the Anima Christi by St Ignatius of Loyola:
      Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
      Body of Christ, save me.
      Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
      Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
      O good Jesus, hear me.
      Within Thy wounds hide me.
      Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
      From the malignant enemy, defend me.
      At the hour of my death, call me and bid me come unto Thee, that with all Thy Saints, I may praise Thee, forever and ever. Amen.

  • After receiving the Blessed Sacrament I cover my face and pray in the pew. There are no distractions this way.

  • After communion this morning, monday, sept 13, observed the biggest bug anyone could have observed. Thought I could catch it but it escaped! Forgive me, so easyto fall .

  • Upon returning to my seat after receiving Eucharist I say “Lord create in me a clean heart, renew in me a steadfast spirit. Take not your Holy Spirit from me.” This Sunday I added,
    “Forgive my sins.” Our choir sings, “This is Holy Ground” very softly.

  • Before I go up to receive Jesus in Holy Communion I ask the Blessed Mother to lend me her heart so that He will be coming into a heart that knows how to love Him perfectly as He deserves.
    After receiving communion I kneel in my pew and bow low knowing I am now a tabernacle of the Divine Presence. A quiet time to listen for the Lord’s voice.

  • O Lord, who in a wonderful Sacrament has left us a memorial of thy passion, grant us so to venerate the sacred mysteries of thy body and blood that we may evermore perceive within ourselves the fruits of thy redemption through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever.

  • Thank you Media for sharing St Pbillip Neri’s thoughts on prayer after communion before leaving Mass…
    I received personally confirmation.

  • I pray this prayer after receiving Holy Communion for years:

    O my Jesus I thank you so much for coming to me. I adore you my God and I love you. I give you my heart and soul. Please bless everyone in my family and all my friends, especially those who are suffering. Amen

  • Thanks for reposting this article. After receiving the Holy Sacrament of the Altar We kneel on the pew and pray the Anima Christi Prayer and A Prayer from St Ignatious of Loyola in thanksgiving. When possible we also stay after mass is over to offer our weekly activities to our Lord.

  • I thank each one of the Trinity for this Blessed Sacrament of Love, that I Love Him and adore Him then I give my silence for love of Him. Usually 5-10 minutes

  • Many years ago, a priest now deceased, told us that a heartfelt thank you to our Lord after receiving His most precious Body & Blood is what our Lord loves receiving from us in return. I usually pray the Office after Mass before the Blessed Sacrament or lectio. Its a precious time to be with our Lord in sacred silence.

  • Prayer after Communion
    Anima Christi Prayer

    SOUL of Christ, sanctify me
    Body of Christ, save me
    Blood of Christ, inebriate me
    Water from the side of Christ, wash me
    Passion of Christ, strengthen me
    O good Jesus, hear me
    Within Thy wounds, hide me
    Separated from Thee let me never be
    From the malignant enemy, defend me
    At the hour of death, call me
    To come to Thee, bid me
    That I may praise Thee in the company Of Thy Saints
    for all eternity. Amen.

  • As the congregation is all being fed, it excites me to think of this miraculous meal we are all sharing, one body in Christ. I wait for the last member to be served, then I place my hands over my heart, close my eyes and thank Jesus for all He is and all He’s done for me, my parish and the whole world. It is so exciting to consume the body and blood of our Lord and think about how it becomes a part of me. What wonderous love is this? Oh my soul!

  • I like to say the anima christi after holy communion. That prayer takes every part of the Eucharist and covers every part of my life.

  • My prayers after Communion, among others:

    Prayer after Holy Communion:

    Father of mercy and God of all consolation, Graciously look upon me and impart to me the blessing that flows from this holy Sacrament. Overshadow me with your loving kindness, and let this divine Mystery bear fruit in me. Amen. St. Blase

    From the depths of my heart I thank you, dear Lord, for Your infinite kindness in coming to me. I thank You for nourishing my soul with Your Sacred Body and Precious Blood. Grant that I may spend the hours of the day gladly working with You according to Your will. Amen.

  • Immediately after receiving our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I say the Anima Christi while I walk back to the pew. Once I am seated, I say the most beautiful thanksgiving prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas. I also say his “Petition for Communion” prior to receiving the Holy Eucharist.

  • I find it so disrespectful to our Lord, those who have partaken of the Eucharistic feast to walk right out the door. Would you do that when invited to someone home for dinner? Eat, get up from the table, then walk out? Of course not! Then why do it to our Lord who died for you? The Lord who Saved you from eternal damnation? Give Jesus Christ the respect He deserves, give praise & thanksgiving for everything we have.

  • How easy it is for me to become distracted after receiving the Lord. I kneel down and, too often, start looking around. It’s usually the immediate distractions that get me. I have to close my eyes and then pray that Jesus permeates every fibre of my being. And to be thankful!

  • I like the “Thanksgiving After Mass” prayer from St. Thomas Aquinas:
    Lord, Father all-powerful and ever-living God, I than You, for even though I am a sinner, your unprofitable servant, not because of my worth but in the kindness of your mercy, You have fed me with the Precious Body & Blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that this Holy Communion may not bring me condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation. May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will. May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions. May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience, and growth in the power to do good. May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses, bodily and spiritual. May it unite me more closely to you, the One true God, and lead me safely through death to everlasting happiness with You. And I pray that You will lead me, a sinner, to the banquet where you, with Your Son and Holy Spirit, are true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end, and perfect happiness to your saints, grant this through Christ our Lord. AMEN.

    I printed it and carry it with me, or you can put it on your phone. (I’ve seen slightly different versions, if you want to look it up.)

  • After communion, I ask that His blood be the blood pumping through my heart and through my mind and throughout my body so that I may do His work during the day.

  • Before receiving Communion I always say an Act of Contrition. After receiving Communion, I pray the Amini Christi prayer:
    Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O Good Jesus, hear me. Within your wounds hide me. Permit me not to be separated from you.

  • I immediately return to my pew, get on my knees, thank Him for His sacrifice for me. Then I start apologizing for the need for His sacrifice, and for all of mankind, mostly me, for keeping Him on the cross. I thank Him for loving me that much, and I apologize for not understanding the depth of His love. I apologize for not loving Him enough. Then I start thanking Him for all He has done for me and continues to do so…for all He has given me. And I end by telling Him I love Him.

  • Where in the Scriptures do you find the word Victim? Jesus was never a victim but laid His life down freely. He chose to die for our redemption! This is just wrong.

  • St. Padre Pio’s Prayer After Communion: Stay With Me Lord
    Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You.
    Stay with me Lord, because I am weak, and I need Your strength, so that I may not fall so often.
    Stay with me Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor.
    Stay with me Lord, for You are my light, and without you, I am in darkness.
    Stay with me Lord, to show me Your will.
    Stay with me Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.
    Stay with me Lord, for I desire to love you very much, and always be in Your Company.
    Stay with me Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.
    Stay with me Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love.
    Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late, and the day is coming to a close, and life passes, death, judgment, eternity approach. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches. I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile.
    Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You.
    Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.
    Stay with me Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to you, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love.
    Stay with me Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation because I do not merit it, but the gift of Your presence, oh yes, I ask this of You.
    Stay with me Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.
    With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen.

  • O Jesus I thank you for your Love and Mercy.
    Jesus I adore you,, I love you, I believe and I trust in you. I ask pardon for those who do not adore you, do not love you, do not believe and do not trust in you.

  • I try to always pray St Thomas Aquinas’ Prayer before Communion and his Prayer after Communion. I think they are both lovely, reverent and eloquently express my own inmost feelings towards Communion.

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