Prayer of Humble Access the Anglican Secret

Especially in the position given it by the 1662 Prayer Book, the Prayer of Humble Access corresponds in nature and intent to the oratio secreta of the Roman rite. Compare the secret of the Midnight Mass of the Nativity of Our Lord:

Accépta tibi sit, Dómine, quǽsumus, hodiérnae festivitátis oblátio: ut, tua grátia largiénte, per hæc sacrosáncta commércia, in illíus inveniámur forma, in quo tecum est nostra substántia. Qui tecum vivit &c.
Let the oblation of this day’s festival be pleasing to thee, we beseech thee, O Lord: that of thy bountiful grace we may, through this sacred intercourse, be found conformed to him in whom our substance is united to thee. Who with thee liveth &c.

And indeed, as in the Roman rite, the prayer is said next to the readying and arrangement of the bread and wine on the altar. Thus, what we lost in the oratio secreta, we have regained in the Prayer of Humble Access:

We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

Praise be to God, who has seen fit not only to preserve the liturgical treasures of his holy Church, but even in the Church of England and its daughter churches to give us the same in a form that is most beloved and helpful to humble piety. Let none despise the Lord’s providential guidance.


One response to “Prayer of Humble Access the Anglican Secret

  1. Pingback: Moving Incense | Cogito, Credo, Petam

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