The Following of Christ
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1941


In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Prayer at the Beginning of Mass.

RECEIVE, O Holy Trinity, one God, the holy Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which I, Thine unworthy servant, desire now to offer unto Thy Divine majesty by the hands of this Thy minister, with all the sacrifices which have ever been or are to be offered unto Thee, in union with that most holy Sacrifice offered by the same Christ our Lord at the Last Supper, and on the altar of the Cross. I offer it unto Thee with the utmost affection of devotion, out of pure love for Thine infinite goodness, and according to the most holy intention of the same Christ our Lord, and of our holy Mother Church.

At the Confiteor.

O BLESSED Trinity, one God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, prostrate in spirit before Thee, I here confess, in the sight of the whole court of Heaven, and of all Thy faithful, my innumerable treasons against Thy Divine majesty. I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned; I have grievously offended Thee through the whole course of my life, in thought, word, and deed; and therefore am unworthy to lift mine eyes to Heaven, or so much as to utter Thy sacred Name: how much more am I unworthy to appear here in Thy sanctuary, and to assist among Thine Angels at these heavenly mysteries, which require so much purity, because Jesus Christ Himself is here in Person both Priest and Victim! But, O my God, Thy mercies are above all Thy works, and Thou wilt not despise a contrite and humble heart: therefore I here venture to come into Thy temple, and with the poor publican, I strike my breast and say: O God, be merciful to me, a sinner; O God, be merciful to me, a sinner; O God, be merciful to me, a sinner. I humbly hope to find this mercy which I crave, through that Passion and death which are here commemorated. O Fountain of mercy, grant this mercy to me and to all poor sinners! Amen.

When the Priest Goes to the Altar.

LET us adore the Heart of Jesus, which has loved us so much; let us prostrate ourselves before Him, and bewail the sins of which we have been guilty. Grant us, O Lord, a contrite and humble heart; let the homage of our adorations be as acceptable to Thee as if we offered Thee thousands of victims.

At the Introit.

THE Lord hath opened the gates of Heaven; He hath rained down manna to feed us; He hath given us the Bread of Angels. Thy goodness, O my God, hath prepared it for the poor and humble of heart; blessed art Thou, O God of Israel, Thou only canst work such wonders for me. I will offer to Thee, in the presence of all Thy people, the homage of my love and gratitude.

He shall call upon Me and I will hear him. I will deliver him and glorify him with the length of days. He that dwelleth in the aid of the Most High shall abide under the protection of the God of Heaven.

My eyes are ever towards the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the snare: look Thou upon me, and have mercy on me, for I am alone and poor. To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I have put my trust: let me not be confounded.

At the Kyrie. 

O FATHER of infinite mercy, have pity on Thy children; O Jesus, sacrificed for us, apply to us the merits of Thy precious Blood; O Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier, descend into our hearts, and inflame them with Thy love.

At the Gloria in Excelsis.

WHAT happiness for us that the Son of the Most High should have been pleased to dwell amongst us, and have vouchsafed to offer us an abode in His Divine Heart! Suffer us, O Lord, to mingle our voices with those of the angelic choir, to thank Thee for so great a favor; and let us say with them: "Glory to God in the highest heavens." O Almighty Father, we praise Thee, we bless Thee, we adore Thee; we give Thee thanks for all the benefits which Thou hast lavished upon us without ceasing. O Jesus, Lamb without spot, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; Thou only art holy, Thou only art the Lord, Who reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost in glory, and meritest all our homage on earth.

At the Collects.

O LORD, vouchsafe favorably to hear the prayers which Thy priest offers to Thee for the Church and for me. I earnestly beseech Thee to grant me those graces and virtues of which I have need, in order to deserve Thy love. Fill my heart with eternal gratitude for all the blessings which Thou hast conferred upon me, with a lively horror of sin, and with perfect charity towards my neighbor. Make my whole life worthy of one who is Thy child. I deserve not to be heard for my own sake, O my God, but I beseech Thy mercy through the infinite merits of Thy Divine Son.

O Divine Jesus, inexhaustible Fountain of all good things, open to us, we beseech Thee, the interior of Thy Heart, that, having entered by pious meditation into this august sanctuary of Divine love, we may fix forever there our hearts, as the place wherein are found the treasure, the repose, and the happiness of holy souls.

At the Epistle.

THOU hast vouchsafed, O Lord, to teach us Thy sacred truths by the Prophets and Apostles. O, grant that we may so improve by their doctrine and example in the love of Thy holy Name and of Thy holy law, that we may show forth by our lives Whose disciples we are; that we may no longer follow the corrupt inclinations of flesh and blood, but master all our passions; that we may be ever directed by Thy light, and strengthened by Thy grace, to walk in the way of Thy commandments, and to serve Thee with clean hearts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.

At the Gospel.

O GOD, the Father of light, blessed forever be Thy mercy, whereby Thou hast called the nations of the earth from the darkness of ignorance and the shades of death into the marvelous light of Thy faith; grant that all mankind, being delivered by Thee from the slavery of Satan and of sin, may take upon them the light burden and sweet yoke of Thy holy law; that Thy Name may be known and praised through all the earth. Behold, O Lord, how many are there who still remain in the darkness of error and of sin; and amongst those who know Thy Name, behold how many, with an unspeakable malice, love and worship themselves and created things, instead of Thee, Who art the only and infinite God! Grant, then, we beseech Thee, by Thine almighty grace, that all mankind may become one family of Saints, seeking only Thy kingdom and justice. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the Creed.

I FIRMLY believe ----- because God, Who is infallible truth, hath so revealed it to the holy Catholic Church, and through the Church to us
----- I firmly believe that there is only one God, in three Divine Persons, equal and distinct, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: that the Son became Man, and through the operation of the Holy Spirit took flesh and a human soul in the womb of the most pure Virgin Mary, died for us upon the Cross, rose again, ascended into Heaven, and will come from thence at the end of the world to judge all the living and dead, to give Paradise to the good, and Hell to the wicked forever; and furthermore, upon the same motive, I believe everything that holy Church believes and teaches. In this faith I desire to live and die. Grant, O, Lord, that my life may be conformable with my faith, that my faith may be animated by good works, that I may never be ashamed to declare myself a Catholic, and may constantly maintain the interests of Thy holy religion. Draw closer to me, Lord, the bonds that bind me to Thy holy Church; put into my heart a spirit of perfect obedience to its lawful pastors. In its bosom I became Thy child, and in its bosom I desire to live and die.

During the Offertory.

I ADORE Thee, O my God; and, in union with the priest, offer Thee this sacrifice, for Thy honor and glory, in thanksgiving for all the benefits conferred upon myself and upon the whole world; and in satisfaction for my many sins, and the sins of all men. Accept, O Lord, this holocaust, which is no other than Thy Divine Son, at once made Priest and Victim, and apply His saving merits to my needy soul.

Be comforted, O my heart, Jesus sacrifices Himself for thee. O my Lord Jesus Christ, in remembrance and praise of Thy boundless love with which Thou didst give Thyself wholly to us upon the altar of the Cross, behold I offer unto Thee this day this present sacrifice of the Mass, together with all those which are celebrated throughout the world, by the hands of Thy priest, to be presented to Thine Eternal Father, in union with, and in virtue of, that oblation in which Thou Thyself, dying on the Cross, didst offer Thy sacred Body and Blood for the salvation of the world.

Grant that the oblation of Thy same Body and Blood, which here is renewed in mystery, and is made under the form of bread and wine, may effectually obtain its proper fruit; that thereby the living may receive grace, and the faithful departed everlasting rest.

Accept, also, O Lord, this same sacrifice, which contains in itself the fruit of Thy Passion and death, as an act of thanksgiving for the innumerable benefits Thou hast conferred upon us, and a propitiation and satisfaction for the countless sins we have committed, the good we have omitted to do, and the punishments we have deserved. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.

Sin hath made us the enemies of our God, but Jesus Christ, by His death, hath reconciled us with His Divine Father. It is in the Sacred Heart that this reconciliation is accomplished. O my soul, how Jesus Christ hath loved us! At what a price He hath redeemed us! Not with gold, nor with riches, but by the voluntary shedding of His Blood! He hath sacrificed Himself for us; let us, then, love only for Him, let us sacrifice ourselves together with Him.

Thou willest, O Jesus, that I should be a victim of love, wholly consecrated to Thy Divine Heart; it is my most ardent desire. Thy benefits are numberless; Thou hast broken the bonds of my servitude; Thou hast adopted me for Thy child; Thou hast admitted me to Thy table; Thou hast given me a place in Thy Divine Heart; and even yet, for all my continual prevarications, Thou preparest me an everlasting blessedness; how could I ever forget so many benefits? I will publish Thy mercies, and will never cease to love Thee with all the fervor of my heart. But, O my God, my heart is not full enough of love and fervor to be an offering worthy of Thee. What, then, shall I give Thee? I will give Thee Thy Son.

That Thy Son, the most worthy object of Thy complacency, will supply my inability, O Lord, look not on me, but on this Divine Offering.

At the Lavabo.

O MY Jesus, would that I could take Thee to witness the holiness of my life and the innocence of my heart. But, with the Prophet, I must cry out: It is in Thy mercy only that I place my hope; my consolation is in meditating on Thy promises to the penitent heart, and Thy faithfulness in performing them: confounded this day, and encouraged by the favors which Thou hast bestowed upon me, I can but promise to correspond better with Thy graces than I have hitherto done. I will purify myself more and more with tears of penitence; I will bless Thee as I do this day; and I will sing of the wonders of Thy power and of Thy mercy.

At the Suscipe.

O MOST holy and adorable Trinity, vouchsafe to receive this our sacrifice, in remembrance of our Savior's Passion, Resurrection, and glorious Ascension; and grant that we may die with Him to our sins; rise with Him to a new life, and ascend with Him to Thee. Let those Saints, whose memory we celebrate on earth, remember us before Thy throne in Heaven, and obtain mercy for us, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the Orate Fratres.

THE creature can offer nothing to the Creator that can be worthy of His acceptance; I unite myself, therefore, to the sacrifices of Jesus Christ, which can alone merit anything in my behalf. I desire nothing but through Him and with Him. I have no wish beyond Him. O God of mercy, I seek nothing but Thy love. Graciously accept of the sacrifice of my heart and of my whole self, and may it, like the sacrifice of Jesus, be pleasing to Thee and unite us to Him.

At the Secret.

MERCIFULLY hear our prayers, O Lord, and graciously accept this oblation which we Thy servants make to Thee; and as we offer it to the honor of Thy Name, so may it be to us a means of obtaining Thy grace and life everlasting hereafter. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

At the Preface.

LIFT up, O Lord, do Thou Thyself lift up my heart to Thee. Take from it all unholy thoughts, all earthly affections. Lift it wholly up to Heaven, where Thou art worthily adored, and to the altar, where Thou art about to manifest Thyself to me. My life is but one continual succession of Thy mercies, let it be one continual succession of thanksgivings; and as Thou art now about to renew the greatest of all sacrifices, is it not meet that I should burst forth in expressions of heartfelt gratitude? Suffer me, then, to join my feeble voice with the voices of all the heavenly spirits, and in union with them to say, in a transport of joy and admiration:

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth! Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory! Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!

At the Canon.

O ETERNAL and most merciful Father, behold, we come to offer Thee our homage this day: we desire to adore, praise, and glorify Thee, and to give Thee thanks for Thy great glory, joining our hearts and voices with all Thy blessed in Heaven, and with Thy whole Church upon earth. But acknowledging our great unworthiness and innumerable sins, for which we are heartily sorry and humbly beg Thy pardon, we dare not venture to approach Thee otherwise than in company of Thy Son, our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast given us to be both our High Priest and Sacrifice. With Him, therefore, and through Him, we venture to offer Thee this sacrifice, to His most sacred intentions we desire to unite ours: and with this offering which He makes of Himself, we desire to make an offering of our whole being to Thee. With Him, and through Him, we beseech Thee to exalt Thy holy Catholic Church throughout the whole world: to maintain her in peace, unity, holiness, and truth; to have mercy on Thy servant N ..., our chief bishop, N ..., our prelate, and on all that truly fear Thee; on our pastor (parents, children), friends, and benefactors, etc.; on all whom we have in any way scandalized, injured, or offended, or for whom we are in any other way bound to pray; on all that are in their agony, or under violent temptation, or other necessities, corporal or spiritual; on all our enemies; and, in a word, on all poor sinners; that we may all be converted to Thee, and find mercy through Jesus Christ Thy Son; through Whom we hope one day to be admitted into the company of all Thy Saints and Elect, whose memory we here celebrate, whose prayers we desire, and with whom we communicate in these holy mysteries.

When the Priest Spreads his Hands over the Oblation.

(Here the bell is rung.)

GIVE ear, we beseech Thee, to the prayers of Thy servant, who is here appointed to make this oblation in our behalf; and grant that it may be effectual for the obtaining of all those blessings which he asks for us.

Behold, O Lord, we all here present to Thee, in this bread and wine, the symbols of our perfect union. Grant, O Lord, that they may be made for us the true Body and Blood of Thy dear Son; that, being consecrated to Thee by this holy Victim, we may live in Thy service, and depart this life in Thy grace.

At the Consecration.

Bow down your body and soul in solemn adoration; make an act of faith in the teal presence of our Savior's Body, and Blood, Soul and Divinity, under the sacramental veil. Offer your whole life to Him, and through Him to His Father: beg that your heart and soul may be happily united to Him.

At the Elevation of the Host.

(Here the bell is rung thrice.)

HAIL, true Body, born of the Virgin Mary, which didst truly suffer and wast immolated on the Cross for man, Whose side was pierced, and flowed with water and with Blood; may we have a foretaste of Thee in the last agony of death. O kind, O loving One, Jesus, Son of Mary, have mercy on us! Amen.

At the Elevation of the Chalice.

(Here also the bell is run thrice.)

SAVIOR of the world, save us; for by Thy Cross and by Thy Blood Thou hast redeemed us; help us, we beseech Thee, O our God. Amen. Have mercy on me, dear Jesus, and grant that Thy Blood may not be shed in vain for me, I most humbly beseech Thee. Amen.

A Prayer after the Elevation.

LOOK down, O Lord, we beseech Thee, upon this sacred Victim Which was once offered to Thee upon the Cross, and is now daily offered to Thee. Remember that Thine Only-begotten Son for us, poor sinners, was conceived and born into this world; that He suffered a bitter agony and sweat of Blood for us. He was betrayed into the hands of sinners, buffeted, spat upon, and in many ways abused; for us He was scourged at a pillar, crowned with thorns, and nailed to a Cross; for us He died and for us He triumphed over death by His Resurrection, and He opened Heaven for us by His Ascension. We desire gratefully to commemorate all these mysteries this day, in the oblation of this pure and holy sacrifice. Oh, look not on our sins, but on the infinite ransom paid for them. And whilst we offer it here below upon our altars, do Thou receive it upon Thine altar above, from the hands of the Angel of great Counsel, the eternal Priest; and from thence send down Thy blessing upon all of us who here below assist at Thy Divine mysteries. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the Memento for the Dead.

I OFFER Thee again, O Lord, this holy sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Thine only Son, on behalf of the faithful departed, and in particular for the souls of ... (here name whom you chiefly propose to pray for), my parents (if dead), relatives, benefactors, neighbors, etc. I offer it also for all whom I may have injured, or of whose sins I may have been the occasion; also for all who may have injured me, or who have been unfriendly towards me, and for all who have no friends to pray for them. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and peace. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the Nobis Quoque Peccatoribus.

VOUCHSAFE to grant mercy also to us, poor and miserable sinners: judge us not according to our demerits; but through the infinite multitude of Thy mercies, in which we hope, liberally extend to us Thy grace and pardon.
We ask it of Thee in the Name of Thy dear Son, Who liveth and reigneth eternally with Thee, and in that form of prayer which He Himself hath taught us.

At the Pater Noster.

OUR Father, Who reignest in Heaven, come and; reign in my soul, come and sanctify it by Thy presence; come and subject it to Thy holy will, and render it obedient to the inspirations of Thy grace. Extinguish in my heart every feeling of hatred and revenge: forgive me as I forgive. Grant to me such wisdom and such strength that I may triumph over all temptations. Deliver me from all those evils which oppress me, and under which I groan. Being burdened, I come to Thee, as a child to his father, for help; as a subject to his prince, to be protected; as one afflicted, to his only succor, to be consoled and comforted.

At the Libera nos.

DELIVER us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all evils, past, present, and to come; and by the intercession of Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, and of all the Saints, mercifully grant peace in our days, that by the assistance of Thy holy grace we may be always free from sin and secure from all disturbance.

At the Pax Domini.

Thy Body was pierced, and Thy Blood shed for us! grant that the commemoration of this holy mystery may obtain for us peace; and that those who receive it may find everlasting rest.

  O Lamb of God, pure and spotless Victim, Who only canst satisfy the justice of an offended God, vouchsafe to make me partaker of the merits of Thy sacrifice. What lessons of humility, meekness, charity and patience dost Thou not give me! Impress these virtues upon my heart, that it may be to Thee a pleasant habitation, wherein Thou mayest repose as in an abode of peace.

After the Agnus Dei.

 IN saying to Thine Apostles, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, Thou hast promised, O Lord, to all Thy Church that peace which the world cannot give
----- peace with Thee, and peace with ourselves.

Let nothing, O Lord, ever interrupt this holy peace; let nothing separate us from Thee, to Whom we heartily desire to be united, through the blessed Sacrament of peace and reconciliation. Let this Food of Angels strengthen us in every Christian duty, so as never more to yield under temptation, or fall into our common weaknesses.

O my good God, and sweet Savior Jesus, Who art present here for my sake and givest Thyself to me for daily food, and for the supply of all my necessities; since without Thee, Who art the true Food of my soul, I cannot live, I humbly beseech Thee to refresh me spiritually, and make me partaker of that grace which they experience who devoutly receive Thee. O good Jesus, despise me not, but vouchsafe to visit Thy servant, and by Thy grace to work and perfect all the effects and virtues of Thy holy Sacrament in me, to Thy honor, O my God, and the eternal salvation of my soul. Amen.

Soul of Christ, sanctify me; Body of Christ, save me; Blood of Christ, inebriate me; water out of 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; defend me from the malignant enemy; at the hour of my death call me, and bid me come unto Thee, that with Thy Saints, I may praise Thee for all eternity. Amen.

At the Domine, non sum dignus.

God can only be worthy of receiving God; how, then, can a soul so sinful as mine merit so great a happiness! But Thou, O Lord, regardest not Thy greatness, but Thy mercy. Thou willest that I come to Thee, as one sick to the physician who can heal him, as one poor to the rich lord who can assist him. O God of love, behold at Thy feet the poorest, the most infirm of Thy creatures. Unite me to Thyself, and I shall become rich and whole in Thy sight. Work, I, beseech Thee, this miracle, worthy of Thine omnipotence and charity.

While the Priest Communicates.

O SACRED banquet, in which Christ is received, the memory of His Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us!

Grant, O Lord Jesus, that we may so reverence the sacred Mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, that we may ever find in ourselves the fruits of Thy redemption. Amen.

Act of Spiritual Communion for Those Who do not Communicate.

O MY most loving Savior, since I cannot have the happiness of receiving Thee this day, suffer me to gather up the precious crumbs that fall from Thy table, and to unite myself to Thy Divine Heart by faith, hope, and charity. I confess I do not deserve the children's bread; but I venture humbly to declare that, away from Thee, my soul is dried up with thirst, and my heart cast down with faintness. Come, then, into me, O my Divine Jesus! come into my mind, to illuminate it with Thy light; come into my heart, to enkindle in it the fire of Thy love, and to unite it so intimately with Thine Own, that it may be no more I that live, but Thou that livest in me, and reignest in me forever.

Prayer during the Ablutions.

GRANT US, O Lord, a part in the fruits of Thy death and Passion, the sacred memory of which we have this day commemorated. I adore Thy goodness, O gracious Lord, for Thine inestimable favor in admitting me to be present again at that holy sacrifice where Thou art both Priest and Victim. Oh, make me always sensible of so great a blessing, and let not my unworthiness put a bar to Thy mercy and goodness.

At the Communion.

LET it be now, O Lord, the effect of Thy mercy, that we, who have been present at this holy mystery, may find the benefit of it in our souls. Oh, how sweet, Lord, is Thy Spirit, Who, to show Thy sweetness towards Thy children, givest them the most delicious bread from Heaven, and sendest the proud away empty.

At the Postcommunion.

POUR forth upon us, O Lord, the Spirit Of Thy love, that, by Thy mercy, Thou mayest make those of one mind whom Thou hast fed with one celestial food. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth With Thee, world without end. Amen.

We give Thee thanks, O God, for Thy mercy in admitting us to have a part in offering this sacrifice to Thy holy Name; accept it now to Thy glory. and be ever mindful of our weakness.

At the Last Gospel.

O ETERNAL Word, speak to my soul, which adores Thee in profound silence; Thou Who art the great Creator of all things, abandon not, I beseech Thee, Thine Own creature; be Thou my life, my light, and my all.

  O Light eternal, enlighten me as to this present life, and in the life to come.

Reign in me as in Thine Own inheritance; for Thou, O Lord, hast made me; Thou hast redeemed me. May I be ever Thine!


The Priest with the people recites the Hail Mary thrice, the Salve Regina:


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is
the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Salve Regina

HAIL, holy Queen, Mother of mercy.
Hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
To thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us.
And after this our exile show unto us
the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

  and the following:

Let us pray.

O GOD, our refuge and our strength, look down with favor upon Thy people, who cry to Thee; and through the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of her spouse, blessed Joseph, of Thy holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, mercifully and graciously hear the prayers which we pour forth to Thee for the conversion of sinners and for the liberty and exaltation of Holy Mother Church. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Add the Invocation:

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. We humbly beseech God to command him; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the Divine power thrust into Hell Satan and the other evil spirits who roam through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us. (Three times.)

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