The priest prepares for Communion by quietly saying one of two prayers addressed to Jesus Christ. These prayers are suitable for use by the laity as well, who are also encouraged to make a similar act of preparation. (GIRM 84)The other prayer is a composition from the tenth century, although it has an ancestor in the Apostolic Constitutions of the late fourth century. The priest prays for a worthy reception of Holy Communion:
May the receiving of your Body and Blood, Lord Jesus Christ,Jn 6:53-56This prayer has been almost entirely reworded to better match the structure and language of the Latin prayer. The word “judgment” has been restored alongside “condemnation”, and this part of the prayer alludes to 1 Cor 11:27-29, where Paul writes about the result of receiving Communion in an unworthy manner. Anyone who receives Communion regularly (especially daily) has great reason to pray fervently for a worthy reception. We are creatures of habit, and frequent reception of the Eucharist can turn into a routine, leading to that sort of thoughtlessness and carelessness that paves the way to an unworthy Communion.
not bring me to judgment and condemnation, 1 Cor 11:27-29
but through your loving mercy Ps 25:6; Lk 1:78; Jude 21
be for me protection in mind and body Ps 91:14; 1 Th 5:23; 1 Pt 2:25
and a healing remedy. Sir 34:17; Rev 22:2
The priest asks for “protection in mind and body” on account of the spiritual combat we endure in this world. (Catechism 409; 1 Pt 2:11) Satan seeks to darken our intellect and weaken our wills to coerce us into sin; he “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.” (1 Pt 5:8) Communion refreshes our souls and strengthens the life of grace. (Catechism 1392) It gives us the grace to avoid mortal sin and wipes away venial sin (Catechism 1393-1395), thus protecting us and serving as “a healing remedy”. As the “medicine of immortality,” it is our pledge of the integral healing and restoration of body and soul to take place in the resurrection. (Catechism 1405)