As part of our 40 meditations on the Mass, we scatter prayers and poetry and hymns to help us reflect further on the deep meaning of the Eucharist.
This hymn, written by Church of England priest, theologian and hymn writer, William Bright (1824-1901), expresses the intimate connection between the Eucharist and the once and for all sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
In the Eucharist, we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes again. Through the Eucharist, we place our trust and only hope in all that his death has brought for us and the world. We acknowledge our unworthiness but we are drawn to the feet of our “most patient Saviour, who canst love us still.”
And now, O Father, mindful of the love that bought us, once for all, on Calvary's tree, and having with us him that pleads above, we here present, we here spread forth to thee that only offering perfect in thine eyes, the one true, pure, immortal sacrifice. Look, Father, look on his anointed face, and only look on us as found in him; look not on our misusings of thy grace, our prayer so languid, and our faith so dim: for lo, between our sins and their reward we set the passion of thy Son our Lord. And then for those, our dearest and our best, by this prevailing presence we appeal: O fold them closer to thy mercy's breast, O do thine utmost for their souls' true weal; from tainting mischief keep them white and clear, and crown thy gifts with strength to persevere. And so we come: O draw us to thy feet, most patient Saviour, who canst love us still; and by this food, so awful and so sweet, deliver us from every touch of ill: in thine own service make us glad and free, and grant us never more to part with thee. William Bright (1824-1901)