An Exhortation

Beloved in the Lord: Our Savior Christ, on the night before 
he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and
 Blood as a sign and pledge of his love, for the continual 
remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, and for a spiritual 
sharing in his risen life.  For in these holy Mysteries we are
 made one with Christ, and Christ with us; we are made one
 body in him, and members one of another.

The Rood

The Rood

Having in mind, therefore, his great love for us, and in
 obedience to his command, his Church renders to Almighty 
God our heavenly Father never-ending thanks for the 
creation of the world, for his continual providence over us, 
for his love for all mankind, and for the redemption of the
 world by our Savior Christ, who took upon himself our flesh, 
and humbled himself even to death on the cross, that he 
might make us the children of God by the power of the Holy
 Spirit, and exalt us to everlasting life.

But if we are to share rightly in the celebration of those holy Mysteries, and be nourished by that spiritual Food, we must 
remember the dignity of that holy Sacrament. I therefore call 
upon you to consider how Saint Paul exhorts all persons to 
prepare themselves carefully before eating of that Bread and
 drinking of that Cup.

For, as the benefit is great, if with penitent hearts and living
 faith we receive the holy Sacrament, so is the danger great, if 
we receive it improperly, not recognizing the Lord’s Body.
  Judge yourselves, therefore, lest you be judged by the Lord.

Examine your lives and conduct by the rule of God’s
 commandments, that you may perceive wherein you have 
offended in what you have done or left undone, whether in
 thought, word, or deed. And acknowledge your sins before 
Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life, being
 ready to make restitution for all injuries and wrongs done by
 you to others; and also being ready to forgive those who have
 offended you, in order that you yourselves may be forgiven.
  And then, being reconciled with one another, come to the
 banquet of that most heavenly Food.

And if, in your preparation, you need help and counsel, then
 go and open your grief to a discreet and understanding priest,
 and confess your sins, that you may receive the benefit of
 absolution, and spiritual counsel and advice; to the removal
 of scruple and doubt, the assurance of pardon, and the 
strengthening of your faith. 

To Christ our Lord who loves us, and washed us in his own 
blood, and made us a kingdom of priests to serve his God
 and Father, to him be glory in the Church evermore. Through
 him let us offer continually the sacrifice of praise, which is
 our bounden duty and service, and, with faith in him, come 
boldly before the throne of grace.

The Book of Common Prayer 1979, pages 316-317