BY John MacDuff, 1885


Almighty and Everlasting God, we bless You for the return of another day. Pour out upon us a double portion of Your grace—fill our hearts with Your love. May all vain, and wandering, and sinful thoughts be repressed; may our communion and fellowship this day be with You, and with Your Son Jesus Christ. We thank You for the prospect we have of anew commemorating the dying love of our risen and exalted Redeemer—of surrounding once more the table in the wilderness, and partaking of the bread of everlasting life. Give to each of us the "wedding garment." Let us prepare to meet our God. May we feel that the place whereon we are to stand is holy ground; and rejoice at the renewed opportunity of testifying, in the presence of angels and men, our unaltered and unalterable attachment to our blessed Lord and Master.

In a strength greater than our own, may we be enabled to resolve, that He will be henceforth ours only--ours wholly--ours forever. Give us this day lively apprehensions of the great love with which He has loved us. May these dead and lukewarm souls of ours be quickened into newness of life. May our faith be invigorated, and our love deepened, and our graces strengthened. May this be the grateful aspirations of all our hearts, "What shall we render unto the Lord for all His benefits towards us? We will take the cup of Salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord; we will pay our vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people."

We pray for all who are to receive along with us this day, the sacred emblems. Give to each of them some special tokens of Your covenant love. May they see the King in His beauty. May their experience be, "It was good for us to draw near unto God." Keep back all presumptuous and unworthy guests. Encourage all trembling, faint-hearted ones. While feeling their own unworthiness, may they remember they go to commemorate the infinite worthiness of Him who is All worthy. May they hear Your voice of encouragement saying, "Fear not, for I know that you seek Jesus, who was crucified."

Go forth this day everywhere with the preaching of Your holy Gospel. May wanderers be reclaimed; may mourners be comforted; may saints be edified; may Your name be glorified. Stand by Your ministering servants—may they hear the sound of their Master's footsteps behind them—may they hide themselves behind their Lord, pointing away from the excellency of their own speech and their own wisdom--to Him, who alone, by the attractive power of His Cross, can draw all men unto Himself.

We commend to Your paternal keeping our beloved friends. May they be among the number of Your sealed ones. Sanctify them in body, soul, and spirit, that they may at last be presented faultless and unblamable before Your dear Son at His appearing.

Bless this household. Let us all at last sit down, one united and undivided family, with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, at the better feast of communion in Your heavenly kingdom. And all that we ask, is for the sake of our adorable Redeemer. Amen.