Those who sorely miss attendance at daily Mass during Lent, and especially those who do not even have Holy Mass available to them on Sundays and Holydays, may derive great spiritual benefits from the following devotion, taken verbatim from a pre-Vatican II missal.
It often happens that Christians from being at a distance from a church, from illness, or from other unavoidable impediments, may be unable to hear Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation. Causes may excuse bodily presence, but do not dispense us from uniting ourselves in spirit to those who actually enjoy the happiness of being in God's holy temple.
The Sundays and feasts are instituted by the Church, that we many render unto God, in a solemn form of divine institution, that worship which we owe Him every moment of our lives. This worship is the Mass; and it is offered for us even when we are not actually present. But to enjoy the benefits which it procures, we must, by a spiritual Communion, become partakers of the altar from which we are temporarily banished. Excite a desire of visiting the House of God and, choosing a proper time, let the whole family kneel before a crucifix, a statue of the Blessed Virgin, or a pious picture. Then, transporting themselves in spirit before the altar where Mass is being celebrated, let them endeavor to follow the service there performed.
Form of Making a Good Intention before Holy Mass.
(To be used when one is hindered from going to church.)
I believe, Lord Jesus, that in the Last Supper Thou didst offer up a true Sacrifice; I believe it because Thou hast made it known to us through the Catholic Church, which from Apostolic times has constantly taught the same to us. Since Thou didst command the Apostles, and the priests ordained by them, to do the same till the end of time, I therefore offer to Thee, with the priest, this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (which I believe to be one with that offered on Mount Calvary) to Thine honor and glory, in acknowledgment of my most bounden service, in thanksgiving for the innumerable benefits which Thou hast conferred upon me and upon the whole world, in satisfaction for my sins and the sins of all mankind, and for obtaining the grace of perfect contrition for my sins. I also offer to Thee this Holy Mass for my friends and benefactors, for those for whom I am bound, and for whom Thou wilt me to pray. I also offer it for my enemies, that they may be converted, for all the faithful departed, particularly for my parents and relatives, and for the welfare of all Christendom.
Most Holy Trinity, God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and almighty Source of all things; my best Father, my merciful Redeemer, the Fountain of my sanctification and happiness, I, Thy most unworthy creature, venture to appear before Thee, to show to Thee, my true God and Creator, all honor, adoration, and trustful submission; to thank Thee for the innumerable benefits which I have received from Thee, to praise Thee for Thy glory (for I am created for Thy praise); to implore Thy mercies, and to appease Thy justice, because 1 have so often and so grievously sinned against Thee. All this 1 cannot do in a worthier and more perfect manner than by hearing, with faith and devotion, Holy Mass. For in that Holy Sacrifice is offered to Thee the most sublime Sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, the most efficacious Sacrifice of supplication and propitiation, the most worthy Sacrifice of salvation for the living and dead. But because I cannot this day be present bodily at Holy Mass, I will, at least in spirit, place myself before the altar where Jesus Christ, in an unbloody manner, offers Himself, O Heavenly Father, to Thee. With this glorious Sacrifice I unite my present prayer; I fervently desire, united with the Son of God, in the strongest manner to praise, love, supplicate Thee, O Heavenly Father, to repair all the wrong and shame that I have wrought, and completely to accomplish all that can be accomplished by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. To this end give me Thy divine grace, and grant that I may perform all this with sincere devotion. Amen.
II. Contrition for sins, with faith and confidence in Jesus Christ, and an offering up of His precious merits.
Holy Father, I confess with sorrow that I have seldom served Thee with an undivided heart, but rather have often offended Thee, and by my slothfulness and neglect have brought upon myself infinitely great guilt before Thee. I therefore take refuge in the merits of Thy Beloved Son, now present upon the altar, Who so freely commends and imparts to us His grace and favor. In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Jesus offers to Thee, for me, the highest veneration and love, the most perfect praise, the most hearty thanksgiving, and the most kind expiation. For the perfect forgiveness of sins, O Heavenly Father, I offer up to Thee the whole suffering and death of Jesus Christ, which are now, in an unbloody manner, renewed upon the altar. O most benign Father, Thy Son has suffered and died even for me, a poor sinner. With thankful love I bring before Thee, as a precious and pleasing offering, the infinite merits of His suffering and death. I firmly trust that, on account of this inestimable sacrifice of Thy Son, Thou wilt not regard my guilt, and that Thou wilt increase in me Thy graces. Amen.
O Father of mercies, and God of all consolation, to Thee I turn for help and grace. Graciously look upon my misery and wretchedness, and let my supplications come before Thee. That I may the more surely be heard by Thee, I appear before the throne of Thy grace, which for our salvation, is set up in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, where the innocent Lamb of God is mysteriously offered up to Thee, Holy Father, Almighty God, for the remission of our sins. Regard, I beseech Thee, the innocence of this holy Sacrifice, and for the sake thereof extend to me Thy mercy. Amen.
III. Adoration of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, under appearances of Bread and Wine.
O most holy Jesus, before Thee the heavenly choirs kneel and adore; with them I lift my voice and cry: Holy, holy, holy, art Thou, O Lord of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Thou art present, O Jesus, under the appearances of bread and wine. Hear, O hear my prayer! I strike my breast and confess my unworthiness; but with firm confidence I implore Thee, O Jesus, be merciful to me! O most benign Jesus, forgive me my sins! O holy Blood, wash me from my sins! O precious Blood of Jesus, rich in grace, cry out to heaven for mercy upon me! Most holy God, receive this precious Blood, together with the love through which it was shed; receive it as an offering of my love and thankfulness, for the greatest glory of Thy Name; for the forgiveness of my sins; in satisfaction of the punishments which I have deserved; for the washing away of the stains of my guilt, as reparation for all my neglects, and amendment for all the sins which I have committed through ignorance or frailty; receive it also as a sacrifice for the consolation of the afflicted; for the conversion of sinners; for the recovery of the sick and suffering; for the strengthening of those who draw near to death; for the refreshment, purification, and deliverance of souls of the departed in purgatory. Amen.
IV. Unshaken Confidence in Jesus Christ.
To Thee, O most benign Jesus, I lift up my eyes and my heart. Oh, turn upon me Thy gracious countenance, and Thy true love. Behold, O Lord, my manifest need, and the great danger of my soul. Receive me, O Thou Who art my only true mediator and helper! Be Thou, through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, my salvation, and obtain for me the entire remission of my sins. Oh, represent to Thy Father how cruelly Thou wast scourged, crowned, crucified and put to death for us, and thereby reconcile with the strict justice of God me, a miserable sinner.
Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . .
V. He who asks in the Name of Jesus shall receive.
O Lamb of God, Who didst suffer for us, miserable sinners, have mercy upon me, and offer up to the Father Thy Passion for the forgiveness of my sins! O Lamb of God, Who didst die for us, miserable sinners, have mercy upon me, and offer up to God Thy death in satisfaction for my sins! O Lamb of God, Who didst sacrifice Thyself for us, miserable sinners, have mercy upon me, and offer up Thy holy Blood to the Father for the cleansing of my soul!
Heavenly Father, I offer up to Thee, this precious and most worthy oblation. My sins are more in number than the hairs of my head, but, O just and merciful God, lay this precious offering in the one scale and my sins in the other, and that will far outweigh my guilt. O merciful, O holy God, give me Thy blessing before I end my prayer, and through this blessing let me obtain grace at once to begin to amend my life, and to renounce whatever is sinful and displeasing to Thee. Support me in my weakness; strengthen me when temptations assail me; and let me never forget that Thou art near me.
O precious day! but perhaps the last of my life! O happy day! if it shall make me better! Holy Mother of God, Mary, holy Angels and friends of God, pray for me and lead me in the way of truth. O God, grant Thy love to the living, and Thy peace to the dead. Amen.
Act of Union with the Sacrifice of the Mass, when We Cannot Assist at It.
As I cannot this day enjoy the happiness of assisting at the holy Mysteries, O my God! I transport myself in spirit to the foot of Thine altar; I unite with the Church, which, by the hands of the priest, offers Thee Thine adorable Son; I offer myself with Him, by Him, and in His Name. I adore, I praise, and I thank Thee, imploring Thy mercy, invoking Thine assistance, and presenting Thee the homage I owe Thee as my Creator, the love due to Thee as my Savior. Apply to my soul, I beseech Thee, O merciful Jesus, Thine infinite merits; apply them also to those for whom I particularly wish to pray. I desire to communicate spiritually, that Thy Blood may purify, Thy Flesh strengthen, and Thy Spirit sanctify me. May I never forget that Thou, my Divine Redeemer, hast died for me; may I die to all that is not Thee, that hereafter I may live eternally with Thee. Amen.