My First Holy Communion day was one of the most memorable days of my childhood. I had a private Mass said just for me, and my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all came to witness me receiving Jesus in the Eucharist for the very first time. The priest gave me the Rosary that I still use to this day, and my parents gave me a near-identical porcelain doll donning a white gown and veil and the same straight-across brown bangs as myself.
Of all of the gifts I received on that special day, however, the most meaningful gift ended up being the smallest one, and something that I still use every single week two decades later. It was a prayer card featuring an image of the Child Jesus on one side and a prayer called “Little White Guest” on the other side, given to me by my godmother.
While most of my other “holy cards” found their forever home in one of my two large albums designated for them (yes, they were my most prized collection), this particular card I carried around with me for years until the words on the backside spewed out from memory every time I received the Body of Christ upon my tongue.
To this day, the interval of time immediately proceeding the receiving of Holy Communion and before the final blessing is my favorite time of the Mass. It is an opportunity for me to truly enter into communion with my Lord and to thank Him for allowing me to receive this precious gift—the gift of Himself. It is a time to—quite literally—be with Him for a few minutes and to reflect upon all He has given me and all that He is.
3 Prayers to Pray After Receiving Communion
The following three prayers give me pause for reflection and prompt me to enter into true conversation with Him before the end of Mass.
1. Little White Guest
I remember trying to wrap my small head around the concept of transubstantiation in second grade, attempting to understand what it really meant to consume His true Body and true Blood in the Eucharist. I’m not going to lie—it definitely sounded scary and confusing.
The little prayer card I received on my First Communion day with the prayer “Little White Guest” printed on it truly helped me to visualize this union with Jesus in the Eucharist. It allowed me to realize that I was not just eating a small wafer of bread, but I was receiving and welcoming a Little White Guest into my body and my heart. It was a concept that helped me then, and still helps me now.
Learning this prayer has taught me how to talk and listen to Jesus during those most intimate moments when He is not only with me but within me. It has helped me remember to cultivate this habit of immediately entering into conversation with Jesus upon receiving Him every single week.
You have come to my heart, dearest Jesus,
I am holding You close to my breast;
I’m telling You over and over,
You are welcome, Little White Guest.
I love You, I love You, my Jesus, O please do not think I am bold; Of course, You must know that I love You, But I am sure that you like to be told.
I’ll whisper, “I love You, my Jesus,” And ask that we never may part; I love You, O kind, loving Jesus And press You still nearer my heart.
And when I shall meet You in Heaven, My soul then will lean on Your breast; And You will recall our fond meetings, When You were my Little White Guest.
2. Anima Christi
I first discovered the Anima Christi prayer while flipping through an old Pieta prayer book in high school. The beautiful words pierced me with their sharp imagery. I started carrying the prayer book with me to Mass so that I could add this prayer to my after-communion prayer arsenal.
While this prayer is widely attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola, its actual origins are unknown, as it actually has been dated back several centuries before St. Ignatius’s time.
If “Little White Guest” introduces the idea of transubstantiation, “Anima Christi” makes it abundantly real, as this prayer reveals that we receive Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist. It also evokes vivid images of Christ’s Passion, thus prompting us to meditate on His Passion and Death.
It begs Christ to stay close to us, and it is a popular prayer to say after Communion precisely because that is when He is the closest to us. I can’t imagine more beautiful words to unite us with Christ immediately following our receiving Him in Holy Communion.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me;
Body of Christ, save me;
Blood of Christ, inebriate me;
Water from the side of Christ, wash me;
Passion of Christ, strengthen me;
O good Jesus hear me;
Within your wounds hide me;
separated from you, let me never be;
From the evil one protect me;
At the hour of my death, call me;
And close to you bid me; That with your saints,
I may be praising you forever and ever.
3. The Divine Praises
Because we so often only call upon God in prayer when we need something or have a special petition, it’s important that we still remember to sing His praises as well. For this reason, I love reciting the Divine Praises following Communion, as it reminds me of who God is and why we call Him “blessed.”
Most commonly prayed during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (after Benediction but before the Host is placed back into the tabernacle), this prayer is a wonderful way to show respect and praise not only to God, but to His Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, and all the angels and Saints. It reminds us of the key role the Holy Family should play in our daily lives, and is therefore a wonderful prayer to keep in our back pocket at all times.
However, by reciting the Divine Praises right after Holy Communion and before the close of Mass, it orients us to really reflect upon the Divine for the coming week.
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy.
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her Glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.
A Time to Commune
There is no greater gift than God’s gift of Himself to us in Holy Communion, and there is nothing more rewarding than taking advantage of that intimacy by uniting in fervent reflection and prayer during that precious time immediately upon receiving His Body and Blood.
Are there any special prayers you recite after receiving Communion? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!3 Prayers to Pray After Receiving Communion #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Madeleine Coyne is a stay-at-home mom and freelance writer with an affinity for anything concerning the written word and a penchant for learning about the lives of the Saints. She writes regularly for Verily and Natural Womanhood, and shares too many pictures of her daughter on Instagram.