You may have noticed a new music addition during Mass. I'm speaking about the brief refrain being sung while the Body and Blood of Christ is distributed to the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, right before the “official” Communion hymn. One song is “This is Jesus” by Jim Cowan, and the other song is “Sanctuary” by John W. Thompson and Randy Scruggs.
With both of these songs, we are singing only the refrain repetitively, and we can alternate between these songs from one liturgical season to another. Repetition is the mother of all learning, and so we will sing one of these songs for an entire liturgical season and sing only the refrain so that at some point we can sing these songs without needing the lyrics and music right in front of us.
The purpose for these songs is to prepare ourselves spiritually and mentally for the reception of Holy Communion. This should become clear as we ponder the lyrics of each song.
These are the lyrics of “This is Jesus”: This is Jesus, Emmanuel. God is with us, in this sacrament, come receive him, adore him. This is Jesus, our Lord.
Now we turn to the lyrics of “Sanctuary”: Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true, with thanksgiving, I'll be a living sanctuary for You.
May we always prepare ourselves fully to receive our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament so as to allow Him to transform each one of us beginning with our hearts and souls. Have a great week!