As most of us know, it is not unusual for some priests in the independent sacramental movement to celebrate the mass physically alone. While some are uncomfortable with this practice (and I fully expect Alexis to articulate that position!), I think solitary celebration can be a healthy part of a priestly vocation. It joins the priest to Christ the intercessor, and unites her to the prayers of all the angels and saints. The entire Body of Christ is mystically present at the altar, at every mass. Hermit priests in the larger churches (e.g. Carthusian priests in the Roman denomination) have a long history of understanding their vocations in similar ways. It would be a great project for someone to look at what hermit priests have written about their vocations over the centuries, and how that does (or does not) translate to the situation of modern non-eremitical solitaries. Anyhow, I happened across this lovely prayer to be said before a private mass, in The Sacramentary of the Servant Catholic Church, v.1, p.62 (1987):
Heavenly Father, you are our beginning and our end, the source and center of all we are and of all we can become. Purify us by your presence, quiet our earthly concerns, and free us to worship you in spirit and in truth, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
I will go to the altar of God, the God who is my joy.
In your presence, Almighty God, I am never alone. At your altar, as in the world, I am one with Christ, and one with your people on earth and in heaven. My prayer is the prayer of the Church. My offering is Christ’s offering. I pray in every language. I hold up hurts and happiness. I am your priest.
Empty me of myself that I may give you greater glory and serve all your people in my worship.
The sacramentary does not give an author for the prayer, but I suspect it was written by Robert Burns, who was the bishop-primate of the Servant Catholic Church at the time of its publication.