Saturday, March 8, 2008


Fr. Martin Fox makes an excellent case for more regular use of the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I) on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation - especially for Lent, as it seems to prepare us for the Sacred Triduum.

As I was praying it the other day, I thought: when do we hear about Abraham's sacrifice--and I realized, at the Vigil! (At least we will, this year, as we will have all the readings for the first time.) And we hear about Melchizedek on Holy Thursday. I can't recall when Abel comes up, but perhaps one of the readers can fill that in.
Another reason to pray the Roman Canon is that it conveys a strong sense of the Real Presence. All the Eucharistic prayers convey the real presence and a sense of sacrifice--contrary to the allegations of some so-called traditionalists--but the Roman Canon expresses them rather strongly. (As does the fourth prayer, in my judgment.)
Some will be surprised by this, but--I think the Roman Canon makes sense for younger children. Here's why I say that. As far as the language of the prayers, they are all over the head of young children; and they are all "too long." But the Roman Canon has two features that would seem to appeal to younger children.

This goes to show there's more reasoning to the use of EP-I than just the fact that before the 1970 Missal the Roman Canon was THE Eucharistic Prayer.

Most priests I've worked with tend to use either EP-II or EP-III (EP-II prayed especially by those priests who want the people in and out). Out here the Roman Canon gets prayed at the "big Masses" only - you know, those "APEX Catholic" Masses. Remember the APEX Catholic? That stands for Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Easter, and Xmas. You can add Holy Thursday to the list of Masses where the Roman Canon is usually prayed.

My most recent former pastor liked to mix things up. He used all of the four original Eucharistic Prayers and the two for Reconciliation. Of course, he always used EP-I for the "big Masses". And personally, I like EP-IV for that change of pace - especially with that John 3:16 connection (Father, you so loved the world that in the fullness of time you sent your only Son to be our Savior).

Fr. Fox mentions four additional prayers - well, four variations of what's known as the "Swiss Prayer". Anyone have a link to that?


1 comment:

PhiMuAlpha2681 said...

I think what he's calling the "Swiss Prayer" may be the Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs and Occasions. If you go back to his post, and scroll to the bottom of the comments, someone named Simple Sinner posted a link that has all the EPs.