The Eucharistic Prayer: the Church's greatest prayer
What congregations say and hear at Mass will change with the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, but the meaning of what Catholic theologians call the greatest prayer of the Church is unchanged.
The Eucharistic Prayer, heard in the middle of every liturgy around the world, recalls the saving mystery of Jesus' death and resurrection and is the highest point of the Mass, said Monsignor Joseph DeGrocco, professor of liturgy and director of liturgical formation at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, N.Y.
The revised translation does not change what's happening during Mass, especially during the consecration, Monsignor DeGrocco said. It just brings the words said closer to the literal Latin translation.
"We believe that when the Church prays the Eucharistic Prayer, that mystery is actually made present," he said.
"Within that prayer, as part of that making present the mystery, the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ."
Various forms of the Eucharistic Prayer will continue to be used throughout the year, depending on liturgical seasons and special occasions, Monsignor DeGrocco said.
Each form expresses the essential beliefs of the Church, but emphasizes different aspects of the theology, he said.
In addition to four principal Eucharistic Prayers, Eucharistic Prayer forms exist for Masses of reconciliation and Masses for various needs and occasions.
Essentially the priest is free to choose whichever prayer he wants to use, but there are guidelines and aspects of good liturgical practice and theology that make some prayers more appropriate at times than others.
Each of the expressions of Eucharistic Prayer offers an emphasis, said Eileen Burke-Sullivan, S.T.D., assistant professor of Pastoral and Systematic Theology and director of the Master of Arts in Ministry Program at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.
By listening to the different Eucharistic Prayers throughout the year, people gain a better understanding of our beliefs.
"The way the prayers are written gives a sense of why and when; they help the assembly to understand more fully how it is called to act more fully in the person of Christ," she said.
—Lisa Maxson, USCCB
Coverage of the Revised Roman Missal
Despite a few 'rough spots,' Catholics adapt to new missal translationWASHINGTON, D.C. — Years of planning went into it, followed by catechesis over the past several months via workshops, classroom and video presentations, diocesan communiques, bishops' pastoral letters,...Read More...
Revised Roman Missal binds Catholics across a 2,000-year historyWASHINGTON, D.C. — When the third edition of the English-language version of the Roman Missal is implemented at Advent, it will mark the continuing evolution of the Eucharistic liturgy that began in...Read More...
Discussing the Roman Missal changes
Louie Verrecchio: Preparing the way for the Roman MissalWhen Pope Benedict XVI received a hardbound copy of the approved English translation of the Roman Missal from members of the Vox Clara Committee on April 28, 2010, he said, “Soon the fruits of...Read More...
Understanding the Mystery of the Mass
Father Matthew Buettner: The Mass: a 'pledge of future glory'During the Mass, following Communion, the "Prayer After Communion" completes the Communion Rite. Following the Communion Rite is a decidedly short and simple conclusion to the Mass called the "Concluding...Read More...
Father Matthew Buettner: Holy Communion: Approaching the sacred banquet with humility and reverenceIn the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the drama of our redemption is unfolded in three movements during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: the Offertory, the Eucharistic Prayer and Holy Communion. The Communion...Read More...
OUR SUNDAY VISITOR
- Father Matthew Buettner: In the Penitential Act, we approach God's altar with humility
- Father Matthew Buettner: Gloria in excelsis Deo - We praise God
- Peggy Bowes: Don't take a vacation from your Sunday obligation
- Father Matthew Buettner: The spiritual foundation for the Liturgy of the Word
- Use of musical settings for revised Roman Missal can begin in September
- More than 3,100 Catholic pastoral musicians gather to 'sing a new song'
- Vox Clara works on liturgical translations not included in revised missal
- New musical settings to accompany revised Roman Missal this fall
- Father Matthew Buettner: The Offertory: What is being offered at Mass?
- Cardinal O'Malley encourages youth to bring friends to Jesus
- No lack of resources available to prepare Catholics for revised missal
- Father Matthew Buettner: The Offertory: Presenting the gifts and preparing for the Consecration
- Father Matthew Buettner: The Consecration: 'This Is My Body'
- Introduction of revised missal going smoothly in English-speaking nations
- Our Lady of Consolation Church celebrates healing Mass
- Father Matthew Buettner: Holy Communion: Approaching the sacred banquet with humility and reverence
- St. Gabriel's honors those serving in military with Mass
- Couples celebrate anniversaries at annual Mass in Charlotte
- Veterans honored at Our Lady of Consolation
- Missal Moment #6 - Bowing during the Creed
- Missal Moment #7: "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts"
- Print Roman Missal special section here
- Despite a few 'rough spots,' Catholics adapt to new missal translation
- Greensboro parish welcomes Burmese refugees
- Revised missal translation introduced in 2011 also a teaching tool
- Bishop Jugis: Birth of Jesus reminds us of God's love for us today
- Proposed Vikings stadium sites near Minneapolis basilica raise concern
- Mass for Life in Charlotte honors 'precious and powerful gift of life'
- Illinois bishop accepts priest's resignation over way he says Mass
- Volare Women's Mass said at St. Pius X Church
- Bishop Peter J. Jugis: Lack of clear conscience protection must be corrected
- St. Patrick's Day Mass set at old St. Joseph Church
- Holy Cross Columbiettes provide 'Ministry of Mercies'
- Irish Catholics gather at historic church in Mount Holly on Feast of St. Joseph
- Pope earmarks Holy Thursday collection to aid Syrian refugees