Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Eucharistic Prayer
Eucharistic Prayer QUESTION from John December 26, 2001 Dear Mr. Slavek
Thank you for your informative site. On Christmas Day my parish used a Eucharistic Prayer apparently authored by Marty Haugen. The priest sang it but it was interspersed thoughout with a cantor singing phases which was repeated by the people. The phases were Lord you are holy indeed, the fountain of all holiness, Glory and praise to you O Christ, Savior of the world and Good and gracious God, hear and remember us. The consecretion was said only by our priest.
My questions include are these prayers approved and who has to approve them. Was this prayer licit? I thought the Eucharistic prayer could only be said by a priest. The phases above don't seem to be making statements but are of praise and affirming what the priest has said, does that matter?
Thank you for your help and God Bless?
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on December 31, 2001 Dear John,
Sounds like the priest or whoever planned the Liturgy was attempting to draw people in to the Mass by using entertainment rather than serious prayer.
The part of the Mass that we have here is the Canon.. that is, the part of the Eucharistic Prayer after the holy holy holy.. to the great amen of the people before the Our Father. Currently there are 13 prayers available for use in the United States. It is licit ONLY to use these prayers, and even more, to use these prayers EXACTLY as they are written in the Sacramentary. Anything added, including in the manner you have described, is illicit, no matter what it is that the people are saying. So what to do? When we get to this part of the Mass, the PRIEST ALONE is to pray exactly what is right there in front of him in the missal, with the congregation offering the responses at the appropriate time. (Christ has died, etc.)
I'd like to make a small observation here, also. It appears that Eucharistic Prayer II was used at this Mass.. the shortest of all prayers. It seems that whenever I am at a Mass which is more of a concert than Holy Mass, the priest gives the most important part of Mass the least possible emphasis by using the shortest prayer available. I could presume that the musical part of the prayer at your Mass EASILY doubled the amount of time actually used for prayer by the priest. If they are so serious about spirituality, why do they regularly exclude the best (in my opinion) Eucharistic prayer, the Roman Canon (We come to you Father, with praise and thanksgiving...), the ALWAYS appropriate prayer that was used exclusively before the reforms?
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