Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Mass

Mass QUESTION from Vince Parise on October 1, 2002 Mr. Jacob Slavek,
Can you identify, define, differentiate, and explain by example, the words required of the celebrant, whether to be said audibly or in silence, in compliance with the GIRM, during the portion of the Mass referred to as The Preparation of the Gifts, The Prayer over the Gifts, and The Offertory Prayer.
My confusion rests with my lack of understanding the difference between these three specific titles in regard to The Presidential Prayers identified in the GIRM. As far as I am concerned The Preparation of the Gifts, and The Prayer over the Gifts, are both part of The Offertory Prayer which is identified as a significant part of The Presidential Prayers.
Your help and clearification will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Vince Parise.
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on October 8, 2002 Dear Mr. Parise,
Sure, no problem. Actually though the best way to have these questions answered is to look in a missal for yourself, but I'll do the best I can.
The Preparation of the Gifts, or Preparation of the Altar and the Gifts is the first part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. It begins with the singing of the offertory song, if there is one. If there is, then the priest says inaudibly Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation If there is not, then the priest may say this prayer out loud. The next two prayers are always said inaudibly. Lord God, we ask you to receive and then Lord, wash away my iniquity: The last prayer of the preparation is always said aloud, Pray, brethren, that our sacrifice may be acceptable.
The next part of the Liturgy is the Prayer over the Gifts: this short prayer changes with each Sunday and weekdays not in ordinary time. It has endings such as We ask this through Christ our Lord This prayer is one of the three Presidential Prayers
Finally we have the Offertory prayers. These Prayers do not exist in our current Mass; they were suppressed with the reforms of the Liturgy. Unless I am mistaken, you will not see the term offertory prayer in our Missal. We have offertory song and offertory antiphon, also called presentation song, but we do not have the Offertory Prayers that appear in the Tridentine Rite. A very brief explanation for this appeared in Notitiae. If you do not have access to this, please e-mail me and I'll be happy to forward the text to you.
Then you ask about the presidential prayers. The General Instruction names three prayers as the presidential prayers Here is the text, taken from number 30, which is number 10 in the old GIRM.

Among the parts assigned to the priest, the eucharistic prayer is preeminent; it is the high point of the entire celebration. Next are the prayers: the opening prayer or collect, the prayer over the gifts, and the prayer after communion. The priest, presiding over the assembly in the person of Christ, addresses these prayers to God in the name of the entire holy people and all present. Thus there is good reason to call them the presidential prayers.
It is for these three prayers that the Instruction calls for a loud and clear voice. One of these prayers occurs near the beginning of the Mass, one near the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and one near the end of Mass. The Preparation of the gifts is NOT identified as a presidential prayer and is not required to be said out loud.
To avoid confusion, note that the preparation of the gifts immediately precedes one of the three presidential prayers, that is, the Prayer over the gifts The preparation of the gifts is not part of the Prayer over the gifts.
Thanks for writing,
Mr. Slavek.
Back to Index Page

You have successfully subscribed!