Expert Answer Forum

Creed and Epiclesis QUESTION from Mr. Terry Wenger June 16, 1999
At Mass last week, Fr. ad libbed his own prayer in place of the Creed. Perhaps more serious was his own prayer changing the words of the Epiclesis. Instead of calling down the Holy Spirit on the bread & wine to change them into the Body & Blood of Christ, he stretched his hands in a wide circle over all the people and said: Let your Spirit come upon the people of God and make them holy so they can become the Body & Blood of Christ....is this acceptable...if not, can you please provide me references and documentations...Thank you and may God bless you... ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on June 17, 1999
Dear Terry, Changing the Eucharistic Prayer and Creed are serious abuses. Since liturgical celebrations are not private acts but celebrations of the Church, the 'sacrament of unity,' their regulation is dependent solely upon the hierarchical authority of the Church. The liturgy belongs to the whole body of the Church. It is for this reason that it is not permitted to anyone, even a priest, or any group to add, subtract or change anything whatsoever on their own initiative. Fidelity to the rites and to the authentic texts of the liturgy is a requirement of the lex orandi (law of praying), which must always be in conformity with the lex credendi (law of believing).A lack of fidelity on this point may even affect the very validity of the sacraments. [Pope John Paul II on the 25th Anniversary of the Liturgical Constitution, December 4, 1988] To modify the Eucharistic Prayers approved by the Church or to adopt others privately composed is a most serious abuse. [Inaestimabile Donum (1980) Item No. 5] There is always a clear Epiclesis for the elements, and one, more or less explicit, AFTER the consecration, for the people. This looks like an explicit one for the people BEFORE the consecration. It looks bogus to me. But it would be illicit rather than invalidating. In Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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