Monday, March 19, 2012
EUCARHISTIC PRAYER II AND FATHER MCDONALD'S TRUE RADICAL, LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE NATURE REVEALED
This catechesis is from Archbishop Chaput, my hero, I mean, Fr. McDonald's hero. You can click on it for the Archbishop's entire catechesis:
The priest, who gives voice to Christ, continues the Eucharistic Prayer. As the most significant prayer in the Mass, the Eucharistic Prayer has a number of versions from which the priest may choose. The most common are simply named I, II, III and IV.
We know Eucharistic Prayer I as the "Roman Canon" because for many centuries it was the only one the Roman rite used. But it's not the oldest. In fact, Eucharistic Prayer II has a history that seems to date to about the year 215. Prayers III and IV also have venerable histories.
The priest may also choose to pray one of the two Eucharistic Prayers of Reconciliation. Usually, we will hear these during Lent or Advent. Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with children may also be an option. But the celebrant may select these only when most members of the assembly are young children. Finally, we have four other Eucharistic Prayers for special occasions, such as when the sacrament of the sick is celebrated within Mass or for a Mass of Christian Unity.
While the priest alone prays the Eucharistic Prayer, his voice becoming the voice of Christ, the assembly is united with him as the body of Christ. Notice that the priest often prays by using the pronoun "we." That's because he prays in the name of the whole Christ. He asks for the Holy Spirit to come and transform the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. We call this the "epiclesis. "
When he arrives at the words of institution or consecration, however, the priest takes on the person of Christ in a very special way. Just as at the Last Supper, the Bridegroom Christ now gives himself as spiritual food and drink to his Bride in the same way. The sacrifice of Calvary mysteriously becomes present to us and is renewed before us as our Lord commanded. This is why we sing out in song, "the mystery of faith!"
In its reality as a sacred memorial, the Eucharistic Prayer then recalls the passion, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord — all the events of the Paschal Mystery.