Eucharistic Prayers

Eucharistic Prayers

Franklin J. Wood

I have been reading a book titled The Eucharistic Prayers of the Roman Rite by Enrico Mazza.

For some years, I have seen some priests use the former ICEL translations of the Eucharistic Prayers. Now, thanks be to God and Pope Benedict XVI, we have a more accurate, more poetic translation of these Prayers.

Eucharistic Prayer I is, of course, the venerable Roman Canon. It seems to date from Pope Gelasius in the late fourth century, after Christianity emerged from a long period of suppression and persecution in the ancient Roman Empire.

Eucharistic Prayer II partly derives from St Hippolytus around 220AD. Parts of this Eucharistic Prayer quote extensively from the Bible. Some years ago when I assisted with religious education at the local state school, I presented a lesson on the ICEL translation of the Second Eucharistic Prayer.

Eucharistic Prayer III dates from the Second Vatican Council. It also has many quotations from the Bible, as well as three from the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium (The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church).

Eucharistic Prayer IV is based on ancient Syrian liturgical prayers, especially from Antioch which is mentioned in Acts, Chapter 16. This prayer has deep theological references and conveys an atmosphere of joy for God.

I know some people in southern India who are Syro-Malankara Catholics. They use a liturgy similar to the Fourth Eucharistic Prayer.

Having said all this, I am thankful for the priests in the Rockhampton Diocese, especially the Heralds of Good News from India. I enjoy the fellowship of the Catholics of India - the Roman Catholics, Syro-Malabar Catholics and Syro-Malankara Catholics.

North Rockhampton, Qld

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