Liturgy Corner July 18, 2021 - The Eucharistic Prayer continued

The Eucharistic Prayer:  In 1964 the Consilium, the official commission established at Rome to implement the liturgical decisions of Vatican II, appointed a special committee to study the Eucharistic Prayer.  The Roman Canon, in spite of its venerable age and traditional witness to Eucharistic doctrine in the west, showed weaknesses.  These weaknesses included its length, its many repetitions, its lack of structural cohesiveness, its lack of an explicit invocation of Holy Spirit, and the relative absence of elements of praise.  In the many reform projects that were proposed, it was realized that there could be no substantial modification of the Canon without damaging the prayer itself.  Consequently it was decided to retain the Canon without major modifications and to issue alternative Eucharistic Prayer to be used along with it.  In 1968 a slightly revised version of the Canon, now known as Eucharistic Prayer I, was published together with 3 other prayers designated as Eucharistic Prayer II, III, IV.  Eucharistic Prayer II is the shortest and simplest and is based on a model given in the Apostolic Tradition (c.215) and is usually attributed to Hippolytus of Rome.  It was reorganized, the Sanctus was added, and certain original expressions were clarified.  Eucharistic Prayer III was a new composition following Vatican II guidelines.  Prayer IV has more Eastern tones.  In today’s Roman Missal, which contains the Canon, all the elements of the Eucharistic Prayer as outlined by Vatican II are present.  The elements or focal points in any Eucharistic Prayer include: thanksgiving, acclamation, epiclesis, institution narrative and consecration, anamnesis, offering, intercessions, and final doxology.  Gay Snell