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History of our Eucharistic Prayers

History of our Eucharistic Prayers Eucharistic Prayer I (formerly known as the Roman Canon) was the only Eucharistic Prayer used in the Roman Liturgy since Pope Gelasius I (496).  Pope Gelasius I made the last changes to this prayer until Pope John XXIII during Vatican Council II.    Eucharistic Prayer II is a re...
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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Eucharistic prayers date to 150 A.D.

Eucharistic prayers date to 150 A.D. St. Justin the Martyr (150 A.D.) provides us with the first mention of the Prayer of Thanksgiving at Sunday Eucharist:  “After finishing the prayers (intercessions), we greet each other with a kiss.  Then bread and a cup of water and wine mixed are brought to the one presiding over...
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Thursday, July 20, 2017

St. Paul explains the Eucharist

St. Paul explains the Eucharist We now look at St. Paul’s explanation of the Eucharist in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.  Paul is disturbed by some practices that had crept into the “Lord’s Supper” and that contradicted the very meaning of our unity in the Lord.  He spares no words in chastising the Cor...
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Thursday, July 06, 2017

Revisiting the Last Supper

Revisiting the Last Supper Let us return to Holy Thursday’s “Last Supper” with Jesus.  The Last Supper was depicted in the gospels as taking place during the Jewish Passover Meal when God’s angel passed over the houses of the Jewish people, sparing them from death.  God’s action propel...
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Breaking open the Eucharistic Prayer

Breaking open the Eucharistic Prayer In the Book of Exodus, instructions for celebrating the Passover Meal are proscribed (Exodus 13:3-16).  The Passover is observed among the Jewish People to this very day.  Some Christian communities also celebrate the Passover during Holy Week, which may help us appreciate our spiritual r...
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Thursday, June 01, 2017

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving is central to the Liturgy of the Eucharist

Once the monetary offering from the faithful has been collected and the bread and wine along with the collection have been presented, the assembly shifts their focus from hearing and applying God’s Word in the Liturgy of the Word to the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  The central part of the...
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Thursday, May 04, 2017

Vatican II reforms restore presentation of gifts

Vatican II reforms restore presentation of gifts The liturgical reforms from Vatican Council II restored the presentation of gifts during the Preparation Rites as an important ritual action by the faithful, a practice which had not been part of the Roman liturgy since the 11th century.     The new Roman Missal describes how the presenta...
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

More about the Preparation Rites

More about the Preparation Rites After the celebrant prayed over the gifts of bread and wine, an Incensation followed.  However, this was more the practice in northern Europe than in Rome.  In 831A.D. Bishop Amalar, a close friend of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne (ruling from Aachen, Germany) and a renowned liturgis...
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Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Bread-and-wine regulations may be hard to fathom today

Bread-and-wine regulations may be hard to fathom today With the Eucharistic bread now only being unleavened bread, regulations regarding the making of this unleavened bread were drawn up that some may find hard to fathom today.  Some of these procedures included that each wheat kernel was to be individually chosen so that only the best and finest...
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

An offertory procession by the faithful endured for quite some time

An offertory procession by the faithful endured for quite some time In France and Germany (circa 787 A.D.), we find that the faithful presenting their material gifts along with bread and wine was an ordinary part of the preparation rites at the Sunday Eucharist.  Once the Creed had been recited, the faithful would process to the altar through the body of the C...
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Thursday, March 02, 2017