"Un Ti Morceau"

"A Little Something," mini-lessons and reflections by our pastor, Father Paul Counce

The Eucharistic Prayer: Prayers for the Living and the Dead

Published November 17, 2013 by Fr. Paul Counce

In the past few articles we’ve focused on the three most im­portant parts of the great Eucharistic Prayer at Mass. Re­mem­ber what they are? At the epiclesis the Holy Spirit is “called down” upon the gifts; at the consecration Jesus’ identity with the bread and wine becomes so complete they change into His own Body and Blood; and in the anamnesis we explicitly re­mem­ber the Lord’s death-and-resurrection which is in­trin­sic­ally linked to the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

There are also several other “standard,” although less im­por­tant, parts of the Eucharistic Prayer. For instance, there are prayers for the Pope, the local bishop, and other ordained minis­ters; there is a mention of saints who have gone be­fore us in faith, always including the most important of these, Mary, St. Joseph, and the apostles; and there are specific pray­ers for the living and for the dead. There is always praise for God’s holiness, and at least a summary statement of God’s concern for faithful be­lievers down through the centuries.

All of these prayerful sentiments are expressed out of an over­whelming attitude of thanksgiving, which after all is the root meaning of the word Eucharist. We are grateful to the Al­mighty for all of the blessings that we have shared and may yet share. Instead of being bored during the Eucha­ristic Prayer, there is so much going on it’s sometimes dif­ficult to take it all in at any one Mass!

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