May 28, 2010

Using Eucharistic Prayer I

An old entry on my own practice as a suggestion for priests' minimum use of Eucharistic Prayer I has turned out to be a popular post for search traffic. At that time I described my practice in this way:

Here's the plan I have adopted for the use of Eucharistic Prayer I, the Roman Canon. I use Eucharistic Prayer I:

1. On any day for which it provides proper Communicantes and/or Hanc Igitur, excepting nuptial Masses. (Though I would certainly oblige if a bride asked for the Roman Canon.) This amounts to Christmas and Easter and their octaves, Epiphany, Holy Thursday, Ascension, and Pentecost.

2. On the feast of any saint who is named in it, excepting feasts of Our Lady, as she is named in every Eucharistic Prayer.

3. On any feast that has a particularly Roman character, e.g. The Chair of Peter, the dedication of the Lateran, etc.

All together this makes for something like twelve percent of the whole liturgical year.

Well, lately I have made an adjustment. I have included nuptial Masses among those for which I use Eucharistic Prayer I, because of the proper Hanc Igitur. It's not found on the bottom of the page like the others, though, so you have to do a little sacramentary hacking:

I'm very proud of my rubric-red paperclip. I'm such a geek.

Check out the original post here.


Thom, sfo said...

"Rubric red" is pretty awesome.

Matt said...

The priest here at the local parish uses the Roman Canon pretty often, it seems to be his favorite Eucharistic prayer. I've been trying to figure out his pattern for Eucharistic prayer usage, as I have only heard him use (to my recollection) Prayer I, Prayer II, and Prayer IV. Of these, Prayer I is most frequently used, followed by Prayer II, with Prayer IV at a distant third.

I will admit that he tends not to use the Canon during the more well-attended Masses such as the Vigil on Saturday evenings and during the Sunday Eucharist, but opts for the shorter Eucharistic Prayer II. I can't tell for sure why, but probably because he knows the average Catholic on Sunday at that parish doesn't have the attention span to sit through the Canon when the Mass, even with the shorter Eucharistic Prayer II, is an hour.

But he loves to use it during daily Masses in which the congregation is significantly smaller and highly devotional.

There is an elderly woman who likes to say the words of institution along with the priest during daily Mass. I'm not sure why she does, but she does. She tries to say them quietly, but since she's near deaf, she sometimes mutters them louder than she realizes. On a selfish level for me, I like when the priest uses the Roman Canon, because usually the woman doesn't follow along with him, since it's longer and more complicated than Eucharistic Prayer II, most of which I've managed to memorize as a result of daily Mass attendance over the past two years.

Anonymous said...

Padre, I wouldn't make a rule limiting when you use the Roman Canon. It was the only Eucharistic Prayer for most of the Roman Church's history.

As to the others, EP II has been debunked as being the most ancient. It is only loosely based on the prayer no longer believed to be recorded by Hippolytus. Sadly, it's only good because it's short. Unfortunately, some priests preach endlessly on a Sunday and then having bored people to death use it as an excuse to use EP II. Yet, the GIRM says that EP II should not be used as a rule on Sundays.

EP III, while pleasant, is the creation of Vagaggini in the late 60's. It is not even in the style of the Roman Canon. It's only merit is you can add the saint of the day, year, your order, or parish.

And EP IV is totally alien to the Roman tradition being an Eastern type with an unchangeable preface.

There's no reason EP I cannot be used at every Mass. What's the most it extends Mass? 2 minutes? Sadly, the rubrics of the Canon have been changed. But the language is much more majestic and suitable for Holy Mass.

Brother Charles said...

I agree with you, anonymous, about the 'mythology' of EP II. Also, I did say that my plan for the Canon was for the "minimum use."