Missal

Eucharistic Liturgy

Eucharistic Prayer for Masses with Children I

Go to the Introduction

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

V. Lift up your hearts.
R. We lift them up to the Lord.

V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is right and just.

God our Father,
you have brought us here together
so that we can give you thanks and praise
for all the wonderful things you have done.

We thank you for all that is beautiful in the world
and for the happiness you have given us.
We praise you for daylight
and for your word which lights up our minds.
We praise you for the earth,
and all the people who live on it,
and for our life which comes from you.

We know that you are good.
You love us and do great things for us.
[So we all sing (say) together:


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.]


The Priest, with hands extended, says: [Celebrant alone]

Father,
you are always thinking about your people;
you never forget us.
You sent us your Son Jesus,
who gave his life for us
and who came to save us.
He cured sick people;
he cared for those who were poor
and wept with those who were sad.
He forgave sinners
and taught us to forgive each other.
He loved everyone
and showed us how to be kind.
He took children in his arms and blessed them.
[So we are glad to sing (say):


Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.]

The Priest, with hands extended, continues: [Celebrant alone]

God our Father,
all over the world your people praise you.
So now we pray with the whole Church:
with Francis, our Pope and N., our Bishop.


[Mention may be made of the Coadjutor Bishop, or Auxiliary Bishops, as noted in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal no. 149.]

In heaven the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the Apostles and all the Saints
always sing your praise.
Now we join with them and with the Angels
to adore you as we sing (say):


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.


The Priest, with hands extended, says [Celebrant alone]:

God our Father,
you are most holy
and we want to show you that we are grateful.


[Celebrant with concelebrants]

We bring you bread and wine

He joins his hands and, holding them extended over the offerings, says:

and ask you to send your Holy Spirit to make these gifts

He joins his hands and makes the Sign of the Cross once over the bread and chalice together, saying:

the Body + and Blood of Jesus your Son.

He joins his hands.

Then we can offer to you what you have given to us.

In the formulas that follow, the words of the Lord should be pronounced clearly and distinctly, as the nature of these words requires.

On the night before he died,
Jesus was having supper with his Apostles.


He takes the bread and, holding it slightly raised above the altar, continues:

He took bread from the table. He gave you thanks and praise.
Then he broke the bread, gave it to his friends, and said:


He bows slightly.

TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT,
FOR THIS IS MY BODY,
WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.


He shows the consecrated host to the people, places it again on the paten, and genuflects in adoration.

After this, he continues:


When supper was ended,

He takes the chalice and, holding it slightly raised above the altar, continues:

Jesus took the cup that was filled with wine.
He thanked you, gave it to his friends, and said:


He bows slightly.

TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT,
FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD,
THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT,
WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY
FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.

Then he said to them:
DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.


He shows the chalice to the people, places it on the corporal, and genuflects in adoration. Then, with hands extended, the Priest says: [Celebrant with concelebrants]

We do now what Jesus told us to do.
We remember his Death and his Resurrection
and we offer you, Father, the bread that gives us life,
and the cup that saves us.
Jesus brings us to you;
welcome us as you welcome him.


[Celebrant alone] Let us proclaim our faith:

And the people continue, acclaiming:

We proclaim your Death, O Lord,
and profess your Resurrection,
until you come again.


Or:

When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup,
we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.


Or:

Save us, Savior of the world,
for by your Cross and Resurrection
you have set us free.


Then the Priest, with hands extended, says: [Celebrant with concelebrants]

Father,
because you love us,
you invite us to come to your table.
Fill us with the joy of the Holy Spirit
as we receive the Body and Blood of your Son.


[Celebrant or one concelebrant]

Lord,
you never forget any of your children.
We ask you to take care of those we love,
especially of
N. and N.,
and we pray for those who have died.

Remember everyone who is suffering from pain or sorrow.
Remember Christians everywhere
and all other people in the world.

We are filled with wonder and praise
when we see what you do for us
through Jesus your Son,
and so we sing:


He joins his hands, takes the chalice and the paten with the host and, raising both, he says: [Celebrant and concelebrants]

Through him, and with him, and in him,
O God, almighty Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours,
for ever and ever.


The people acclaim:

Amen.


Introduction

1. The text of Eucharistic Prayers adapted for children should help them to participate with greater benefit in the Masses celebrated for adults.

Thus the Directory for Masses with Children decreed that some texts of the Mass are never to be adapted for children “lest the difference between Masses with children and the Masses with adults become too pronounced.” Among these texts are the “acclamations and the responses to the priest’s greeting.” [1] The dialogue of the Preface of these Eucharistic Prayers is therefore always the same as in Masses for adults and the same holds for the Sanctus, apart from what is stated in nos. 18 and 23 below.

2. In accordance with the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum, the words of the Lord in each formula of the canon are likewise the same. [2]

3. Before the words, “Do this in memory of me,” a sentence has been introduced: “Then he said to them.” This is to enable children to distinguish more clearly what is said over the bread and wine and what refers to the continuation of the celebration.

4. Each of the three Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with children contains all the elements of a Eucharistic Prayer in accordance with no. 79 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, with some very infrequent exceptions.

5. Not only are all the required elements present but also those elements which are always expressed in accordance with tradition, for example, in the memorial or invocation of the Spirit, but in a simpler style of language adapted to the understanding of children.

6. Although a simpler style of language was adopted, the authors always had in mind the importance of avoiding the dangers of childish language which would jeopardize the dignity of the Eucharistic celebration, especially in the case of words to be said by the celebrant himself.

7. Because the principles of active participation are in some respects even more significant for children, the number of acclamations in the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children has been increased in order to enlarge this kind of participation and make it more effective. [3] This has been done without obscuring the nature of the Eucharistic Prayer as a presidential prayer.

8. Because it is very difficult for only one Eucharistic Prayer to be used effectively throughout the world in Masses with children, in view of the cultural differences and the character of various peoples, it seemed appropriate to propose three texts with different features (explained in nos. 23-25 below).

Translations of These Prayers into Various Languages

9. It is for the Episcopal Conference to choose one of the drafts proposed here and to see that the text is translated into the vernacular so that it will correspond fully to pastoral, pedagogical, and liturgical needs. Such a translated text may not be introduced into liturgical use before it has been confirmed by the Apostolic See.

10. It is desirable that this work of translation be given to a group of men and women who are competent not only in liturgical matters but also in the pedagogical, catechetical, literary, and musical aspects of this task.

11. The committee of translators should always remember that the Latin text in this case is not intended for liturgical use. Therefore it is not simply to be translated. The Latin text determines the purpose, substance, and general form of these prayers, and these should be the same in the translations into the various languages. Features proper to the Latin language (which never developed a special style of speaking with children) are never to be carried over into the vernacular texts intended for liturgical use, specifically, the Latin preference for the so-called hypotac-tic construction, the rather ornate and repetitious style, and the so-called cursus. All aspects of the style of speech should be adapted to the spirit of the respective language as well as to the manner in which one speaks with children concerning matters of great importance. These principles are all the more pertinent in the case of languages which are far removed from Latin, especially non-Western languages. An example of translation for each Eucharistic Prayer is given in a Western language as a possible aid to the translator.

12. In translating these texts careful distinction should be made between the several literary genres which occur in the Eucharistic Prayer, namely, the Preface, intercessions, acclamations, etc., in accordance with the principles which were expressed in the Instruction of January 25, 1969, for the translation of liturgical texts. [4]

13. In addition, Episcopal Conferences should see that new musical settings are prepared for the parts of the prayers to be sung by the children, in accordance with the culture of the region.

Liturgical Use of These Prayers

14. The use of these prayers is strictly limited to Masses celebrated with children. The right of the Bishop, which is determined in the Directory for Masses with Children, [5] remains, however, intact.

15. The Eucharistic Prayer which seems best suited to the needs of the children in each nation should be chosen from among the three texts: either the first for its greater simplicity, the second for its greater participation, or the third for the variations it affords.

16. New acclamations may be easily introduced into liturgical use if, with a cantor or one of the children leading, they are repeated with everyone singing or reciting them. Care should be taken in the preparation of texts in the vernacular, however, that acclamations are provided with a simple introduction, for example, a common phrase to invite the acclamation.

17. In place of the new acclamations which are found in these Eucharistic Prayers the Episcopal Conferences may introduce others provided they have the same spirit.

18. It is necessary that children should also learn to sing or recite the Sanctus, but the rule remains in effect that sometimes it is permissible to use for this song “appropriate vernacular texts, accepted by competent authority, [to facilitate the children's participation,] even if these do not correspond exactly to the liturgical texts.” [6] In various regions where there is the practice of chanting the Sanctus in a responsorial manner, the Episcopal Conferences may permit this.

19. The position of the acclamation of the faithful which is made at the end of the Consecration has been somewhat changed. This is done for pedagogical reasons. So that the children may clearly understand the connection between the words of the Lord, “Do this in memory of me,” and the memorial pronounced by the Priest, the acclamation, whether a memorial acclamation or one of praise, is not made until after the memorial (anamnesis) has been spoken.

20. To encourage participation by the children, it is permissible, in accordance with the Directory for Masses with Children, to insert special reasons for thanksgiving before the dialogue of the preface. [7] The regulations of no. 33 of the Directory also apply for participation through gestures and bodily postures. Above all great stress should be placed upon internal participation, and what is said in no. 23 of festive, fraternal, meditative celebration is especially true of the Eucharistic Prayer.

21. To encourage this internal participation, which should be a deep concern of the pastors of children, it is necessary that the celebration be preceded and followed by careful catechetical instruction. Among the texts which will clearly express this catechesis to children, a prominent place belongs to the Eucharistic Prayers, which will be used as the high point in the celebrations. [8]

22. The rubrics for the individual Eucharistic Prayers are given in the Latin text only. All of them are to be inserted in the vernacular text.

Special rubrics for concelebration, as are found in the four Eucharistic Prayers already introduced, are lacking in these prayers. In view of the psychology of children it seems better to refrain from concelebration when Mass is celebrated with children.

A) Eucharistic Prayer I

23. In order to accustom children more easily to the Sanctus, the first Eucharistic Prayer divides it into the parts which are concluded by the acclamation, Hosanna in the highest.

In accordance with no. 16 above, these acclamations may be sung or recited with a cantor or one of the children leading. The third time the entire song may be sung or recited by all. After the memorial of this prayer, in place of the simpler acclamation given in the text, one of the acclamations approved for the four Eucharistic Prayers may be sung.

B) Eucharistic Prayer II

24. In the second Eucharistic Prayer, while the Sanctus and the memorial acclamation are retained, other optional acclamations may be used. Acclamations which are inserted after the words of the Lord recited over the bread and wine must be considered and sung as a common meditation on the Eucharistic mystery.

C) Eucharistic Prayer III

25. In the third Eucharistic Prayer variable parts for only one occasion are indicated, namely, for Easter Time. It is intended, however, that similar variable parts be approved by the Episcopal Conferences for other seasons and occasions and put into use after the requisite confirmation by the Apostolic See in accordance with no. 10 of the Circular Letter on Eucharistic Prayers. [9] In preparing these texts care should be taken that the three parts (Preface, part after the Sanctus, invocation of the Spirit) have an appropriate internal unity. After the consecration the same acclamation occurs three times in the same way so that the character of praise and thanksgiving of the entire prayer may be suggested to the children.


NOTES

[1] See Directory for Masses with Children, no. 39: AAS 66 (1974), 41-42.
[2] AAS 61 (1969), 219.
[3] See Directory for Masses with Children, no. 22: AAS 66 (1974), 36.
[4] 4 See Consilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy, Instruction on Translation of Liturgical Texts, January 25, 1969: Notitiae 5 (1969), 3-12.
[5] See Directory for Masses with Children, no. 19: AAS 66 (1974), 35.
[6] See ibid., no. 31: AAS 66 (1974), 39.
[7] See ibid., no. 22: AAS 66 (1974), 37.
[8] See ibid., no. 12: AAS 66 (1974), 33.
[9] AAS 65 (1973), 344.

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