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The Eucharistic Prayer

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Eucharistic Prayer is the great prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification. It is prayed in the middle of the Mass and recalls the Paschal Mystery – the saving work of Jesus’s passion, death and resurrection. During the Eucharistic Prayer, through the words of the Priest who repeats Our Lord’s own words at the Last Supper, the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ. This change is called transubstantiationThe Eucharistic Prayer is introduced by the Preface and ends with the singing of the Great Amen at the end of the doxology. The congregation would normally kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer. Here are two examples of the changes in the Eucharistic prayer:

1973 translation (Eucharistic Prayer 2):
Let your Holy Spirit come upon these gifts to make the holy, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

New translation (Eucharistic Prayer 2):
Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. 

1973 translation:
When supper was ended, he took the cup. Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said: TAKE THIS ALL OF YOU AND DRINK FROM IT: THIS IS THE CUP OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT. IT WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR ALL SO THAT SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN. DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.

New translation:
In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took the chalice, and, giving you thanks, he said the blessing, and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying: 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. DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.

Note that the word “chalice” replaces “cup”.

As well as this, the Latin has always used pro multis (“for many”) to describe for whom the blood “will be poured out”. While of course Christ wishes to save everyone, this is not automatic. His work requires our co-operation.