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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Friday, April 11, 2008
Instalment 9 was last June (24th, see our website) introducing the “Eucharistic Prayer”. Since then we’ve had no problem in finding relevant, exciting, enthralling etc. etc. things to put on the front of the newsletter (you didn’t notice?!!!), and so have kept putting off no. 10. Your great patience has paid off!

What is the structure of the Eucharistic prayer?

Each of the four possible Eucharistic Prayers (see 24th June newsletter on our website) contain the same basic elements, in one form or another. These are:
 Giving thanks and praise to God (the Preface and Sanctus as discussed earlier).
 Epiklesis, a Greek word meaning “invocation”, in which the Priest calls on God to send the Holy Spirit to change the bread & wine into the body and blood of Christ.
 The Institution Narrative: The priest retells the events of the Last Supper (e.g. “The day before he suffered he took bread in his sacred hands...”). The actual acting out of this narrative takes place over the whole Eucharistic Prayer.
 The Words of Consecration: “This is my body” and “This is the cup of my blood”. When the priest speaks these words, God transforms the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ – Christ is really present to us on the altar.
 Anamnesis (Greek for “remembering”), a solemn calling to mind of Christ's life, death and resurrection. Here we obey Christ's command to “do this in memory”.
 Offering of the sacrifice of Jesus to the Father and the offering of ourselves to God
 Intercessions: the sacrifice is offered on behalf of the whole Church, living and dead. We pray especially for the Pope and the Bishop as well as our community and ourselves. During the Eucharist Prayer we think too of the dead and pray for them also, that they may find peace in God's presence in heaven.
 The final doxology: a doxology is any short hymn of praise to God. All the Eucharistic Prayers conclude with the doxology “Through him, with him, in him...” said or sung by the priest alone. The people then respond “Amen”, showing the belief and assent to everything in the Eucharistic Prayer.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 1:48 pm