DMC 52: Eucharistic Prayers

The DMC predates the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses With Children by a few years. It does reiterate the importance of the EP, and how the priest prays it:

52. The eucharistic prayer is of the greatest importance in the eucharist celebrated with children because it is the high point of the entire celebration. [See GIRM 54.] Much depends on the manner in which the priest proclaims this prayer [See DMC 23 and 37.] and on the way the children take part by listening and making their acclamations.

There’s a lot one can do with focusing children on this. An underutilized possibility is dampening the lights or focusing them on the altar.

The disposition of mind required for this central part of the celebration and the calm and reverence with which everything is done must make the children as attentive as possible. Their attention should be on the real presence of Christ on the altar under the elements of bread and wine, on his offering, on the thanksgiving through Him and with Him and in Him, and on the Church’s offering, which is made during the prayer and by which the faithful offer themselves and their lives with Christ to the eternal Father in the Holy Spirit.

For the present, the four eucharistic prayers approved by the supreme authority for Masses with adults and introduced into liturgical use are to be employed until the Apostolic See makes other provision for Masses with children.

And as we know, this other provision was added in triplicate in 1975.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Directory for Masses With Children, Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to DMC 52: Eucharistic Prayers

  1. Anne Marie says:

    I am the Sunday School teacher at our Church. I have been asked to given a 3-5 minute introduction (a mini Homily) right after the opening hymn to the children at the front of the church before leading them away for the Liturgy of the Word. (The children process up at the beginning of Mass with the procession.) We rejoin the congregation after the priest’s Homily. I have also been asked to bring up their crafts on a tray during the offertory, to be placed in front of the altar. Although the congregation really enjoys these introductions and the participation during the offertory, I am concerned about whether they are liturgically correct and would be seen as detracting from the solemnity of the Mass. I am also concerned about my role as “preacher”. Could anyone help me with this?

  2. Todd says:

    Thanks for commenting, Anne Marie.

    I would presume these efforts have good intentions behind them.

    It would seem the introduction you are being asked to give is for the adults as much as it is for the children. Otherwise, you would be doing it at their liturgy.

    Children’s Liturgy of the Word is not a new thing. Even if your parish hasn’t done it before, it would seem the pastor is the ideal person to explain it. But briefly. Three minutes sounds like too much talking to me.

    As a liturgist, I’m not a fan even of bringing up the collection to the altar. It would seem, however, that there is some alternate way to call attention to the work the children do in their crafts, and to display them in an appropriate setting, like the gathering space, vestibule, or community room.

    It strikes me that the innovations you’ve described are intended to communicate the importance of what is done with children, possibly to justify it. I think there are better ways to achieve the intended result, without the addition of peripherals to the liturgy. I think there are better ways to involve the community and to recognize the children.

    E-mail me privately with details if you wish.

  3. Anne says:

    A Childrens Liturgy of the Word should be just that,”Liturgy”. It’s not meant to be craft time. It should flow from the mass and include a blessing and sending from the assembly, readings,gospel, homily (may be a woman),Prayers of the Faithful and Creed and return to assembly. Check online for resources.(Resource Publications for one has a package).

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