At PrayTell, Fr Alan Griffiths tries to put the best face on Liturgiam Authenticam with a translation of Eucharistic Prayer I. It’s an earnest attempt, and honest. But the retrenchment movement has made me a skeptic. And I think that LA/MR3 will help to sink the Roman Canon for good. That’s not necessarily something to celebrate. And I could be wrong–I’ve heard it quite a bit in central Iowa the past two years.
Within the bounds of theoretical possibility, I observe the following spectrum of practices or hopes:
- Roman Canon, nearly silent
- Roman Canon in Latin
- Roman Canon only, MR3
- approved Eucharistic Prayers, MR3
- approved Eucharistic Prayers, MR1
- approved Eucharistic Prayers, MR2 or maybe MR4
- vernacular compositions approved by Rome
- vernacular compositions approved by national conferences
- experimental local prayers
- improvised on the spot
Some Catholics would accept 1-2. Obviously, the current trend is 2-4. My own wish would be 6-7, and perhaps 8. I have no desire to return to 5.
10 was once a near-universal practice, and a requirement for being a bishop–the ability to adapt the pattern of the anaphora. (What? Surely you don’t think Jesus composed the Roman Canon in Latin, do you?) And 9? Spare us.
I’d really like to see people compose Eucharistic Prayers in vernacular languages, then share them across linguistic traditions. Some might work, some might not. But it would be an exercise in unity (as opposed to uniformity) and would spark the artistic imagination across the world. A very catholic thing, if you will.