17 February 2010

The Canon of the Mass and the Concept of Sacrifice

In the Canon of the Mass, now the forgotten or ignored Eucharistic Prayer I, the word 'sacrifice' is used five times, in Eucharistic Prayer II never, in Prayers III and IV,  two and four times respectively.  It should be noted that EP IV is rarely used either.  Could there be a correlation between the loss of understanding of the sacrificial nature of the Mass and the frequent use of EP II?  Not only is there this lost sense of sacrifice but the other forms seem deficient in several other respects as well.  When one views the four prayers side by side it is hard not to recognize deficiciences in Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV.  You can compare them here.

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