Additional Eucharistic Prayers

Additional Eucharistic Prayers

Authorization

The Additional Eucharistic Prayers are authorized pursuant to Canon B 2 of the Canons of the Church of England for use until further resolution of the General Synod.

Canon B 3 provides that decisions as to which of the authorized services are to be used (other than occasional offices) shall be taken jointly by the incumbent and the parochial church council. In the case of occasional offices (other than Confirmation and Ordination), the decision is to be made by the minister conducting the service, subject to the right of any of the persons concerned to object beforehand to the form of service proposed.

Introduction

In 2008, the General Synod asked the House of Bishops to commission Eucharistic Prayers suitable for use on occasions when a significant number of children are present or when it is otherwise pastorally appropriate to meet the needs of children present.The Additional Eucharistic Prayers are the result. They are intended for occasions such as a school Eucharist, not for use on a weekly basis at the main celebration of Holy Communion in the parish church. The Liturgical Commission has also prepared some guidance on celebrating the Eucharist with children. The Guidance is printed at the start of the booklet Additional Eucharistic Prayers: with Guidance on Celebrating the Eucharist with Children (see Related links), in order to introduce those planning a Eucharist with children to first principles and to the development of a model of best practice according to their particular context. The task of preparing worship is not simply to facilitate the praying of a liturgical text, but rather to use imagination and allow space for an entire liturgical experience of which the text is a part, leaving room for silence and mystery. The Guidance is intended to help in this task, where a large number of children are gathered.

There are two Eucharistic Prayers, each of which has its own distinctive style while conforming to a classical structure. Both prayers provide for the children to participate. Prayer One offers optional congregational responses which are simple enough to be learned quickly and without needing to be read. Prayer Two uses an optional pattern of asking and answering questions at three different points. Each question reflects on what has just been said and the answer calls the congregation's attention to the next section of the prayer. Prayer Two also includes specially composed proper prefaces, which relate to a range of basic themes (light, creation, cities, sorrow, joy) rather than directly to the seasons of the Christian Year. Local composition of other suitable proper prefaces is permitted.

Though the prayers are relatively brief, brevity was not the primary consideration in composing them. A Eucharistic  Prayer is made accessible not only by brevity but also by using appropriate language and imagery, and by good and imaginative presidency.

The language is direct, visual and vivid. Some traditional terms have also been included, in the belief that children will grow into a deeper understanding of the words as the prayers are used. Though there is much fresh composition, the prayers also incorporate core texts which will enter the children's memories and begin to build a familiar liturgical repertoire as they mature in age and experience.

Above all, these prayers give expression to the whole work of the Trinity in creation, redemption and sanctification. The drama of our salvation, by the incarnation of Christ and his death on the cross for our redemption, has been incorporated in each prayer in the form of a story, and in such a way as to encourage a sense of wonder and gratitude.

Structure of a Celebration of Holy Communion

Preparation

The people and the priest:

¶ greet each other in the Lord's name
¶ confess their sins and are assured of God's forgiveness*
¶ keep silence and pray a Collect*

The Liturgy of the Word

The people and the priest:

¶ proclaim and respond to the word of God
[a Gospel reading must be included]
[a Creed or authorized Affirmation of Faith must be included on Sundays or Principal Holy Days]

Prayers

The people and the priest:

¶ pray for the Church and the world

The Liturgy of the Sacrament

The people and the priest:

¶ exchange the Peace
¶ prepare the table
¶ pray the Eucharistic Prayer*
¶ break the bread
¶ receive Holy Communion

The Dismissal

The people and the priest:

¶ depart with God's blessing.

Sections marked with an asterisk* must follow an authorized text.

For further details, see Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, pages 21-27, 155-204 and 330-334.

Notes

1 Responses in Eucharistic Prayer One

Where the optional bracketed responses [Holy, Holy, Holy] and [Amen, Amen, Amen] are used, they may be varied in intonation and volume, repeated several times or set to music, which is published separately. They may be led by the president then repeated by a child or by a deacon, and the congregation may give the final response.

2 Questions in Eucharistic Prayer Two

The three optional bracketed questions in Eucharistic Prayer Two may be asked by a single child or by a group of children. The response may be given by another child or group of children. The responses should not be made by the president or by the whole congregation.

3 Prefaces in Eucharistic Prayer Two

Short proper prefaces are provided for use in Eucharistic Prayer Two. Prefaces may also be composed for a particular celebration. The president must be satisfied that any such preface complies with Canon B 5, paragraph 3.

4 Use of Eucharistic Prayers One and Two

Eucharistic Prayers One and Two are authorized for use in the Order for the Celebration of Holy Communion: Order One and in A Service of the Word with a Celebration of Holy Communion, on occasions when a significant number of children are present or when it is otherwise pastorally appropriate to meet the needs of children present. They are not intended for use on a weekly basis at the main celebration of Holy Communion in the parish church.

For notes relating to the Order for the Celebration of Holy Communion: Order One, see Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, pages 158-159 and 330-334.

Common Worship: Additional Eucharistic Prayers, material from which is reproduced above, is copyright © The Archbishop's Council 2012.