Eucharistic Prayers for Children TO! BE! DROPPED!

GREAT NEWS:

Vatican will drop Eucharistic Prayers for Children (Subscribe to RSS Feed)

Washington, Oct. 3, 2008 (CWNews.com) – The Vatican plans to remove the Eucharistic Prayers for Children from the authorized prayers of the Roman Missal[Not to be confused, of course, with the entire lame-duck ICEL translation of the Missal sadly still in use.]

Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, the chairman of the US bishops’ liturgy committee, has disclosed the Vatican plans in a letter to the American bishops. He reported that the Congregation for Divine Worship plans "to publish a separate text at a later time."

The Eucharistic Prayers for Children, like many other liturgical texts, have been criticized for failing to convey an adequate sense of the sacred in the liturgy. [Uhhhhh..... DUH!]  In recent years the Vatican has made special efforts to recover that sense of the sacred, and to curtail the proliferation of liturgical texts in order to encourage consistency in the liturgy.

"This does not change our present practice," Bishop Serratelli wrote in his September 29 letter. The change will take effect at an unspecified future date.

However, the US bishops’ committee has decided to suspend work on a new translation of the existing Eucharistic Prayers for Children. [Oh shucks. And I was so looking forward to those.]  In light of the coming change, Bishop Serratelli said that he was removing that item from the agenda for the November meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

 

Brick by brick, folks.

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64 Responses to Eucharistic Prayers for Children TO! BE! DROPPED!

  1. Good news!

    Thank you Holy Father!

    I have to admit, I have used these prayers, but only with younger children (K-3); I have not been very happy with them, but I wanted to give them a try.

    Well, absolutely no point in using them even now, before they are officially dropped, is there?

  2. Well, that is refreshing news.

  3. Jordanes says:

    Things just keep getting better and better!

  4. MargoB says:

    “…to curtail the proliferation of liturgical texts in order to encourage consistency in the liturgy.”

    Echoes of Gueranger, 1840′s…

  5. TNCath says:

    THANK GOD! I remember when the Eucharistic Prayers for Children came out. I was a kid at the time, and even then I can clearly remember how silly and childish they sounded.

  6. Daniel Muller says:

    I was very happy to see this. Besides the silly musical settings that it led to, which were beginning to infect the other prayers, I thought it very odd that there be a prayer in the Latin rite that was never meant to be said in Latin.

  7. opey124 says:

    I remember having to go to these masses. There was clapping at some point during the Eucharistic Prayer;not applause, but led by the music leader. I really would rather forget it! That is great news.

  8. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I should go break open my 2002 Missale Romanum (thank you, Midwest Theological Forum!) and see how those three prayers sound in their original Latin…

    Fr. Martin FoxWell, absolutely no point in using them even now, before they are officially dropped, is there?

    I’m glad you’re not taking a “smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em” approach (but then again, I knew you wouldn’t).

  9. sacredosinaeternum says:

    Laus Deo!!!

  10. Fr. BJ says:

    I recently declined to use them here at my parish. Also, I am proud never to have used EP IV as well. I suspect I will have to at least concelebrate using EP IV at one point or another, but in any event, I intend never to use it as main celebrant.

    I hope they will reject the proposal to keep “Christ has died, Christ is risen…” as well. And maybe they will get rid of the EPs for Masses of Reconciliation. As I recall, the USCCB was petitioning for all of these things. On the one hand, maybe the letter concerning only the Children’s Prayers is a sign that they are not going to decline the other requests. On the other hand, maybe the Vatican is still “studying” the matter on those items or something, and a negative response is yet forthcoming. One can hope!

  11. FloridaJohn says:

    What got me upset about these children’s Eucharistic Prayers is when the celebrant used them on Sunday Mass where 90% of the congregation is elderly and very few youngsters. I guess they are trying to tell us we have to child-like to get to Heaven! ;-)

  12. Jim R. says:

    Maybe with one section less of the Roman Missal to do, the translation project will get done sooner. Oh! stupid me, I must be halucinating again!!!

    Just git’ er done!!!

    P.S. By the way Fr Z, do you have the latest table for the approval of the various parts of the Roman Missal. I know you published one several months ago?

  13. Allan D says:

    This is great news! Makes me want to bust out singing…
    “We praise you, we bless you, we thaaaaa-ank yoooouuuuu…”

    (All repeat)
    “We praise you, we bless you, we thaaaaa-ank yoooouuuuu!”

  14. Melody says:

    Funny how this makes me want to bust out like a Protestant. “Hallelujah! Praise Jesus!”

    Seriously, Children’s masses are insufferable. I wondered what was going on when my parish replaced them with “Family Masses” this year. (I mean surely they wouldn’t do that WILLINGLY.) We still have to suffer through the “Mass of the Journey” but the kids sit with their families now and we haven’t heard those awful “prayers.”

  15. Jordanes says:

    With the suppression of these horrid Eucharistic prayers, I hope we’ll also see the suppression of the Children’s Lectionary.

  16. Thank goodness as a child I never heard them, I don’t want to hear them ever…brick by brick…maybe we’ll be down to 2 Main EP’s and the prefaces…one can hope.

  17. Jeff says:

    Wow! What a surprising and welcome move on the part of the CDWDS. I have never been fond of these prayers, they were too open to abuse as people could never follow the rubrics. Even the new draft translations which followed the Latin were poor texts, there was noting inspiring about them, nothing notable.

  18. Chris says:

    I see nothing wrong with the Eucharistic Prayers for Children. They bring everyone.. especially Children close to our Lord in the Eucharist! [So... you haven't actually read them... o{];¬) ]

  19. Father Bartoloma says:

    From my own experience as a parish priest, the children zone out and are not engaged in the text of the Eucharistic Prayers – with the exception of the Roman Canon! What is striking for them are the names of the various saints, some with very different sounding names. (Providing, of course, that Father is not lazy and omits them.) I always remember a 9 year old boy, “Neal” who wanted to know if he was named after “Cornelius” in the First Eucharistic Prayer. I told him, with the help of his family, to find something out about St. Cornelius and the next week, he couldn’t wait to tell me everything he had discovered about the 3rd century Pope.

  20. David2 says:

    “I see nothing wrong with the Eucharistic Prayers for Children. They bring everyone.. especially Children close to our Lord in the Eucharist!”

    I beg to differ; they do nothing of the sort – comments like that that are underpinned by a somewhat condescending assumption – that kids are stupid. I’m grateful I was never exposed to them as a child; I would have found them trite, and lacking any sense of the mysterious.

    The little kids who attend my local TLM kneel through the silent Canon in rapt reverence, because they’ve been properly catechized as to what is going on when the choir finishes the sanctus and the bells ring…

    Far too many parents use the childrens EPs and “Childrens Liturgy of the Word” as an excuse to avoid catechizing their children properly (or indeed, at all).

  21. Warren says:

    While I have read the children’s prayers, I cannot recall ever hearing them prayed at Mass (… thank goodness). It’s good to see that we’re moving away from practices and pedagogies that are inanely simplistic and insulting for their low bar mentality.

    While we’re at it – one (Roman Canon) is enough. One reason for one Canon – less to memorize and once memorized aids internalization by both the priest and people who, having internalized the language of the Mass, are grafted to the prayers of the priest and the Church by virtue of that internal participation.

    Let’s keep the children present throughout the entire Mass. End children’s “liturgies”. Invariably, the return of the children deprives everyone of the need for focus during the Liturgy. Parents: spend some time at home before or after Mass and share the Faith with your children. Look at the Gospel (if nothing else) and ask your child(ren) what they remember about the Mass, the homily, the prayers, the hymns… . It would be good for parents, too, to take time and reflect on the readings. Take five minutes even! A summary of the homily in the bulletin with a children’s section is easy to do and is something that people can take home with them for reflection.

    If the liturgy is truly beautiful children will apprehend the meaning of the Mass through signs and gestures. Furthermore, children will apprehend the importance of prayer for sustaining one’s relationship with Christ if they witness adults frequently engaged in prayer. If people are concerned that we have to keep children busy during Mass so they won’t act up, why not teach kids how to remain recollected in prayer at Mass and how to carry that focus with oneself throughout the day?

    Next – how about a faithful English translation of the Bible for Mass (…and not some distorted PC feminazi text).

  22. Chris says:

    I must admit I haven’t used them for a long time and only ever did with very young children. To be fair, of course, that is who they were written for. I do hope we are not going to lose the EPs for Reconciliation however, which are excellent. As for going back to just EP1, forget it. Thankfully EPs 2,3 & 4 are already approved so hands off!

  23. Jake says:

    Well, it’s a start. I’d say we should start getting excited once they remove the Masses for Reconciliation. I don’t think I’ve ever been through a Mass that used one of those sets of prayers (or at least I don’t remember it if I was). I’ve known priests that could whip through the current Canon in under 10 minutes.

    This is what strikes me as odd in this whole liturgical thing. We go from 1900+ years of one EP (the Roman Canon), roughly one set of readings for the entire year (and guidelines to move specific feasts and commemorations when the liturgical seasons warrant) to a complex, three year cycle with multiple EPs, a strong disagreement on what feasts and commemorations should be and the bishop’s discretion to move specific feasts to a Sunday just for “convenience” (and I’m talking Ascension Day in the DC/Baltimore region as a prime example, along with the Saturday/Monday rule). Why did it need to get to this point? The EF, for all of its complexity in execution, is really surprisingly simple. What gives?

  24. There were no Eucharistic prayers for children when I was a child, and I don’t remember it being hard to follow the (old) Mass. Of course, as we got older, we learned to use our hand missals, and understood more. I certainly don’t think I grew up with a warped or deficient theology of the Mass. And I was certainly no child prodigy.

    It really doesn’t do to have too low expectations of what children can understand and achieve. And conocting kiddies liturgies is no way to teach them about the Mass.

  25. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I don’t know why there were TWO EPs for Reconciliation written up… I guess we always need variety (in the Ordinary Form). It would have been better if there were a SINGLE EP for Reconciliation and its use was restricted to very particular settings. (They get used fairly often at my parish on weekdays in Lent.)

    As for the EPs for Children, they do seem to create a whole new “liturgy of the Eucharist” for children (at least as far as the Roman Rite is concerned) with all their interjections, responses, etc. They also strike me as something which expects that children don’t have an attention span of more than three sentences.

    A friend of mine suggested that EP II be used for Children’s Masses… it’s simplistic enough that even a child could understand it, no?

    The next EPs that need the axe are the Four EPs for Various Needs and Occasions.

  26. TAAD says:

    Our pastor uses them several times a week with or without children. [UGH. Maybe that says more about the priest than the congregation.] I tire
    of being treated like a child. We rarely use any of the first 5 prayers
    and I have not heard the first prayer in 5 years at my parish. I was told
    our pastor doesn’t like the fact that the Holy Spirit is not mentioned in
    the normal prayers.

  27. Jimbo says:

    Treacly musical settings? Say it ain’t so! My all time worst favorite is the childrens’ Alleluia. It sounds like something from a Sherry Lewis and Lambchop episode. “Ollie-Ollie-Ollie…Louie…Yah, Ollie-Ollie-Ollie…Louie-Yah, Ollie-Ollie-Ollie…Louie…Yah, Ollie-Louis, Ollie-Lou-Yah!” Now let’s all clap! Yay!

  28. Matt says:

    With all due respect to this blog, the sense of \’victory\’ that comes with decisions like this gets old and I tire of seeing it all the bloody time. [Don't let the door hit you on the way out.]

    Were the children\’s prayers perfect…no? However, in some cases they did a better job of clearly and directly conveying our Catholic theology than the one\’s for \’adults\’.

    I have no problem with \’sacred\’ texts..but we\’re getting to the point that for the sake of direct translations from Latin we end up with gobbelygook that sounds like something out of Monty Python. [Piffle. That's is untrue to the point of being absurd.]

    The Children\’s prayers (when used with Children) have a place. I\’m sorry that people on the internet don\’t think so, and find it lamentable that these folks seem to have allies in the Vatican. The bishops of this country did not see a need to eliminate those prayers, but we see once again that the CDW has decided that the bishops work for it, instead of the other way around. [I think this goes beyond Sour Grapes to earn the .... ]

    The WDTPRS Bitter Fruit Award

  29. JPG says:

    1. Matt has a point with regards to the gloat factor , however anyone who has had to sit through one of these and try to suppress the outrage and nausea often cannot help but gloat when such happy news comes forth.
    2. I have a 14 yo and 17 yo both are in Catholic School. These simplistic Anaphoras I would argue did not achieve the aim of “including” them. I would argue instead that it diminished the sense of the Sacred. It did not reinforce or express adequately the faith of the Church. One must remember that the anaphora is a prayer to the Father, not my children. Along with the music that was chosen which they routinely mock( the music that is, with good reason) the entire experience in many respects did not(!!!!!) enhance there active participation.
    3. I am forging through Fortescues “The Mass “as well as Aquilina’s Mass of the Early Christians and one is impressed as to the age of the Eucharistic Prayers and to what authors to which they were attributed. Either in Fortescue or in Gamber I read that the the Roman Canon was attributed to Peter himself. I realize that the historical validity of such a claim is questionable, but what numbskull living 19 centuries later would have the audacity to think they can do better? It is clear that until the different patriarchates adopted particular customs and forms for their own rites, the early Mass was remarkably similar throughout the Christian World. I would raise the point with regards to the children’s Eucharistic Prayers why did they think they need them in the first place? How does one muster the obdurate pride to supplant a Eucharistic prayer that comes to us from antiquity potentially from the Apostles or the immediate post Apostolic Fathers?
    4. If they can make EP II , EP IV and the reconciliation ones go away that would be wonderful.
    5. This variety of Eucharistic Prayers presented I think has clouded the teaching that this is a Sacrifice , THE SACRIFICE, in an unbloody manner. It has allowed both priest and people to think it is about them and not about worship. It often fails to lift the mind and heart to God. It may have the effect of reducing Mass to pious entertainment. Add to this the dreadful practice which I have witnessed where the new EP is paraphrased to the point of making up an entirely new one or mix and match meaning first part from EP II and second part after the acclamation from one of the Reconciliation ones. This does not enhance prayer but gives the impression that the Liturgy is something with which we can do what we will not something that comes from Our Lord himself through the Apostles.
    JPG

  30. wsxyz says:

    My 5 year old daughter as recently learned to read, so she likes to read along in her “Saint Joseph Children’s Missal” during mass. The “eucharistic prayer” found in this missal goes as below. She can read it quite well, but doesn’t really understand everything yet. That’s no problem because she understands it in part, and will grow into the rest over time until she is ready for an adult missal.

    We Pray for the Church
    O Eternal Father, we want to offer ourselves to You with Your Son, our loving Savior, Jesus Christ. With Him and through Him, we ask You to take care of the Catholic Church all over the world. Keep her in peace, unity, holiness and truth.

    We Pray for the Living
    Remember, O Lord, my parents, relatives and friends, for whom we offer this sacrifice of praise, or who offer it for themselves, or for their families and friends. May this holy sacrifice gain for them health and salvation, who offer their praise to You, eternal, living and true God. May this offering bring us peace, and may we one day be with the saints in heaven.

    We Pray to All the Saints in Heaven
    O Lord, we remember with love the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your holy apostles and martyrs, and all Your saints. We unite with them as we offer You this sacrifice. May the merits and prayers of our Lady and all the saints help us at all times. Blesses Virgin and all you saints, pray for us at this Holy Mass.

    We Ask God to Accept and Bless the Offering of Bread and Wine
    Bless this offering, O Lord, and make it worthy of You. Give us a peaceful life on earth and bring us all safely to You in heaven. May this offering of bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus. He died for us on the cross and now in the Holy Sacrifice He comes to us to carry on His work of love.

    Consecration of the Bread
    At the Last Supper, on the day before Jesus died on the cross, He took bread into His holy hands. He raised his eyes to You, O God, His almighty Father, and gave thanks to You. He blesses it, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: All of you take and eat of this: FOR THIS IS MY BODY.

    Consecration of the Wine
    FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL TESTAMENT: THE MYSTERY OF FAITH: WHICH SHALL BE SHED FOR YOU, AND FOR MANY UNTO THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.

    We Offer the Victim to God
    We Remember, O Lord, the sufferings of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who rose victoriously from the dead and ascended gloriously into heaven. Grant that our sacrifice will be pleasing to You, like the offerings of Abel, Abraham, and Melchisedech. May Your angel bring these offerings to Your heavenly altar so that we may be filled with your heavenly blessings.

    We Pray for the Dead
    Remember, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful who have dies, especially those of my friends and relatives. Through the graces of this Holy Mass, may we all come to eternal life. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

    We Adore God
    O Lord, we trust in Your mercy and You give us all good things through Christ. Through Him, and with Him, and in Him is all honor and glory to You, God, the Father almighty, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, forever and ever. Amen.

  31. JPG says:

    Jimbo,
    Match that with a couple of settings of the Sanctus and the Gloria, “fingernails on the chalboard bad” or “two wet cats “in bag bad. (I find clapping during Mass repulsive).
    JPG

  32. opey124 says:

    ALLAN D! That’s it! that is what I was trying to forget. The, “We praise you, We bless you, We thank you” but I do believe that during lent we didn’t clap….or did we?
    Has anyone figured out how to permanently scrubbed this out of our memories?

  33. Fr. PB says:

    Thanks be to God! This is common sense and a long time coming.

  34. Fr. BJ: I hope they will reject the proposal to keep “Christ has died, Christ is risen…” as well. And maybe they will get rid of the EPs for Masses of Reconciliation. As I recall, the USCCB was petitioning for all of these things.

    The Order of Mass (including Eucharistic Prayers I-IV) in the form recently granted the recognitio by the Vatican are posted at

    http://www.usccb.org/liturgy/missalformation/index.shtml

    Thankfully, some of the bishop’s recommendations were rejected. Looking at “The mystery of faith:” we see no “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again” among the 3 options, the closest one being

    “We proclaim your death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.”

  35. Fr. BJ says:

    Fr. Bartoloma: From my own experience as a parish priest, the children zone out and are not engaged in the text of the Eucharistic Prayers – with the exception of the Roman Canon!

    I was inspired to use the Roman Canon the other day for one of the school Masses. It has more actions in it (stopping to pray silently for a moment at the commemoration of the living and that of the deceased, bowing profoundly for the “Almighty God we pray that your angel…”, then signing oneself, striking the breast, etc.) and this keeps everyone interested — or at least the youth and those adults who haven’t been taught to be cynical about how long the RC is compared with the other EPs.

    From the standpoint of experience/feelings, when I use the RC I feel like I am doing something more sacred, and I think the people feel like something more sacred is happening.

    It also challenges me not to ramble on in the homily, because I’ve still got to keep the Mass down to about 30/35 minutes (for a weekday)!!! And the people appreciate that as well.

  36. Fr. BJ says:

    Henry: on this page in # 10 you can see that the US Bishops have requested additional adaptations peculiar to the United States. I read somewhere else (cannot find it currently) that those included the inclusion of the “Christ has died…” option as well as the Eucharistic Prayers of Reconciliation. As it indicates, the translation that was recently approved is the “universal” one, and later additions could be made specific to each country that requests them.

    So I think we still need to pray that the CDWDS is generous in saying no to all other additions! Less is more!

  37. Fr. BJ: So I think we still need to pray that the CDWDS is generous in saying no to all other additions!

    Indeed! Let us pray fervently that further episcopal damage is forestalled.

  38. Fr. BJ:

    I’m curious what objections you have to the 4th Eucharistic Prayer?

  39. Fr. BJ says:

    Fr. Fox I’m curious what objections you have to the 4th Eucharistic Prayer?

    Nothing terribly profound or academic. I just don’t like it (good reason, huh?!), and I also object to it on the basis that we have too many options in the liturgy.

    I know a priest who has been ordained for almost 70 years who told me recently that he was proud never to have used EP IV. I think he inspired me to fortify my resolve never to use it also!

    Of course, if I were at a concelebrated Mass where it was used, I would join in.

  40. TJM says:

    This is indeed splendid news. A priest friend of mine who is an educator NEVER uses them because he believes they are a questionable educational tool and they are condescending to
    children. One commentator, I believe it was on this websit, nailed it. Would you call up the coach of a professional team to let him know you we’re bringing “junior” that night and to have him please dumb down the game so junior can understand it better? I always believed these children’s Eucharistic Prayers were more for the celebrant and his minions, rather than the children. Tom

  41. Father Totton says:

    At this point, I feel I must relate my only experience, ever, of the Eucharistic prayers for Masses with Children. I was in Third Theology, assigned to CPE (would’ve been years off purgatory, had I kept my mouth shut!). The parish where I was living had an early Mass (about 615am) for “workers” – mostly white collar types who got up early to get an early start to the office. The first morning I was there, I figured I would go to that Mass, then I could have breakfast before going to the hospital.

    Father used one of these prayers, which was the goofiest thing I had ever heard, and I looked around, I was, by far, the youngest person in the room – at 27 years of age. “Where!” I wondered to myself, “are the ‘Children?’” I rearranged my routine getting up even earlier, going to the gym first thing, then I caught an early Mass near the hospital (they never did this goofy stuff there) and had breakfast in the cafeteria before I started my day.

    For what it’s worth I prefer to use the Roman Canon, because of its continuity (for the most part) with 1500 years of tradition. I rarely use the Third Eucharistic prayer (On occasion for a funeral) and now pretty much ignore 2 and 4. I am of the opinion that the plethora of options in the revised Mass has largely fostered so much of the novelty that has crept in, nevermind that the mulitple options do not allow the faithful a stable experience at Mass. Sure, everything is always “NEW!” and “Exciting!” but does this constant stream of change allow people to pray?

    I also opt, as a rule, for using the First Option for the penetential rite – At least I think it is the first option – Confiteor, Misereatur, Kyrie… Again, it approaches continuity with tradition.

  42. Jordanes says:

    TJM, I think you’re absolutely right. Rewritten Masses for children, and rewritten lectionaries for children, have no place in good Catholic liturgy. Our children need to learn about the Church’s liturgy, not segregated from it. These things should never have been prepared in the first place, let alone approved by Rome, and thank our merciful God that Pope Benedict has taken these measures to restore liturgical sanity to the Latin Church.

  43. I deleted a comment marked “anon”. I do not permit “anonymous” comments.

  44. TNCath says:

    Father Totton: “Father used one of these prayers, which was the goofiest thing I had ever heard, and I looked around, I was, by far, the youngest person in the room – at 27 years of age….I also opt, as a rule, for using the First Option for the penitential rite – At least I think it is the first option – Confiteor, Misereatur, Kyrie… Again, it approaches continuity with tradition.”

    Oh yes, the Eucharistic Prayers for Children are often used in our diocese by priests where the majority of communicants are adults. I have also attended “Masses” (not sure if they were valid or not) where “provisional texts” of Eucharistic prayers were used by priests who had recently returned from “liturgical conventions” where these texts were introduced. Because I was not sure the Mass was valid or not, I refrained from receiving Communion. As for the use of the third option, we rarely get the opportunity to pray the Confiteor in my diocese and NEVER at Masses celebrated by our bishop. I have observed that the vast majority of parishes uses the third option. I’ve heard several opinions from several priests as to why:

    1. To save time. I was told by one priest that “the Confiteor followed by the Kyrie is too [expletive deleted] long, especially if you are going to sing the Gloria. We don’t want to be here all day!”

    2. To “give the Deacon something to do” (proclaiming the invocations of the third option).

    3. The first option “dwells too much on the assembly’s sinful nature.”

    Thank you for keeping the continuity with tradition!

  45. mpm says:

    Thanks to the posts of Fr. BJ and Fr. Totton, perhaps we have a couple of principles
    regarding good liturgical practice:

    a) Be generous in saying ‘no’;
    b) Be stingy in use of ‘options’.

    Fr. Robert Taft, an expert on the Eastern Rite liturgies has said in a recent article
    (I’m paraphrasing): “repetition is of the essence of good liturgy”, and options make
    repetition difficult.

  46. JPG says:

    I forgot about the Lectionary. I carry a hand missal since some years ago when encountering a Parish with innovation du jour ( I am not kidding , it varied from week to week) I felt the need. Our current Parish uses the children’s lectionary at the childrens Mass.My children are long past this but occasionally we need to go it at that time. When the Gospel is proclaimed it is usually from this less than a paraphrase version (if one could call it a paraphrase). I usually hand my Missal to my 17 yo so she can see what the Gospel for that Sunday is. This brings two observations. Do these people really think children are that stupid?
    Secondly, we hear the same pericopes year after year. We do so since it reminds us of a truth of the faith and likewise it may reveal in a rereading some other truth not seen before. In a like fashion not reading the appropriate “adult” translation deprives children of that exposure. Are they going to understand it fully? No. However the seeds are sown. The Gospel enters their conscoiousness and will bear fruit upon rehearing in the future. It will be familiar to them.
    They may not for years apprehend the full content but so what. None of us do. This is why one Mass is not sufficient for a lifetime.
    On a more mundane level I find it hard to stand for the entry of the Lord of Lords at the reading pf the Gospel when I know it is not even worthy of the title paraphrase. It just does not seem right. I think they shoud ban the children’s lectionary as well.
    JPG

  47. Dennis says:

    3 cheers—— it’s about time

  48. Thomas says:

    I might be the luckiest person on this blog. Until reading this news item today, I had never even heard of Eucharistic Prayers for Children. I looked them up and read through them and can say that I have never been to a Mass where they were used. And now that I have read them, I celebrate with the rest of you.

  49. Jordanes says:

    JPG said: Do these people really think children are that stupid?

    Yes, I’m afraid they do, and I have to wonder if they who labor to build ineffable gibbets don’t have the same opinion of adults.

    TNCath said: I was told by one priest that “the Confiteor followed by the Kyrie is too [expletive deleted] long, especially if you are going to sing the Gloria. We don’t want to be here all day!”

    Yes, God forbid that the Mass last a few seconds longer. Don’t you know people have shopping to do or need to get home to watch the game?

  50. Matt says:

    It’s always interesting to me that a comment that goes against the prevailing wind on a blog tends to get the most attention. I’m kind of impressed with myself.

    I don’t think I’m absurd, nor am I bitter. I worship weekly at my parish, and find decisions like this to be something that does not inspire bitterness but wonderment. I have no idea what makes a dicastery so convinced that they know better than the local ordinaries what should be done in a church.

    If your solution is simply to silence people who disagree, that will never work. 95% of what has happened since Vatican II has been embraced and will continue. We’re to the point that we keep allowing ourselves to be divided into ‘factions’. How insane is that?

    The Children’s prayers have a place in the life of a parish and of the church, it’s regrettable that most here don’t agree. However, it’s not surprising.

  51. I’ve used the Eucharistic Prayers for Children quite effectively in ministry. True, they should be for liturgies for children, not mostly adults. I’ve also seen that when the children get to sing the proper acclamations they are engaged and prayerful. The principle of Garbage In, Garbage Out still applies. If the people planning the liturgies and the presider put care and effort in the liturgy it is good. If people try to do it by the seat of their pants… well.. you get poor liturgies that are more about “fads” than solid in their use of the Ordinary Rite which we celebrate.

  52. Mila says:

    Thanks be to God! They get used at my parish far too often, including weekday Masses where there are no children present at all, by the pastor who I have never heard use the Roman Canon in my seven years here. He’s also fond of the Reconciliation EPs, which he has used even on Easter Sunday! Like some of you, I too long for the day when all those EPs are done away with and we go back to the Roman Canon as it should be.

  53. Sid says:

    Shouldn’t children attend Holy Mass with the parents anyway? Ditto teens.

  54. wsxyz says:

    The Children’s prayers have a place in the life of a parish and of the church

    This is an assertion that one may disagree with. It is not objective truth.

  55. A Random Friar says:

    I have never used the Children’s EP’s, although I have concelebrated with the reconciliation EP’s. I have also never used EP II. I must be in the minority to actually like EP IV, and tend to use it when there’s no saint or special intention.

  56. Joshua says:

    Remember that EP IV has one very important raison d’etre: it’s the “Eucharistic Prayer for Convents” – if the good sisters like it, good on them; if the repetition of that dreadful word “man” annoys them, well, it’s time for them to repent or else get the hell outta the Church and leave the rest of us in peace.

    I know a priest who, when at a seminary “invaded” by a vile bunch of women religious for a conference, gave his guests a sermon on loyalty to the Pope followed by EP IV. If it hadn’t been for the seminarians present, they would’ve lynched him then and there at the altar, going on the looks they were giving him.

  57. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Hooray! The Mass does not belong to children or adults. It belongs to Jesus Christ.

    Now can we trade in the lessor EPs for a real Epiklesis back in the Offertory with the Roman Canon? How lovely it would be to hear the direct invocation to Holy Spirit Himself to sanctify the offering and make it acceptable to the Father.

    A nearby parish has Mass involving the school children who read, lead the Intercessions and bring up the Gifts. For some parents who come to see the little darlings do stuff, its the only time they make it to Mass at all. The activity of kids in the Sanctuary and poorly done readings makes it a struggle to attend Mass with recollection.

    Also, it is true: Garbage in, garbage out. With some exceptions, neither the parents nor the children appear properly catechized to grasp the gravity of the Holy Sacrifice. This is the most disturbing of all.

  58. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Instead of “lessor EPs” I should have said “shorter, less concise”.

  59. William Tighe says:

    “The Children’s prayers have a place in the life of a parish and of the church, it’s regrettable that most here don’t agree. However, it’s not surprising.”

    What is truly surprising is the lack of historical and properly ecumenical awareness that this inane remark demonstrates. No Eastern Church has ever had an “anaphora for Children” nor did any of the various defunct Western rites, nor did the Holy Roman Church for upwards of 1900 years. Have children over the last generation or two or three been so cretinized by radiation in the air, flouride in the water or parents following the prescriptions of Dr. Seuss that they are fit for the “Dick and Jane” or “O see Spot. Spot is a dog” burblings of such prayers? And, if so, does not the use of such prayers go far to ensure that they will be fixated in a kind of spiritual and euchological infantilism for the rest of their lives?

    I remember vividly the first time that I heard one of these prayers, at a Sunday Mass in the Catholic parish in Woking, England around 1983. Coming after the priest had preached an utterly vapid sermon on being nice, I thought that he was ad-libbing it, making it up as he went, since it complemented his sermon so fully.

    On a slightly different note, reading this posting yesterday drove me back into my files to read that wonderfully crusty and critical article, “The New Eucharistic Prayers: Some Comments” by Geoffrey G. Willis, *The Heythrop Journal,* Vol. XII, No. 1 (January 1971), pp. 5-28. Willis (1914-1983), an Anglican clergyman and admirer and historian of the Roman Rite (his posthumous [1994] *A History of Early Roman Liturgy* is a wonderful little book, spiced by sharp asides and remarks), was disdainful of the new EP II, III and IV, which he thought showed every sign of being “composed by a committee,” and his general attitude towards their general ethos was reflected in two Latin phrases he used in the course of the article, “In Tiberim defluxit Orontes” and “but it seems that many have welcomed them, perhaps on the principal, so popular in the twentieth century, of taking omne ignotum pro magnifico.”

    And, while on the subject of inane EPs, I wonder if the Vatican will ever banish that “Swiss Eucharistic Prayer” that was approved for use in several European countries in the 1970s?

  60. Jordanes says:

    Matt said: I have no idea what makes a dicastery so convinced that they know better than the local ordinaries what should be done in a church.

    And I have no idea what makes a local ordinary, or a parish priest, or a parish liturgist, so convinced that they know better than the Church of Rome what the form of the Rite of the Roman Church should be.

    If your solution is simply to silence people who disagree, that will never work.

    No, that’s clearly not the solution.

    95% of what has happened since Vatican II has been embraced and will continue.

    Yes, until it doesn’t continue any more.

    The Children’s prayers have a place in the life of a parish and of the church

    Not for much longer, thanks be to God.

  61. Antiquarian says:

    I’ve never been at a Mass where the children’s prayers were used– but I happen to love Eucharistic Prayer 4. I deeply regret its infrequent use.

  62. Hey “A Random Friar”: I love the imagery of Eucharistic Prayer IV and thank God Vox Clara and the Holy See have made the new translation with inclusive language. How come you’ve never prayed EP II? It’s quite beautiful and simple. I get nervous when I hear people be so forceful in saying I NEVER or I ALWAYS… The Church has been around for a long time and it’s important to experience it’s depth and breadth. I use all the Eucharistic Prayers. I have a special affection for EP I because that’s the one I practiced with the most as a deacon when learning the liturgy before being ordained an priest (1990). But in my parish we use all of them. For lent we often use the EPs for Reconciliation and on special occasions.. retreats, special events we use the ones for Special Occasions. It’s not really complicated.

    The Church has blessed us with such beautiful prayers… why not use them all?

  63. Fr. J.L.P.M. says:

    In my short eight years of Priesthood never have I once used the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children or the Reconciliation Eucharistic Prayers for that matter. Especially when one of the Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation mentions nothing about the bread and wine becoming the Body and Blood of Christ. I believe it is the Second Eucharistic Prayer of Reconciliation which mentions: “As we now fulfill your Son’s command” instead of “that it may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
    I primarily use the Roman and on rare occasion the Third Eucharistic Prayer.
    I also read that the Fourth Euchariatic Prayer is theologically incorrect, not because of the ex-clusive language, which some claim, but becuase of a matter of doctrine.

  64. Antiquarian says:

    “I also read that the Fourth Euchariatic Prayer is theologically incorrect, not because of the ex-clusive language, which some claim, but becuase of a matter of doctrine.”

    In what way?