Question for those who usually attend Mass with the Novus Ordo

This question is directed at those who attend Mass usually with the Novus Ordo, in any language.

Time and again I hear that people very rarely, if ever, hear the Roman Canon, Eucharistic Prayer I, in their parishes.

If you attend the TLM, we arleady know the Roman Canon is used.  This is for the Novus Ordo Mass goers, not the TLM.

Let’s do an informal poll on this:


ALL: I am NOT going to add options.  Just work with the poll as it is.  Pick the answer that best describes your experience. 

I cannot put every possibility into these little polls. 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. vox borealis says:

    My parish almost never uses Eucharistic Prayer I–only on Easter vigil, if I recall. We almost always use Eucharistic Prayer II, even when we celebrate the NO in Latin, which we do once a month. In fact, I was in the sacristy once before mass (I often serve as lector) and overheard two of the priests talking about the various prefaces and eucharistic prayers, and one of the referred to Eucharistic Prayer I as “oh, you mean the really long one.” They both seemed to express almost universal preference for E.P. II because it was shorter, and ESPECIALLY for the Latin Mass (presumably because it would be more difficult to recite the longer prayers in Latin).

  2. EDG says:

    Father, I think you should refine the survey a bit. We have only one priest at the Cathedral who uses Canon 1. However, there are many people who check the schedule to make sure they go to his Mass (which is a very correct NO), so those people, naturally, hear Canon 1 regularly.

    The others hear Canon 1 only when they happen to stumble into this priest’s mass. They’ll never hear it from the pastor or the bishop.

  3. Jim says:

    In our Diocese, it is almost as if there is an unwritten rule against use of the old Roman Canon. However, to his credit, the Bishop frequently uses EP#1 when he visits. EP #2 happens so fast that one has no time to contemplate the great mystery one is witnessing.

  4. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I think I’ve only heard it used on Christmas and Easter. I requested it for my wedding back in June — the priest celebrant was my oldest brother. My personal rationale is that it’s a prayer I think could stand to be prayed more often, and so long as the Eucharistic Prayer is going to be audible to the congregation, EP 1 could stand to be heard more often!

    The priest at Mass this morning, apart from altering some prayers to really enforce and hammer home the “Christ is King” idea (as if the readings and homily weren’t enough), decided to inject St. Joseph’s name to EP 3 (because St. Joseph’s seminary is his residence, I would expect). If he really wanted to have St. Joseph’s name mentioned… why not just pray EP 1?

    (And he manages to inject “Allah” into almost every one of his homilies. Poorly.)

  5. boeciana says:

    I usually go to a Sunday morning Trid Mass but most weekdays am at NO and often on Sunday evenings as well. And there, yes, it depends on the priest. There’s one who uses EP I a lot (though I think slightly less often than he used to; not sure why), one who uses it sometimes, and a couple who say Mass less often so I can’t remember. When we recently had a posh NO in Latin for All Souls’, we had EP III. It’s basically a good parish, IMHO!

  6. Pam says:

    We virtually NEVER hear Eucharistic Prayer I. Why we hardly even ever say the Creed….Yeah I live in California

  7. Manuel says:

    In all my life in my native diocese I have only attended one Mass where the Roman Canon was used. There is a parish outside my diocese tat uses it regularly but I don’t attend that one much b/c of distance.

  8. michigancatholic says:

    I also attend both by necessity. In fact the EF wasn’t available today because the only priest in this diocese who can actually say it is out of town. I almost always hear #2 at the N.O.

  9. MJ says:

    I live in the Lincoln, NE diocese, and we use EP I on high holy days and occassional solemnities, but otherwise its usually EP 3 on Sundays and EP2 during the week. We used to have a parochial vicar who ONLY used EP I, he was a member of the Order of Preachers, so not sure if it was a personal choice or a directive by the order, but he never used anything else, even on weekdays.

  10. Richard says:

    The priest at my church typically uses E.P. #3. He would rather use the Roman Canon but the congregation is really liberal and like short Masses and complain. But on anything dealing with martyr’s, Pope’s, Apostle’s, he uses the Roman Cannon. He hardly uses #2 on Sundays unless if his homily is long.

  11. James says:

    I started worshipping over the parish boundary in the end so as to hear, however infrequently, EP I. My former PP refused to use it at all. Interestingly in my new parish we have a monthly NO in Latin – and there too I am yet to hear EP I inspite of the fact that the priest’s Latin is excellent and he’s more than able to manage it.

  12. boeciana says:

    [I mean, it’s basically a good parish whatever the varying EP usage, not because of it.]

  13. John Hudson says:

    Father, can you add an option for ‘Never’? :(

  14. leo says:

    you could add never hearing the confiteor ever but instead Lord Jesus tou are something and something Lord have mercy etc

  15. Johnny Domer says:

    I find that Eucharistic Prayers 1 and 4 are almost never used here at Notre Dame. I can understand why 1 isn’t used (slight hostility towards traditional things, etc.), but why does one never hear #4?

    Of course, at Notre Dame’s wonderful weekly Extraordinary Form Mass, we only use the Roman Canon.

  16. Geoffrey says:

    The last time I heard Eucharistic Prayer I (aside from television) was about 3 years ago on All Saint’s Day. The celebrant used it because of all the saints listed. Consequently, this was the first time I EVER heard all the saints names listed (since it is optional).

  17. JustDave says:

    The last time I heard EP 1 at my parish was Holy Thursday and I was surprised when I heard it. I do not understand why it’s not used more often. It is a very beautiful prayer.


  18. Resonare Christum says:

    The friars at my Dominican parish use EP I for special feasts such as today’s feast of Christ the King and on the feast days of the saints listed in the Roman canon. Ocassionally I’ll hear it at other masses. It also depends on which friar is celebrating the mass.

  19. Mark says:

    In my experience–and I do not mean this facetiously–you need another option: never.

  20. Janet says:

    The NO parish I attend only seems to do the longer Eucharistic prayer (I think it’s the one you’re referring to) on Easter Vigil. Whatever Eucharistic prayer is used by our pastor and two associates is very short, just as what is used at daily Mass. (am I correct in assuming the prayer #I you’re referring to includes invoking a goodly number of Saints?)

    The only other times I have heard the longer prayer is occasionally at EWTN’s televised Sunday Mass and also at Casa Maria’s Sunday Mass. (Sister Servants of the Eternal Word’s retreat house, also affiliated loosely with EWTN).

    Guess I’d never really given this subject much thought. Kinda sad, what a person gets used to accepting as normal when they aren\’t used to having access to anything better.

  21. Dennis DeVito says:

    In my parish in Westchester County ,NY- the Roman Canon is rarely used , we hear it on Christmas day and maybe on Holy Thursday and Easter. On most of the Sundays of the year E.P.II is perfered Canon followed by E.P.III . This is a shift for us since in the past E.P. III was the perfered Canon followed by E.P.II. BTW -E.P. IV was nevered used in the past as well as now, I would say that in 25 years I heard E.P.IV on more then 3 times.

  22. DWW says:

    Never. Ever. In fact our pastor uses some EP from what I’ve been told is for children’s liturgies- every Mass, every Sunday, every Holy Day.
    I’ve never understood why. “While He was at table with His friends…”
    What I wouldn’t give for a little “Linus, Cletus, Clement….”

  23. Piers-the-Ploughman says:

    When I go to the NO (I split TLM and NO 50/50):
    an older priest used to use #1 more, now tilts to #2, not sure why that happened
    the younger priests from fathers of mercy almost exclusively use #1; i try to attend that mass

  24. Dennis DeVito says:

    An addition and correction to my last post —
    the last line should read ” in 25 years I heard EP.IV no more then 3 times”

    In my parish , when EP.I is used the list of the name of the Saints is always omitted

  25. Flambeaux says:

    Anglican Use parish, we use Rite 2, which is essentially identical to the NO. We have the 4 EP options.

    Our pastor uses the Roman Canon exclusively for Sundays and most Feast Days. Daily Mass it can vary, but usually the Roman Canon for that as well.

  26. Uncle Kermie says:

    You should add an option of 1-2 times per year. I think it’s
    used once or twice during Easter in my Los Angeles diocese parish,
    as well is neighboring parishes.

  27. Claire says:

    We frequently hear the Roman Canon. One of our resident priests once devoted a homily to the canon, explaining why he prefers to use it at Sunday masses. He also explained that he timed himself praying each of the different prayers, and reported that the Roman Canon only adds a few minutes to the Mass.
    Our kids have heard the Roman Canon enough times to have memorized most of it, including the list of saints, which they can do in the cadence and accent of every priest who celebrates or has celebrated Mass at our parish.
    I must add that I rarely hear this prayer when we travel to other parishes.

  28. Liam says:

    In descending order of frequency:

    EP III is the most common, in my experience. It is clearly the default option in practice, for at least 20 years as best I can tell.

    EP I is typically used on solemnities and feasts; its use is also more frequent in Advent, Lent & Eastertide.

    EP II is typically used (1) at daily Mass, (2) when non climate-controlled churches are experiencing uncomfortable temperatures, and (3) at ritual Masses (though EP III is popular for funerals, and EP I is sometimes used for weddings because of the insert thereto the ritual provides).

    EP IV is the least used because its fixed preface limits it to Ordinary Time.

  29. Marilyn says:

    I’m so glad you brought this up. I attend a Sunday TLM parish, so I don’t know about Sunday liturgy in my old parish. However,I am a teacher in a Catholic school, and we go to Mass almost every week. I cannot remember ever hearing Eucharistic Prayer I. It is always II, almost without fail–in fact, I cannot remember any other Eucharistic prayer being used at the school mass. Every week I hope and pray for Eucharistic Prayer I, but it hasn’t happened yet.

    This leads me to a related point, the use of the entire “I Confess” at the beginning of the NO Mass. I am shocked at how often it is dropped for a very short penitential rite. I was even more shocked that when I started going to an NO daily Mass during Lent because I could not get to a TLM every day, the “I Confess” was rarely used. Anyone else have this experience?


  30. Before my parish was taken over by the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, I virtually never heard Eucharistic Prayer #1. Now I hear it nearly every week.

  31. SMJ says:

    The first and last time I heard the Roman Canon was in Maundy Thursday!

  32. pjo says:

    In my parish Roman Canon is NOT used anymore. Even on Good Thursday they use EP3. 90% masses on Sundays and 100% of masses on weekdays are filled with the shortest, evergreen EP2.

    Once I ordered a mass for my children asking the parish priest to use Roman Canon. He did, but had big problems with rubrics, and altar servers didn’t know how to ring the bells in proper moments…

    Sad, but true.


  33. Paul Hargadon says:

    This morning a visiting priest (from the faculty of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary used Eucharistic Prayer I (Roman Canon). This was the first time in a long time I heard this here. Eucharistic Prayer III is the default “I” in this otherwise good parish. We have daily adoration, wonderful devotional opportunities, but the priests seem to be allergic to the Roman Canon. When it is used, they abbreviate the listings of the saints. I intend to mention to the pastor how wonderful it was to hear #1.

  34. Rob in Maine says:

    Honestly, I don’t know the difference between I – IV. A long time ago, my home town parish got rid of the mass paperback missals. The idea was that the people should _listen_ to the Word. Anyhoo, to this day I listen attentively (active participation!) but can’t tell you which prayer is which.

  35. Bailey Walker says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve always felt that Eucharistic Prayer IV was the LONG one.

    At this morning’s relatively early Mass for Christ the King (cantor and organ, no choir) the celebrant chose the Roman Canon with all the optional “Through Christ Our Lord” endings and saints names. Very nice.

  36. Paul Stokell says:

    My parish priest out here in OKC splits time between EP 2 (the fountain of all brevity) and EP 3. The Roman Canon is almost never done outside major feasts and solemnities, and EP 4’s use is almost extinct. Even hearing the “Swiss Synod” EP would break the tedium!

  37. Jordan Potter says:

    In our parish, the Roman Canon is mostly used on special occasions or major holy days. Our previous assistant pastor, who has a strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion, used it pretty regularly, but our current assistant pastors, who’ve only been here since June, haven’t used it yet that I’m aware of. Our pastor overwhelmingly favors Eucharistic Prayer II, I think — it’s the one that everybody claims is based on the “anaphora” of St. Hippolytus of Rome.

  38. Jeff says:

    I wonder how many of you who do hear the Roman Canon hear it with all the parentheticals included.

    I have often heard the lists of saints’ names included but almost everyone seems to skip the several “Through Christ our Lord, Amen”s. Sad.

    I have heard some priests don’t like to use the Roman Canon because experience of it in the Old Mass has made them loathe:

    1. The horrible translation,
    2. The alterations in the formula of consecration,
    3. The interjection of the Acclamation of Faith after the consecration.

  39. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I usually hear EP 2 or EP 3 at Sunday Mass. My pastor usually uses EP 3 at Sunday Mass, whereas our weekend assistant priests usually use EP 2. Even today, for the Solemnity of Christ the King, the visiting priest used EP 2 (not EP 3 like I misspoke earlier).

    Daily Mass usually has EP 2, although my pastor ALWAYS says “be in your presence” rather than “stand in your presence”. I don’t know why, although I could guess. He’s misapplying “stand in your presence and serve you” to the congregation (which happens to be kneeling, not standing, during the EP), rather than himself and his fellow priests.

    The original context is:

    Therefore, remembering his death and resurrection,
    we offer to you the bread and the chalice,
    giving thanks to you, who has made us worthy
    to stand before you and to serve as your priests

    In other words, the newly-ordained bishop is referring to the priests, who do stand before God in their ministry.

  40. I live in Geneva, NY (Diocese of Rochester). Seldom – not quite Never. I ask for it a few times a year for the campus mass, and priests usually follow through.

    In the Archdiocese of Atlanta 10 years ago, pretty regularly – at least once a month or once out of every 6 Sundays?

  41. Ross says:

    “Eucharistic Prayer I” is used so rarely at my parish that the altar servers look baffled and don’t know when to ring the bells when our priest finally does use it.

  42. RCR says:

    Eucharistic Prayer (EP) II seems to be the default at my parish with an occasional use of EP III (The pastor for some reason omits “Lord, you are holy indeed…” and always begins with “[Lord,] Let your spirit…”.).

    I seldom hear EP I and I have never heard EP IV (not at my parish nor at any Catholic Church that I’ve visited).

    Please pray for our pastor who is nonetheless a good man and compassionate human being.

  43. Fr Martin Fox says:

    I use EP IV about 1/4-1/3 of the time in Ordinary Time; it isn’t supposed to be used in other seasons, because its preface is fixed. One reason you may not hear it is because it has so-called “exclusive” language. I pray it as-is.

    I use EP III and EP I about equally as often on Sundays. I almost never use EP II on Sundays, as this is discouraged; I use EP II about half the time on weekdays, the others the rest of the time.

  44. paul zummo says:

    The Priest who does the 10:00 Mass (Latin, Novus Ordo) always uses Canon 1, but the other Priests don’t use it nearly as often for the other Masses.

  45. Richard says:

    Even more rarely do I hear Eucharist Prayer IV. I know there are certain liturgical seasons or events when it is not to be prayed, but I remember seeing for the first time in the missalette and thinking I had found like a lost document or something, it was that foreign to what I heard at Mass.

  46. Nate says:

    My pastor cycles through the Eucharistic Prayers. Usually he does EP2 or EP3 on most Sundays and weekdays (EP2 more on weekdays with EP3 more on Sundays). But, about one Sunday a month gets either EP1 or one of the Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation. Every so often (like maybe once a quarter) we get EP4.

    On occasion, I attend Mass at the St. Paul Center at the local University. One of the priests there seems to always use EP3 while the other seems to always use EP1.

  47. Esther says:

    Father, given the choices, I chose the last one. The last time I hard the Eucharistic Prayer I was today, a very special solemnity. It also depends on which priest is celebrating.

  48. Wilf says:

    Much to my surprise, I heard Eucharistic Prayer I used today (probably for the solemnity). Apart from that, I can’t recall the last time hearing it used.

  49. Dan says:

    Father, it would be nice if you did a post on the histories of the Eucharistic Prayers. If I remember correctly, EP2 is the oldest, and I think EP3 and EP4 are even older than EP1.

  50. William says:

    The “reform of the reform” should begin with the elimination of all EP’s except for No. 1.

  51. Dan says:

    And for that matter….what about the Confiteor? I NEVER hear it at my parish church. I always hear the other “options” and for that matter, they are sometimes not from the Sacramentary but the priests ad lib. Anyone else in the same boat?

  52. paul says:

    I have to attend a Novus Ordo to fulfill by holy days of obligation. The Eucharistic Prayer II is always used. I have only ever heard the Roman Canon used once, on the Nativity of St. John the Baptist if I remember correctly.

  53. Matt says:

    I live in the Diocese of Scranton and for some reason I hear the Roman Canon often. In fact I played an NO Mass yesterday and the priest used EP1.

  54. Lance Patrick says:

    Have never heard EP 1 in the far reaches of the Diocese of Savannah. Don’t know for sure about the Archdiocese of Atlanta as someone posted earlier but that was ten years ago and with the new Archbishop they now wash ‘female’ disciples feet at the last supper on Holy Thursday as they do in the Diocese of Savannah so the EP 1 may also be gone. However Atlanta does have an FSSP parish where I am sure you don’t have worry about such things.

  55. Dave says:

    Former pastors occasionally used EP I. Current pastor, to my knowledge, has never used it. But then again he changes the words consistently throughout the liturgy to avoid addressing God as “Father” (except at the Our Father and concluding acclamation). Our parish lectionary is full of scratchings-out and insertions to facilitate both horizontal and vertical inclusive language.
    BTW he also uses “be in your presence” rather than “stand in your presence.”

  56. Margaret C. says:

    My pastor tries to alternate among the Eucharistic prayers, so we do hear EP 1 a several times per month. He uses it more often during Advent, Lent and Easter. Of course, during those seasons he also uses more Latin…

  57. John says:

    I have lived for seven and half years in the Diocese of Palm Beach and I have never heard anything but EP 2. My schedule is erratic and I have been to over half the parishes. The last time I heard the Roman Canon was at the only TLM offered in this diocese. Unfortunately, it is over an hour and half trip and not practical for the wife and I and our two pre-school age children (one of whom is handicapped). No news from the diocese regarding the MP, and none from our territorial/registered parish. My wife refuses to attend the NO/Ordinary Form because it is filled with all the usual transgressions. The last straw came a few years ago when, a large female Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion dropped a Host on the floor in front of her and used her foot to push it out of the way and continued distribution. I have written the Office of Liturgy inquiring about the TLM and have never received an answer to my letters/email.

  58. Karen Russell says:

    I had to go with option 4, but it definitely is “rarely” rather than “never” or “I can’t remember the last time.”

    Usually we hear Eucharistic Prayer #3 on Sundays and #2 on weekdays, but occasionally on a major feast day we are treated to #1. In fact, we heard it today, on the Feast of Christ the King, complete with the full lists of saints’ names! It was lovely.

  59. Jovan Weismiller says:


    I was blessed in Kansas City with a newly ordained priest who used EP I on a regular basis, even at daily Mass. Of course, he also celebrated the NO in Latin whenever he got the chance and was learning the Traditional Mass from the Benedictines at Clear Creek. However, since moving to Edmonton, AB, I have never heard EP I at an NO Mass.

  60. Hank_F_M says:

    The pastor and the retired preist who helps out usually say EP 1 on feast days and solemnities, otherwise they very between the others. The pastor
    has good sense of using the different options to amplify themes
    on this and other options.

    Visiting priests are allowed their preference.

  61. Ave Maria says:

    I attend weekday Mass at a Catholic hospital and Father uses the Masses from
    the little book of alternative Eucharistic prayers the vast majority of the time–
    you know the one about finding our way to one another and so on. There are
    a number of them and he likes the change, I guess.

    I have taken to praying the TLM from a Latin/English missal and that has
    given me great peace and I really feel I can pray the Mass as well.

    This morning when Father hollered like beowulf and told us about the movie and
    then we had a baptism so Mass was 1 1/2 hours with much talking; I read the
    Mass in Latin. Now I can read Latin but slowly. And I also prayed a rosary.

    On we go. At least it is still a valid Mass.

  62. claiborne says:

    Rarely, in this diocese. With a few stellar exceptions, the most often EP1 will be heard is at Easter and Christmas. A couple of Christmases ago, I asked the pastor of my home parish if he couldn’t use it more frequently. His unfathomable response was that “it’s so special, and if I used it any more often, it wouldn’t be as special anymore.” Verbatim. I promise.

  63. Marc says:

    I hear it every week, holy day and occasionally on weekday Masses.

  64. And for that matter….what about the Confiteor? I NEVER hear it at my parish church. I always hear the other “options” and for that matter, they are sometimes not from the Sacramentary but the priests ad lib. Anyone else in the same boat?

    It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve heard the Confiteor at the N.O. They usually just jump straight to the Kyrie. Incidentally, the first time I ever heard EP I was a Novus Ordo Mass at the parish I attend the TLM. (There is definitely gravitational pull going on there!)

  65. Jack says:

    I seem to hear it every few weeks or so – but almost always with the long list of saints omitted. EP II is probably most common.

    The first (and only) time I ever heard the whole thing, including the list of saints, was on a Holy Thursday. It was beautiful.

  66. Pistor says:

    One brilliant sacerdotal tactic I recall was the case of a priest who liked the Roman Canon. When his daily Mass goers complained, he willingly conceded to their wishes, and added three minutes onto his sermon. About the extra time, he calculated, it would have taken to say the Roman Canon in the first place. They got the point and asked to change back…

  67. CPT Tom says:

    Here in the outer marches of the Rochester Diocese, the only time I have heard the EP 1 is when our Nigerian Priest first arrived…until he got “talked” to by the pastoral assistant. He occasionally slips into the Confietor. Though usually the grey haired ladies on the liturgical committee have a cow because he’s straying from the “script.” Far as what EP we normally use, I have no idea anymore as we now use the Gather Comprehensive, which, surprise, doesn’t have the EPs in it. I think we use two, because it’s short. Which ever we use, the older priest we have changes the words frequently.

  68. mwa says:

    Diocese of Palm Beach, FL: EP2 almost exclusively. At our N.O. monthly home-school Mass, however, I requested the Roman Canon, which Father is now working on in Latin, along with the Jubilate Deo ordinaries and introductory and closing rites in Latin. To John (above at 6:40), your family would be welcome at our Mass: every fourth Tuesday, 10:00am, at St. Therese de Lisieux, Wellington. For December, however, it will be on Dec. 8, with small procession and social afterwards. The diocese will not be doing anything to promulgate or promote the MP, but there are some of us working on it, and one of our younger priests is studying with the intention of saying a regular E.F., but he doesn’t envision it happening until around a year from now.

  69. Francis Brennan says:

    Fr. Z.,

    I hardly ever hear EP1 any more. We used to have a supply priest at our parish who always used it whenever he said Mass, but he has now retired. I now encounter it 2% of the time. I never hear it in its unabbreviated form with all the saints’ names recited.

    EP2 is the “drive-thru” Eucharistic Prayer — quick ‘n’ easy. I suspect it is popular with priests because of its brevity. It helps fast-forward to the end of Mass and getting the cars out of the parking lot in time for the next Mass. It is used at 70% of the Sunday Masses I attend and 100% of the weekday Masses. Its shortness has one advantage — it is useful for time-constrained congregations at weekday Masses.

    EP3 is also popular with priests, again because of its relative brevity. It is used at 25% of Sunday Masses at my parish.

    EP4 is unpopular with the ageing trendies because of its hugely controversial, scandalous and outrageous statements such as “You formed man in your own likeness and set him over the whole world to serve you, his creator, and to rule over all creatures,” or “A man like us in all things but sin.” There is one priest I know who is so allergic to the offence this might cause to one or two feminists in the congregation that he insists on a wholesale re-cast of the prayer. It is in the 1-2% category.

    Personally, I would retire all the EPs except the Roman Canon.

  70. Sophie says:

    Fr. Z,
    After a lifetime of NO of every possible kind (I am from Quebec), I appreciate all that I am learning from your most interesting blog. Concerning the EP 1, I heard it only once at the Easter Vigil. The reality of: “Save the liturgy, save the world” became urgent to me as we had to watch a short movie on the Diocesan missions instead of a homily last sunday. My daughter (3) turned to me and said: Mom, why are we watching TV at church? This after I had insisted to the children’s liturgy volunteer that she would stay with us during the homily (I wanted her to learn about the Mass, not color for 20 minutes). I am drawn to the TLM, but I am also intimidated by it, having heard of it only in a very negative light. Your blog is giving me the opportunity to learn about the Mass that made so many saints. Thank you.

  71. Maria says:

    On campus 1 of the 10 weekday Masses is said with the Roman Canon. (Sunday + vigil, never, if I recall rightly.)

  72. Ut videam says:

    Checking in from South Korea… I have assisted at Holy Mass in several parishes in the Archdioceses of Seoul and Daegu, and on the vast majority of Sundays EP II is used. I’ve heard III a few times, particularly on greater solemnities. I regret to say that I’ve never witnessed the Roman Canon used.

    That is not to say, however, that the liturgical state of affairs in the Land of the Morning Calm is less than salutary, as I hope the following photo, taken on Easter Sunday at Myeongdong Cathedral, will attest:

  73. Rob Alvelais says:

    As it turns out, I read your blog entry today and then I attended our parish\’s Gregorian Mas. The presiding priest said Eucharistic Prayer I. The Mass was the Novus Ordo Mass with many parts chanted. What a beautiful mass. FWIW, our diocese does have a TLM at a shrine to Our Lady. I\’ve attended that Mass on several occasions. I rather prefer the Novus Ordo as I feel like more of an active participant, rather than a spectator, in the Mass. YMMV.


    PS. We hear/say the Confiteor often.

  74. fxavier says:


    EP1 (Roman Canon) is the oldest.

    The rest are original compositions. Bugnini, in his Memoirs, discusses how they were made. Unfortunately, I left the book in another state.

    EP2 is supposedly framed around one found in St. Hippolytus’ (Antipope and Martyr) Apostolic Traditions, but the source has been questioned recently as to its authenticity and reconstruction. Furthermore, Bugnini excised judgement and hell themes.

    The Roman Canon has been attributed to St. Peter himself, especially by first century popes like Innocent I.

    Furthermore, the words are substantially similar to the Euch. Prayer of another Petrine church, the West Syrian Antiochene Church.

    Our Roman Canon went through substantial paragraph reordering, but has retained the same substantive words.

    *The Roman Canon is the oldest Eucharistic Prayer, counting both East and West.*

  75. mary margaret says:

    I had not heard the Roman Canon in years, until this All Saint’s Day (NOT at my home parish). A perfect day to use EP1, including all the Saints/Martyrs. It was beautiful to hear–brought tears to my eyes. I have a particular fondness for EP1–as I used the name of the last martyr, St Anastasia, as the name of my younger daughter. I always loved that name (although it might have been because it was the LAST name, and meant that Mass was almost over! :-) ) Hey, cut me some slack, I was only about 8 years old–that Eucharistic Prayer seemed really long!

    Seriously, my home parish never uses the Roman Canon, and the Confiteor is only used when we have a “substitute” priest. I love both prayers–wish I heard them more often.

  76. Fr. A says:

    For what it’s worth, I only use the Roman Canon (with parentheticals). I have actually never used the other Eucharistic Prayers. I am saddened by the number who have answered they rarely or never hear this being used in their parishes.

  77. Jon says:

    For the last three years I have attended the Traditional Mass exclusively on Sundays. I do, however, attend the Novus Ordo during the week. Because I travel throughout Central Pennsylvania with my job, I’ve attended many, many different parishes in the Dioceses of Harrisburg (my diocese), Allentown, Scranton, and Altoona-Johnstown.

    I have to say that in all those places I hear a wide rotation of all the Eucharistic Prayers, including the Roman Canon, even on weekdays, on a regular basis. Last Tuesday I even heard EP IV. EP I is not the most-often used, that place goes to EP II, but I do hear it frequently, especially when feast days of the saints contained in it are celebrated. I know a few priests who use EP I exclusively. I also hear the Confiteor probably 40% of the time. Then again, Benediction, Perpetual Adoration, and Forty Hours Devotion are also celebrated regularly in this part of the world, but I chalk that up to the very lasting influence of St. John Neumann and his Redemptorists who were so responsible for forming the Faith in this part of the country.

    Regarding the elimination of all but the Roman Canon in the Novus Ordo, for what it’s worth, some of you might be interested to check out a conference on Youtube that Bishop Fellay of the SSPX gave in this country back in May. In that talk, which I’ve watched, he says specifically that in Rome the NO Missal is “quietly” being revised to make it “more Catholic.” He contends that per Benedict XVI all Eucharistic Prayers but EP I and III will be suppressed, and that the Offertory of the ’62 Missal will be included as an option. I’m afraid I don’t have time at the moment to search for the link, but it’s there for those of you who’d like to see it.

  78. Gregg the obscure says:

    I’ve heard EP I used but once in my current parish in seven years. When I worked downtown I’d hear it more often at the occasional holy day or first Friday Mass at another parish.

  79. Fr. Ricardo Isaguiire says:

    Being myself a ‘traditionally-minded’ priest who says privately the TLM and the NO Mass in a Barcelona parish —just as a chaplain—, I use the RC as much as possible. But priests of the NO are not in favor of the Euch. Prayer I because they think it too long or less ‘modern’ in language, etc. I am afraid it has being so from our seminary in the 70 and 80 where the Roman Canon was practically forbidden.

  80. Fr. Ricardo Isaguirre says:

    P. S. You can see in every parish (and many a cathedral) Missals that RC’pages are always brand-new!

  81. RBrown says:

    For what it’s worth, I only use the Roman Canon (with parentheticals). I have actually never used the other Eucharistic Prayers. I am saddened by the number who have answered they rarely or never hear this being used in their parishes.
    Comment by Fr. A

    Saddened, yes. But you shouldn’t be surprised in light of the GIRM, no 22.

  82. Fr. A says:


    You are correct; however, I have been a priest too long to be surprised by my brother priests.

  83. Henry Edwards says:

    The various Eucharistic prayers are enumerated in Paragraph 365 of the current 2003 USA-adapted GIRM, which reads as follows:

    365. The choice among the Eucharistic Prayers found in the Order of Mass is suitably guided by the following norms:

    a. Eucharistic Prayer I, that is, the Roman Canon, which may always be used, is especially suited to be sung or said on days when there is a proper text for the Communicantes (In union with the whole Church) or in Masses endowed with a proper form of the Hanc igitur (Father, accept this offering) and also in the celebrations of the Apostles and of the Saints mentioned in the Prayer itself; it is likewise especially appropriate for Sundays, unless for pastoral considerations Eucharistic Prayer III is preferred.

    b. Eucharistic Prayer II, on account of its particular features, is more appropriately used on weekdays or in special circumstances. Although it has been provided with its own Preface, it may also be used with other Prefaces, especially those that summarize the mystery of salvation, such as the common Prefaces. When Mass is celebrated for a particular dead person, the special formula may be inserted in the place indicated, namely, before the Memento etiam (Remember our brothers and sisters).

    c. Eucharistic Prayer III may be said with any Preface. Its use is preferred on Sundays and feast days. If, however, this Eucharistic Prayer is used in Masses for the Dead, the special formula for the dead may be used, to be included at the proper place, namely, after the Omnes filios tuos ubique dispersos, tibi, clemens Pater, miseratus coniunge (In mercy and love unite all your children).

    d. Eucharistic Prayer IV has an invariable Preface and gives a fuller summary of salvation history. It may be used when a Mass has no Preface of its own and on Sundays in Ordinary Time. Because of its structure, no special formula for the dead may be inserted into this prayer.

    Boiling it down (with my emphasis added):

    a. EP I, that is, the Roman Canon, which may always be used …… it is likewise especially appropriate for Sundays, unless for pastoral considerations Eucharistic Prayer III is preferred.

    b. EP II, on account of its particular features, is more appropriately used on weekdays or in special circumstances.

    c. EP III ….. Its use is preferred on Sundays and feast days.

    d. EP IV ….. may be used when a Mass has no Preface of its own and on Sundays in Ordinary Time. .

    I suggest that a conscientious priest likely will conclude that the GIRM recommends that

    — EP I or EP III are preferred for Sunday Masses, with the possible exception of EP IV on Sundays in Ordinary Time.

    — EP II should generally be used only on weekdays, not on Sundays.

    Hence it is puzzling to me if most respondents — especially if they (like most Catholics) attend Mass more Sundays than weekdays — report hearing EP II more frequently than EP I or III. Can one conclude that many priests are not respecting the clear intent of the GIRM?

  84. Fr. Ricardo Isaguirre says:

    Henry Edwards:

    The GIRM is a perfect unknown document among many many priest. The EU II is now absolute winner Sundays or week days. I repeat: do my pages-proof in Missals all around the world!

  85. Henry Edwards says:

    Fr. Isaguirre,

    My reaction would be “Shame on any priest who has not studied both the norms (GIRM) of the Mass he celebrates and Vatican instructions like Redemptoris Sacramentum. Shame!”

    As layman, I cannot even begin to understand how a priest can approach the altar of sacrifice daily without even bothering to inform himself of what the Church expects him to do there. Why cannot we expect every priest to be at least as well-informed as his better informed parishioners?

  86. Deborah says:

    “The GIRM is a perfect unknown document among many many priest.”

    Fr. Ricardo Isaguirre is absolutely right. Unfortunately, most priests have never laid their eyes on the GIRM and seminarians usually only hear quotes from it (out of context usually to defend “creativity” in the sacred liturgy).

    In some ways I can understand why. When reading through the GIRM, too often after an entire list of instructions/suggestions are given the final sentence swipes it all away with “or any other suitable words/place/gesture”, “or unless the local Ordinary/Bishop’s conference determines otherwise”, or it is the decision of the local Ordinary and then the bishop allows each priest to do whatever he wishes in the end – which leads us to “created” liturgies. The Holy See needs to tighen up the GIRM before any wide spread RotR will happen in the modern liturgy.

  87. Deborah says:

    “As layman, I cannot even begin to understand how a priest can approach the altar of sacrifice daily without even bothering to inform himself of what the Church expects him to do there.”-Henry Edwards

    How do I know that most priests and seminarians aren’t aware of the GIRM’s contents? I have studied toward a Master of Divinity degree at the local seminary and have often been asked by priests and seminarians to look up info. for them in the GIRM since they had no idea where to even begin. It is sad however not entirely their fault – mostly due to bad formation at the seminary. I usually send a link to the GIRM online which makes it easier for them to search quickly for an instruction and for future reference.

    My apologies for the slide off topic, Father.

  88. dcs says:

    I have not assisted at the Novus Ordo regularly in a few years, but when I did, the Roman Canon was seldom used. I can probably count the number of times I heard it (over 6-7 years of regular NO Mass attendance — I am a convert) on the fingers of both hands. I can remember the first time I heard it (not the exact date, mind you) and being struck by the beautiful words of the priest imploring God’s angel to carry the Sacrifice to His altar in heaven. (This was before I was even aware of the distinctions between the Roman Canon and the other anaphorae.) In my experience it seems that EP II and III see the most use.

  89. Will says:

    a.Eucharistic Prayer I, […] on days when there is a proper text for the Communicantes (In union with the whole Church) or in Masses endowed with a proper form of the Hanc igitur (Father, accept this offering)
    That’s the only time I hear it said, generally.
    #s II and III are the most common. I can’t think of the last time I heard #IV, certainly less recently than the Roman Canon.
    The “Reconciliation I & II” prayers are a fixture in Lent.

    Yesterday the prayer was one that’s not in my missal. I assume it’s one for children, because the phrase before the consecration talks about Jesus being at table with those he loved. Of course, that mass has the fewest children of the three offered at my parish.

    Also, there was no Penitential rite or Creed.

  90. Henry Edwards says:

    dcs: I can remember the first time I heard it … and being struck by the beautiful words of the priest imploring God’s angel to carry the Sacrifice to His altar in heaven.

    A priest once told me that some of his fellow priests cite these very words as one reason why they cannot use EP I with sincerity — or with a straight face; I don’t for certain recall which. Nor did I learn which word or words offended them — angel, sacrifice, altar, or heaven.

  91. Paul Murnane says:

    I never heard the Roman Canon until a couple of years ago; it was always a mystery as to why it was in the missalette, but never used. :( Our pastor emeritus (who’s now 85), uses the Roman Canon from time-to-time, but I’ve only heard him use it over the past couple of years. At the parish I’ve been frequenting for daily Mass since early ’05, the Canon is used quite frequently. Of course, they also have long confession lines every day for every Mass. Coincidence?

  92. Serafino says:

    Several years ago, there was a TV Christmas Service from the local low church Protestant community which used EP II at their “Communion Service”. They did not pray for the pope or mention the BVM, however, everything else was the same. If EP II is fine for low church Protestants, I sure do not think in belongs in a Catholic Mass. BTW, I think it is the only EP that does not mention the work “sacrifice.”

  93. Henry Edwards says:

    Paul: At the parish I’ve been frequenting for daily Mass since early ‘05, the Canon is used quite frequently. Of course, they also have long confession lines every day for every Mass. Coincidence?

    I doubt it. I suspect that whenever a parish regularly uses the Roman Canon, it regularly has lines for confession. I know this is true of TLM communities (where only the Roman Canon is used).

    I also suspect that whenever a parish rarely uses any EP other than EP II, it rarely has lines for confession.

    Is this what others observe?

  94. Phil says:

    Actually, I find it depends on the priest. I attend Mass at 3-4 parishes
    throughout the week (I departed from the Church for 31 years, and I just don’t
    seem to be able to get enough of the Mass and the Eucharist).

    There are three that share morning weekday Mass duties, and one of them uses
    EP III. The other two (please forgive my ignorance; 4 years back & I’m still
    quite rusty) use one that I can’t find in my copy of Magnificat but makes mention
    of “when we were lost You loved us more than ever…” and when Jesus “stretched
    His arms out between Heaven and earth…” Does anyone recognize this?

    Most other priests at the weekend Masses I attend also use EP III. I did witness
    EP I recently (in the last month) but can’t recall who or where I did so.

  95. Fr. D.D. says:

    I have been ordained more three and a half years. For the first two years after ordination I almost always used the Eucharistic Prayer I. (On weekdays, I omitted the optional list of names unless it was the feast of one of those saints.) There were a couple of handfuls of times when I used EP II or III. I have used EP IV maybe two or three times in my priesthood.

    I love the Roman Canon and discourage no priest from using it.
    EP I did not add much time to Mass. In fact, it reminded me to be brief in my daily homily (if I was going to give one) and brought balance to the two parts of the Mass.
    Moreover, I recevied very positive responses from both young and old when I used it.
    (The only complaint was an anonymous one because I used it in Latin, after explaining why I would do so, of the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.)

    However, now that I have learned and offer in the extraordinary rite it has become painful to use EP I, especially in private Novus Ordo Masses when I offer in Latin. Having learned the traditional gestures which flow so organically with the words of the prayer, I find it very difficult to use EP I of the Novus Ordo, whether in English or Latin, with its impoverished gestures.

    Therefore, recently, when offering the Novus Ordo, I find myself using EP II on weekdays and EP III on Sundays.
    Although I would prefer to use the Roman Canon with its proper gestures in all Masses, I use EP II and III knowing the Mother Church cannot give us anything foul.

    Finally, let me just add that I find it ironic that the Novus Ordo has adopted (and reworked) EP II even though it was believed (perhaps wrongly) to have been preserved by a schismatic anti-pope Hippolytus.

  96. fxavier says:

    Fr. D.D.,

    I have been wondering if the Holy See or diocesan bishops can grant priests an indult to use the traditional gestures.

    It would also be interesting to put the original “Hippolytus” eucharistic prayer side by side with EP2.

  97. James G. says:

    My parish (Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, Texas, the Anglican use parish) has a Novus Ordo Latin Mass on Friday mornings and Sunday evenings at 6pm. The Roman Canon is used; and not only that, the priest SINGS the Roman Canon! Mostly in what I think is called “recto tono” with certain notes at the end of each sentence. The words of consecration have their own special notes. Anyway, I think that if you’re going to have an audible Roman Canon, it might as well be sung. It helps that my priest is a very good singer who is always on key. Also, when the Canon is sung, the “Mortem tuam annuntiamus” acclamation and the sung “Per ipsum, etu cum ipso” doxology flow a lot more naturally.

    The Anglican use Masses also use the Roman Canon, although not sung. It’s in English, but with all the thee’s, thou’s, and vouchsafe’s, majestie’s, and on high’s you could want.

  98. TAAD says:

    We very rarely even have any of the first 4 or 5 Eucharistic prayers.
    NEVER have we had the First one used in the past 5 years!
    The only ones we have are for Children or Reconciliation and some
    ‘new’ ones. Why the dislike for the other ones I do not know.

  99. Fr. Ricardo Isaguirre says:

    EP 4 is a lonely ranger, never or seldom used in practice, long and too wordy for many tastes; re: EP 5, they are much most favored in Latin America because the idea they convey—or at least priests think they do—about the love of Christ, and so forth in ideological trends of Liberation Theology. Here in Spain I know about priests who use EP for children when there are not children present at church just because they believe them are ‘easier’ for the people to understand. But EP 1 is very very rare read, take my word!

  100. Nathan says:

    + JMJ +

    “The GIRM is a perfect unknown document among many many priests.”

    Isn’t the General Instruction to the Roman Missal printed in the front of every N.O Sacramentary? Did I remember incorrectly?

    In Christ,

  101. Thomas F. Miller says:

    I kept track of some 2,000 Masses during the first several years attending the Novus Ordo, including times, cities, name of churches, name of minister where possible etc., then threw them away in disgust. 90% were EPII, 7% EPIII, the remaining 3% EP’s I and IV, almost all EP I.

  102. mwa says:

    Phil (26 November 2007 @ 9:11 pm),
    That’s EP for Reconciliation #1.

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