A requiem for Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with children

Coo-ees From the Cloister has this fun piece (edited and with my emphases and comments).

You may – if you have a life – have missed the news that, in the latest Typical Edition in Latin of the Roman Missal, the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children have been omitted. They may appear in a separate publication at a later time. Meaning….business as usual in English.

Sydney priest Fr Daniel Donovan is deeply disturbed by this development, according to an article appearing on the acatholic Catholica website under the title "Ripping the Heart Out of Vatican II: a requiem for children’s eucharistic prayers". Oh, for heaven’s sake! I wonder when Father Donovan or indeed any priest last celebrated a Mass for pre-adolescent children using one of the Eucharistic Prayers for Children in Latin?

I can picture it now:

Father (vested in fiddleback and red plastic nose) Dóminus vobíscum.
Kiddies (sitting on the carpet in front of the altar) Et cum spíritu tuo.
Father (big smile and dramatic sweep of the hands) Sursum corda.
Kiddies (chorus-like, and with a similar sweeping movement prompted by the teacher over on the side) Habémus ad Dóminum.
Father (has to check the text for this sentence, so looses eye-contact) Grátias agámus Dómino Deo nostro.
Kiddies (loudly because they can remember this bit) Dignum et iustum est.
Father then launches into the prayer, pronouncing his Latin very slowly:
Vere, amantíssime Pater, hoc gáudium nobis praebétur, ut tibi grátias agámus et una cum Iesu Christo in Ecclésia tua exsultémus. Sic nos dilexísti, ut pro nobis cónderes hunc mundum imménsum et pulchrum.
Kiddies ( firmly convinced of the immensity and pulchritudinicity of the world) Glória tibi, Dómine, qui nos hómines amas.
Father: Sic nos díligis, ut nobis des Iesum Fílium tuum, qui ad te nos addúcat.
Kiddies (a little uncertain as to who Des is) Glória tibi, Dómine, qui nos hómines amas.
Father: Sic nos díligis, ut in Christo nos cóngreges, et per Spíritum adoptiónis uníus famíliae fílios nos fácias.
Kiddies (losing interest now that it’s the third repetition) Glória tibi, Dómine, qui nos hómines amas.
Father (putting a bit more animation into his delivery) Pro tanti amóris dono tibi grátias ágimus cum Angelis et Sanctis, qui te adórant, canéntes:
Kiddies (using "Orbis factor", which they rather prefer to "Cunctipotens genitor Deus", even though it is the feast of an apostle) Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dóminus Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt caeli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.
Father (readjusting his clown-nose) Vere benedíctus sit Iesus, missus a te, amícus parvulórum et páuperum. Ipse venit, ut nos docéret, te, Pater noster, et nosmet ipsos ad ínvicem dilígere. Ipse venit, ut a córdibus hóminum peccátum et malum auférret, quod amicítiam ímpedit, et ódium, quod non sinit esse felíces. Ipse promísit Spíritum Sanctum cunctis diébus nobis adfutúrum, ut de tua vita tamquam fílii viverémus.
Kiddies (again with "Orbis factor") Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.
Father (again adjusting his red plastic nose) Te Deum, Patrem nostrum, rogámus mitte Spíritum tuum, ut haec dona panis et vini Corpus et Sanguis fiant Iesu Christi, Dómini nostri. Qui prídie quam paterétur infinítum tuum manifestávit amórem, in cena enim cum discípulis discúmbens, accépit panem, grátias egit, fregit dedítque eis dicens:ACCÍPITE ET MANDUCÁTE EX HOC OMNES: HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM, QUOD PRO VOBIS TRADÉTUR.
Kiddies (unsure of whether to look at the Host or the words on the screen) Iesus Christus pro nobis tráditus. (At this point one of the kiddies gives the large sanctuary gong a good whack)
Kiddies (more confidently this time): Iesus Christus pro nobis tráditus.

(One of the kiddies raises the striker to ring the gong again, but her brighter neighbour hisses “wait” as Father continues) Deínde dixit ad eos: Hoc fácite in meam commemoratiónem. (Asserting her authority the gong-girl now bashes it so hard that her neighbour glares disapprovingly)


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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. TJM says:

    He’s got to be kidding? Vatican II didn’t authorize any new Eucharistic Prayers, let alone kiddie ones. Tom

  2. joy says:

    (Asserting her authority the gong-girl now bashes it so hard that her neighbour glares disapprovingly)


    I can just see it now…

    (slaps head) I could’ve been a gong-girl!

  3. GOR says:

    I loved the “Georgius” piece – and so true in an earlier era!

  4. Prima says:

    One element of the “reform of the reform” I really want to see is the end of all discussions (Especially in the “religious education” forum) of “Masses with Children.”

  5. Andrew says:

    Ahh, but it would never have happened. Since Fr Donovan clearly had trouble determining the correct nominative form of his bishop’s name(see the full version), he would not be permitted to speak Latin according to the various episcopal “clarifications” demanding that priests be “competent” in Latin.

    I presume the kiddies then faced the awkward question of whether to join in the chanting of the Pater Noster?

  6. Rob F. says:

    Yes, Andrew, and it is especially delicious that in this case, the ablative rather than nominative must be used.

  7. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I’m not sure Fr. Donovan correctly interprets St. Augustine’s words in Epistle CXXX (chapter 22, last sentence).

    Wherefore, in praying, we are free to use different words to any extent, but we must ask the same things; in this we have no choice.
    (As rendered in Fr. Donovan’s commentary: Hence there is freedom to say one form of words or another while praying, yet still saying the same things; but there should be no freedom to say different things.)

    The context of this is “And if you go over all the words of holy prayers, you will, I believe, find nothing which cannot be comprised and summed up in the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer. Wherefore, in praying…” I get the feeling Augustine is talking, not about freedom to deviate from the liturgy, but in the very nature of the prayers we say.

  8. Derik says:

    I finally understand why some Bishops are draggind their feet regarding the implementation of SP. It is because they don’t want their names mispronounced!
    (just kidding)

    Thanks Fr. Z.

  9. Mila says:

    After having suffered AGAIN through this Eucharistic prayer this morning (never mind that there were no children present) I don’t know if i should laugh or cry.

  10. dymphna says:

    Fr Daniel Donovan makes me wonder if most priests
    really don’t know anymore about what the actual
    VatII documents say than does the laity.

  11. David2 says:

    Regarding Fr Donovan; if he posts on “Catholica”, he’s likely to be a dissenter of some kind. Indeed, “Catholica Australia” has numerous dissenters on staff and is known for (amongst other things) support for wimminpriests and non-baptisms in the “name of the creator, the redeemer and the sanctifier”. Enough said.

    Cooees, on the other hand, is resolutely orthodox and very funny.

  12. Commenter says:

    Very good – it reminds me of the story about the altar boys in the 1960s explaining the English mass to each other:

    “What does ‘the Lord be with you’ mean?”

    “It means ‘Dominus vobiscum'”

Comments are closed.