QUAERITUR: Eucharistic Prayer for Masses with Kiddies

From a reader:

Masses at our local Catholic grade school use Eucharistic Prayer II
for Masses with Children, in which many congregational responses are added, even during the Institution Narrative! Please tell us these are going away with the new translation.


They are going away

There.  I said it.

Apropos that link, above, fear not.

Just as those who don’t want to use the new translations should register their displeasure but refusing to use, and just use Latin instead, so too those who will miss the Children’s Mass things in the new book should protest vehemently by the same means: just use Latin.

And kids, they’re so cute when they’re small, take to new things so easily!

C’mon.  It’ll be great!

(Slightly edited to remove extraneous frivolity from the original):

Father (vested in Roman planeta) 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 (continuing) 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 (checking his place) 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 neighbor 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)

Et cetera.

Hey… it’s all about the future and our choices.

Make your choice now.

Just. Use. Latin.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, The future and our choices. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Sword40 says:

    Our Latin Mass group is working very hard to get the EF into our rural OF parish. We have just been informed that a priest was found to celebrate Mass once a month on a Sunday afternoon.

    Target date is Trinity Sunday. Pray for us. and thank God for the FSSP, even though its far away in Seattle.

  2. Cazienza says:

    Father: that.was.brilliant.

  3. Cazienza. Thanks! I.Didn’t.Write.It. But it was great!

  4. A couple of things:

    * If they wanted to use the Latin texts of the anaphoras in question, they couldn’t. It’s an unusual situation, but one about which I had read in an ICEL report some years ago, that the Latin originals were never intended for liturgical use. Apparently there is no such thing in Latin as “kiddie talk.” Or something.

    * The use of responses by the congregation interspersed in the anaphora, while foreign to the Roman rite (at least in recent centuries), is not at all unusual in the Eastern rites. (Not to be construed as an endorsement.)

  5. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    I could actually mentally picture someone like you doing this with a group of school children preparing for First Communion.

    My youngest niece, age 4, is picking some Latin up from her mother (choir director at a local parish), and my cousins. She will be ready. As will our yet-to-be-born grand-daughter.

  6. Father G says:

    I am glad that it is being deleted. I’ve never used it and I don’t plan to use it. We have a Mass with the parish school children every Friday morning and we have never used that EP.

    However, it appears the EP for Children is not completely gone. The info on the link states that the Congregation for Divine Worship plans “to publish a separate text at a later time.” I hope that “later time” is a really long, long time.

  7. melanie says:

    Thankfully, using children’s Eucharistic Prayers and such like has never been suggested in the school in which I teach. Not surprising, really, since we are blessed to have Fr Grynowski who, a few months ago, celebrated Mass for our primary school children in the Extraordinary Form!

  8. Ed the Roman says:

    I really, truly, laughed out loud.

  9. TNCath says:

    I certainly hope you are right that these prayers are going away. However, in the recent edition of Celebrate magazine, a liturgical “hints and helps” publication, Father Paul Turner of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and a liturgical scholar and “facilitator” for ICEL, wrote the following:

    “In 2008, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments reissued the third edition of the MissaleRomanum. This time they removed the children’s prayers entirely from the book. They no longer appear even in an appendix. The reason is logical: The Missale Romanum is the book people use when they celebrate the post-Vatican II mass in Latin. The Latin children’s prayers exist only for purposes of research and translation. Because the Vatican wants the vernacular books to resemble the Latin originals as much as possible, the children’s eucharistic (sic) prayers will not appear in the new English translation of the Roman Missal. Work on the revised translation of the children’s prayers had begun with the rest of the 2002 missal, but it was put on hold after the emended missal was published in 2008. Once the revised missal comes out, those wishing to use the eucharistic (sic) prayers for masses with children will have to resort to the Sacramentary. That is the translation that will still be in force.”

    Is this “wishful thinking” on Fr. Turner’s part, or could this be possible?

  10. Andrew says:

    This Latin text is a good example of “anglicismus” which comes about by composing something in English and translating it back into Latin in such a way that it retains all the flavor of the original vernacular. Expressions such as “ad invicem diligere” or “infinitus amor” give it away. It’s like finding an empty can of beer and pouring some wine into it and when you drink the wine you still taste the beer.

    In this case, using the Latin, really.would.not.help.

  11. Fr-Bill says:

    I am reminded of a line from the book: GROWING UP CATHOLIC.
    The literal translitation of Per omnia Saecula Saeculorum is “Thank God, we”re making some progress.”

  12. mila48 says:

    Are they really going away? I have lived in two parishes, two different dioceses, where a priest feels that he needs to use these Eucharistic prayers for children during a regular weekday Mass when there are absolutely NO children present, not even the altar servers. I struggle a lot to concentrate and be prayerful at Mass, but when these are used my concentration goes out the window. Yet, I have never heard these priests use the Roman Canon! Perhaps Latin is not possible for everyone (although I can’t see why not), but is it too much to ask that the faithful not be treated as if we can’t even understand the lame-duck ICEL translations of the Eucharistic prayers?

  13. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    “using “Orbis factor”, which they rather prefer to “Cunctipotens genitor Deus”, even though it is the feast of an apostle”

    I’m trying to swallow over here, Father. XD

  14. AnAmericanMother says:

    [ putting down beer, redneck voice ]:

    “Non curo qui fueris . . . jocosus est!”

    [ / redneck voice, picking up beer ]

    (sorry about my execrable translation, but I just HAD to . . . )

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