I don’t use the Second Eucharistic Prayer. Okay, okay, I don’t say the Novus Ordo all that often either. But when I do, I use the Roman Canon… always. Even when I was saying the Novus Ordo often, I did not use Number Two. The way I figured it, when I got to the very bottom of the Roman Canon, exhausted it, no longer found anything interesting or new in it, then I might move on.
Fr. Hunwicke hit for six again today. He helpfully and properly undermines the appeal of the Second Eucharistic Prayer, which is a perfect example of how some aspects of the Novus Ordo were artificial, cobbled up creations which have disrupted our Catholic identity.
How sad it is that so many priests use the Second Eucharist Prayer so often… (or at all). Fathers… please… rethink your ars celebrandi.
Here is Fr. H with some emphases and comments:
“Hippolytus”; or “The Second Eucharistic Prayer”
How able, how cunning, the Enemy is in his plots to bring Evil out of Good. I will illustrate this by considering his use of a Eucharistic Prayer still sometimes linked with the name of the early third century antipope Hippolytus. [BTW… His Hermeneuticalness, Fr. Tim Finigan, wrote a spiffing post about the Second Eucharist Prayer waaaaay back in 2007. He blows it out of the water. HERE]
My distinguished predecessor at S Thomas’s, Dr Trevor Jalland, wrote ‘The widespread interest evoked by the visual demonstrations of the Hippolytean Eucharist, which have been given in various parts of the country [by Dix since July 1948], [interesting] testify to the deep indebtedness not merely of scholars, but of the ordinary worshipper, to Dr Gregory Dix in making available for English readers the text of Hippolytus’ invaluable treatise The Apostolic Tradition.’
One aspect of this rite which particularly appealed to Catholic Anglicans was the presence of the phrase ‘we offer unto thee this bread and this cup’. This seemed to provide an alibi for smuggling back into the mainstream worship of the Church of England a formula expressive of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, absent from our Parliamentary Liturgy since 1559. Thus in 1966 the English Liturgical Commission recommended a rite (‘Series II’) which contained this phrase; justified on the ground that ‘It confines itself to the simple language of the first two centuries. It is the language used by Hippolytus … The use of the phrase is in line with the Anglican appeal to antiquity’.
At about the same time the pot-Conciliar revisers of the Roman Rite [“pot”-Conciliar… I’ve often wondered what they were smoking…] incorporated a mangled version of ‘Hippolytus’ Eucharistic Prayer’ as an alternative to the venerable Canon Romanus, the invariable Eucharistic Prayer of the Roman rite for so many centuries. The version which those revisers adopted had been confected by Dom Bernard Botte and Fr Louis Bouyer in between caraffes of wine in one of Rome’s seedier areas tras Tevere. [True!]
By 1989, however, Bouyer, at least, had given up the idea that ‘Hippolytus’ really was by Hippolytus, or even had any connection with the Roman Church. This doubt has now become the academic orthodoxy. (If necessary, one murmurs here the name of Professor Paul Bradshaw.)
Unfortunately, ‘Hippolytus’ failed in the laudable struggle to recatholicise the worship of the Church of England; the Evangelicals vetoed the crucial phrase. The Enemy saw to that.
But the version put out by the Roman revisers did, by the Enemy’s able machinations, succeed in almost entirely eliminating the Canon Romanus from the worship of most ordinary RC churches, where its extreme brevity appealed to priests and people alike (despite the rubrical guidance given that the Canon Romanus was for Sundays and ‘Hippolytus’ for other occasions). The passion for brevity, which made dear old Fr O’Murphy I say the Old Mass with such unholy rapidity, made his trendier nephew Fr O’Murphy II select ‘Hippolytus’ with unholy regularity in the New Mass. [A seminarian who once served as sacristan at the North American College related to me a pre-Mass conversation with a Cardinal: “Eucharistic Prayer II again today, Your Eminence?” “Not if there’s a shorter one! HAR HAR!”]
So, in the one body, ‘Hipplolytus’ failed to achieve the hoped-for good of restoring the Eucharistic Oblation; and in the other body it did massive positive harm by edging out of use the Eucharistic Prayer which did express the full doctrine of that Sacrifice.
Satan’s Smoke! Killing two birds with one stone! [Catachrestic but effective!]
That information about the Anglican use of Hippolytus was new to me. Fr. Z kudos.
So, Number II is licit option. Being licit doesn’t make it a good option.
Eucharistic Prayer II
JUST SAY NO!