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Adapting a Eucharistic Prayer

Orans on Roman Mural

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP) has a framework for a Eucharistic Prayer [A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa ANZPB/HKMA pages 512-514]. This can be used in any eucharist service.

ACANZP also allows, in a grand service (with reading, psalm, reading, Gospel,…Prayer over the Gifts,…), the use of any Eucharistic Prayer authorised anywhere in the Anglican Communion. Recent debate has been whether or not to continue to allow such flexibility. [This is allowed by following An Alternative Form for Ordering the Eucharist].

In our Christchurch diocesan synod debate about this, a member of the Common Life Liturgical Commission argued against removing our right to use Eucharistic Prayers from beyond our shores. The example he gave was the usefulness, with lots of children and young people present, of the Church of England “Prayer One“.

I promised him (and others) to see if I could adapt the essence of that prayer to what ANZPB allows on pages 512-514. Here is that adaptation of mine:

The Lord is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to offer thanks and praise.

It is always right to give you thanks,
God our Creator,
loving and faithful,
holy and strong.
You made us
and the whole universe,
and filled your world with life.

[Holy, Holy, Holy]

You sent your Son to live among us,
Jesus our Saviour, Mary’s child.
He suffered on the cross;
he died to save us from our sins;
he rose in glory from the dead.

[Holy, Holy, Holy]

You send your Spirit
to bring new life to the world,
and clothe us with power from on high.
And so we join the angels
to celebrate and sing/say:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
[Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.]

To you indeed be glory, almighty God,
because on the night before he died,
your Son, Jesus Christ, took bread;
when he had given you thanks,
he broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said:
Take, eat, this is my body
which is given for you;
do this to remember me.

After supper he took the cup;
when he had given you thanks,
he gave it to them and said:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood
poured out for you;
do this as often as you drink it
to remember me.

Jesus Christ has died.
Jesus Christ has died.
Jesus Christ is risen.
Jesus Christ is risen.
Jesus Christ will come again.
Jesus Christ will come again.
Great is the mystery of our faith:
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come in glory.

Therefore, loving God,
recalling now Christ’s death and resurrection,
we ask you to accept
this our sacrifice of praise.
Send your Holy Spirit upon us
and our celebration,
that we may be fed with the body and blood of your Son
and be filled with your life and goodness.

Strengthen us to do your work,
and to be your body in the world.
Unite us in Christ
and give us your peace.

[Amen, Amen, Amen.]

For honour and praise belong to you, Father,
with Jesus your Son, and the Holy Spirit:
one God, for ever and ever.

[Amen, Amen, Amen.]

If your concern, in your use of the CofE Prayer One, is brevity – surprisingly, the number of words used is identical. The priest’s part is less than four minutes. If your concern is simplicity of concepts – I think there is essentially no difference between the CofE original and this Kiwi adaptation.

I don’t know the fine details of copyright – the above may need to include

material included here is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2012 and published by Church House Publishing

And if you use the above adaptation, you might acknowledge this site and my work.

The CofE has very useful Guidance on Celebrating the Eucharist with Children. About the prayer we are looking at, they write,

Additional Eucharistic Prayer One makes use of short responses, which build up towards the Sanctus and the final Amen. Careful thought needs to be given beforehand to the way in which these responses are used, so that they support, rather than interrupt, the movement of the prayer as a whole. They may be said or sung, especially to music that anticipates the singing of the Sanctus. They may be repeated and varied dynamically: louder at first, and gradually becoming very soft, or vice versa. They will need to be cued, perhaps with a visual signal. The intention is to create a sense of deepening wonder.

As an aside, the whole Guidance on Celebrating the Eucharist with Children is worth reflecting on.

Contrary to many people’s straw-man portrayal of people interested in worship (cue liturgist/terrorist jokes), my primary concern isn’t a legalistic, pharisaical, gnat-straining fulfilling of our signed agreements as clergy {although knowing and keeping one’s promises I think is underrated in our Church – with one (IMO becoming-tiresome obsession) exception}.

My primary concern is quality liturgy; good, shared worship; common prayer.

The above satisfies all our agreements in ACANZP.

If you wanted to get closer to the CofE original with an extra people’s response, use:

Send your Holy Spirit upon us
and our celebration,
that we may be fed with the body and blood of your Son
and be filled with your life and goodness.

[Amen, Amen, Amen.]

And if you wanted to have a better theology of being Christ’s body (rather than the body of the First Person of the Trinity), you could substitute

Strengthen us to do your work,
and to be Christ’s body in the world.

[as per the Eucharistic Prayer authorised by GSTHW.]

These last two suggestions point to the desirability of having an improved agreed Eucharistic Prayer framework.

Furthermore, whilst we are discussing those seeking to carefully follow their agreements, CofE’s Prayer One (on which the above is based) cannot be used here for a simple eucharist with a lot of children present because An Alternative Form for Ordering the Eucharist, as I have already pointed out, requires a eucharist that one would expect in a cathedral or parish service with a high sense of liturgy (with reading, psalm, reading, Gospel,…Prayer over the Gifts,…).

Better, if you want to fulfil our agreements, use my above adaptation in the context of ANZPB’s simple bullet-point format for a Eucharist.

In my book, Celebrating Eucharist, I have done the above work to produce

Finally, I have said previously: I can make no sense whatsoever of GSTHW’s current attempt to remove the right to use international Eucharistic Prayers from the Alternative Form for Ordering the Eucharist. If GSTHW gets its way – what does it think is the point of the vitiated Alternative Form for Ordering the Eucharist?!

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7 thoughts on “Adapting a Eucharistic Prayer”

  1. Interesting thoughts thanks Bosco. Thinking about how I respond to the General Synod motions at this weekend’s Wellington Synod.

    Out of interest, are the BCP Eucharist services still authorised?

    1. Yes, Chris, BCP 1662 Eucharist can still be used. Do let us know, please, how the debates and votes go in Wellington. Blessings.

    1. Good, Fr Chris. I hope you read down to the end of the post, because I think some of the ones at the bottom can also be useful (eg mine here). Blessings.

  2. Recently, I read a book of an Anglican bishop, whom I will not name. Although he thinks of himself to be orthodox, in his book he had inexcusable faults (the Father be the only uncreated, while the Son and the Spirit be created by the Father, but are consubstantial with him).

    Where did the problem come from? Unsufficient theology in the prayers! If that happens to a bishop, what to expect from the children?

    Damn with the wish-wash “simple” EPs! The children have to learn the Church’s teaching from the liturgy.

    1. I, like you, George, am at the faith-to-grow-into rather than the faith-to-grow-out-of end of the spectrum. I’m also conscious that there are those who, with church attendance numbers crashing, will overextend in experimenting, and I think we can help. Blessings.

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