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Eucharistic Prayer

246. According to IG 147, the Eucharistic Prayer is proclaimed by the priest alone. The people respond during the Preface dialogue, the Sanctus, the acclamation after the consecration, and the Amen after the final doxology. They can also say other acclamations which are approved by the Conference of Bishops and confirmed by the Holy See.

247. Following the Preface there is the Acclamation (also called the Sanctus or Holy, Holy, Holy..). According to IG 79, the whole congregation, with the celebrant, sing or recite the Sanctus.

248. According to IG 43, the faithful "should kneel at the consecration, except when prevented by reasons of health, lack of space, the number of people present or some other good reason." Those who do not kneel at the consecration ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration. Where it is the custom that the people remain kneeling from the end of the Sanctus until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, this is retained. The faithful should obey the directions given (according to whatever is in the liturgical books) by a deacon, lay minister or the priest.

2002 IG 43 added that where it is the custom to kneel at the This is the Lamb of God (Ecce Agnus Dei), this is to be retained.

249. According to IG 390, "It is up to the Conferences of Bishops, once their acts have been given the recognito of the Apostolic See, to define for introduction into the Missal itself the adaptions which are indicated in this General Insitutio and in the order of Mass, such as:
- the gestures and posture of the faithful ...".

250. If the faithful were to "kneel at the consecration", how could this be done? Perhaps all could follow IG 179 "As a general rule, from the epiclesis until the elevation of the chalice the deacon remains kneeling". They would stand when the celebrant genuflects after he shows the chalice to the people.

251. In the 1975 Order of Mass, for four Eucharistic Prayers, the Epiclesis are indicated by the rubric instruction "hands outstreched over the offering". This indicates when the deacons kneel. The words in each Eucharistic Prayer preceding this are:

EP 1: count us among those you have chosen
or, optionally, Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
EP 2: Lord, you are holy indeed, the fountain of all holiness.
EP 3: to the glory of your name.
EP 4: and bring us the fullness of grace.

252. According to IG 150 "A little before the consecration, a minister may ring a bell as a signal to the faithful". This could occur at the same time, signalling to the faithful when to kneel.

253. The prevention from kneeling "for reasons of health" (IG 43) is open to wide interpretation. Many could regard kneeling itself as unhealthy. Perhaps kneeling without a padded kneeler is regarded as unhealthy by some. Others may see it as only applying to those with injuries. The alternative to kneeling seems to be to stand, but most people would be inclined to sit, rather than be the only ones standing. Bishops may need to regulate on these issues.



Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 18 March 2002. Last updated 16 April 2002.