Being grateful to God is the core of our faith. We see this embodied in the great prayer of thanksgiving, the Eucharistic Prayer, which is described as the “center and highpoint of the entire celebration” (General Instruction on the Roman Missal, 77).
Often, however, the assembly perceives this prayer as simply a prelude to Communion or just a long prayer said by the priest. Here are some simple ways presiders and liturgical musicians can help make the Eucharistic Prayer a clearer highpoint of the Mass.All the baptized, whether Catholic or not, receiving Communion or not, have a right and duty to participate in the Eucharistic Prayer. Click To Tweet
Emphasize that this prayer is not the priest’s alone but belongs to all the baptized. The meaning of this prayer is that “the whole congregation of the faithful joins with Christ in confessing the great deeds of God and in the offering of Sacrifice” (GIRM, 78). First, be sure baptized candidates are not dismissed with catechumens. All the baptized, whether Catholic or not, receiving Communion or not, have a right and duty to participate in this prayer. Second, strengthen the Preface Dialogue, whether spoken or sung, since it calls the entire assembly to full participation.
Ensure that the musical acclamations flow smoothly from the presider’s words. Musicians need to be ready for them and may even need to shorten the length of musical introductions so that the assembly’s response is not too delayed. Finally, be sure the Great Amen is just that — great!
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Alexandre Perotto, Unsplash, CC0.