CWN: “Vatican will drop Eucharistic Prayers for Children”

5 bob to CUF Blog where Mike Sullivan asks: Are Children’s Masses Appropriate?


Vatican will drop Eucharistic Prayers for Children

Washington, Oct. 3, 2008 ( – The Vatican plans to remove the Eucharistic Prayers for Children from the authorized prayers of the Roman Missal.

Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, the chairman of the US bishops’ liturgy committee, has disclosed the Vatican plans in a letter to the American bishops. He reported that the Congregation for Divine Worship plans “to publish a separate text at a later time.”

The Eucharistic Prayers for Children, like many other liturgical texts, have been criticized for failing to convey an adequate sense of the sacred in the liturgy. In recent years the Vatican has made special efforts to recover that sense of the sacred, and to curtail the proliferation of liturgical texts in order to encourage consistency in the liturgy.

“This does not change our present practice,” Bishop Serratelli wrote in his September 29 letter. The change will take effect at an unspecified future date.

However, the US bishops’ committee has decided to suspend work on a new translation of the existing Eucharistic Prayers for Children. In light of the coming change, Bishop Serratelli said that he was removing that item from the agenda for the November meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.



4 Responses to CWN: “Vatican will drop Eucharistic Prayers for Children”

  1. William Tighe says:

    I hope that the abominable “Swiss Eucharistic Prayer” from the 1970s that (as I recall) the Vatican approved for use in some (I believe European) countries will go too.

  2. If I am allowed to dream… Well I would advocated just returning to the Roman canon plain and simple…

    15 years ago I would have been called an idealogue.

    My how times have changed.

  3. William Tighe says:

    I posted this statement below elsewhere. It may be of interest here.

    “The Children’s prayers have a place in the life of a parish and of the church, it’s regrettable that most here don’t agree. However, it’s not surprising.”

    What is truly surprising is the lack of historical and properly ecumenical awareness that this inane remark demonstrates. No Eastern Church has ever had an “anaphora for Children” nor did any of the various defunct Western rites, nor did the Holy Roman Church for upwards of 1900 years. Have children over the last generation or two or three been so cretinized by radiation in the air, flouride in the water or parents following the prescriptions of Dr. Seuss that they are fit for the “Dick and Jane” or “O see Spot. Spot is a dog” burblings of such prayers? And, if so, does not the use of such prayers go far to ensure that they will be fixated in a kind of spiritual and euchological infantilism for the rest of their lives?

    I remember vividly the first time that I heard one of these prayers, at a Sunday Mass in the Catholic parish in Woking, England around 1983. Coming after the priest had preached an utterly vapid sermon on being nice, I thought that he was ad-libbing it, making it up as he went, since it complemented his sermon so fully in both tone and content.

    On a slightly different note, reading this posting yesterday drove me back into my files to read that wonderfully crusty and critical article, “The New Eucharistic Prayers: Some Comments” by Geoffrey G. Willis, The Heythrop Journal, Vol. XII, No. 1 (January 1971), pp. 5-28. Willis (1914-1983), an Anglican clergyman and admirer and historian of the Roman Rite (his posthumous [1994] A History of Early Roman Liturgy is a wonderful little book, spiced by sharp asides and remarks), was disdainful of the new EP II, III and IV, which he thought showed every sign of being “composed by a committee,” and his general attitude towards their general ethos was reflected in two Latin phrases he used in the course of the article, “In Tiberim defluxit Orontes” and “but it seems that many have welcomed them, perhaps on the principal, so popular in the twentieth century, of taking omne ignotum pro magnifico.”

    And, while on the subject of inane EPs, I wonder if the Vatican will ever banish that “Swiss Eucharistic Prayer” that was approved for use in several European countries in the 1970s?

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