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08 September 2011 @ 02:13 pm
Worship resources  
From time to time, I'm moved to write something liturgical: often prayers and texts for specific occasions and sometimes hymns. I've been encouraged to share them so in honour of today, here's a Eucharistic Prayer I wrote on the inspiration of the Magnificat. I may yet refine it further, but we'll see. Feedback would be appreciated.

The Lord be with you:
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts:
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Our souls magnify you, O Lord, and our spirits rejoice in you, for you are our Saviour. In every generation, you have shown the lowly your favour and have blessed the poor in their need. When the time had come, you looked with favour on Mary in her lowliness and by the power of your Holy Spirit she gave birth to your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

With all generations, we call her blessed, and with her we rejoice in your saving help. Through her, through us, and through your whole Church you have done great things by your might and so with Mary, with saints, with angels and archangels, with all your people on earth and in heaven, we proclaim the holiness of your name:

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.

Holy God, let your Spirit come upon these gifts of bread and wine and let the power of your Spirit overshadow them, that they may become holy and be, for us, the body and the blood of Jesus Christ, your Son and Mary’s Son.

For on the night that he was betrayed, Jesus took bread, broke it and gave it to them saying, Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you, do this in remembrance of me.

Similarly, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks and gave it to them saying, Drink from this, all of you, this is my blood of the new covenant which is poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.

When we eat this bread and drink this cup,
we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus,
until you come in glory.

So with this bread and this cup we remember that your mercy endures from age to age on all who seek you. We proclaim your greatness and might and the strength of your arm, as you scatter the proud and raise the lowly. Fill us and all who hunger with good things and remember with your saving help all in need of your mercy.

For you are the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob,
of Mary and of Joseph,
of the saints of every age;
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom and with whom and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, we worship you gracious and holy God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This is copyright me. You are free to reproduce it (without alteration) for use in worship. If you do so, I'd love to hear about it!
Matthewemperor on September 8th, 2011 01:51 pm (UTC)
I like this. I'm not sure the repetition of "looked ... with favour" in the preface quite works, though; although e.g. the repetition of "Through" in the second paragraph of the preface does.
Mark Rowlandmarkrowland on September 8th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I think I agree with that and I have tweaked it.
Matthewemperor on September 8th, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, I like the revised form better :)
yrieithydd on September 8th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
I like it not that I'm in a position to use it!

One comment -- would adding 'for every praising you and saying/singing' before the Sanctus give people a better cue for it?

Are you familiar with the Creative Commons Licenses because I would be inclined to use them for something like this. But you know a lot more about copyright than I do. Actually, your expertise on that might have been useful in our meeting last night when we got onto copyright because we have a new hymn and new music.
Mark Rowlandmarkrowland on September 8th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
Well presumably you never would be unless some Anglican province decides it should be allowed by canon!

I'm reluctant to add that before the Sanctus as I specifically wanted the "holy is your name" reference from the Mag to be closely linked to the Sanctus. Lots of liturgy now has variable lead ins to the Sanctus (including MWB and CinW2004) and in the context of the variety already used, I don't think "we proclaim the holiness of your name" is particularly unusual. For example, EP2 in the 2004 book has "we praise your glorious name" to lead into the Sanctus.

Creative Commons Licenses allow you to do a lot more than my little clause was intended to do. For the moment, I don't particularly want to allow anything extra than the law does other than use in worship, which what I've written does, at least for UK purposes. If I got to the point of producing a website or something of material I'd written that I wanted to allow people to do more things with then Creative Commons might be appropriate.
yrieithydd on September 8th, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC)
Fair enough. Fresh expressions have been known to use new Eucharist prayers. I was talking to +Michael Gloucestr at Greenbelt and he'd been asked to celebrate at a Eucharist for Fresh Expressions groups leading worship at Greenbelt on the Thursday before and they'd used a new Eucharist prayer for that. He'd actually tweaked it so that it met his 8 criteria for a Eucharist prayer, rather than the 3 it hit initially. Unfortunately I didn't write them down at the time and can now not remember them all.

The ones I can remember are that it has:
  • to be addressed to God
  • to express praise
  • to be rooted in the Lord's Supper
  • to invoke the Spirit on the Gifts
  • and on us
  • have some reference to the communion of the saints/uniting heaven and hell

I wish I could remember the other two!
Mark Rowlandmarkrowland on September 8th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
If it must invoke the Spirit on the Gifts and on us then presumably the Bishop eschews the order in the Prayer Book?
Michael Astley on September 9th, 2011 11:40 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this with us, Mark. I think that developing the themes of the Magnificat into a eucharistic prayer is inspired, and it seems to have come out in the wash very beautifully.

I particularly like your use of "age to age", which resonates with me for reasons that you will understand, and which I think I prefer anyway over "generation to generation".

Of course, you know I would place the epiklesis in a different place. ;-) I would likely insert it before the paragraph beginning "So with this bread...", rewording as necessary to restore your flow that would be lost as a result of the transfer.

On the same subject of the epiklesis, though, I would perhaps give some consideration to the suggestion of prefacing the invocation of the Holy Spirit on the gifts with one on the gathered people. I don't think it is absolutely essential but I do think it gives a fuller expression of what is happening and the pentecostal nature of the Eucharist.

A point of interest: the Byzantine anaphoras make something of a loose connection between the Son of God coming into the world at the epiklesis and his coming into the world at the Incarnation by inserting the hymn "Dostoino Est" shortly after the epiklesis:

"It is truly meet to bless Thee who didst bring forth God, ever-blessed and most pure and Mother of our God. More honourable than the cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim; who without defilement gavest birth to God the Word, and art indeed Mother of God: Thee do we magnify!"

As the theme is based on the Magnificat, and likely used in services where there is a Marian focus, I wonder whether there may be room for this theme to be hinted at in your eucharistic prayer as well.

Just some thoughts.

Mark Rowlandmarkrowland on September 9th, 2011 12:43 pm (UTC)
You might be interested to know that in our authorised liturgies the epiklesis is after the institution narrative in all but one case and I did follow that pattern in the last Eucharistic prayer I wrote (not online at the moment, but I may yet add it). I do though have an affection for in the "Western" position...

I agree actually on it being better for the Spirit to be invoked on both the gifts and the people. My comment to yrieithydd comes from it seeming odd to me for an Anglican bishop to set up standards that the Prayer Book itself doesn't meet. The language of the epiklesis was intended to be incarnational and echoes Luke 1:35. I am sure it could be strengthened though.

I think the other critique I would make of my own prayer is that the link to the atonement is weak and there needs to be something of sacrificial nature of the Eucharist.

Thank you for your comments - much appreciated.