About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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“When we force a boy to be a mediocrity in a dozen subjects we destroy his standards, perhaps for life.”
— C. S. Lewis

Whence Came The New Eucharistic Prayers?
published 5 February 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

824 Roman Missal HEN THE NEW CANONS were first published, the Consilium sent out a letter to the Bishops’ conferences. Dated 2 June 1968, this letter was meant “to assist catechesis on the anaphoras of the Mass.”

Another term for Anaphora or Canon is “Eucharistic Prayer.” Folks who read Fr. David Friel’s article as well as the “Addendum” at the bottom of my post have requested that we post this landmark letter:

      * *  “To assist catechesis on the Anaphoras of the Mass” — 6/2/1968   (©1982 ICEL)

That letter was first published in Notitiae 4 (1968) 146-55.

NOW IS NOT THE TIME to repeat what has been said regarding the unprecedented creation of “ad libitum” Eucharistic Prayers during the 1960s. However, two sections of that 1968 letter are (perhaps) worth highlighting, for thoughtful consideration by our readers:

“Because of its conciseness and comparative simplicity, Eucharistic Prayer II can be used to advantage on weekdays and in Masses with children, young people, and small groups.”

[ … ]

“Why this new departure? To consider the variety of anaphoras in the tradition of the universal Church is to realize that one anaphora alone cannot contain all the pastoral, spiritual, and theological richness to be hoped for. A multiplicity of texts must make up for the limitations of any one of them. This has always been the course taken by all the Christian Churches, the Roman alone excepted; they have all had and continue to have a variety of anaphoras, sometimes a great variety. In adding three new anaphoras to the Roman Canon, the Church’s intent here too has been to enrich the Roman liturgy pastorally, spiritually, and liturgically.”