The General Instruction of the Roman Missal number 364 says “Eucharistic Prayer II, on account of its particular features, is more appropriately used on weekdays or in special circumstances.” However, in my experience it is by far the most popular Eucharist Prayer II and is often used even on Sundays. When I was ministering in the U.S. prior to my return to Ireland in 2013, it is true that many Sunday liturgies used Eucharistic Prayer III and on solemn occasions (Easter, Christmas, etc.) used Eucharistic Prayer I (the Roman Canon). But in my U.S. experience it was still quite common to hear Eucharistic Prayer II on a Sunday. Now that I am in Ireland, from anecdotal observance, Eucharistic Prayer II often seems to be the only Eucharistic Prayer used in many parishes. The preface can vary, but be it Sunday, weekday, feastday, funeral Mass or nuptial Mass, Eucharistic Prayer II is the only Eucharistic Prayer that is selected.
Indeed, particularly since the publishing of the 2010 translation of the Roman Missal, many priests seem to have found the translations of the other Eucharistic Prayers, and particularly Eucharistic Prayer I, to be almost unusable. Here I am aware that I am operating in an Irish context, a place where the 2010 translation is perhaps even less accepted than it is in other countries.
Recently I was on a trip to Spain and there I noticed that there is a particular embolism for Eucharistic Prayer II when it is used on Sundays in the Spanish edition of the Missal. When I got home, I checked to see was this in the U.S 2018 edition of the Misal Romano and lo and behold it was there. It is in an appendix, which means that few priests will turn to the appendix during the celebration, but nonetheless this is an approved adaption to Eucharistic Prayer by the U.S. bishops that shows that, on an official level, they now foresee the use of Eucharistic Prayer II on Sundays.
|2018 USCCB translation of the Misal Romano||My translation|
de tu Iglesia Extendida por toda la tierra
y reunida aquí en el domingo,
día en que Cristo ha vencido a la muerte
y nos ha hecho participes de su vida inmortal
your Church present throughout the world
and gathered here on Sunday
the day on which Christ has overcome death
and make us sharers of his immortal life.
I think that this is a nice addition and we should think of extending the possibility of using it to English speakers. While I do like to offer a variety of Eucharistic Prayers, as each one has its particular emphasis and spirituality, we should also acknowledge the success of this prayer and given that it is often used on Sundays, help communities to be able to make even better use of it.
Readers might like to comment on whether this prayer is used in their experience and whether they think that the original GIRM’s suggestion that it not be used on Sundays or the more recent Spanish tradition (recently adopted by the USCCB) that the prayer is in fact suitable for use in a regular Sunday celebration.