Music and the Eucharistic Prayer: Differing Musical Responses


  • Tony Way


Following the desire of the Second Vatican Council to reform the liturgy, and in particular, to lead the faithful to that 'full, concious and active participation ... called for by the very nature of the liturgy', (Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy, art. 14) [all documents contained in Documents on the Liturgy, 1963 - 1979: Conciliar, Papal and Curial Texts (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1982)] a new Missale Romanum appeared in 1969. The people were once again assigned all the responses previously taken by attending clerics and three new eucharistic prayers were included as alternatives to the Roman canon. In all the eucharistic prayers an additional acclamation was provided for the people after the institution narrative. The reformed liturgy abolished the practice of saying most of the eucharistic prayer sotto voce and established that the majority of celebrations would be in the vernacular. The liturgy was to be revised in such a way that would 'bring out more clearly the instrinsic nature and purpose of [the liturgy's] several parts and the connection between them' so that participation could be more readily achieved. (CSL, 50)