I. The Eucharistic Prayer, or anaphora, is the summit of the Mass and in fact of the whole of Catholic life. Catechism 1352, 1407. Anaphora is a Greek term meaning an offering and lifting up of gifts to heaven.

B. These elements reflect Jesus' words at the Last Supper.

II. The Preface is a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for the glory of God and His saving work.

III. In the Epiclesis, the priest then asks God the send the Holy Spirit upon the gifts to make them acceptable to Him so that they may become the body and blood of Jesus.

IV. The precise phrasing the institution narratives varies among the Eucharistic Prayers, but they all refer to the fact that it was the night before Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary and to Jesus giving thanks and praise (gratias). They all use the same words in describing what Jesus said. This description of Jesus' words at the Last Supper combines elements of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, as well as 1 Corinthians.

- The words said over the bread will not change with the new translation.

V. After the institution narrative, there is the acclamation of faith, which summarizes the anamnesis, the recounting of the saving events of Christ's passion, death, and resurrection.

VI. There are four main options for the Eucharistic Prayers. There are also two Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation, three for Masses where the majority of the congregation are children (those before about the age of thirteen) and Eucharistic Prayers for Special Needs and Intentions.

VII. The Our Father prepares us for communion with the ideal prayer that Jesus taught us.

VIII. The Rite of Peace sets the stage for the harmony needed for a worthy reception of the Eucharist.

IX. The Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) helps prepare us for communion by recognizing Jesus as the final Paschal Lamb, who frees us from sin and leads us into freedom.

B. The symbolism of the Lamb is threefold:

X. The priest then prays for his own purification before receiving communion and then leads the congregation also in praying for purification. Once again, the rite recalls St. Paul's warning that we should be prepared and purified before receiving communion. See 1 Cor. 11:19-32.


XI. The priests and any other ministers then distribute Communion.

XII. The Concluding Rite sends the congregation forth to bring the presence of Christ to the world.