Celebrating the Eucharist Daily

Underneath the large church at Taizé is the crypt. A door from there leads to a corridor and the Orthodox chapel. Every day, before Morning Prayer,  Brother Pierre-Yves Emery of the community celebrates the Eucharist with the one or two people who turn up.

It is the simplest possible form of Eucharist but one of the richest experiences in my life of celebrating Mass. When I am at Taizé I am privileged to concelebrate this Eucharist. When I first did so I was terrified. Pierre-Yves, a Reformed pastor, does not use any books but extemporises the Collect and the Eucharistic Prayer (using the typical Hyppolitan structure of contemporary liturgies). He speaks no English and we communicate in liturgical latin and my weak French. Pierre Yves divides the Eucharistic Prayer up and I pray my bits in English, always dividing the consecration of the bread or wine between us, one of us getting the anamnesis, the intercessions, the epiclesis and so on. Praying, as an international ecumenical community not for a local bishop but for the Archbishop of Canterbury, the ecumenical Patriarch, the bishop of Rome, the Secretary General of the World Council of Churches, and the leaders and pastors of all the churches.

Beginning in silence, in the dark, after greeting the assembly we sing a three fold Kyrie before Pierre-Yves extemporises a Collect, often on some theme from the gospel of the day. The Liturgy of the Word is read, with a psalm chanted simply and three Alleluias before and after the gospel. After a long period of silence we all go and stand around the altar in the small sanctuary area beyond the iconsostasis. The chalice and paten already have the bread and wine in them. After the Eucharistic Prayer we pray the Lord’s Prayer, sing a simple Agnus and are invited to receive. The paten and then the chalice are passed around the small circle. An extemporised prayer follows communion before a dismissal. It is very beautiful indeed.

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In the Lord’s Prayer we pray that God will give us ‘our daily bread’. For many Christians this has been read as an invitation to celebrate the Eucharist daily. For Anglo-Catholics the daily celebration of Mass was an essential part of the tradition for many. The spiritual writer Henri Nouwen made a point of celebrating Mass each day wherever he was, always carrying a supply of hosts with him.

I think the diminution of the daily Mass in many Anglo-Catholic parishes is one of the signs and causes of our diminishment as a movement, and I do everything I can to encourage my sister and brother priests to restore daily celebration.

It is my great joy to celebrate every day. I carry a travelling kit with me and when staying with friends and colleagues will often celebrate simply at a coffee or dining table. I love to celebrate with family and friends at the dinner table using a little of the wine and bread that will be eaten as part of the meal afterwards. I also, at home, have the joy of a little Oratory in an old tool shed attached to the house, the altar consecrated by the diocesan bishop.

The following two attachments are my current practice for celebrating the Eucharist daily. The longer document printed and in an A5 folder on the altar and the other a people’s card for those who join me.

If I am joined by someone who sings I like to use the very simple musical setting of EP H. On days when there is a Proper Preface I tend to use one of the other Eucharistic Prayers. The collection of Eucharistic Prefaces translated by Fr Alan Griffiths for the Ambrosian rite is a rich resource (We Give you Thanks And Praise). The prayers are enriched with intercession as suggested here. I normally begin and end with a Taizé chant. In this Kingdom season “The Kingdom of God is justice and peace…” is especially suitable.

Eucharist OSH People’s Card

(Text reproduced below)

Eucharist OSH Altar Book

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Eucharist

in the Oratory of the Sacred Heart

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Blessed be the kingdom of the Holy and Undivided Trinity,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

After the greeting:

And also with you.

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Kyries

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The Gloria on Principal Feasts and Festivals

Glory to God in the Highest

and peace to his people on earth

Lord God, Heavenly King

Almighty God and Father

we worship you, we give you thanks

we praise you for your Glory!

Lord Jesus Christ , only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

You take away the sins of the world

have mercy on us

You are seated at the right hand of the Father

receive our prayer.

For You alone are the Holy One

You alone are the Lord

You alone are the Most High

Jesus Christ

with the Holy Spirit

in the Glory of God the Father.

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The Collect

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The Readings the book, chapter and verses are announced but without conclusion

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Before and after the Gospel, Alleluia is said or sung

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The Creed on Principal Feasts

We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is,

seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,

was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

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The Peace

The peace of the Lord be always with you;

All And also with you.

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The Preparation of the Gifts

With this bread that we bring

All we shall remember Jesus. 

With this wine that we bring

All we shall remember Jesus.

Bread for his body,

wine for his blood,

gifts from God to his table we bring.

All We shall remember Jesus.

Blessed be God,

by whose grace creation is renewed,

by whose love heaven is opened,

by whose mercy we offer our sacrifice of praise.

All Blessed be God for ever.

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Eucharistic Prayer H

The Lord is here.

All His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.

All We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is right to praise you, Father, Lord of all creation;

in your love you made us for yourself.

When we turned away you did not reject us,

but came to meet us in your Son.

All You embraced us as your children
and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.

In Christ you shared our life

that we might live in him and he in us.

All He opened his arms of love upon the cross 

and made for all the perfect sacrifice for sin.

On the night he was betrayed, at supper with his friends

he took bread, and gave you thanks; he 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.

All Father, we do this in remembrance of him: 

his body is the bread of life.

At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine,

he gave you thanks, and said:

Drink this, all of you;

this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins;

do this in remembrance of me.

All Father, we do this in remembrance of him: 

his blood is shed for all.

As we proclaim his death and celebrate his rising in glory,

send your Holy Spirit

that this bread and this wine may be to us

the body and blood of your dear Son.

All As we eat and drink these holy gifts 

make us one in Christ, our risen Lord.

May this Sacrifice of our reconciliation we pray, O Lord,

advance the peace and salvation of all the world.

Be pleased to confirm in faith and charity your pilgrim Church on earth,

with your servant N our bishop (N and N his assistants),

and the leaders and pastors of all the churches.

Remember in kindness people of all faiths and none,

that the whole human family may live together in peace and harmony.

Remember Elizabeth our Queen and the leaders of the nations,

grant peace and prosperity to all, the protection of our planet,

and an end to violence and war.

Remember [N and N and] all who have asked our prayers,

those who have no one to pray for them by name and those whose needs are hidden.

Remember [N and N] and all who have gone before us,

welcome them into the light of your face

and grant us, with them, a place of refreshment, light and peace.

With the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph her spouse,

[Saint N and ] with angels and archangels,

with Thrones and Dominions, with all the hosts and powers of heaven

and with your whole Church throughout the world

we offer you this sacrifice of praise

and lift our voice to join the eternal song of heaven:

All Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of pow’r and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.

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Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from e-vil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,

now and for ever. Amen.

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Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

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God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people:

Jesus Christ is Holy, Jesus Christ is Lord:

to the glory of God the Father.

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The bread of heaven in Christ Jesus. Amen.

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The cup of life in Christ Jesus.

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Prayer After Communion

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Concluding Chant

We have seen the true light,

we have received the heavenly Spirit,

we have found the true faith, worshipping the undivided Trinity, who has saved us.

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Easter

Alleluia to God be glory in the Church

and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.

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