I've been pretty clear the last few years that I prefer Eucharistic Prayer D. Eucharistic Prayer A is usually my least favorite, but being at General Seminary has changed that a little bit. Hearing it with some frequency on Sunday mornings in college was one things. Hearing it multiple days a week does something entirely different. The liturgy is doing what it's supposed to do. What we pray we believe. The prayer book shapes my worldview (from baptism to burial), and its lines frequently make their way into conversation. Over the last few months as I've gotten so much more familiar with the words of Eucharistic Prayer A, it's come to mean a lot more to me. I'm able to say it in my head and just reflect on the words without having to necessarily think about what they are themselves. They're getting out of the way of their message. So, here you have it, with the Preface of Holy Week, bold for emphasis, not people's parts:
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.
It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. For our sins he was lifted high upon the cross, that he might draw the whole world to himself; and, by his suffering and death, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who put their trust in him. Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who for ever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your Name:
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself, and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all.
He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself, in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.
On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, "Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me."
After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, "Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you
and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me."
Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.
We celebrate the memorial of our redemption, O Father, in this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Recalling his death, resurrection, and ascension, we offer you these gifts.
Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. Sanctify us also that we may faithfully
receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom.
All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ: By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. AMEN.