Since 1974 I have prayed Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation I on Ash Wednesday, all the Sundays of Lent and some Lenten weekdays as well. (Note: there are two Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation.)
Of all the Eucharistic prayers it is my favorite on account of its beautiful language and rich Paschal theology. From a presider's point of view, this text seems to pray itself, so easily does it lend itself to proclamation.
Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation - I
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere
to give you thanks and praise.
You never cease to call us to a new and more abundant life.
God of love and mercy, you are always ready to forgive;
we are sinners, and you invite us to trust in your mercy.
Time and time again we broke your covenant,
but you did not abandon us.
Instead, through your Son, Jesus our Lord,
you bound yourself even more closely to the human family
by a bond that can never be broken.
Now is the time for your people to turn back to you
and to be renewed in Christ your Son,
a time of grace and reconciliation.
You invite us to serve the family of humankind
by opening our hearts to the fullness of your Holy Spirit.
In wonder and gratitude, we join our voices
with the choirs of heaven to proclaim the power of your love
and to sing of our salvation in Christ:
Holy, holy, holy Lord…
Father, from the beginning of time
you have always done what is good for us
so that we may be holy as you are holy.
Look with kindness on your people gathered here before you:
send forth the power of your Spirit
so that these gifts may become for us
the body and blood of your beloved Son, Jesus the Christ,
in whom we have become your sons and daughters.
When we were lost and could not find the way to you,
you loved us more than ever:
Jesus, your Son, innocent and without sin,
gave himself into our hands and was nailed to a cross.
Yet before he stretched out his arms
between heaven and earth,
in the everlasting sign of your covenant,
he desired to celebrate the Paschal feast
in the company of his disciples.
While they were at supper,
he took bread and gave you thanks and praise.
He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:
Take this, all of you, and eat it:
this is my Body which will be given up for you.
At the end of the meal,
knowing that he was to reconcile all things in himself
by the blood of his cross,
he took the cup, filled with wine.
Again he gave you thanks,
handed the cup to his friends, and said:
Take this, all of you, and drink from it:
this is the cup of my blood,
the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.
It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven.
Do this in memory of me.
Let us proclaim the mystery of faith…
We do this in memory of Jesus Christ,
our Passover and our lasting peace.
We celebrate his death and resurrection
and look for the coming of that day
when he will return to give us the fullness of joy.
Therefore we offer you, God ever faithful and true,
the sacrifice which restores us to your friendship.
Father, look with love on those you have called
to share in the one sacrifice of Christ.
By the power of your Holy Spirit
make them one body, healed of all division.
Keep us all in communion of mind and heart
with Benedict, our pope, and Sean, our bishop.
Help us to work together for the coming of your kingdom,
until at last we stand in your presence
to share the life of the saints,
in the company of the Virgin Mary and the apostles,
and of our departed brothers and sisters
whom we commend to your mercy.
Then, freed from every shadow of death,
we shall take our place in the new creation
and give you thanks with Christ, our risen Lord.
Through him, with him, in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours,
almighty Father, for ever and ever.
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