What is the Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs and Occasions?
This new eucharistic prayer was approved the members of the NCCB for use in the United States as was its provisional (interim) English translation. This eucharistic prayer was originally prepared on the occasion of the Swiss Synod (1972-1975) and approved by Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship in August of 1974. The prayer was composed in German and then translated into French and Italian, since these are the languages used in Switzerland. By 1987 the prayer had been translated into twelve languages and was in use throughout the world. The Swiss Synod Eucharistic Prayer was included in the common Spanish translation of the Order of Mass and the Eucharistic Prayers (Ordinario del la Misa) which was published in this country in 1989. However, the prayer was not available for use in English in the United States.
In 1991, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments published a revised Latin version the Swiss Synod eucharistic prayer under the title: Eucharistic Prayer for Masses for Various Needs and Occasions. The Congregation noted that, "Since from the very beginning different editions of the text of this eucharistic prayer have been available in German, French, and Italian, it seems necessary to issue a Latin text of this prayer to serve as the editio typica for all languages." The Congregation also indicated that previously approved versions of this prayer must conform to the new typical edition when new editions of the Roman Missal are published.
The new eucharistic prayer has corresponding sets of prefaces and intercessions based on four themes: "The Church on the Way to Unity," "God Guides the Church on the Way of Salvation," "Jesus, Way to the Father," and "Jesus, the Compassion of God." Although printed as one eucharistic prayer, the new eucharistic prayer is, in reality, four different prayers, each with its own theme. As its title indicates, the prayer is intended for use at Masses for various needs and occasions. Because the prefaces are integral to the prayer, the prayer may not be used with the variable prefaces of the Sacramentary or on occasions when there is a proper preface. The introductory notes printed with the eucharistic prayer indicate which theme is appropriate to each of the Masses for various needs and occasions contained in the Sacramentary.
The Eucharistic Prayer for Masses for Various Needs and Occasions was approved by the NCCB at its November 1994 Plenary Meeting and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has been asked to confirm the decision of the NCCB. Once the requisite confirmation has been received, Cardinal William Keeler, President of the NCCB, will establish the effective date for the use of this new eucharistic prayer.