When St. Joseph was added to the Eucharistic Prayer in Nov 1962

In response to the recent instruction to add St. Joseph’s name to the other Eucharistic Prayers, dotCommonweal shares this amusing diary entry from an amused Congregationalist observer of the Second Vatican Council, made at the time that St. Joseph was originally added to one of the Eucharistic Prayers:

One of the signs of the vitality of this old Roman church is (as I have observed before) the delight that its priests take in telling stories on themselves and the ways of Rome. The current saying that is floating about is to the effect that, now that St. Joseph’s name has been included in the canon of the mass, we shall presently have promulgated a doctrine of the assumption of the blessed St. Joseph, to parallel the doctrine of the assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary–that is, of course, direct assumption into heaven–and this on the theological basis that the family that prays together stays together! (Vatican Diary 1962, p. 128.)

Tee hee hee hee…!

This is of course complete silliness, and I’m delighted to see that a non-Catholic appreciated it. I tend to expect that this sort of thing is strictly Catholic humor.

The family that prays together, stays together was a well-known slogan at the time in Catholic circles, and was particularly used to encourage families to pray the rosary together.

So, Catholic readers, did you hear St. Joseph’s name in the eucharistic prayer at mass this weekend? (I didn’t.)

If your church is named after a saint, do you normally hear this saint’s name in the EP? (My parish is named after a saint; I always hope to hear him named, but only one of our priests typically includes him.)

What do you think of this move?

Non-Catholic readers, when your church celebrates the Lord’s Supper, do the prayers over the bread and wine ever include the names of holy women and men from the Bible or from church history? If so, which ones? and in what context?

For comparison, in our prayers, there’s usually a passage where the priest says something like “we hope to enjoy forever the vision of your glory, together with the blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of God, with St. Joseph her spouse, with the apostles, the martyrs, and all the saints”. It is also permissible and encouraged to name other saints after “the apostles and martyrs”: the patron saint of the church, other saints of local importance to the parish; the saint whose feastday it is; and occasionally others who are special to that particular celebration, for instance the patron saint or name saint of a person who has been baptized earlier at mass.

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4 Responses to When St. Joseph was added to the Eucharistic Prayer in Nov 1962

  1. katmarie13 says:

    What a funny diary entry!

    I go to an Episcopal church that is named after a saint. We also like to describe ourselves as “casual high church” or something like that. We rotate through different forms of the eucharistic prayer.

    Form A only says “and at the last day bring us with all your saints
    into the joy of your eternal kingdom”; form C has “Lord God of our Fathers: God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (our priest associate, when she celebrates using this form, always includes “Lord God of our Mothers” and lists Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel as well, which I like).

    It’s form B and form C where space is given to list any number of saints. When we use those forms, we will always list Mary and our patron saint. Sometimes we will also include the names of saints whose days fall in the coming week.

  2. You know, I don’t remember if I heard St. Joseph listed this Sunday!
    I can’t say I object to the move in any way.
    Occasionally our parish priest will add an appropriate saint, such as St. Thomas More for last Friday, or St. John the Baptist for yesterday, and since our Church is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, we hear her name listed in every Eucharistic Prayer all the time. Other parishes I’ve visited will add their patron saint to the Eucharistic Prayer. I have no problem with that, I like it.

    • I believe Mary is included in the standard text in all the Eucharistic Prayers; certainly in the most common four.

      I really like the practice of adding the parish’s patron saint, because it integrates the devotion to the saints with the liturgy of the eucharist, and the eucharist is the “source and summit” of the Christian life. I’d also like to see parishes who have adopted “sister parishes” in other countries or poorer regions of this country that they support materially, include the names of those parish’s patrons in the eucharistic prayer: to integrate the sister parish program, which tends to the very practical and sometimes very occasional, into the regular worship experience.

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