Eucharistic Prayer C

As I discussed yesterday, when I look at the statistics for this blog I see some recurring themes with respect to those who find this blog via search. One of my blog entries that keeps popping up is one about Eucharistic Prayer C in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. I went back and looked at it and I feel a little bit bad about that, because it’s not a very good blog entry. I don’t really say much at all there.

I think Eucharistic Prayer C deserves more attention than that. It is my favorite of all of the Eucharistic prayers. In the Episcopal churches I have attended the standard prayer on most Sundays is Eucharistic Prayer A. At Good Shepherd Episcopal here in Hemet, in the past year we have switched to Eucharistic Prayer B the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Easter. It’s a nice change, because it forces me to listen to the words, to read along in the prayer book, as opposed to the very familiar words of Eucharistic Prayer A. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a worship service where Eucharistic Prayer D was used.

For me, however, it is Eucharistic Prayer C that has the most powerful words.

God of all power, Ruler of the Universe, you are worthy of
glory and praise.
Glory to you for ever and ever.

At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of
interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses,
and this fragile earth, our island home.
By your will they were created and have their being.

But the prayer also admonishes us:

Lord God of our Fathers: God of Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob; God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: Open our
eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us. Deliver
us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace
only, and not for strength; for pardon only, and not for
renewal. Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one
body, one spirit in Christ, that we may worthily serve the
world in his name.
Risen Lord, be known to us in the breaking of the Bread.

The words that stick with me are:

quoteDeliver us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace only,
and not for strength;
for pardon only, and not for renewal.

Those are words that I need to hear. And hear again.

I wish that I had the opportunity to experience Eucharistic Prayer C more often in worship, but it’s always there in the prayer book whenever I want to turn to it.

You can find Eucharistic Prayer C in the The (Online) Book of Common Prayer. Navigate: The Holy Eucharist > The Holy Eucharist: Rite II > Eucharistic Prayer C.


5 Comments on “Eucharistic Prayer C”

  1. Athanasius Lewis says:

    Interesting. You’re the first person I’ve ever read who actually likes Eucharistic Prayer C, often referred to as “The Star Wars Prayer”. I’ve been to parishes where it’s literally banned from being used; I’ve actually never been to a Mass where it has been used.

    That being said, I’m a cranky young Anglo-Catholic who doesn’t like the 1979 BCP, let alone Rite II. I’m a ’28 man all the way. 😉

  2. Kelly Long says:

    I came across this blog entry because I wanted to find the words in the prayer. We were at lunch with our family today and discussing the fact our new priest only uses prayer A. I miss what many Episcopalians refer to as the Star Wars prayer because of the way it starts in the universe then comes down to our planet. I just wanted to say that I agree with everything you said.

  3. Amy Freeman says:

    I came across this blog while looking for feedback on Eucharistic Prayer C, my favorite of all the Eucharistic Prayer options in the 1979 BCP. Eucharist Prayer C has always resonated with me. From my earliest of times, (cradle Episcopalian here) I have been keenly aware of my connection to the natural world and this worlds connection to a more vast universe. My vocation, not surprisingly, has been in what might be thought of as within the environmental field, has allowed for and encouraged me to keep that childlike wonder and interest in the smallest of microorganisms to the “vast expanse of interstellar space” and our connection to all of it. My work has been in composting and organics management, soil health and growing nutrient dense food. I am serving on the Creation Care Task Force for the Diocese of Western and Eastern Michigan. As we discern how to support our churches and congregations toward the consideration of issues related to the care, remediation, and sustainability of the environment, we work to understand the connection to our mission as a task force on creation care and the actual connection to the world about us and beyond, and the effects of our very being on this planet and beyond. Eucharistic Prayer C helps me to see, feel and to inwardly digest the amazingness of God’s Creation. I do struggle with “you made us the rulers of creation” (see where that has gotten us!) – much preferring the word “stewards” in place of rulers. The call to come to the table for strength and renewal, not only for solace and pardon, make me want to be more responsible for this creation and bids me more resolve to care and connect to this fragile Earth our Island Home. PS, the new images coming from NASA’s James Webb Telescope have connected me to the words, the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns the planets in their courses, and this fragile Earth, our island home. May we all see our connection and our responsibility to care for God’s amazing creation!!


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