We somehow think that during the eucharistic prayer at Mass we are expected to be quiet, prayerful, and attentive-if we can be, with our children or other neighbors in the pews distracting us. In this inviting book Barry Hudock shows us that the eucharistic prayer is indeed the most dynamic and "explosive" moment of Christian worship-in fact, of Christian life. Hudock takes us back to the beginnings of formal eucharistic worship in the early church, then forward to Vatican II and beyond, unpacking and exploring the eucharistic prayers old and new in words and concepts accessible to all of us. He also offers us, as the fruit of the journey, a set of points for a eucharistic prayer spirituality to prepare us for the explosion into life that is the whole purpose of our being.
Barry Hudock is publisher for the parish market at Liturgical Press. He is the author of Faith Meets World: The Gift and Challenge of Catholic Social Teaching (Liguori). He received an STL in sacramental theology from The Catholic University of America. He lives with his family in Albany, Minnesota.
Especially helpful in this book is the section in which Hudock relates the history of each of the four major Eucharistic Prayers and explains the differences between them
Our Sunday Visitor
A first-rate piece of work. This treatment of the eucharistic prayer is both respectable and very accessible. It should be very helpful in catechizing for the new translation of the Mass."
John F. Baldovin, SJ, Professor of Historical & Liturgical Theology, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
Barry Hudock rightly points out that `the most fundamental thing the church has to say to God is "thank you"` (p 43). The church's great prayer of thanksgiving is often perceived, however, as a low point at Mass, often because priest and people have not reflected on the meaning, history, and content of the eucharistic prayers. With his perspective of this prayer as a doxological proclamation of the gospel (p 5), Hudock provides a well-documented, yet quite readable study of the history and component parts of the Roman Rite's multiple Eucharistic prayers, and offers reflections on the special thrust of each of the prayers currently in use. To conclude, Hudock links liturgy with life and offers his thoughts on developing an authentic contemporary spirituality based on the Eucharistic prayer.
Dennis C. Smolarski, SJ, Chair, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Santa Clara University
Written from the `pew,' The Eucharistic Prayer has proved a fine study for lay people without background in liturgical things.. Every study of liturgy struggles to show its connection with the rest of life. Hudock is especially successful in uniting the two.. Hudock has distilled the finest theological research on the eucharistic prayer and made it available to the average person who wants to know more
[The Eucharistic Prayer] can draw many non-academic readers into a new discovery of the richness of the eucharistic prayers and their structure, meaning, history, theology, and praying. It would be especially helpful to put in the hands of neophytes and used for mystogogical catechesis.
Joyce Ann Zimmerman, CPPS, Liturgical Ministry
Every now and then you hope for a book that will be scholarly, easy to read, pastoral, witty, very historical, practical, and helpful to a wide audience, especially on a very important topic. Barry Hudock has written such a book. I highly encourage every priest, deacon, and layperson to purchase this book.
John Thomas Lane, SSS, Emmanuel Magazine