Abstract

Anecdotal evidence suggests that, amongst the Eucharistic Prayers in the Roman Catholic liturgy, the laity find the Second Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation the most attractive. This article attempts to address the question: what is there about this Prayer that is so appealing and why? The focal point is the first thing people hear in this Eucharistic Prayer, namely, the Preface. There seems to be something special, if not unique, about the Preface to EP RII.

This article will focus mainly on the Preface of EP RII in terms of its theme, tone, tempo and as a template. In preparing to examine the language and structure of the Preface, some key ideas on moral conversion and the formative role of Liturgy are outlined. Lonergan’s models of conversion together with William Spohn’s approach to moral transformation are then used as hermeneutical lenses for a reading of the text of the Preface. What emerges is that the Preface of EP RII may go some way in offering a basic framework for the process of moral transformation as ideally effected in the Liturgy. Some final observations close the article.

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