Identify an important section of the Eucharistic Prayer and explain its history.
The Eucharistic Prayer is the ritual prayer used in Catholic churches as the congregation prepares to receive communion, also known as the Eucharist. Most of the words are spoken by the priest, with the congregation responding at appropriate times. In fact, these words come together as a complete and whole prayer, so it would be difficult to pick out one section more important than the others. The prayer uses specific language that has barely changed for hundreds of years. One very common version, Eucharistic Prayer II, is a revised version of the prayer recited by Pope St. Hippolytus in 215 CE. It reads as follows:
It is truly right and just, our duty and salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Father most holy, through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, your Word through whom you made all things, whom you sent as our Savior and Redeemer, incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin. Fulfilling your will and gaining for you a holy people, he stretched out his hands as he endured his Passion, so as to break the bonds of death and manifest the resurrection. And so, with the Angels and all the Saints we declare your glory, as with one voice we acclaim:
In my opinion, one of the most important lines of this prayer is where it says, “Fulfilling your will and gaining for you a holy people, he stretched out his hands as he endured his Passion, so as to break the bonds of death and manifest the resurrection.”
This, in fact, is the basis of belief for Catholics: that Jesus Christ knowingly and willingly accepted his death as a means of saving all people. The fact that it appears in the Eucharistic Prayer reminds the congregation of this essential tenet of their faith whenever they partake in communion.
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