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THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST: Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon) (2)
“Remember, Lord, your servants N. and N….”
The intercessions in the Roman Canon preceding the consecration continue with prayers for the living. Unlike other Eucharistic Prayers, the bishop or priest celebrating Mass has the opportunity to mention those by name for whom the Mass is being offered. The Roman Canon also gives the opportunity for a more contemplative prayer; it allows a moment of silence for the celebrant and for everyone participating to pray briefly for those for whom they are offering the Mass.
“…and all gathered here, whose faith and devotion are known to you.”
The celebrant also, as a good shepherd, remembers in prayer those who are participating in the celebration of the Eucharist with him. He invites the Lord to explore the faith and devotion of each one. It’s an apt moment for a quick examination of conscience regarding whether we’re living up to those prayers and the degree of our faith and devotion.
“For them, we offer you this sacrifice of praise or they offer it for themselves and all who are dear to them…”
There’s no shame in praying for ourselves. We have to pray for each other, and especially for those whom we love. Everybody needs prayers. Our Lord has an infinite amount of merit and grace at his disposal, so we can’t empty out his reserves by asking for many people. The only thing that limits the fruits of prayer is our degree of faith and devotion, as well as our purity of intention. If we truly wish the well-being of those for whom we pray, the response by Our Lord is limitless.
“… for the redemption of their souls, in hope of health and well-being, and paying their homage to you, the eternal God, living and true.”
The commemoration of the living concludes with a good summary of what we should pray for and the need to pray always. We pray for salvation, especially those in danger of losing it, we trust in Our Lord to bless us with health and well-being, but even in good moments we simply pray to render honor and glory to God. Prayer is not just for difficult moments in life; we should pray without ceasing, regardless of the circumstances. The only thing that changes is what we pray for.