TREASURES FROM OUR TRADITION
In 1971, the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship completed a survey of the presidents of the national liturgical commissions around the world. How were children doing in the liturgical reform? Probably to their surprise, the cardinals learned of special weekday Masses for children designed to teach them how to participate on Sunday, Masses with separate components for children. The decision was made quickly to develop adaptations for Masses where children were a majority of the assembly. Changes would include a simpler structure, understandable texts, a simplified Lectionary, more active participation, and most surprisingly, new Eucharistic Prayers. By 1973 the work was done, and with very specific advice from Pope Paul VI, including the need for two new Eucharistic Prayers, the Directory for Masses with Children was published on December 20, a timely Christmas gift for the children of the world.
The prayers are the first to be written fresh in a modern language--not Latin, but French and German--then translated into English, Italian, and Spanish. With a sense of caution, these new prayers were approved for three years, until 1977, but it soon became apparent that they had truly been embraced.
--Rev. James Field, Copyright (c) J. S. Paluch Co.