Preface (liturgy)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

In liturgical use the term preface is applied to that portion of the Eucharistic Prayer that immediately precedes the Canon or central portion of the Eucharist (Mass or Divine Liturgy).[1] The preface, which begins at the words, "It is very meet and just, right and salutary" (or a variation thereof) is ushered in, in all liturgies, with the Sursum Corda, "Lift up your hearts", and ends with the Sanctus, "Holy, Holy, Holy, etc."

In the Western liturgies, proper prefaces are appointed for particular occasions. In the various Eastern liturgies there is great variation. Among those who follow the Rite of Constantinople the audible portion of the preface does not change, but the silent prayer said by the priest will differ depending upon whether it is the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom or the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. Among the Oriental Orthodox Churches the preface will take different forms, depending upon the liturgical rite and/or the particular feast day.

In the Roman Rite, the preface opens with the following:

Priest: Dominus vobiscum
People: Et cum spiritu tuo
Priest: Sursum corda
People: Habemus ad Dominum
Priest: Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro
People: Dignum et iustum est

The current English translation has:

Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And with your spirit.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God
People: It is right and just.

Anglican forms[edit]

In the 1979 United States edition of the Book of Common Prayer, this dialogue for Rite One, which uses traditional language, is given as

Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And with thy spirit.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up unto the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
People: It is meet and right so to do.
Priest: It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should . . .

Rite Two, in contemporary language, has the form:

Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Priest: It is right, and a good and joyful thing, . . .

Lutheran forms[edit]

Among Lutheranism, the preface has many different translations that can be used in the Divine Service. The following is a common form: [2]

Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

The following form may also be used, however some responses may vary (noted with a "/"):

Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And with thy/your spirit.
Priest: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up unto/to the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right and just/It is meet and right so to do.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Preface". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 
  2. ^ Lutheran Service Book, 2006 (Concordia Publishing House)