The Council in Action: Theological Reflections on the Second Vatican Council

By Hans Kung; Cecily Hastings | Go to book overview

10
The Renewal of the Canon

The universal prayer of the Church

UNLESS ALL APPEARANCES are deceptive, we can look forward with confidence to the reinstatement, in the renewed liturgy of the Mass, of the prayer that was in general use in the earliest days of the Church, that survived later in various forms, and is still preserved in the present-day Roman rite in the solitary word oremus just before the Offertory chant. This prayer will thus, if our expectations are fulfilled, be inserted once more into the liturgy after the reading of the Gospel, and the sermon. The prayer, known as the "Universal Prayer of the Church" (oratto communis) or the "Prayer of the Faithful" (oratio fidelium),is a prayer for the whole Church and for all its members, but in particular for those in holy orders. The priest prays for the Church, for the Pope, bishop and clergy, and for all the faithful, for secular rulers, or all who are in need, who suffer affliction or are ill, and for all who are exposed to danger. He prays, too, for the unity of the Church and for peace in the world, as well as for special intentions. The people respond: "We beseech thee, hear us!" or "Lord, have mercy upon us!" It will be possible to formulate, within the framework of this universal prayer of the Church, intercessions for the special problems of the times or for the local needs of the community or parish, and to pray for the living and the dead in the communion of saints. It must surely be a positive advantage in the celebration of Mass, if special petitions, which have hitherto been allowed to find

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