Changing words in the Consecration: Eternal? Everlasting?

For the last two weeks I’ve gone to a different vigil Mass than the one I usually attend, and today I noticed that during the Consecration of the wine, the Priest said “eternal” instead of “everlasting.” Same meaning of course, and obviously the ultimate intent was the same, but this has led me to really study up on what validates or invalidates a Consecration, and after checking out several old threads here, I’m left somewhat confused.

Certainly I wouldn’t think that “eternal” in place of “everlasting” would invalidate the Sacrament, but on the other hand, I was under the impression that the words of Consecration were not to be changed at all. But then, I see people saying that the bare minimum for a valid Consecration are simply the words “This is My Body,” and “This is My Blood,” until I then see someone saying otherwise. So…?

In this instance, did the word switch make things illicit-but-valid? Or are there acceptable words that can be substituted? And, just what IS the bare minimum requirement for a valid Consecration, word-wise? I’m confused!

Actually, if you checked, the proper word now (after the 2011 translation) is eternal.

Now, I hear everlasting sometimes, but it doesn’t change the meaning, is a synonym for eternal, and was the accepted translation and perfectly valid and licit until 2011, so it wouldn’t effect the Consecration. Just like if the Priest said “Cup” instead of “Chalice”.

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You’re right! And now I feel like a dunce! I had found a listing of the official words of Consecration and their different forms, linked in an old thread here on CAF, but evidently it was from before the 2011 translation. I kept seeing “everlasting” in my searches, and well, I started to wonder.

Because this is a Mass I don’t normally go to, there was something else said during the Consecration (before the actual words of Consecration, actually) that made me curious, and I actually started researching, to a lesser extent, last week; there should be no problems where that is concerned, but then I started seeing the eternal/everlasting difference. (It didn’t help that I was like “wait, don’t I always hear ‘eternal?’”)

All that said, I’m still confused on what constitutes the bare minimum for valid words of Consecration.

Do you mean the Epiclesis? The Invoking of the Holy Spirit to sanctify the Offerings? That is a very important part of the liturgy as well, although the wording is different in the various Eucharistic Prayers, whereas the Words of Institution are the same in all of the Eucharistic Prayers.

I believe this is it:

Now that’s something I can’t recall hearing before, and it got me wondering last week, which started me looking into all this, what’s ‘right’ and what’s not when it comes to the Consecration.

Did you attend an EF/TL Mass?

I hear that all the time. It is the Epiclesis for Eucharistic Prayer 2.

Here is the basic texts for the 4 basic Eucharistic Prayers:

It was a typical US Roman Rite Mass. (I’m afraid I don’t know it by any other term.)

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Ah, that’s the page I found…but for older forms. That’s what got me so confused!

The version of the Epiclesis I’m used to is EP III.

The Church takes a very strict approach to the words of consecration - so much so that if a priest accidentally says, for example, “this is my blood” while elevating the host, he needs to repeat the entire formula (so: “take this all of you and eat of it…”). The reason for this is that these words are so important and so significant in the liturgy that the proper text has to be strictly complied with. Of course, the Church did change "cup to “chalice” and “everlasting” to “eternal” in 2001 and, before that, the Latin to English; so some limited change is okay (when permitted by the Church which is, after all, the guardian of the eucharist) but we don’t play fast and loose with the words of institution simply because of the enormity of what the priest is doing at that particular moment in the liturgy.

There is a slight difference between eternal and everlasting. Eternal is without beginning or end (like God) whereas Everlasting means without end … but may have a beginning (like your immortal soul).

Similarly the the difference between cup and chalice. Cup holds liquid, chalice has a specific form.

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