Does changing the words of the consecration invalidate the Eucharist?

Yesterday at Mass, the priest changed the words of the consecration of the wine in to Jesus’ blood. I can’t remember exactly how he changed it but it was a minor change and the meaning remained the same. However, I still did not like it… at all. I assume it was just a mistake on his part. However, did this invalidate the Eucharist or did it simply make it illicit? :confused:

Here is what Redemptionis Sacramentum says about the Eucharistic Prayer:

  1. The Eucharistic Prayer
    [51.] Only those Eucharistic Prayers are to be used which are found in the Roman Missal or are legitimately approved by the Apostolic See, and according to the manner and the terms set forth by it. "It is not to be tolerated that some Priests take upon themselves the right to compose their own Eucharistic Prayers"129 or to change the same texts approved by the Church, or to introduce others composed by private individuals.130

[52.] The proclamation of the Eucharistic Prayer, which by its very nature is the climax of the whole celebration, is proper to the Priest by virtue of his Ordination. It is therefore an abuse to proffer it in such a way that some parts of the Eucharistic Prayer are recited by a Deacon, a lay minister, or by an individual member of the faithful, or by all members of the faithful together. The Eucharistic Prayer, then, is to be recited by the Priest alone in full.131

[53.] While the Priest proclaims the Eucharistic Prayer “there should be no other prayers or singing, and the organ or other musical instruments should be silent”,132 except for the people’s acclamations that have been duly approved, as described below.

While there are about 13 or so approved Eucharistic Prayers, the general words of institution (consecration) should be these:

Take this, all of you, and eat it;
this is my body which will be given up for you.

When the supper was ended, he took the cup. Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it;
this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.

These words are virtually the same for EPs I-III. For EP IV, the words are slighly diffferent:

Take this, all of you, and eat it:
this is my body which will be given up for you.

In the same way, he took the cup, filled with wine. He gave you thanks, and giving the cup to his disciples, said:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it:
this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.

If the priest used the EPs for Reconciliation, you will also find a slight variance. Here is what Reconciliation EP I looks like:

Take this, all of you, and eat it;
this is my body which will be given up for you.

At the end of the meal, knowing that he was to reconcile all things in himself by the blood of his cross, he took the cup filled with wine. Again he gave you thanks, handed the cup to his friends, and said:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it;
this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.

Here is the text for Reconciliation EP II:

Take this, all of you, and eat it;
this is my body which will be given up for you.

At the end of the meal he took the cup. Again he praised you for your goodness, gave the cup to his disciples, and said:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it;
this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.

Many celebrants will opt to use the EPs for Reconcilation during this time of year; however, these have their own prefaces, which should be used.

However, as RS notes, the priest does not have the right to change the words around. If he changes the texts of the words of institution, that may run the risk of invalidating the Mass. He has to have the form, the matter and the intent (along with being validly ordained) in order to have a valid Mass. The form means that the EP must be recited in the manner dictated by the Church.

I hope this helps.

Just to clarify (although you probably knew this) they can also be used with the prefaces of Lent although their own prefaces fit best with the structure.

Neither of you guys really answered the OP’s question. She asked if the consecration was rendered invalid.

The only words that are required for a valid consecration are “This is my body” and “This is … my blood.” That’s the very basics. The priest could mess everything else up; however, if with the intent to do what the church does, he uses those words over bread (made only of wheat and water) and pure grape wine, a valid Eucharist is confected.

It’s very hard for a priest to mess that up.

Oh ok. Thank you! :slight_smile:

I have often questioned self-made liturgies and valid Consecration particularly concerning re-arranged laicized Rubrics not condoned or prescribed in the use of Eucharistic prayers.
I mean “is not the priest capable of reading from the Sacramentary” ? As for the host…I have witnessed in my own diocese self-righteous individuals in the Church making a self-made baked cubed concoction of water and dough for the Eucharistic Alter for consecration. I for one am dumb-founded as to how a priest can condone this practice. Traditionally in my Canadian province the Trappist Priest’s and Nuns make the round wafer host’s for all diocese’s in my province.

Wow. I would definitely report such an abuse to your diocesan bishop. If the bishop doesn’t take care of it, report it to the USCCB, if they don’t take care of it, report it to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith or whatever other Vatican agency is appointed to take care of such abuses.

I believe that the cube-form that was described might be valid in the Eastern Rite Churches. It was pointed out in another thread.

However, regarding liturgical abuse-reporting, the chain of command is as follows:

You take the matter up with the priest first, in a charitable manner, citing the appropriate Church documentation when pointing out the abuse. If the priest persist in practicing this abuse, then, you write a letter to the bishop, certified, return receipt requested. The bishop should reply (and you should get the little green certified card back as an acknowledgment that your letter was received). If nothing happens, then, you write to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. This is the Curial Office of the Holy See that is authorized to handle such matters. Send the letter certified, return receipt requested, express delivery. Within about three weeks, you should receive the orange acknowledgement card verifying that your letter was received. Five days later, you will get a formal letter from the Congregation informing you that they are looking into the matter.

…and then you wait, and wait and wait and probably nothing will happen unless it’s something aggregious. :shrug:

Not necessarily. In the case of my father, he and the CDWDS have been in contact. Rome doesn’t take these things too lightly. She may act a little slower than we would like, but, she does act.

Ah ok. Thanks for telling me the correct chain of command. I apologize for giving the incorrect chain of command. I did not know. :blush:

Don’t worry about it. The USCCB is the national episcopal conference of the United States. On its own, it does not have any rule-making authority. Any changes the conference wants to make to the liturgy must have a 2/3 vote of the Latin-Rite bishops in order for the amendments to be sent to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to get the necessary recogitio (approval). They propose items such as the Blessing for the Young Person on their 15th Birthday (Quince Anos), but, Rome has to give the approval in order for this document to be promulgated (released).

**
No it does not invalidate the Mass and the Eucharist.

YES it does make it “illicit!”**

Love and prayers,

The priest could mess everything else up; however, if with the intent to do what the church does, he uses those words over bread (made only of wheat and water)

In some of the Eastern Churches, wheat flour, water, yeast, and maybe salt.

I have often questioned self-made liturgies and valid Consecration particularly concerning re-arranged laicized Rubrics not condoned or prescribed in the use of Eucharistic prayers.

Emphasis added.

Since rubrics are not clergy, they cannot be laicized.

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