St Joseph is added to all Eucharistic Prayers

In his first decree pertaining to the liturgy, Pope Francis has approved the permanent inclusion of the name of St Joseph in all of the Eucharistic Prayers regularly used in the Latin rite of the Mass.

The Congregation for Divine Worship issued the decree calling for the inclusion of St Joseph in Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV. St Joseph is already mentioned in Eucharistic Prayer I, as mandated by Blessed John XXIII.

The decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship, formally dated May 1 (the feast of St. Joseph the Worker), provides that the name of the Virgin Mary will be immediately followed by the words “with blessed Joseph, her spouse”.

The decree notes that after John XXIII added the name of St Joseph to the Roman Canon, there were petitions from the faithful asking that St Joseph also be named in the other Eucharistic Prayers. These petitions, the decree said, had the support of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, and the latter approved the new mandate.

An official of the congregation told Catholic News Service that national bishops’ conferences could set a date for the changes to begin if they believe that is necessary, “but because it is a matter of only adding five words, priests can begin immediately”.

The decree described St Joseph as “an exemplary model of the kindness and humility that the Christian faith raises to a great destiny, and demonstrates the ordinary and simple virtues necessary for men to be good and genuine followers of Christ”.

Pope Francis, who has a flower used as a symbol of St. Joseph on his coat-of-arms, chose the March 19 feast of St Joseph as the date for his inaugural Mass.

Pope Benedict, who was born Joseph Ratzinger and celebrated the March 19 feast of St Joseph as his name day, told a crowd in Cameroon in 2009 that he had “received the grace of bearing this beautiful name”.


Catholic News Service

Vatican Information Service

Image: Wikimedia

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