Why are there different Eucharistic Prayers?

by Fr. George Teodoro, S.J.  |  08/27/2023  |  Why do we do that?

Since our very beginnings, the Eucharist has been an essential part of what it means to be Church. After all, at the Last Supper, Jesus gave us his body and blood and said “Do this in remembrance of me.” But almost from the very beginning, there have questions about what “this” exactly is. As the Church grew and expanded, different local churches, in Jerusalem, Antioch, Damascus, Alexandria, Constantinople, Rome, and elsewhere had different variations on how to memorialize the Eucharist. These local practices evolved into rites, which most often took on the name of their geographic origin – the Byzantine Rite, the Antiochene Rite, the Roman Rite. For the first eight centuries of the Church, there was no perceived need to create a single, uniform rite.


Why do we say the Mystery of Faith during the Eucharistic Prayer?

by Fr. George Teodoro, S.J.  |  08/20/2023  |  Why do we do that?

In the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass, the people had two spoken or sung responses in the Eucharistic Prayer – the Sanctus (“Holy, Holy, Holy”) and the Agnus Dei (“Lamb of God). Notably, there was no Mysterium Fidei (“Mystery of Faith”) for the people to proclaim. So why did it get added to the post-Vatican II liturgy? It is the solution to a liturgical puzzle.


Why do we believe in Mary's perpetual virginity?

by Fr. George Teodoro, S.J.  |  08/13/2023  |  Why do we do that?

One of the oldest debates in Christianity regards the perpetual virginity of Mary. All Christians agree that Mary was a virgin when she conceived by the Holy Spirit and became the mother of Jesus. What is unstated in scripture, however, is whether or not she remained a virgin after the birth of Christ, or whether she had normal marital relations with her husband, Joseph. As early as the 2nd century, theologians were debating this topic, and by the 6th century, the Second Council of Constantinople, declared the perpetual virginity of Mary to be dogma, and this teaching has been upheld by the Catholic Church ever since.


Why do some people hold hands during the Our Father and other people don’t? Is there one right way to do it?

by Fr. George Teodoro, S.J.  |  08/06/2023  |  Why do we do that?

The Lord’s Prayer, the most ancient prayer of the Church, is how we conclude the Eucharistic Prayer. It symbolizes our unity as one Christian people, gathered around the one table of the Lord, sharing in the one, true presence of our Lord present in the Eucharist. To further emphasize this, after the Lord’s Prayer we have the Kiss of Peace, which deepens the bonds of communion among the people.