In this Year of the Priest, this article examines the importance of the Eucharistic Prayer in catechesis. This is a unique prayer because only the priest can say this prayer, and yet the prayer involves all of us. When the priest recites the prayer all of God’s People are taken up into this prayer and do extraordinary holy actions. In the central part of the Mass we remember Jesus who died for us and we become part of his sacrifice.
The usual way to present the Eucharist and the Church is to say that it is the Church that makes the Eucharist. But in his encyclical on the Eucharist and the Church, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, John Paul II pointed out that we can also say that the Eucharist makes the Church. I would like to outline some of the important implications contained in this ancient formula for catechesis. In the first part of this article we shall focus upon memory and in the second part upon sacrifice, following the words of the Second Eucharistic Prayer: ‘In memory of his death and resurrection, we offer you, Father, this life-giving bread, this saving cup.’