Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below.
In Common Worship why is it that the words spoken over the bread and the wine in the Eucharistic Prayers are taken solely from St Matthew’s Gospel and not from Mark, Luke, or John?
It is not quite correct that the words used are exclusively from Matthew. For example, in Prayers A, B, and C there is a conflation of Matthew and 1 Corinthians 11.23-25. The other Eucharistic Prayers, apart from the Additional Eucharistic Prayers for use when children are present, are broadly similar. (The additional Eucharistic Prayers use simplified language.)
Over the course of history, there have been variations in the texts used and a single scriptural text never seems to have been the rule. The words in Common Worship are based on the words used by Cranmer in the First Prayer Book of Edward VI. It would not be easy to use St John’s Gospel as a source; there is no account of the institution of the eucharist in this Gospel. The nearest parallel might be John 6.51-58.
The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches use more elaborate texts. The Church of Scotland uses the Corinthians text as the warrant for the eucharist. The Anaphora of Addai and Mari, which does not contain the words of institution, is used by the Assyrian Church of the East and other Churches.
(The Revd) John Chamberlin
North Shields, Tyne and Wear
How were the Old Testament priests chosen from the tribe of Levi? Would John the Baptist have been a priest by virtue of his father’s having been one? I. C.
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