In the Eastern rites, and in the invented Eucharistic Prayers which were introduced into both Roman Catholic and Anglican worship in the 1970s and 1980s, the Epiclesis is treated as crucially important. The Holy Spirit is invoked to come and make the elements the Body and Blood of Christ. I am not a Byzantine and I have no interest in rubbishing their ancient and noble tradition. Nor would I stand for any ‘latinising’ of their tradition. The only criticism I have is of those Byzantines who encourage an Orthodox ‘Western Rite’ in which an epiclesis has been intruded into the Roman Canon. Because the epiclesis is not our tradition. And our tradition should not be Byzantinised.
At the beginning of the 20th century, liturgists commonly believed that the epiclesis was ‘primitive’ and must somehow have got ‘lost’ from the Roman Canon. If you have a copy of Fortescue, you will find an account by him of the various theories which were held about this; and the various ingenious attempts made to ‘reconstruct’ the ‘original Roman epiclesis’.
A succession of distinguished Anglican scholars disposed of this nonsense.
. . .
Where Easterners call upon the Spirit to come down upon the elements, our ancient Western, Roman tradition asks the Lord to take his Church’s offerings to the Altar on high.
Now I am a card-carrying liturgy geek (as you may have figured out by now) but I’m the first to admit that my academic focus has been more on the medieval, the monastic, and the Office rather than Mass Intricacies which is a field of study unto itself.
Anyone care to comment either way on this quote, the original post, and theo-liturgical contents?