Rubrics in Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: During Lent, I use the Eucharistic Prayers for  Reconciliation at Mass. 

In the first of these, prayers, after the epiclesis and sign of the cross over bread and chalice, the rubric states that the priest joins his hands. They then stay joined from “Indeed, though we once were lost” until  the beginning of the institution narrative.

It seems counterintuitive to pray these words with hands joined.  Is there an explanation or reason for this?


A: The simplest explanation is that you have begun the words of the institution narrative and consecration. GIRM 79 gives you the parts of the eucharistic prayer. After completing the epiclesis (79c), the priest joins his hands to begin the institution narrative and consecration (79d). 

That particular eucharistic prayer has a longer onramp before you repeat the consecratory words of Jesus, but you are setting the stage for them. You even allude to something Jesus said at the Last Supper, according to John 15:13, where he describes the greatest love.

When I pray that section with hands joined, I feel as though I’m restraining them just a little longer than usual to establish the context for what follows when I separate my hands to pick up the host.