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Every now and again I return to the question of the Epiclesis of the Roman Rite. My answer is invariably the same (see Search Engine attached to this blog): the Roman rite not only does not have an Epiclesis to summon the Holy Spirit upon the Elements so that they may become the Lord's Body and Blood; it never did have such a formula. Comments then flood in from readers who have been brainwashed by the belief of late Victorian scholarship that the Roman Rite must originally have had an oriental-style Epiclesis [as mythical as the canals once discerned on the surface of Mars]; combined with some untruths perpetrated in the years after the Council.
The Roman Rite does not have an Epiclesis because that rite is so ancient. It predates the interest in the Holy Spirit which developed in the fourth century and which then influenced most Eastern Rites.
According to the later Oriental rites, the priest invokes the Spirit which then descends to change the Elements.
According to the older Roman Rite, the Church offers the Elements to the Father, and it is simply by His gracious act of acceptance that they become the Body and Blood of His Son.
This is exemplified in the Prayers over the Offerings, the 'Secrets', of this Octave week of Pentecost. If the venerable Roman tradition had had the least inkling that the Spirit is involved in the Consecration of Bread and Wine, surely the Pentecost Octave, and the Prayers over the Offerings, would have been its opportunity to offer some sort of hint in this direction.
There is none.The Propers of these days emphasise the role of the Holy Ghost in the Paschal Mysteries of Initiation, Baptism anf Confirmation. For this connection, of course, there is Biblical and Patristic evidence galore. And the renewal of the hearts and lives of the Faithful by the outpouring of the Spirit is expressed.
But not a whisker of any suggestion that the Gifts which, by the gift of the Faithful and the Ministry of the Deacons, have just been piled up on the Altar, might be transformed by that Spirit from bread and wine into the Body and Blood of the Incarnate Word.
Of those 'Secret' Prayers, one only brings the Holy Ghost into any sort of proximity with the oblata. It stands out because of its arresting and unusual imagery: the Secret of the Mass of the Friday. Here is a dead literal translation:
O Lord, grant that that Divine fire may take away the sacrifices which have been offered in thy sights, which [=Divine fire]set alight the hearts of the disciples of Christ thy Son through the Holy Spirit.
The imagery is of the animal sacrifices of the Jewish, Greek, and Roman cults, in which some or all of the meat of the sacrificed animal is burned away to nothing upon the stone altar.