Eucharistic rites

The normal eucharistic liturgy is that of the Apostles, underneath which lies the Hippolytan literature. The text of the rite begins with the preparation and vesting of the ministers, and one of these is attributed to St Basil. Vessels are also prepared. The celebrating priest prays the Lord's Prayer, and then begins the prothesis. The enarxis begins with a summons to prayer, the giving of the peace, and diaconal biddings and intercessions, after which the priest says another prayer attributed to Basil, and the Absolution of the Son (cf. Coptic funeral rite). More intercessions follow. Then come censing with prayers of incense, and intercessions for peace, the patriarch, and the congregation. Epistle readings (Pauline and Catholic), and a reading from Acts with prayers and acclamations come next. More censing, the trisagion and intercessions lead to the Gospel, followed by the dismissal of the catechumens.

The pre-anaphora includes the Peace, some intercessions and the Creed. The Anaphora of the Apostles is that attributed to Hippolytus, heavily interpolated and greatly expanded. After an initial brief thanksgiving come intercessions. Thanksgiving is briefly resumed and a sanctus introduced, followed by the Hippolytan institution narrative, brief epiklesis, petition for gathering the church and benedictus. The Lord's Prayer and various other prayers lead to the fraction, the consignation and communion. Thanksgiving after communion includes an exhortation, psalm verses, parts of the Lord's Prayer, prayer of inclination and dismissal.

In addition to this rite, E. Hammerschmidt (1961) listed eighteen other anaphoras, though it is doubtful that all were used. Some are translations, for example, St Mark/ Cyril, and St James. Others are indigenous compositions, such as Epiphanius, John the Evangelist and Mary Cyriacos. The latter addresses Mary, and contains a long list of Old Testament worthies leading to the conception of Mary, a statement of Trinitarian doctrine, and then the recitation of the Creed before further praise of the Virgin, and the institution narrative. According to Getatchew Haile (1981), some of these anaphoras date from a Trinitarian controversy in the fifteenth century in which dissidents and Orthodox both authored new anaphoras reflecting the struggle.

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