The Coptic Orthodox Church

Although something about worship in Egypt may be gleaned from Clement and Origen, the first liturgical compilation of note is the Canons of Hippolytus (c.336) and the eucol-ogy attributed to Bishop Sarapion of Thmuis (c.350). The former is one redaction of the so-called apostolic tradition attributed to Hippolytus, the integrity of which has been seriously challenged in late twentieth-century scholarship. The latter is a collection of prayers, some probably by Serapion, but by no means all from the same author. It includes prayers for catechumens; for oil before and after baptism; for sanctification of the waters of baptism; prayers with laying on of hands for deacons, priests and bishops; prayers for the sick; and an anaphora with a distinct shape, showing traces of the use of the Didache, which in some parts of Egypt was regarded as canonical scripture. However, in the process which led to the emergence of a regional as opposed to a local liturgy, we find Syrian or Cappadocian influence combined with what seems to have been the indigenous usage of Alexandria. It appears that the present forms of the rites are due to the work of Patriarch Gabriel V (c.1411).

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