Anaphora of Saint Gregory

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Saint Gregory the Theologian

The Liturgy of Saint Gregory the Theologian (or Anaphora of Saint Gregory) is one of the three Anaphoras retained by the Coptic Church. [1] The text is named after Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, one of the Cappadocian Fathers.

Anaphora (liturgy)

The Anaphora is the most solemn part of the Divine Liturgy, or the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, during which the offerings of bread and wine are consecrated as the body and blood of Christ. This is the usual name for this part of the Liturgy in Greek-speaking Eastern Christianity. In western Christian traditions which have a comparable rite, the Anaphora is more often called the Roman Canon in the Latin liturgy, or the Eucharistic Prayer for the three additional modern anaphoras. When the Roman Rite had a single Eucharistic Prayer, it was called the Canon of the Mass.

Gregory of Nazianzus 4th-century Christian saint, bishop, and theologian

Gregory of Nazianzus, also known as Gregory the Theologian or Gregory Nazianzen, was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople, and theologian. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age. As a classically trained orator and philosopher he infused Hellenism into the early church, establishing the paradigm of Byzantine theologians and church officials.. Saint Gregory was saint patron of medieval Bosnia before the Catholic conquest when he was replaced by Saint (pope) Gregory.

Cappadocian Fathers Group of early of Christian chaplains

The Cappadocian Fathers, also traditionally known as the Three Cappadocians, are Basil the Great (330–379), who was bishop of Caesarea; Basil's younger brother Gregory of Nyssa, who was bishop of Nyssa; and a close friend, Gregory of Nazianzus (329–389), who became Patriarch of Constantinople. The Cappadocia region, in modern-day Turkey, was an early site of Christian activity, with several missions by Paul in this region.

Contents

The anaphora or Eucharistic Prayer that is part of this liturgy is distinct as it is entirely addressed to Christ and not to the Father as anaphoras usually are. [2]

God the Father

God the Father is a title given to God in various religions, most prominently in Christianity. In mainstream trinitarian Christianity, God the Father is regarded as the first person of the Trinity, followed by the second person God the Son and the third person God the Holy Spirit. Since the second century, Christian creeds included affirmation of belief in "God the Father (Almighty)", primarily as his capacity as "Father and creator of the universe". However, in Christianity the concept of God as the father of Jesus Christ goes metaphysically further than the concept of God as the Creator and father of all people, as indicated in the Apostle's Creed where the expression of belief in the "Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth" is immediately, but separately followed by in "Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord", thus expressing both senses of fatherhood.

Use

This liturgy can be used at present by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, as well as by the Coptic Catholic Church, in the solemnities of the Coptic calendar. This text doesn't cover the whole Divine Liturgy, but it extends only from the pre-anaphorical rites to the Fraction, so including the anaphora in the strict sense of the word. Along with this section the Liturgy of Saint Gregory includes also other additional prayers which can be used in place of the ones of the Coptic Liturgy of Saint Basil. [3]

Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria major transnational Oriental Orthodox church led by the Patriarch of Alexandria on the Holy See of St. Mark

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is an Oriental Orthodox Christian church based in Egypt, Africa and the Middle East. The head of the Church and the See of Alexandria is the Patriarch of Alexandria on the Holy See of Saint Mark, who also carries the title of Coptic Pope. The See of Alexandria is titular, and today the Coptic Pope presides from Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassia District in Cairo. The church follows the Alexandrian Rite for its liturgy, prayer and devotional patrimony. With 18–22 million members worldwide, whereof about 15 to 20 million are in Egypt, it is the country's largest Christian church.

Coptic Catholic Church Coptic Catholic Church is an Alexandrian Rite particular Church in full communion with the Pope of Rome

The Coptic Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic particular church in full communion with the Catholic Church. The Coptic Catholic Church uses the Alexandrian Rite. Uniquely among Eastern Catholic Churches, it uses the Coptic language in its liturgy, whereas the Ethiopian Catholic Church and Eritrean Catholic Church use the Alexandrian Rite in the Ge'ez language.

Coptic calendar Egyptian liturgical calendar

The Coptic calendar, also called the Alexandrian calendar, is a liturgical calendar used by the Coptic Orthodox Church and also used by the farming populace in Egypt. This calendar is based on the ancient Egyptian calendar. To avoid the calendar creep of the latter, a reform of the ancient Egyptian calendar was introduced at the time of Ptolemy III which consisted of the intercalation of a sixth epagomenal day every fourth year. However, this reform was opposed by the Egyptian priests, and the reform was not adopted until 25 BC, when the Roman Emperor Augustus imposed the Decree upon Egypt as its official calendar. To distinguish it from the Ancient Egyptian calendar, which remained in use by some astronomers until medieval times, this reformed calendar is known as the Coptic calendar. Its years and months coincide with those of the Ethiopian calendar but have different numbers and names.

History

This liturgical text derives from the West Syriac Rite, being imported in Egypt after the 6th-century from Syriac monks who settled in Wadi El Natrun. [4] The authorship of the core of this anaphora by Gregory of Nazianzus himself cannot be excluded. [1] The text however was adapted to the Egyptian use, and it was one of the three anaphoras which use was permitted by the canons of Patriarch Gabriel II in the 12th century. [5]

West Syriac Rite

The West Syriac Rite or West Aramean Rite, also called Syro-Antiochian Rite, is an Eastern Christian liturgical rite that uses the Divine Liturgy of Saint James in the West Syriac dialect. It is one of two main liturgical rites of Syriac Christianity. It is chiefly practiced in the Syriac Orthodox Church and churches related to or descended from it. It is part of the liturgical family known as the Antiochian Rite, which originated in the ancient Patriarchate of Antioch. It has more anaphoras than any other rite.

Egypt Country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

Wadi El Natrun Place in Beheira, Egypt

Wadi El Natrun is a valley located in Beheira Governorate, Egypt, including a town with the same name. The name refers to the presence of eight different lakes in the region that produce natron salt.

The oldest manuscripts of this liturgy date the High Middle Ages: the oldest is a 10th-century Sahidic incomplete manuscripts from the euchologion of the White Monastery, while the earlier Bohairic texts are 12th or 13th manuscripts from the Monastery of Saint Macarius. [4] Also a Byzantine Greek recension exists.

High Middle Ages period in European history from 1000-1250 CE

The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period of European history that commenced around 1000 and lasted until around 1250. The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended around 1500.

Euchologion Liturgical works of Eastern Christian Churches

The Euchologion is one of the chief liturgical books of the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches, containing the portions of the services which are said by the bishop, priest, or deacon. There are several different volumes of the book in use.

White Monastery monastery

The Coptic White Monastery is a Coptic Orthodox monastery named after Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite. It is located near the Upper Egyptian cities of Tahta and Sohag, and about two and a half miles (4.0 km) south-east of the Red Monastery. The name of the monastery is derived from the colour of the white limestone of its outside walls. The White Monastery is architecturally similar to the Red Monastery.

Structure of the anaphora

The Anaphora of Saint Gregory the Theologian follows the Antiochene (or "West Syriac") structure, which can be so summarized:

Antiochene Rite family of liturgies originally used in the Patriarchate of Antioch

Antiochene Rite or Antiochian Rite designates the family of liturgies originally used in the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Notes

  1. 1 2 Spinks, Bryan (2010). "Oriental Orthodox Liturgical Traditions". In Parry, Ken. The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity. Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 316–362. ISBN   9781444333619.
  2. Varghese, Baby (2004). West Syrian liturgical theology. Ashgate Publishing. pp. 62–63. ISBN   978-0-7546-0619-2.
  3. Cody, Aelred (1991). "Anaphora of Saint Gregory". The Coptic encyclopedia. 1. Macmillan. 124a-125a. ISBN   002897025X.
  4. 1 2 Gabra, Gawdat (2009). The A to Z of the Coptic Church. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press. p. 29. ISBN   9780810868946.
  5. Chaillot, Christine (2006). "The Ancient Oriental Churches". In Wainwright, Geoffrey. The Oxford history of Christian worship. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. p. 139. ISBN   9780195138863.

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