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Author Topic: ancient liturgies  (Read 3061 times) Average Rating: 0
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Salpy
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« on: May 22, 2005, 12:31:12 AM »

Does anyone know anything about the most ancient manuscripts in existance today which record liturgies?  I know that a fourth century manuscript recording the Liturgy of St. Mark was found in the 1920's.  Are there any which are more ancient than that?  Do translations of them exist on the internet?  I heard that a very ancient manuscript recording an Assyrian liturgy exists, but I have found no information on it.  I would just appreciate any information people have on the subject.  Thanks.
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SeanMc
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2005, 01:15:52 AM »

I myself do not know of any and you aren't likely to find the fuller forms on the internet. Usually, university libraries, ones with a liturgics or religious department, might carry something like that.

Of course, the oldest style of liturgy is recorded by St. Justin Martyr from his first apology:

Quote
No one may share the eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.
     We do not consume the eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Savior became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.
     The apostles, in their recollections, which are called gospels, handed down to us what Jesus commanded them to do. They tell us that he took bread, gave thanks and said: Do this in memory of me. This is my body. In the same way he took the cup, he gave thanks and said: This is my blood. The Lord gave this command to them alone. Ever since then we have constantly reminded one another of these things. The rich among us help the poor and we are always united. For all that we receive we praise the Creator of the universe through his Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.
     On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or in the outlying districts. The recollections of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as there is time. When the reader has finished, the president of the assembly speaks to us; he urges everyone to imitate the examples of virtue we have heard in the readings. Then we all stand up together and pray.
     On the conclusion of our prayer, bread and wine and water are brought forward. The president offers prayers and gives thanks to the best of his ability, and the people give assent by saying, “Amen”. The eucharist is distributed, everyone present communicates, and the deacons take it to those who are absent.
     The wealthy, if they wish, may make a contribution, and they themselves decide the amount. The collection is placed in the custody of the president, who uses it to help the orphans and widows and all who for any reason are in distress, whether because they are sick, in prison, or away from home. In a word, he takes care of all who are in need.
     We hold our common assembly on Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day on which God put darkness and chaos to flight and created the world, and because on that same day our saviour Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For he was crucified on Friday and on Sunday he appeared to his apostles and disciples and taught them the things that we have passed on for your consideration.

An interesting note is that there is no mention of an epiklesis; therefore, it seems from the earliest time, that it wasn't required. Most of the prayers were ad libbed, as things like sacramentaries did not exist.

However, the Didache records for us some actual prayers that were used:

Quote
Chapter 9. The Eucharist. Now concerning the Eucharist, give thanks this way. First, concerning the cup:

    We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant, which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever..

And concerning the broken bread:

    We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom; for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever..

But let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, unless they have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, "Give not that which is holy to the dogs."

Chapter 10. Prayer after Communion. But after you are filled, give thanks this way:

    We thank Thee, holy Father, for Thy holy name which You didst cause to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which You modest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Thou, Master almighty, didst create all things for Thy name's sake; You gavest food and drink to men for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to Thee; but to us You didst freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Thy Servant. Before all things we thank Thee that You are mighty; to Thee be the glory for ever. Remember, Lord, Thy Church, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in Thy love, and gather it from the four winds, sanctified for Thy kingdom which Thou have prepared for it; for Thine is the power and the glory for ever. Let grace come, and let this world pass away. Hosanna to the God (Son) of David! If any one is holy, let him come; if any one is not so, let him repent. Maranatha. Amen.

But permit the prophets to make Thanksgiving as much as they desire.

Hope this helps.
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Tikhon29605
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2005, 10:08:55 PM »

Does anyone know anything about the most ancient manuscripts in existance today which record liturgies?  I know that a fourth century manuscript recording the Liturgy of St. Mark was found in the 1920's.  Are there any which are more ancient than that?  Do translations of them exist on the internet?

     The Liturgy of Saint James of Jerusalem is about the oldest Christian liturgy there is. Here's a link. Enjoy!
http://www.anastasis.org.uk/lit-james.htm
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2005, 01:01:25 PM »

The Assyrian Liturgy of Mar Addai and Mar Mari and the Maronite Liturgy of Peter III (Sharar) are the oldest Christian Liturgies of any type.
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2005, 06:58:33 AM »


The Liturgy of Saint James of Jerusalem is about the oldest Christian liturgy there is. Here's a link. Enjoy!
http://www.anastasis.org.uk/lit-james.htm


As the introduction notes, it has been heavily byzantinised, including prayers which were not extant at the time this liturgy was originally produced.

John.
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Tikhon29605
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2005, 11:17:25 AM »

As the introduction notes, it has been heavily byzantinised, including prayers which were not extant at the time this liturgy was originally produced.

Sure, it has been Byzantined SOME, but that doesn't ruin it. Its anaphora is still one of the oldest in all of Christendom. Obviously such items as the Symbol of Faith (which wasn't finalized until 381) came later.
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2006, 11:48:31 PM »

I wanted to bring this back in the hope that someone would have further information on this topic. 

Does anyone have a link to St. Mark's liturgy??

Or any other ancient liturgies?

What were the other liturgies (if they still exist?)
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2006, 01:32:45 PM »

I wanted to bring this back in the hope that someone would have further information on this topic. 

Does anyone have a link to St. Mark's liturgy??

Or any other ancient liturgies?

What were the other liturgies (if they still exist?)

sure try this

http://www.odox.net/Liturgy1-Mark.htm
http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/Liturgy/Liturgics.html
« Last Edit: November 22, 2006, 07:53:03 PM by sdcheung » Logged


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Tags: ancient liturgies Didache liturgy of Addai and Mari liturgical texts St. James Liturgy 
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