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Author Topic: Ethiopian Anaphoras Lacking Epiclesis?  (Read 754 times) Average Rating: 0
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dzheremi
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« on: March 06, 2013, 08:20:17 PM »

Hello all,

I was just watching a video presentation given at U of Toronto on the liturgy of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church by Rev. Dr. Mebratu Kiros Gebru. Very interesting, but something caught my attention: at ~42:30, Dr. Mebratu says that there are some anaphoras in the Ethiopian Church that lack an identifiable epiclesis. Is this true? It has been a long time since I read through Fr. Daoud's 1959 translation of the Ethiopian liturgy, so I don't remember if this was pointed out there. Off the top of my head, the only other church that I can think of which has this unique feature is that of the Nestorians and their children (the Chaldeans and Syro-Malabar Catholics) who use the Anaphora of Mar Addai and Mari.

Can anyone shed some light on this? Which particular anaphoras lack the epiclesis, and how did they come to be accepted in the Church despite lacking this, when the vast majority of other anaphoras used by the Ethiopians (and indeed all churches) have recognizable...epicleses? (epiclesees? epiclesii? someone help, please!)
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Orthodox11
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 08:35:41 PM »

Would these be some of the same anaphora that were taken out of use by the Coptic Church in the last century or are they uniquely Ethiopic?
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dzheremi
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 08:58:26 PM »

I really don't know, since Rev. Dr. Mebratu does not mention them by name. He just says there are a few that are like that. I don't know if you watched the video, but he states that there are 5 foreign anaphoras borrowed from the Copts and the Syrians (and even some that share the same name as those aren't the same in Ethiopian usage; e.g., the Ethiopian Anaphora of St. Gregory is not the same as the Coptic Anaphora of St. Gregory), and 15 that are indigenous/Ethiopian. So odds are they are Ethiopian, but I don't know.
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 09:28:08 PM »

Off the top of my head, the only other church that I can think of which has this unique feature is that of the Nestorians and their children (the Chaldeans and Syro-Malabar Catholics) who use the Anaphora of Mar Addai and Mari.

The Anaphora of Mar Addai and Mari has an Epiclesis but lacks(lacked)  the Institution Narrative.  The Roman Canon lacks an explicit Epiclesis.
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 09:30:40 PM »

Oh, I'm sorry. I got them confused. I remembered it being the other way around. Thanks for the correction, Deacon Lance.
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 10:38:21 PM »

http://www.ethiopianorthodox.org/biography/englishethiopianliturgy.pdf

The Anaphora of St. Mary has an Epiclesis to Christ rather than the Holy Spirit.

The Anaphora of St. Athanasius has an Epiclesis to the Father to send Christ

The Anaphoras of St Gregory of Nyssa, St Jacob of Serugh, and St Gregory the Wonderworker have very unconventional ones but I would not say they lack one.
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 07:37:09 PM »

An example:
"Let the gate of light be opened and the doors of glory be unlocked and the curtain before the face of the Father be withdrawn, and let the Lamb of God descend and sit on this holy table prepared before me, Thy servant.  Let "Melos," the fearful sword of fire be sent and appear over this + bread and + cup: to fulfill this offering" (Epiclesis of Anaphora of St Jacob of Serugh Page 154, #53).

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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 07:53:06 PM »

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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2013, 09:02:07 PM »

I really don't know, since Rev. Dr. Mebratu does not mention them by name. He just says there are a few that are like that. I don't know if you watched the video, but he states that there are 5 foreign anaphoras borrowed from the Copts and the Syrians (and even some that share the same name as those aren't the same in Ethiopian usage; e.g., the Ethiopian Anaphora of St. Gregory is not the same as the Coptic Anaphora of St. Gregory), and 15 that are indigenous/Ethiopian. So odds are they are Ethiopian, but I don't know.

Archbishop Paulos Cardinal Tzadua of blessed memory relates that the Anaphora of the Apostles is a translation of the Apostolic Tradition of St Hippolytus of Rome, that of Our Lord is a translation from the Testament of Our Lord, that of St. Basil is a translation of the Coptic, that of St. Jacob of Serugh is a translation of the Syriac, the rest, despite the names, are native Ethiopian compositions.
http://www.ethiopianorthodox.org/english/church/divineliturgydoc.html
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 09:12:28 PM »

He has this say about the Epiclesis:

Among the anaphoras from No. 1-17, as listed above, there are three anaphoras in which the Epiclesis with the said rubric and with the express allusion to the Holy Spirit is certainly missing. These are the anaphoras of Our Lady (no.5), of St. Athanasius (no. 6), and of St. Gregory (no.13). In the Anaphora of St. Gregory of Nyssa, there is a prayer before the consecration with the same rubric of the Epiclesis, which says: "O my Master… send the Holy Spirit and power on this bread and on this cup which sanctify our souls, bodies and spirits…"35. This is certainly an Epiclesis, but its placing is unusual.

In the Anaphora of James of Sarug, there is an Epiclesis, but the prayer is for the descent of the Lamb instead of the descent of the Holy Spirit. As for the passage which follows and which reads: "Let 'Melos' the fearful sword of fire be sent and appear over this bread and cup to fulfill this offering"6, the term Melos is rendered as 'the Holy Spirit' in the Aramaic version of the Ethiopian Missal.
http://www.ethiopianorthodox.org/english/church/divineliturgydoc.html
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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2013, 11:22:22 AM »

This is perhaps a good reminder that the consecration of the gifts is the result of the whole of the anaphora, not one or two moments (the 'Words of Institution' or the epiclesis) only.
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