November 4, 2011
The International Congress on the Origin of the Anaphors of Addai and Mari, organized by the Pontifical Oriental Institute, took place on October 25th and 26th, 2011 at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo of St. Peter Diocese gave the keynote lecture at the end of the second day, October 26. Below, you will find the document he presented during his lecture.
The Lord Jesus ordered: "Do this in memory of me."(1 Cor 11:20-26). Therefore, it is imperative to first of all identify what is the content of the Lord's order, in order to realize its fulfillment by the liturgies of the Church.
Addai & Mari Reflecting the Lord's Supper
as celebrated in the Apostolic Era
Can we identify a basic liturgical outline of the Lord's Supper in the apostolic era? I think we can. We find five narratives of the Lord's Supper in the New Testament:
1) 1 Cor 11:20-26;
2) Luke 22:7-20;
3) Mark 14:22-26;
4) Matthew 26:26-29; and
5) Luke 24:29-31 (at Emmaus).
In them we may identify two structural outlines. The first pattern is found in 1 Cor 11:20-26 and Luke 22:7-20; the second in Mark 14:22-26, Matthew 26:26-29, and Luke 24:29-31 (at Emmaus).
I- The Pauline Thanksgiving Pattern:
The First Letter to the Corinthians is the earliest document that describes a Christian Eucharistic celebration. Being written most probably in the spring of AD 55, it reports the liturgical order of the Eucharistic celebration that Paul the Apostle wanted to convey as a model for the community of believers in Corinth:
1 Cor 11:20-26:
When you meet together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me. In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood.Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
· It is evident from this introductory paragraph that “The Lord’s Supper”, as Paul calls it, was consummated in the Christian community of Corinth in the context of a social dinner, reminiscent of the Passover meal. However, Paul is dissatisfied and upset by the uncharitable behavior of the well-to-do Corinthians before the needy among them, thus indicating his directive to eliminate the social supper from their gathering.
· Paul certainly was not an eyewitness to the Lord’s Supper on the night Jesus was betrayed, but he nevertheless asserts that he delivers here the pattern that originates from the Lord himself. Since Paul is outlining the acts and words performed and uttered by the Lord, we should therefore understand that according to Paul’s reporting, the Eucharistic celebration must be performed in reiteration of the pattern that has been established by the Lord himself, being transmitted faithfully from the Apostles to the following generations.
This is the outlined structure:
1) The Lord took bread;
2) He pronounced a prayer of Thanksgiving (eucharistesas);
3) He broke the bread;
4) And said: "This is my body which is for you."
5) Then, the order of reiteration: "Do this in remembrance of me."
1) He also (took) the cup.
2) In like manner (i.e. He pronounced another prayer of Thanksgiving);
3) saying: this cup is the new covenant in my blood.
4) Then, the order: "As often as you drink it, do this in remembrance of me."
1) There is specifically a “thanksgiving” for the bread, and similarly another “thanksgiving” for the cup.
2) A supper takes place between the two rituals, i.e. between the ritual over the bread and the ritual over the cup.
3) An order is given to do the “remembrance” of the Lord, in regard to the bread and in regard to the cup.
A similar pattern is found in Luke 22:7-20
It begins with a general introduction on the Passover context of the celebration:
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it." They said to him, "Where will you have us prepare it?" He said to them, "Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house which he enters, and tell the householder, `The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the Passover with my disciples? ' And he will show you a large upper room furnished; there make ready." And they went, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." And he took a cup, and when he said, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
The Eucharist follows:
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks (eucharistesas), he broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." Andlikewise the cupafter supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood."
The ceremonial structure of the Eucharist in Luke 22: 7-20:
A preliminary cup of the fruit of the vine with a thanksgiving, then:
1) Over the Bread: Jesus took the bread. He uttered a thanksgiving. He broke the bread. He gave it, saying: this is my body. The order: Do this in remembrance.
Supper is consumed.
2) Over the Cup: He took the cup. He pronounced a thanksgiving. He gave it, saying: This cup is…for the new covenant in my blood.
Common features between Luke’s Ch. 22 and Paul’s 1 Cor:
1) The supper interrupts the two rituals over the bread and the cup.
2) A prayer of thanksgiving is uttered over each one of the elements.
3) The ritual as a whole is performed in remembrance of the Lord.
4) The Lord’s words “this is my body” & “this is my blood” are uttered concomitantly with the giving of the Body and Blood in Communion.
II- The Markan-Matthean Blessing-Thanksgiving Pattern
A variant pattern of the Lord's Supper is found in Mark and Matthew, reflecting a nuanced and standardized structure:
And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body."
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.
Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Common features regarding the texts of Matthew and Mark:
1) Those segments lacking a theological meaning are eliminated from the structure of Matthew and Mark:
a) the supper does not interrupt the two rituals; they follow each other in sequence while the supper is marginalized.
b) The additional cup of wine is not mentioned specifically.
2) The prayer uttered over the bread is specified as a “blessing” (eulogesas = "having blessed"); the one uttered over the cup is described as a “thanksgiving” (eucharistesas = "having given thanks").
3) The Lord’s words "This is my body/my blood" are both pronounced as concomitant to the act of giving the consecrated elements to the disciples for Communion, i.e. they are uttered after the Blessing over the bread and the Thanksgiving over wine as well as after the fraction.
We find the same pattern also in Luke 24:29-31 (at Emmaus):
So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread, and blessed (eulogesen), and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight.
Particularities of the supper in the Emmaus passage:
1) It is a summarized structured version of the ritual, expressed in terms that acquired specific meaning in the community.
2) Instead of the thanksgiving over the bread, as in the Pauline narrative, a “blessing” is uttered, similar to the pattern presented by Mark and Matthew.
3) The social supper is marginalized, not being mentioned at all.
General Liturgical Observations:
Though scholars may search for the genesis of the accounts reporting the Last Supper, reaching thus to identify their dating and relationships (see for ex. Rudolf Pesch), we may see them for our purpose not as divergent traditions, but as a common liturgical wealth and reference for all Eucharistic liturgies.
2) A process of liturgical disengagement is clearly detectable within the different scriptural accounts since the apostolic era, aiming at preserving the sacrificial and communal core of the ritual, as ordered by the Lord, and eliminating all the elements unrelated to the Eucharistic ceremony, i.e. those elements expressive of the old Passover or of a social banquet.
3) The sacrificial and communal core is: the Lord took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it, uttering the lordly words; he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it, saying the lordly words. We will be doing his memorial in reiterating this ritual, according to his command reported by Paul and Luke.
4) This process resulted in having both rituals – over the bread and over the cup – following each other in sequence in Mark and Matthew; nevertheless they still preserve, in all the scriptural accounts, their two prayers, one for each. Therefore, the scriptural narrative consistently maintained its accurate rendering of the historic fact of the Last Supper. Soon later, the Eucharistic formulas, as early as the Didache ch. 10 and St. Justin's 1st Apology ch. 65, would unite the two rituals into one, encompassing a Prayer of Blessing-Thanksgiving common for both.
5) Observing the difference in structure between the Anaphoras that were developed in the 4th and 5th centuries in Antioch and Mesopotamia, we may observe that:
a) One distinct liturgical pattern of this formulary - called consequently “Anaphora” or “Prayer of Offering” - was developed in Greek ambiance (in Antioch and the West) following primarily the Pauline narrative. Its major segments are: Thanksgiving prayer for the Creation and Redemption leading to the Last Supper, making the memorial of it jointly with the Offering of the bread and chalice (called Anamnesis), then the Epiclesis followed by the Intercessions for the whole Church. The Anaphora of the Apostolic Tradition (3rd century) and that of St. John Chrysostom may be presented as classic examples for this pattern. The standard Prelude of these and similar Anaphoras is: “Gratias agamus Domino.”
b) Another Anaphora pattern - called Quddasha, i.e. Prayer of Sanctification/Consecration - was formulated in Aramaic Mesopotamia, based primarily on the Markan/Matthean narrative of the Last Supper, encompassing a Blessing or glorification for the creation and Redemption, followed by a Thanksgiving for the benefits of redemption, then a Memorial with intercessions for the Church, ending with the Invocation of the Holy Spirit to sanctify the offerings and seal their consecration. The Prelude to this Quddasha is: “The Oblation is being offered to God…” A&M is the example par excellence of this pattern.
Pertinent Theological Observations:
1) The Lord’s Supper on the night he was betrayed was performed in the prospect of the Lamb of God to be offered in Golgotha and rise in eternal glory. The Supper at Emmaus, and all Eucharistic celebrations that follow in all churches, reiterate, in a sacramental way, and make present, that same living sacrifice after being historically fulfilled once for all.
2) While the Passover had two basic moments and sections, one in the Temple, where lambs were slaughtered and offered on the altar, the other in a family banquet where that same lamb was cooked and consumed, the Christian Qurbana, as well, has two moments: one in the new temple of Golgotha and the empty tomb, in which the body of the Son of God/Son of Man, is offered to the Father as the fundamental act of the new worship corresponding and elevating the offering of the lambs in the Temple, thus abrogating the sacrifice of animals, and elevating the meaning of human offering as well to the peak of spirituality; the other in the church where the Memorial of that sacrifice is celebrated and made present.
3) The first part of the Qurbana celebration reiterates the ritual of the Lord in the last Supper: he took bread and blessed, he took the cup and gave thanks--both done in anticipated offering of the body and blood sacrificed and risen to glorious life for our salvation. The second part of Christian Qurbana — Breaking and Communion —corresponds to the fraction by the Lord and the giving to the disciples in communion. The sanctification or consecration of the bread and wine upon our altars must be perfected before the liturgical act of breaking of the Host; otherwise the broken bread would not be the Body of the Lord. Indeed, all Christian liturgies consider the consecration fulfilled before the fraction of the Host. Therefore, it is sound to think that the liturgies imitate the example of the Lord in the Last Supper, so that when he broke the bread it was the sanctified body that he broke and distributed, and that his holy words “this is my body… this is my blood…” which accompanied communion expressed that divine reality and the substance of the sacrament.
Searching for the Original Stratum of A&M
Our goal in this section is to show that:
1) The original stratum of the Anaphora of Addai & Mari preserves the mark of the apostolic era, in conformity with the New Testament theological outline of the Last Supper, reflecting the same basic structure of Birkat Ha-Mazon in its paschal context, as well as of the Eucharist of Ch. 10 of the Didache, both belonging to the apostolic time.
2) The second stratum, developed before 325 AD, reflects the inclusion of the Old Testament Sanctus in addition to the Epiclesis.
3) The third stratum, belonging primarily to the year 410 AD, reflects a 4th-Century liturgical development, mainly connecting the anaphora to the foundational Last Supper.
The whole analysis intends to show that this unique remnant of the Apostolic Era belongs to a primordial time when the euchology of the Church had not yet inserted the Narrative of the Last Supper into the text of the Anaphora.
Point of Departure: Our point of departure in this research is a comparison of structure between the Mesopotamian A&M and the basically similar tenure of the Maronite anaphora of Peter III, of which we give here the texts, marking similarities with boldface and indicating later additions with italics.
The Anaphora of A&M
a) Worthy of glory from every mouth and thanksgiving from every tongue is the adorable and glorious Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, who created the world in his grace and its inhabitants in his compassion, has redeemed mankind in his mercy, and has effected great grace toward mortals.
Peter III or Sharrar
a) Glory to you,
the adorable and glorious Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, who created the worlds by his grace and its inhabitants by his mercy, and has effected redemption toward mortals by his grace.
b) Your majesty, O Lord, a thousand thousand heavenly beings worship and myriad myriads of angels, hosts of spiritual beings, ministers of fire and spirit with cherubim and holy seraphim, glorify your name, crying out and glorifying:
b) Your majesty, O Lord, a thousand thousand heavenly angels worship and myriad myriads hosts, ministers of fire and spirit, glorify in fear. With the cherubim and seraphim, who from one to another bless and sanctify and cry out and say:
c) Holy, Holy, Holy, God almighty. Heaven and earth are full of His glories.
So that may we also, O Lord, through your grace and your compassion be made worthy to say with them three times: c) Holy, Holy, Holy...
cc) Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who has come and will come in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
cc) Hosanna to the Son of David...
And with these heavenly powers
d) We give thanks to you, O Lord, even we your lowly, weak and wretched servants, because you have effected in us a great grace which cannot be repaid, in that you put on our humanity so as to quicken us by your divinity. And lifted up our poor estate and righted our fall. You raised up our mortality and you forgave our debts. You justified our sinfulness and enlightened our understanding, and you, our Lord and God, vanquished our enemies and made triumphant the lowliness of our weak nature through the abounding compassion of your grace.
d) We give thanks to you, O Lord, we your sinful servants because you have effected in us your grace which cannot be repaid. You put on our humanity so as to quicken us by your divinity. You lifted up our poverty and righted our dejection and quickened our mortality, and you justified our sinfulness and you forgave our debts. And you enlightened our understanding and vanquished our enemies and made triumphant our lowliness.
e) And For all your help and graces toward us, we raise to you glory, honor, thanksgiving and adoration, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
e) And For all your graces toward us, let us offer to you glory and honor in your holy Church before your propitiatory altar, now....
f) You, Lord, through your unspeakable mercies make a gracious remembrance of all the upright and just fathers who have pleased you,
f) You, O Lord, in your many mercies make a gracious remembrance for all the upright and just fathers,
g) in the commemoration of the body and blood of your Christ, which we offer to you upon the pure and holy altar as you have taught us:
g) in the commemoration of your body and your blood which we offer to you upon your living and holy altar, as you, our hope, have taught us in your holy and living gospel and have said: I am the bread of life which came down from heaven so that mortals may have life in me. We make, O Lord, the memorial of your passion as you have taught us: in that night when you were delivered up to the crucifiers, you took bread... <the Narrative>
h) And grant us your tranquility and your peace all the days of the world, that all the inhabitants of the earth may know you, that you alone are the true God and Father, and that you have sent our Lord Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, and he, our Lord and our God, taught us through his life-giving gospel all the purity and holiness.
h) We remember you, only-begotten of the Father... make us ... that we may stand before you in purity and serve you in holiness... Yes, we beg you, only-begotten of the Father; through him peace has been proclaimed to us, Child of the Most High by whom the things above were reconciled with the things below, the good shepherd...
i) of the prophets, apostles, martyrs and confessors, bishops and priests and deacons, and of all the children of the holy catholic Church, who have been marked with the mark of holy baptism.
i) We offer before you, O Lord, this oblation in memory of all the upright and just fathers, prophets and apostles, martyrs and confessors,[and of all our patriarchs, the Pope...] bishops and chorepiscopoi and perio-deutai, priests and deacons and deaconesses, young men celibates and virgins, and all the children of the holy Church who are marked with the mark of saving baptism, and whom you have made participate in your holy body.
j) And we also, 0 Lord, your lowly, weak, and wretched servants who are gathered together and stand before you at this time, have received by tradition the example (Tupsa) which is from you, while rejoicing, glorifying and magnifying, commemorating and praising and performing this great and dreadful mystery of the passion and death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ,
j) intercessions in Antiochian manner>
k) may he come, O Lord, your Holy Spirit and rest upon this oblation of your servants and bless it and sanctify it, that it may be to us O Lord for the pardon of debts, the forgiveness of sins, and a great hope of resurrection from the dead and a new life in the kingdom of heaven with all who have been pleasing before you.
k) And may he come, O Lord, your living and Holy Spirit and dwell and rest upon this oblation of your servants, And may it be for those who partake for the pardon of debts and the forgiveness of sins and for a blessed resurrection from the dead and a new life in the kingdom of heaven, forever.
l) And for all your wonderful economy for us, we give you thanks and glorify you unceasingly in your Church, redeemed by the precious blood of your Christ, with open mouths and uncovered faces, as we offer up praise, honor, thanksgiving and adoration, to your living, holy, and life giving name, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
l) And for your glorious economy toward us we give you thanks, we your sinful servants redeemed by your innocent blood, with open mouth which give thanks in your holy Church before your propitiatory altar, now...
A) Basic Question:
The first question that we pose is: which of the two texts is the original, or if neither is, what and where is the common original core of both? In order to answer the posed question, we first note I. Rahmani — an observation which is still valid at the present time — that no trace can be found of a putative original Urtext for A&M significantly different from the text in our possession. Then we realize with B. Spinks that: “Every paragraph in the Mar Esha'ya text [of A&M] has a parallel with the Maronite anaphora with the sole exception of the Anamnesis [paragraph j]. If... the text of Sharrar must be taken seriously, then why is the Anamnesis missing? Its absence suggests the possibility that the Anamnesis is a later East Syrian addition to the original form of the anaphora.”
We will deal with paragraph J, or what Spinks calls the Anamnesis, later, indicating as well its parallel, or rather substitute, in Peter III (paragraph g). The fact remains that this so-called Anamnesis aside, every paragraph in A&M has a parallel in Peter III, but not vice-versa, i.e. not every paragraph in Peter III has a parallel in A&M. That should mean that the "Maronite" reviser had the text of A&M, basically as we find it in Mar 'Eshaya's Hudhra, in front of him, to be able to produce a parallel to every paragraph in it while redacting Peter III.
This very fact eliminates the need for a phantom common core for both. A&M is the Ur-text of Peter III. This conclusion does not eliminate the possibility of a later Mesopotamian retouching of the A&M prior version, i.e. the version used by the reviser who produced Peter III. In fact, we will identify one instance, at the beginning of Section I (paragraph a) where we think that the actual parallel text of Peter III preserves better the original text of A&M.
B) General Observation in regard to the Reconstruction Attempts:
While we must be appreciative of the respected scholars for the wealth of information and insights they have provided us in their analysis of our anaphora, we must recognize that those who attempted to reconstruct a phantom original text of A&M presume that either: a) our anaphora has been produced as one piece, composed in its entirety at one time (cf. Sanchez Caro and A. Gelston; Macomber is inconsistent, since he believes it was produced at once but allows an exception in regard to the Epiclesis), or b) it is a collection of pre-formulated hymns to Christ (J. Magne). Their approach led them to produce different hypothetical models, reflecting a great body of knowledge, but yielding objectively inconclusive results.
Concerning the first group of authors (Sanchez Caro, A. Gelston and W. Macomber), a differentiation should be made. Taking the conclusion of Botte that paragraph (j) is an anamnesis of sorts induced some scholars like Macomber to consider the possibility of a missing Institution Narrative in A&M, and therefore to consider Peter III as being, in that regard, of equal historic value or even as preserving better the original version. Thus, we can find several reconstructed models, like the one formulated by Sanchez Caro, which include in their structure the narrative of the Last Supper.
This kind of approach does not pay sufficient attention to the fact that the anaphora of A&M is a formulary that accompanied the development and growth of the Church of Mesopotamia. That Church, though it maintained a mutually recognized communion with the "Western Fathers" — clearly until the Synod of Mar Dadysho' (A.D. 424) — remained somehow distant from them because of its existence in a different empire and culture. To the best of our knowledge, A&M was the only anaphora in general and continuous use by that Church of the East from time immemorial until the time of Mar Isaac the Catholicos and his synod of A.D. 410.
While all other Churches in East and West composed through the third, fourth, and fifth centuries, new Anaphoras reflecting contemporary developments in theology and liturgy, the Church of the East had only one original and commonly used anaphora to follow those developments: the anaphora of A&M. That is why I suggest that scholarly research on this topic should aim not at the reconstruction of a phantom original text of this Anaphora, different from the one we possess, but at the discovery of different strata of liturgical development within the very text itself.
I- Searching for the First Stratum and, within it, the Apostolic Core:
A) The Birkat Ha-Mazon and the Eucharistic Prayer
In 1968, my professor of blessed memory L. Ligier advised scholars in search of the origin of the Eucharistic Prayer:
To clear the passage from the Supper to the Eucharistic prayer of the Canon, one must certainly begin from the Birkat Ha-Mazon, and solely from it. But on two conditions: most of all we must consider this prayer in its entirety, then, we have to consider the Birkat Ha-Mazon in its paschal context.
Furthermore, the connection between the Birkat Ha-Mazon and the earliest surviving formula of Eucharistic prayer, chapter 10 of the Didache, is generally acknowledged by scholars. I concur with E. Mazza in his conclusion that: "Following the studies of L. Finkelstein, of M. Dibelius, and of K. Hruby, the connection between the Birkat Ha-Mazon and the Didache 10 no longer requires demonstration."
But before dealing with the relationship between the Birkat Ha-Mazon and the Anaphora of A&M, I must make a few remarks about how the Jewish teachers, and later the Christian redactors, dealt with the Birkat Ha-Mazon regarding its structure, content, and style. According to the Babylonian Talmud:
Our Teachers taught: the order of the blessing of food is the following: the first blessing is the one that is for "the One who nourishes", the second one the blessing for the land, the third is "for the One who will build Jerusalem"... "Our Teachers taught: From where it results that the blessing for the food is contained in the Law? From where it says: "When you have eaten your fill, you shall bless." (Deut. 8, 10).
The connection between the three concepts contained in the three blessings is evident. In fact, after a meal, it is fitting to give thanks to the Creator and Provider of nourishment. That is the first blessing. Then, connecting the food to its origin, i.e. to the fertile land that produces it, is nothing else than expanding the awareness of the divine favor, and, in continuity with the first concept, requiring the corresponding duty of gratitude. Moreover, giving thanks for the land brings with it all the memories of the circumstances that surrounded conquering it: first the exodus from slavery in Egypt to freedom, and from Moses to the Law. Land and Redemption in this case are interwoven concepts. That is the second blessing. Then, because of the close connection between the themes of these two blessings, which we see in the very style of their redaction, we may consider them as a single block of glorification-thanksgiving.
The third blessing or supplication connects the past to the present and future. It moves from the whole world to a particular land, then to a particular nation, praying for the preservation of that nation and the unity of its people, as well as for the protection of its pivotal institutions.
The earliest surviving formulas of the Christian Eucharist, Didache 10, the Mystical Eucharist of the Apostolic Constitutions VII.25, and the Anaphora of A&M, all follow the Birkat Ha-Mazon in structuring their text in three sections. For the Church of the East, the Catholicos Isho'yahb I (ca. 587), in his response to the bishop of Darai, describes a common feature of the Mesopotamian anaphora:
(The priest) at the end of each of the consecutive sections (Yubal Pasoqe), duly glorifying with his tongue, draws with his hand over the divine Mysteries — according to the norm — the sign of the lordly cross. When he finishes the three sections (Tlatheyhon Pasoqe), he draws near to sign.
But we should emphasize that in none of these formulas is thanksgiving for the food the content of the first section. Instead, thanksgiving for creation and redemption is the topic of the first section in all of them. It is worthwhile to note how the passage from the theme of nourishment to the theme of creation is formulated in the second paragraph of Didache 10: "You, Lord Almighty, have created everything by Your Name, both food and beverage..." This is quite similar to the opening sentence of the first section in A&M: "Glory to you, the adorable Name...who created the world by his grace..."
It seems to me that Christians celebrating the Lord's Supper could not begin their Eucharist with a thanksgiving for the food, because: a) the community dinner preceding the Eucharist had been quickly eliminated in the early years; b) the spiritual bread and wine they were sharing were not part of the plan of creation but a climax of the redemptive economy.
B) The Connection between A&M and Birkat Ha-Mazon:
The connection between the Birkat Ha-Mazon and the Anaphora of the Apostles Addai and Mari has been recognized since it was brought to light remarkably by L. Bouyer, but no further follow-up research has been made to show the successive strata in its development to the actual state.
In our attempt to establish the points of contact with the Birkat-Ha-Mazon, our first step is to extract from the actual text of our anaphora three segments that in my opinion, agreeing with many scholars, were not contained in the initial early stratum of the text, i.e.: the Sanctus, the Epiclesis, and the expanded references to the Last Supper. I fully concur with R. Taft that: "... there is more or less consensus that the most primitive original Eucharistic prayers were short, self-contained benedictions, without Sanctus, institution narrative, or epiclesis, comparable to the Jewish Birkat ha-mazon, Didache 10, and the papyrus Strasburg 254..."
If A&M belongs to the same era and its patterns, by excising the three segments we should be able to extract a remnant formula parallel to Birkat Ha-Mazon in its structure and basic themes, and similar to Didache 10 and to the Mystic Eucharist of the Apostolic Constitutions VII.25. The three segments extracted comprise:
a) The Sanctus, its introduction, and the adjustments made for its insertion in the anaphora in the first section,
b) The paragraph containing the Epiclesis in the third section, and
c) The expansion of the references to the Last Supper in the third section, explicitly connecting the act of the Church to that Supper.
Here are the texts for comparison:
1) Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe, for you nourish us and the whole world with goodness, grace, kindness, and mercy
The Anaphora A&M
1) Glory to you the adorable and glorious Name (of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit) who created the world in his grace and its inhabitants in his compassion, has redeemed men in his mercy and has effected great grace toward mortals.
2) We give you thanks, Lord our God, for you have given us for our inheritance a desirable land, good and wide, the covenant and the law, life and food
For all these things we give you thanks and bless your name for ever and beyond.
2) We give you thanks, Lord, we your lowly, weak, and wretched servants, because you have brought about in us a great grace which cannot be repaid. For you put on our humanity to give us life through your divinity, you exalted our lowly state, you raised our fall, you restored our immortality, you forgave our debts, you justified our sinfulness, you enlightened our intelligence. You, our Lord and God, conquered our enemies, and made triumphant our weak nature through the abundant mercy of your grace. And for all your help and graces toward us, we raise to you praise, honor, thanksgiving and adoration, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
3) Have mercy, Lord our God, on us your people Israel, and your city Jerusalem, on your sanctuary and your dwelling place on Zion the habitation of your glory, and the great and holy house over which your name is invoked. Restore the kingdom of the house of David to its place in our days, and speedily build Jerusalem.
Blessed are you Lord for you build Jerusalem. Amen.
3) Lord, through your many mercies which cannot be told, do make, in the commemoration of your Christ, a gracious remembrance for all the pious and righteous fathers who were pleasing in your sight, the prophets, the apostles, the martyrs and confessors, the bishops, the priests and deacons, and all the sons who have been sealed with the living seal of holy baptism. And for all your wonderful plan for us, we give you thanks and glorify you unceasingly in your Church, redeemed by the precious blood of your Christ, with open mouths and uncovered faces, as we offer up praise, honor, thanksgiving and adoration, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Section I: As Christians, the Mesopotamian faithful, as we clarified above, had to begin their Eucharist with the themes of creation and redemption, which became the topic of the first section.
Section II: This section maintained, as in the Birkat Ha-Mazon, its focus on the redemptive economy, but with clear Christological content.
Section III: Following the structural pattern of the Birkat Ha-Mazon, the third section is formulated in the manner of a supplication, but its real content is a commemoration. A&M produces here a very fitting, particular, even unique way to make the memorial of the Lord, weaving it into the section of "commemorations" in the structure of the Anaphora, instead of placing it in the section of Theological Celebration, thus establishing a new pattern of commemoration of the Lord according to the following structure: Lord God, as we do the memorial of your Christ, remember us, your Church. The Lord Christ, in fact, requested his disciples toward the end of his blessing to: "Do this in memory of me."
Furthermore, the points of contact between A&M and the Birkat go even beyond the structure and text of the three sections, to the post-supper Finale of the Easter meal, when before singing the Hallel (Ps 113) some other Psalm verses were recited to accompany what was called the Cup of Elijah.
Here are the texts for comparison:
Easter Meal, The Last Chalice, of Elijah (Psalm 79, 6-7; 69, 25; Lam 3, 66): Pour out your wrath on nations that reject you, on kingdoms that do not call your name. For they have devoured Jacob, laid waste his home. Pour out your wrath upon them, let the fury of your anger overtake them, Pursue them in wrath and destroy them from under your heavens.
The Anaphora A&M: And grant us your tranquility and your peace all the days of the world, that all the inhabitants of the earth may know you, that you alone are the true God and Father, and that you have sent our Lord Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, and he. our Lord and our God, taught us through his life-giving gospel all the purity and holiness.
A careful reading of both columns in the above tables should suffice to show that both the basic structure and the Finale of the Judaic Passover have a parallel in the Mesopotamian anaphora, a parallel which at the same time surpasses its original with great Christian spirituality. Indeed, instead of invoking the wrath of God on the gentiles who did not recognize him and have battled his people, A&M invokes peace for the Church in her earthly journey, and the conversion of all men to God and his Christ.
Comparison with the Didache:
Based on the comparison and analysis presented, I think it is valid to conclude the original euchological structure of A&M follows basically the pattern of the Birkat Ha-Mazon in its Passover environment. This basic original structure of A&M could be considered as a first stratum in the Formgeschichte of its final text in the manuscripts, close in style, content, and therefore in date of composition, to the Eucharist of the Didache 10, with one advantage for A&M: the paragraph invoking peace for the Church and conversion for the world brings the Mesopotamian Eucharist closer to the Jewish Passover meal, and consequently closer to the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples. For easier verification, compare the following columns:
Didache: Almighty Lord, you created all things for your Name's sake...
A&M: Glory to you, the adorable Name (of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit) who created the world in his grace and its inhabitants in his com-passion, has redeemed mankind in his mercy, and has effected great grace toward mortals.
We thank you, holy Father, for your holy name which you have made to dwell in our hearts...
We give thanks to you, Lord...
Lord, remember your Church...
Make, Lord, a gracious remembrance for all the fathers...
While recognizing the different development of the original content of the Birkat Ha-Mazon in each of the two formularies presented, we can verify, at the same time, a sufficient similarity of structure and initial content between them, allowing us to conclude that A&M in its first and earliest stratum still preserves the basic pattern of Eucharistic prayer similar to that of the Didache, and consequently close to its apostolic era. But, while the early known formulas of Eucharistic prayer, the Didache, the paleo-anaphora of the Apostolic Constitutions VII.25 and the anaphora of the Apostolic Tradition 4.20 are but historic literary monuments of Christian euchology, A&M continued to be the vital liturgical expression of a living Church, a Church that continued to add to its ancient and venerated anaphora successive strata, in order to update it with the theological and liturgical developments of the Church universal.
After having excised from the total text of A&M those segments that we have shown did not belong to its initial formulation, it would be useful, for the purpose of clarity, to put together the original segments in one formula that constitutes the resulting text of first stratum:
Section I: a) Glory to you the adorable and glorious Name (of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit), who created the world in his grace and its inhabitants in his compassion, has redeemed mankind in his mercy and has effected great grace toward mortals.
Section II: d) We give thanks to you, O Lord, we your lowly, weak and wretched servants, because you have effected in us a great grace which cannot be repaid, in that you put on our humanity so as quicken us by your divinity. And lifted up our poor estate and righted our fall. You raised up our mortality and you forgave our debts. You justified our sinfulness and enlightened our understanding, and you, our Lord and God, vanquished our enemies and made triumphant the lowliness of our weak nature through the abounding compassion of your grace.
e) And For all your help and graces toward us, we raise to you glory, honor, thanksgiving and adoration, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Section III: f) Lord, through your unspeakable mercies do make, in the commemoration of your Christ, a gracious remembrance of all the upright and just fathers who have pleased you, the prophets, apostles, martyrs and confessors, bishops and priests and deacons, and of all the children of the holy catholic Church, who have been marked with the mark of holy baptism.
h) And grant us your tranquility and your peace all the days of the world, that all the inhabitants of the earth may know you, that you alone are the true God and Father, and that you have sent our Lord Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, and he, our Lord and our God, taught us through his life-giving gospel all the purity and holiness.
I) And for all your wonderful economy for us, we give you thanks and glorify you unceasingly in your Church, redeemed by the precious blood of your Christ, with open mouths and uncovered faces, as we offer up praise, honor, thanksgiving and adoration to your holy and life-giving name, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
The Addressee of the Anaphora
One of the major intrigues scholars have faced in understanding and explaining the known text of A&M was the unstable and incoherent addressee of the anaphora, both in its entirety as well as in its individual sections, especially the third. But, as we can see, the text is quite coherent and continuous when restored to its initial stratum. The address in this first stratum does not present a difficulty but a particularity: the first section is addressed to the divine Name, which was later expanded to mean the Trinity, the second section is addressed to Christ, the third section returns in its address back to the Father. It is unusual, but it is clear.
The passage from God the Father, Lord of the Universe, to Christ the Savior, is a Mesopotamian euchological pattern eloquently reflected in the most archaic hymn of the Mesopotamian liturgy, to be found at the present time at the beginning of every liturgical service: Lakhu Mara d-kulla Mawdenan, w-lakh Ysho' Mshyha mshabhynan... (To you Lord of all, we give thanks. To you Jesus Christ, we give glory, because you are the one who will raise our bodies and Savior our souls).
Without changing anything in the text of the Anaphora A&M, and without adding anything to it, but only:
a) By using the methodology of comparison with Peter III.
b) By putting aside what is known to be later successive developments in the structure of the Anaphoras in all Churches, the resulting text is a wonderful piece of euchology, a Eucharist structured after the Birkat Ha-Mazon in its Passover context, and close to the Eucharist of Didache 10; a Eucharist that is connected structurally to the Markan/Matthean pattern, composed of distinct blessing and thanksgiving segments. Now we must bring back the three excisions, explain the circumstances of their introduction into the anaphora and the impact they had on its texture.
II- Searching for the Second Stratum
The First Section’s addition and modification:
A) The Addition of the lsaian Qaddysh
Recent scholars, beginning with A. Baumstark, have concluded that the Jewish use of the Isaiah 6:3 Qedusha in Yoser and in the 3rd Tefilla of the Eighteen Benedictions of the Jewish morning prayer, effected its introduction into the Christian Eucharist, first among the Churches close to the Jewish congregations, then expanding to the rest of Christianity. As far as the time of the introduction of Qaddysh into the general structure of the Anaphoras, we notice first that it is not found in any known text of the Eucharistic prayer up to the Apostolic Tradition anaphora (3/4th C.). That could be considered a terminus a quo. And since it is found in the anaphora of the Apostolic Constitutions,VIII, 12:27 (ca. 380) in a version that reproduces the Tefilla Qyddusha, we can consider that date as a terminus ad quem for its introduction in the Syrian region.
The Mesopotamian Church, one of the Christian communities closest to Jewish congregations, would have easily found it fitting to insert this heavenly hymn into its Eucharist, especially given the fact that it belonged to the Morning Prayer. Its transfer from morning prayer to morning Eucharist should have been a smooth passage at the place dedicated to the glorification of God in the Anaphora. An introduction was composed for its insertion ("Your Majesty...") in the same literary style, following the same initial address in second person ("Glory to You, the Name...") without modifying at all the original primitive text.
As to the date when the Qaddysh was introduced into the Mesopotamian anaphora, it should precede the year 325, when in the West Christianity and Empire became partners, putting Christians of the Persian Empire in the opposing side; soon after, the year 339 marked the beginning of forty years of brutal persecution that caused the severing of ecclesial relations between the Persian East and the Roman West and forced the hierarchy of the Mesopotamian Church to withdraw into itself in order to try to preserve the Status quo.
B) The modification of the Opening Sentence
The modification of the opening sentence from "Glory to you, the Name..." to "Worthy of glory from every mouth, and of thanksgiving from every tongue, the Name...", implying angels and men, evidently should have a reason. It could not have been motivated by addition of the Qaddysh of the Old Testament to the first stratum of the anaphora, since this hymn, according to its origination in Isaiah 6:3, and as formulated in its introduction, is to be chanted by the heavenly beings.
The modification was in fact motivated by the later addition of the Hosanna and Benedictus taken from the Gospel (adopting Ps. 118, 25-26 and Ez. 3, 12), imitating the liturgy of St. James in Jerusalem, a hymn which requires by its meaning to be sung by a journeying Church. This new addition required a new adjustment of the first section that would put the enriched and expanded Qaddysh into a new proper context.
That the Isaian Qaddysh was already part of A&M when it passed to the Fathers of the Maronite Church is indicated by the fact that Peter III has it with its introduction, basically as it is in A&M. That the Hosanna-Benedictus pericope is a later new addition is indicated by the fact that each of the two Anaphoras patches a new context for it in different, awkward, and clearly artificial ways:
a) Peter III interrupts the Isaian text by adding a phrase ("so that [sic] we may become worthy to say with them...") at the end of the introductory sentence of the Isaian text ("crying out and saying:") which had originally formed a cohesive pericope with the rest of the angelic hymn, a cohesiveness that was disrupted by the new patching phrase.
b) A&M frames it with two sentences, one at the very beginning of the section (“Worthy of glory from every mouth and of thanksgiving from every tongue, the adorable...”), and the other at the end of the hymn at the place that marks the beginning of the second anaphoral section ("With these heavenly hosts, even we, give you thanks").
This is a clear indication of the patching effort. This analysis that sees two strata in the text of Qaddysh in both anaphoras of A&M and Peter III could be confirmed first by the tenure of the anaphora in the Apostolic Constitutions VIII, which does have the Trisagion of the Old Testament but without the Hosanna-Benedictus of the NT: “Holy, Holy, Holy, God Almighty, heaven and earth are full of his glory; you are blessed forever. Amen.” This is also affirmed by Narsai (+502) in his Exposition of the Mysteries when he describes, in his Memra 17, this section of the celebration, paraphrasing it as follows:
The priest continues (saying): "All (heavenly beings) cry out together and say the one to another," the people then respond: Holy the God that dwells in light. Holy, Holy, Holy the Lord, cry out the people, Heaven and the whole earth are full of his glories... The whole Church shouts with those (words), then they revert to silence, while the priest continues conversing with God.
Similarly, in his Memra 21 on the Mysteries of the Church, Narsai paraphrases the acts of the liturgy with no word at all about either Hosanna or Benedictus:
(The Priest) resembles the spiritual beings by his words when he intercedes and when in holy manner teaches the people to say: Holy. He recites to men the voice of heavenly beings, so that they shout: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord... As he makes (the people) hear it, he is passionate like Isaiah, remembering how much the lowliness of man has been exalted...
Origin of the Addition Hosanna-Benedictus:
If the Hosanna-Benedictus pericope is a later addition to the Isaian Qaddysh, when and why would it have been introduced in to A&M? It should be after the time of Narsai (+ 502), certainly. It was Mar Abba, who was sent in 530 by the hierarchy of his Church of the East to update his Church's liturgy in harmony with the liturgical developments in "western" Christianity, who visited the Byzantine capitals and edited two additional Anaphoras, the one in honor of Theodore the Interpreter, the other in honor of the Patriarch Nestorius. Both have the Sanctus with the addition of Hosanna-Benedictus, in the manner of the Liturgy of St. James. Expectedly, the Qaddysh of the liturgy of A&M was aligned with them and provided a patchwork textual frame, possibly by Mar Abba himself. Indeed, an introductory sentence very similar to "With these heavenly hosts" is readily found, at the same location, in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
The failure a) to draw the right conclusion from the comparison between A&M and Peter III, in regard to the Incipit of our Anaphora, and also b) not to take into sufficient consideration the distinction between the two segments of the Sanctus (1: Qaddysh, 2: Hosanna-Benedictus), and the different moments of their insertion into this anaphora, has misled some scholars like Gelston — building here on Macomber's analysis — to a different conclusion:
The most significant point indeed to emerge from a comparison of Section C (Qaddysh... Hosanna... Benedictus...) with its counterpart in Sharrar is the fact that both Anaphoras contain the Sanctus, which creates a presumption in favor of its having belonged to the original common core.
As we have seen: a) The Common Core theory lacks any concrete basis. b) The Isaian Sanctus should have belonged to A&M at the moment of its passage to the Maronite tradition, which did not require any modification of the Incipit of the Anaphora: "Glory to You" as preserved in Sharrar. At the moment of that passage (A.D. 410, as we shall see), the addition (Hosanna-Benedictus) of the New Testament had not yet made its way into the general structure of the Anaphoras, as indicated by the anaphora of the Apostolic Constitutions VIII, 12: 27 (A.D. 380) and by Narsai. c) After the passage of A&M to the Maronite tradition, the insertion of the Hosanna-Benedictus pericope, independently implemented by both Mesopotamian and Maronite Churches, prompted each of them, on its own, to make the needed adjustment to the original text. That is the reason behind the different patching in the two Anaphoras.
The Second Section's Addition and Modification:
This second anaphoral section has remained basically unchanged since its early formulation, except for the Incipit, the cause and circumstance of which we have just shown.
The Third Section’s Additions and Modifications, the Epiclesis:
The Epiclesis of A&M is clearly according to the “Marana-tha” (“Come O Lord”) form of 1 Cor 16:22, as well as in the Didache 10 in connection with the Eucharist. In fact, as the “coming” of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin effected the conception of the Savior, similarly here the Spirit is invoked to “come” do what Christ did at the Last Supper when he “blessed” the bread and wine so that they became for us the Food for new life in the kingdom of heaven. It is also to be noticed that the text of Peter III, especially if we consider the variants in the manuscripts, remains very close to that of Addai and Mari.
The introduction of the Isaian Qaddysh into the anaphora of A&M, then the addition of the developed Epiclesis text, may have happened at two different moments of history, but in the context of our present research we can consider them here as belonging to the second stratum (before A.D. 325) in the development of our anaphora.
Putting the validity of our considerations again to the test, let us see if the resulting text of our Second Stratum presents a coherent texture. Here is The resulting Text of Second Stratum:
Section I: a) Glory to you, the adorable Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, who created the world in his grace and its inhabitants in his compassion, has redeemed mankind in his mercy and has effected great grace toward mortals.
b) Your majesty, O Lord, a thousand thousands of heavenly beings worship, and myriad myriads of angels, hosts of spiritual beings, ministers of fire and spirit, with cherubim and holy seraphim, glorify your name, crying out and glorifying:
c) Holy, Holy, Holy, God almighty. Heaven and earth are full of his glories.
Section II: d) We give thanks to you, O Lord, we your lowly, weak and wretched servants, because you have effected in us a great grace which cannot be repaid, in that you put on our humanity so as to quicken us by your divinity, you lifted up our poor estate, you righted our fall, and you raised up our mortality. And you forgave our debts. You justified our sinfulness and you enlightened our understanding and you, our Lord and God have vanquished our enemies and made triumphant the lowliness of our weak nature, through the abounding compassion of your grace. e) And for all your benefits and graces toward us we offer you glory and honor and thanksgiving and adoration now and all times for ever and ever. Amen.
Section III: f) You, Lord, through your unspeakable mercies make, in the commemoration of your Christ, a gracious remembrance of all the upright and just fathers who have pleased you, the prophets, apostles, martyrs and confessors, bishops and priests and deacons, and of all the children of the holy catholic Church, who have been marked with the mark of holy baptism.
h) And grant us your serenity and your peace all the days of the world, that all the inhabitants of the earth may know you, that you alone are the true God and Father, and that you have sent our Lord Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, and he, our Lord and our God, taught us through his life-giving gospel all purity and holiness.
k) And May he come, O Lord, your Holy Spirit and rest upon this oblation of your servants and bless it and hallow it, that it may be to us O Lord for the pardon of debts, the forgiveness of sins, and a great hope of resurrection from the dead and a new life in the kingdom of heaven with all who have been pleasing before you.
I) And for all your wonderful economy for us, we give you thanks and glorify you unceasingly in your church, redeemed by the precious blood of your Christ, with open mouths and uncovered faces, as we offer up praise, honor, thanksgiving and adoration, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
The text presented here as the second stratum is a marvelous euchology. It has maintained its apostolic originality and adapted itself wonderfully to the development of theology. That was, in my estimation, the liturgy that sustained a heroic Church in her faithfulness to Christ during the pains of the 4th Century in the Persian Empire.
III- Searching for the Third Stratum
What I call the third stratum is the accepted and well-known text of A&M that we can find in all the ancient manuscript rituals, a text W. Macomber edited critically in 1964. This is the end result of the textual development of the principal Mesopotamian Eucharistic prayer, a development that was mostly well done, though partially not so, as we will see. But we have to distinguish two moments in the development of this stratum: the first is concerned with the formulation of an explicit connection between the Eucharistic act of the Church and the Last Supper of the Lord; the second is related to the addition of the Hosanna-Benedictus segment to the Sanctus in the first section of the Anaphora, and the textual adjustment that it required. We have already reviewed the latter. Now we will focus on the first.
A) The Connection with the Last Supper
The third section of A&M in its third stratum version is a most complicated one. It has confused and puzzled scholars and rendered futile many attempts to resolve it. The major points that have confused the whole section are two. Both points have one concern: a) to confirm and expand the connection between the actual act of the Church and the Last Supper, i.e. to show that the Church is doing as Christ ordered her to do, and b) not only "to commemorate" a historic Christ, but also to offer hic et nunc his sacrifice as he ordered her to do. Here is how this concept was inserted into the anaphora:
1) At the beginning of this third section (paragraph f), taking advantage of the sentence that, in the memorial of Christ, commemorates the Church and intercedes for it, the reviser found a fitting opportunity to expand the commemoration in order to include "the body and blood of your Christ which we offer to you upon your pure and holy altar as you have taught us" (paragraph g).
The patching character of this insertion reveals itself to the analytical eye because, by following the biblical or liturgical style, we would commemorate, in the Eucharistic body and blood, Christ himself, articulating the events of his saving passion, death, and resurrection ("Do this in memory of me"), rather than "commemorate the body and blood of your Christ", furthermore:
2) The new insertion interrupts the flow of the commemoration of the series of ecclesiastic ranks at its beginning. Therefore, we can observe that the reviser, unwilling to waste or destroy any part of the original commemorative series, tries to patch the sliced segment and relocates it at the end of the following paragraph, where an opportunity for composition presented itself, i.e. after "taught us in his holy gospel all purity and holiness," thus completing by this recuperation the original diptychs. But by doing so he confuses the limpid meaning and accuracy of the latter sentence.
3) By composing a new paragraph (paragraph "j" in the table), which dedicates itself to expressing the linkage between the act of the Church and the institution by Christ, styling it as an introduction to the Epiclesis. That is the reason for the absence in this paragraph of any verb in the present tense. In fact, this paragraph is conceived in connection with the subsequent Epiclesis, in the following manner: "As we commemorate our salvation, according to the 'typical manner' received from Him, let your Holy Spirit come...", eliminating the letter "Waw" from "let come" to form a continuous discourse.
B) Hasty Composition and Patchwork
While these additions established the connection with the Last Supper and explicitly expressed the offering act of the Church, the patching procedure and the newly composed text of this particular Connecting-Offering, a sort of anamnesis, created serious problems in regard to both the diptychs segment as well as to the quasi-anamnesis.
1) In regard to the diptychs:
The diptychs were cut from the Memorial segment of this section then patched into the following Supplication for Peace, distorting both paragraphs, the one from which they were excised and the one into which they were interpolated. Furthermore, the address of this section lost its original direction and became confused, changing the addressee from the Father ("of your Christ") to the Son ("As you have taught us"), then back to the Father ("You have sent our Lord Jesus Christ, your beloved Son").
Based on these considerations, we may feel ready to attempt the restoration of the original tenure of the diptychs. Thus, by putting the original text back together, we can see clearly a fluent formulation of content:
Lord, in your manifold and ineffable mercies, make, in the commemoration of Your Christ, a gracious remembrance for all the upright and just fathers who did please you, the prophets and apostles, the martyrs and confessors, the bishops, the priests, and the deacons, and of all the children of the holy catholic Church who have been signed with the sign of holy baptism.
2) In regard to the quasi-anamnesis:
Understandably, the short addition inserted into the diptychs could not deal adequately with the concern of the reviser. Therefore a new paragraph ("j") was composed, dedicated solely to connecting the act of the Church to the prototype that originated from the Lord. Here again, the weaknesses are evident and serious:
a) The so called quasi-anamnesis, styled as a linkage with the Last Supper (not with the its scriptural Narrative) from one side and with the following Epiclesis from the other, though containing wonderful and genuine organic growth elements, is not well-constructed as it stands. Indeed, after stating to have received "by tradition the example (tupsa) which is from you," it continues with a flow of verbs without a clear order: "while rejoicing, glorifying and magnifying, commemorating and praising and performing....of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ", lacking conceptual cohesiveness and literary consistency.
b) Furthermore, all the above-mentioned verbs are in the adverbial tense. It appears that the intent of the reviser was to connect the quasi-anamnesis with the following Epiclesis, which has the verb "and let come" in the present tense. That intent of the Reviser required, grammatically, the elimination of the letter "waw" (and) from the incipit of the Epiclesis, making it "let come," and becoming thus the principal verb of the sentence. In fact, the Mar Isha'ya text, edited by Macomber, has it without the "waw."
c) But the most serious problem created by the addition of this paragraph is the confusion it produces concerning the one to whom this paragraph itself as well as the whole of this section is addressed. From its incipit the paragraph changes the original addressee from the Father to the Son ("... we... gathered together in your name... have received the example which is from you"), then turns back again to the Father at the end of the paragraph ("performing the mystery of the passion...of our Lord Jesus Christ").
C) The redaction of the Third Stratum and its Transmission to the Maronites
The search for an explanation
The confusion existing in the third section of A&M in its actual status, as exposed above, contrasts sharply with the clearly conceived theological structure of the Anaphora. Why and how did that happen? Surely, the Fathers of the Mesopotamian Church knew quite well their own Aramaic language and produced in fact a liturgy that is a treasure of the Church universal. Why, then, is this section of their anaphora so confused? It reflects, indeed, the condition of someone working hastily, under pressure, in response to an urgent request. Can we identify a historic moment when that kind of ecclesial circumstance actually happened?
A Synodal Text in Historical Context
In the year 313, Constantine, directly after winning his battle at the Milvian Bridge under the banner of the cross, triumphantly entered Rome. Shortly afterwards, gradually but inexorably, the Roman Empire would opt for Christianity first as its favored, then as its official, religion. While Christians celebrated their freedom in the West, the Christians of the East, i.e. east of Euphrates, became the scapegoats for the military misfortunes of the Persian Empire, and were forced to curtail their relations with their brothers in the West. Theological studies and liturgical development came to a halt. Survival in faithfulness to Christ became the imperative of Church shepherds.
Following the martyrdom of three successive chief hierarchs, Mar Shim'on Bar Sabba'e (+ 341), Mar Shahdost (+ 343), and Mar Barba' Shmin (+ 346), the See of Seleucia remained vacant for about forty years (348-388), until the death of Shapur II and the installation of Behram IV. Immediately afterward, Tomarsa was elected to the See of Seleucia. His major task was the healing of broken hearts and rebuilding of destroyed churches. He was succeeded by Qayyuma, an elderly leader who resigned shortly after his election in favor of an energetic organizer, Mar Isaac.
Yazdegerd and His Era
Yazdegerd was installed on the Sassanid throne in 399 A.D. The advent of his reign was an occasion for good-will exchanges between the two superpowers of the time. Arcadius of Byzantium sent to the newly-installed emperor a delegation of well-wishers headed by a bishop from the Mesopotamian frontier: Marutha of Mayferqat, who possessed recognized medical skills in addition to diplomatic manners. These qualities plus his Aramaic culture were all quite useful in fulfilling his embassy with great success, not only with the Shahin-shah but also toward the Church of his empire.
As soon as religious liberty had been guaranteed to Christianity in the Constantinian era, Christians of the West showed interest and concern for their brothers in the Persian Empire. Eusebius of Caesarea reports in his Life of Constantine (IV, 9-13) the content of the letter that Emperor Constantine wrote to Shapor regarding the protection of Christians within his empire.
While the schools of Nisibis and Edessa were, at this junction of history, an active and efficient point of encounter and communion between Western and Eastern Christianity, it was an official Synod of the Church of the East that presented a formal setting for the Bishop of Seleucia and Catholicos of the East to undertake the task of the reorganization of ecclesiastic life in the Persian Empire, to be sought in unity and harmony with the Western Church in all matters: theological, liturgical, and administrative. That was the Synod of Mar Isaac in A.D. 410.
The Synod of Mar Isaac
A letter to the Shahinshah Yezdegerd was entrusted to Mar Marutha, written by the bishops of Syria and Upper Mesopotamia: Porphyrius, Bishop-Catholicos of Antioch, Acacius, Bishop of Aleppo, Peqidha Bishop of Urhay, Eusebius, Bishop of Telia, and Acacius Bishop of Amida. Marutha showed the letter to the Bishop of Seleucia and Ctesiphon, the Catholicos Mar Isaac, and "with one accord and one perfect will they translated the letter from the Greek tongue to the Persian, and it was read before the victorious and illustrious King of Kings."
The Subject Matter:
From the favorable reaction of the king to the letter we may figure out its content. The Shahinshah reportedly said at the reading of the letter: "East and West are but one authority in the dominion of my kingdom." The implied meaning is that Christianity in the East, within his empire, should be ruled by the same laws as in the West. Thus the King recognized the validity of ecclesiastic law that was legislated in the Roman Empire in regard to his own Christian subjects. That was doubtless the request of the "Western Fathers."
The aim of Mar Marutha as delegate of the Western Fathers was more explicit: "He concerned himself with the restoration of the churches of Christ the Lord, and was assiduous that the laws, divine ordinances, upright and trustworthy canons which had been established in the West by our honored fathers, the bishops, might also be established in the East, as an edifice of steadfastness and truth for the people of God."
A great synod was convoked under the patronage of the “King of kings,” and consequently, forty bishops gathered together at the cathedral of Seleucia on Jan 6, 410. During the first and following sessions, the acts of the Synod included:
a) Communion of Faith: The synod accepted the Nicene profession of faith, including it within the acts of the Synod.
b) Canonical Unity: The code of canons that Marutha brought with him from the West was read, approved by the Fathers of the Synod, and signed.
c) Liturgical Unity: expressed in several canons, here is the one that concerns our subject:
Thirteenth Canon: concerning the ordinances and canons which are appropriate to the liturgy, and to the Holy Mysteries, and to the glorious feasts of our Savior.
Also, the western liturgy which ls-haq and Marutha the bishops taught us and all of us saw them celebrating here in the church of Seleucia, henceforth we shall celebrate ourselves in like manner. The deacons in every city shall proclaim the proclamation like this, and the Scriptures shall be read thus, and the pure and holy oblation shall be offered upon one altar in all the churches, and the argument of that (d-haw) ancient memory shall no longer exist among us. The oblation shall no longer be offered from house to house.”
1) So after a century of isolation from the Western Fathers in the Roman Empire the Church of the East saw it was time to update her theology, canon-law, and liturgy. She accepted the updating quite willingly. In liturgical matters, to be able to call a liturgy "Western Liturgy," should have included at least some changes in the customary liturgical usage of the East. We are informed by the Acts of the Synod that the Catholicos Mar Isaac and the Delegate of the Western Fathers Mar Marutha, after having instructed the bishops about the changes to be introduced into the Eastern liturgy, celebrated that "westernized" liturgy in the Cathedral. Seemingly, the new elements should have been of theological importance to be given so much relevance.
2) From the report of the synod, it is evident that the liturgy celebrated in the Cathedral of Kokhe was a solemn Holy Mass, therefore, the "westernized" liturgy should have included the anaphora among the usages that were brought into line with liturgical developments in the West.
We have to remember here that we are talking about the year 410, and that the Synod of Mar Isaac is the first official encounter between the hierarchy of the Church of the East and a western hierarch after almost a century of isolation. It was also an encounter that had been well-prepared for on the side of Mar Marutha, a person quite knowledgeable and much concerned about the fate of Christianity across the border from his diocese. Those were the years when the anaphora of the Apostolic Tradition had been long ago formulated, when the Apostolic Constitutions with their ideal-anaphora were edited, and when the Liturgy of St. James was composed and became the model eucharistic prayer for Jerusalem and Antioch. In all of these formularies the narrative of the eucharistic institution found a solid place in the structural heart of every anaphora, establishing a clear connection with the Last Supper and consequently with its scriptural Locus Theologicus. But A&M was left as it was since the beginning of the third century. Expectedly, Mar Marutha should have brought the attention of Mar Isaac to the matter and the need for adjustment. From the Acts of the Synod, it seems that there was resistance from the part of bishops toward any modification of the text, arguing that what they had was "of ancient memory." Nevertheless, the willingness of the Catholicos to come close to the Western Fathers and what the delegate represented prevailed. Under pressure, hastily as we see the circumstances of the synod, the bishops agreed to use uniformly a modified, or so-called "Western," version of their anaphora, as formulated in those circumstances.
3) Expectedly, Mar Marutha, the delegate of the Western Fathers, had to communicate the result of his embassy to his brother bishops of the frontier. Expectedly as well, he would have showed them a copy of the anaphora in its modified version. It appears that the Fathers of the Maronite Church liked the Eastern anaphora and decided to use it, making it part of their own liturgical patrimony. At a later period, they would adjust it to the pattern that became common in their usage, thus inserting the Narrative. In due time they would insert as well the Hosanna-Benedictus with its introduction, and later still they would add the intercessions in line with the rest of their Antiochian Anaphoras.
If Mar Maron, the acclaimed Father of the Maronite Church, is the same historic figure to which John Chrysostom wrote a letter between A.D. 404 and 407, and if he is as well the same ascetic monk about whom Theodoret (+458), the disciple of Theodore of Mopsuestia, wrote a short biography in his Historia Religiosa, then he would fit quite well into the historic period and geographic sphere of Mar Marutha, and so the passage of A&M to the Maronite Church may find in him a suitable explanation.
The Mesopotamian Fathers, in order to update their anaphora, had considered sufficient the insertion of an explicit linkage with the Last Supper, at the beginning of the third section with an expression of actual offering, enforced by the composition of a new paragraph in the sense of linkage and an actual commemoration. The later Maronites, living in the theological and liturgical atmosphere of Antioch, were understandably concerned by the difference in pattern between A&M, their adopted anaphora, and the rest of the Antiochian Anaphoras they used, almost all of them having the Institution Narrative within their text. They felt the need, therefore, to conform the Mesopotamian anaphora to the common pattern of western anaphoras by the insertion of the Institution Narrative.
Nevertheless, both the Mesopotamian and the Maronite Fathers recognized the particularity of the Mesopotamian pattern and knew exactly in what part of their anaphora the linkage with the founding Supper of the Lord should have been made: not in first section, within the theological celebration, according to the Antiochian pattern, but in the third, where the commemorations are made. The Maronite reviser, in fact, carried on at exactly the same first spot retouched by the Mesopotamian Fathers, and expanded the same concept expressed by them, that the oblation of the Church is done "as you have taught us," completing it by the insertion of the Institution Narrative. Then the reviser returned to recuperate the sliced segment of the diptychs, introducing it with the sentence: "We offer you, O Lord, this oblation in memory of all the upright and just fathers: the prophets and apostles, the martyrs and confessors..." etc. Consequently, inserting the Institution Narrative, he rendered the so-called anamnesis (paragraph "j") redundant, and it was therefore eliminated. Also the paragraph ("h") invoking peace had to be reformulated. The fact is that the so called "anamnesis" of A&M is not lacking in Peter III, but has been substituted by the Institution Narrative.
The Recent Chaldean Reform
Preserving the Apostolic Core in harmony with Organic Growth
Jesus Blessed and Gave Thanks: the Quddasha
In clear distinction from the Greek western pattern of the Eucharistic Anaphora, the basic structure of the Aramaic Anaphora in the Mesopotamian tradition is as follows:
1) Praise and Glorification of God for the creation of the world and of men as well as for their redemption;
2) Thanksgiving to God for the redemption through Christ;
3) Praying the Father to remember the Church, in the commemoration of his Christ, then the Church, in response, makes the Memorial of Christ.
From the early centuries up to modern times, the Apostolic Quddasha of Addai & Mari, structured as explained, has been adapted to the theological and liturgical developments following the practice of the Universal Church. Consequently, the Qaddysh of the First Section and the Epiclesis of the Third, and finally the Narrative of the Last Supper were incorporated into the structure of the Anaphora. Through these, and many other additions and adjustments, prominent among them the Kushape, the text of Addai & Mari became confused and distant from its original and Mesopotamian pattern, in need of serious reform in line with solid tradition and Catholic theology, as well as with the directives of the Holy See.
Accordingly, the Patriarchal Liturgical Committee had to:
a) bring the last Chaldean Missal of 1901 to reflect faithfully the authentic Mesopotamian heritage in its ancient peak with the Patriarch Timothy the Great (+823), and
b) adjust and perfect that structure and text to encompass an organic growth, in line with its own tradition, as well as with Catholic doctrine.
In regard to A&M, the best actual sample of solid Euchological growth - and the most important and meaningful - are the insertion and location of the Narrative of the Last Supper, in harmony with the particular Mesopotamian Anaphoral pattern. Hence the pertinent question: where is the location most fitting in this anaphora for the Narrative to be inserted?
Is it the first Section? No. Because that section is a Blessing for the creation and the redemption; it is not a memorial.
Is it the second Section? No. Because that section is a thanksgiving for the effects and benefits of the redemption; it is not a memorial.
Is it the third Section? Yes. Because it is where the renewal of the redemptive memorial is expressed, and where the reference to the founding pattern of the Last Supper is made as well. It is, of course, proper to examine where exactly in this section the narrative should be inserted.
General Structure of this Section
Transforming the standard Jewish Memorare Domine into a Memorial of Christ’s Redemption was fashioned in Mesopotamia in a way whose comprehensive structure is:
a) Make, Lord, a memorial of your Church,
b) as your Church makes memorial of your Christ.
The details of the first part are: the intercession requesting Divine favor for the whole ecclesial body, with its different ranks of ministers and the totality of the faithful, then an invocation for universal peace, and thirdly a prayer for the conversion of all men.
The Maronite Sharrar presents a model of the attempt to insert the Last Supper narrative into this segment, at the post where a connection with the Last Supper was formulated (see paragraphs g & h). Let us make an assessment of the result:
1) In Sharrar, the whole section had to change the address from the Father to the Son. 2) The scriptural text of the Narrative had to be adjusted changing the grammatical form from the third person to the vocative second person; even a Pauline text (I Cor 11:26) had to be adjusted artificially for that purpose. 3) The Invocation for Peace and Conversion of Nations (paragraph h of A&M) is completely altered losing its inner cohesiveness. 4) Paragraph J of A&M, connecting the actual liturgy of the Church to the Last Supper, becomes redundant and had to be eliminated by Sharrar. 5) Intercessions in the Antiochian manner were added, ending up in making this authentic Anaphora a distant souvenir and confusing shadow of historic itself.
With due respect to the Antiochians and their precious and most valuable Eucharistic heritage, the Chaldean Mesopotamians have their own different route in understanding, handling, and updating their own Aramaic heritage, in the following manner as far as A&M is concerned. The details of the second part are: the celebrating community is gathered in the Lord's name and fulfilling his command, to reiterate the memorial of his redemption, in the offering of his body and blood, by the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, effecting benefits of eternal salvation. This is where, by the call of the structural content of this segment, the Narrative may be smoothly inserted, as the foundational Scriptural Reference of the memorial, as well as the factual offering of the Eucharistic oblation.
As a Patriarchal Committee, having realized how a hasty patching by Mar Isaac (410 AD) had confused the neat character of the original text of A&M, the Committee’s first concern was to restore the text to its original tenure, so that the organic growth may occur harmonically. The restoration of that segment of the text is provided by the return to the second stratum as presented in this study.
Then, we had to realize that paragraph “j” (the so-called “quasi anamnesis”), belonging to the third stratum, is a valuable organic growth in its own merit, well in harmony with the genuine original text, and therefore had be maintained and used accordingly. Bouyer was right in pointing to its relevance, it having the function to connect the present Memorial of the Church to the Last Supper of the Lord, in perfect harmony with the original tenure.
Moreover, understanding the structure of this Third Section-- its first part having the Lord remembering his Church and the second having the Church remembering her Lord-- makes it fitting for the Narrative to be inserted exactly in connection with the reference to the "Pattern" that comes from the Lord in this paragraph.
Furthermore, we have to realize that the second sentence of this paragraph “j”, through the adverb Kadh ("while"), projects the completion of the meaning into the following sentence. Therefore, this paragraph is not an anamnesis in the Antiochian pattern, located usually following the Narrative, but a linkage to the Last Supper, thus it could become a fitting introduction to the Narrative, to be inserted quite harmonically immediately after it. That is what we did.
Nevertheless, after the Narrative, the actual offering of the oblation of the Church was still to be clearly expressed, which the Committee chose to be done with the same words and the same adverb “kadh,” submitting the whole act of the Church to the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit: "...Now, thus, while ("kadh") we are performing his Memorial as we have been commanded, and are offering his Body and Blood upon the holy and pure altar, may your Holy Spirit come, O Lord..." Thus, binding the act of the Church with the Last Supper from one side, as well as with the descent of the Holy Spirit, conceived here as a climax of the whole Anaphora, from the other.
By so doing, not one word of the Mesopotamian Eucharistic heritage was lost or neglected or even altered, but rather fully understood, appreciated, collected, and allocated harmonically and organically within the treasure of the Catholic Church.
Addai & Mari: An Anaphora Preserving
the Mark of Apostolic Times
I hope I have shown with sufficient evidence:
1) That the Anaphora of A&M of the Mesopotamian Church preserves an Apostolic core which is a clear reflection of the literary structure of the Last Supper Eucharist and as well of its theological content.
2) That in consonance with the Church universal, the Mesopotamian Church inserted into her Apostolic anaphora euchological elements pertaining to its organic growth, mainly the Sanctus-Benedictus-Hosanna, the Epiclesis, and the connection with the Last Supper with the expressions of the actual offering of the holy body and blood.
3) That the contemporary liturgical reform of the Chaldean Church restored the Anaphora to its coherent grown tenure, crowning it with the insertion of the Narrative in the most fitting location, and in full harmony with its structure and flow.
The Mesopotamian Church of the East expressed in its main anaphora all the constitutive elements of the sacramental Eucharist, according to the scriptural tradition and its own apostolic heritage. There is an explicit intention in this text to fulfill the command of Lord, given at the Paschal Supper, to “do this” in memory of him, and thus offer his body and blood in the manner that he then instituted. This compliance was transmitted to the Church through ecclesiastic and liturgical tradition. In the Epiclesis, the celebrant of the Addai and Mari calls for the Holy Spirit to “come and rest upon this Oblation of your servants and bless it and sanctify it, that it may be for us, O Lord, for the pardon of debts and the forgiveness of sins, for the great hope of resurrection from the dead and for new life in the kingdom of heaven with all of those who have pleased you.” Here, as in many other eastern Anaphoras, the Epiclesis, which constitutes the last segment of the Addai and Mari, expresses the completion of the consecration (Quddasha) of the Offerings.
The analytical study of the Addai and Mari has helped scholars gaze into its text and slice through the strata of its evolution. In so doing, they have discovered how pertinent elements, including the Epiclesis, or invocation of the Holy Spirit, were inserted into its text at an early stage. Nevertheless, the Narrative of the Eucharistic Institution (including the actual words of Jesus) was never part of its authentic tenure, as witnessed by all ancient manuscripts. Meanwhile, the Western doctrine, following the Council of Florence in its Decretum pro Armenis (1439), adopted the position that the Words of Institution are a constitutive part of the consecration of the elements. In particular, the words “this is my body … this is my blood” are considered to be an essential part of the sacrament.
As far as contemporary liturgical use is concerned, the Chaldean Catholic Church, adjusting itself to the general practice of the Church universal, has already inserted the Institutional Narrative into the anaphora, bringing Addai & Mari in line with its other two Anaphoras. The Assyrian Church of the East, however, while belonging to the same apostolic tradition, preserves the old version without the Narrative. This brings up questions of dogmatic, liturgical, and ecumenical relevance: is it because it is deficient that the Addai & Mari does not include the Narrative, or because it is archaic? Likewise, is the absence of the Narrative the mark of liturgical imperfection or the remnant of a primordial and apostolic time? Finally, is it valid and proper for the Catholic Church to accept Addai & Mari, as used by the Assyrian Church, as a valid contemporary Eucharistic celebration, though only in a selected ecumenical context and for pastoral needs?
Pertinent Questions and an Authoritative Response
These questions are of fundamental relevance to Catholic doctrine as it relates to Eucharistic validity. They also presuppose a basic understanding of the Paschal Supper, as reported in the Scriptures, in regard to a number of basic points. First, regarding the words “this is my body … this is my blood,” which are uttered concomitantly with Communion, as reported in the four accounts (1 Cor 11:23–26; Lk 22:14–20; Mt 26:26–29; Mk 14:22–25), can one presume that Jesus did not consecrate until the moment of Communion? Second, since the blessing-thanksgiving occurs prior to the utterance of the holy words, how should its efficacy be considered when those holy words were not yet pronounced? Indeed, all of the apostolic Eucharistic liturgies, Eastern and Western, perform the breaking and signing as they are dealing with the consecrated body and blood. Is this not done because it follows the pattern set by Jesus at the supper?
Finally, does the command to “do this” refer to the above-stated holy words only, so that the ordained celebrant of the Eucharist must reiterate, in persona Christi, those very words for a valid consecration, or can we better understand this command to the holy Apostles, in adherence to the scriptural accounts, as referring to all of the components of the Eucharistic supper in its entirety (“he took, blessed, gave thanks, broke, and gave, saying”)? If this is the case, then these holy words are the core and substance of the Eucharist, to be celebrated and fulfilled in persona Ecclesiae, according to each of the apostolic traditions, in memory of him, as the given order dictates, in the sense that the celebrant, as an ordained minister of the Church, consecrates, by the power of the Holy Spirit and offers hic et nunc the Eucharistic Sacrifice, connecting this present act of the Church with the founding act of the Lord in an explicit way. Indeed, the two acts, as much as they are connected, are distinct: one is the founding act of the Lord new Paschal Supper; the other is the sacramental act of the Church in her living context. The holy words express the substance of both acts.
With all of this in mind, the comprehensive question regarding Addai and Mari is this: is it a valid prayer of consecration without the inclusion of the cohesive text of the Narrative among its sections, even though it explicitly refers to the Words of Institution and contains all its elements in a ritually celebrated form? The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the prefecture of Cardinal Ratzinger, tackled this issue, as presented by the Council for Christian Unity under the presidency of Cardinal Kasper. It issued, with the personal approval of Pope John Paul II, a decision of historic relevance in October 2001. It was decided that Addai & Mari, in its genuine version, is a valid Eucharistic prayer of Consecration, because “the words of Eucharistic Institution are indeed present in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, not in a coherent narrative way and ad litteram, but rather in a dispersed euchological way, that is, integrated in successive prayers of thanksgiving, praise and intercession.”
The Strata of the
Anaphora of Addai & Mari
_____ = First Stratum
Third Stratum or later
Worthy of glory
from every mouth and thanksgiving
from every tongue is the adorable and glorious Name [of the
Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit], who created the world in
his grace and its inhabitants in his compassion, has redeemed
mankind in his mercy, and has effected great grace toward mortals.
Your majesty, O Lord, a thousand
thousand heavenly beings worship and myriad myriads of angels, hosts
of spiritual beings, ministers of fire and spirit with cherubim and
holy seraphim, glorify your name, crying out and glorifying:
Holy, Holy, Holy, God almighty.
Heaven and earth are full of His glories.
Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna to
the Son of David. Blessed is he who has come and will come in the
name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
And with these heavenly powers
d) We give thanks to you, O
Lord, even we your lowly, weak and wretched servants, because you
have effected in us a great grace which cannot be repaid, in that
you put on our humanity so as to quicken us by your divinity. And
lifted up our poor estate and righted our fall. You raised up our
mortality and you forgave our debts. You justified our sinfulness
and enlightened our understanding, and you, our Lord and God,
vanquished our enemies and made triumphant the lowliness of our weak
nature through the abounding compassion of your grace.
e) And for all your help and
graces toward us, we raise to you glory, honor, thanksgiving and
adoration, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
f) You, Lord, through your
unspeakable mercies make a gracious remembrance of all the upright
and just fathers who have pleased you,
the commemoration of the body
and blood of your Christ,
which we offer to you upon the pure and holy altar as you have
h) And grant us your
tranquility and your peace all the days of the world, that all the
inhabitants of the earth may know you, that you alone are the true
God and Father, and that you have sent our Lord Jesus Christ, your
beloved Son, and he, our Lord and our God, taught us through his
life-giving gospel all the purity and holiness.
i) of the prophets, apostles,
martyrs and confessors, bishops and priests and deacons, and of all
the children of the holy catholic Church, who have been marked with
the mark of holy baptism.
And we also, 0 Lord, your lowly,
weak, and wretched servants who are gathered together and stand
before you at this time, have received by tradition the example
which is from you, while rejoicing, glorifying and magnifying,
commemorating and praising and performing this great and dreadful
mystery of the passion and death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus
[and] may he come, O Lord, your
Holy Spirit and rest upon this oblation of your servants and bless
it and sanctify it, that it may be to us O Lord for the pardon of
debts, the forgiveness of sins, and a great hope of resurrection
from the dead and a new life in the kingdom of heaven with all who
have been pleasing before you.
l) And for all your wonderful
economy for us, we give you thanks and glorify you unceasingly in
your Church, redeemed by the precious blood of your Christ, with
open mouths and uncovered faces, as we offer up praise, honor,
thanksgiving and adoration, to your living, holy, and life giving
name, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
The Reformed Anaphora of Addai and Mari
First Section: Glorification
Glory to you, O adorable and glorious Name of the majestic Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who created the world in his grace and its inhabitants in his compassion, who redeemed mankind in his mercy and effected great grace toward mortals.
O Lord, a thousand thousands of the exalted, and a legion of legions of holy angels adore and worship your Greatness. Myriads of spiritual ministers, beings of fire and spirit, glorify your Name and, with the holy cherubim and spiritual seraphim, offer adoration to your Majesty.
Make us also worthy to participate with these heavenly hosts as they cry out and glorify unceasingly, proclaiming one to another, saying:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty! Heaven and earth are filled with his glories! * Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who came and will come in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest! * [Lent] And with the majesty of his Being, and with the beauty of his glorious Radiance!
Second Section: Thanksgiving
We give thanks to you, O Lord, we your deficient, feeble and miserable servants, because you have done us a great favor that cannot be repaid, in that you put on our humanity in order to quicken us by your Divinity, you lifted up our lowliness, righted our fall, raised up our mortality, forgave our debts, made righteous our sinfulness, enlightened our understanding, defeated our enemies, and made our deficient nature triumphant through the overflowing mercies of your grace.
And for all your benefits and graces toward us, we lift up glory, honor, thanksgiving and adoration to you now, at all times, and forever and ever.
Third Section: Memorial
Priest: Through the Memorial of your Christ, O Lord, make, in your indescribable mercies, a gracious remembrance for all the upright and just fathers who have pleased you, the apostles, prophets and teachers, the martyrs and confessors, [especially for our shepherds, Mar ____, our High Pontiff, the Pope of Rome, Mar ____, our Catholicos-Patriarch, Mar ____, our Bishop (Metropolitan), and for all] the bishops, priests and deacons, and all the children of the holy catholic Church: those who have been signed with the living sign of holy baptism.
Indeed, O Lord our God, grant us your peace and tranquility all the days of the age, that all who dwell on earth may know that you alone are God, the true Father, that you have sent your Son and Beloved, our Lord Jesus Christ, and that he, our Lord and God, taught us all purity and holiness in his life-giving Gospel.
And we also, O Lord, your deficient, feeble and miserable servants who are assembled in his Name, and who stand before you at this moment, having received by tradition the example that comes from him, while rejoicing and glorifying, praising and magnifying, we commemorate and perform this great, awesome, holy, life-giving and divine Mystery of the passion, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as he taught us:
For when the time came when he would suffer and approach death, on that night on which he was betrayed, he took bread into his holy hands and, raising his eyes to you, his almighty Father, gave thanks and blessed. He broke and gave it to his disciples, saying: take, all of you, and eat of it: this is my Body, which is broken for you, for the forgiveness of sins.
Likewise, after they had eaten, he took the pure cup into his holy hands, gave thanks to you and blessed; he gave it to his disciples, saying: take, all of you, and drink from it: this is my Blood of the new and everlasting covenant, which is shed for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins.
Whenever you do this, do it in remembrance of me.
Now, thus, as we are performing his Memorial as we have been commanded, and are offering his Body and Blood upon the holy and pure altar…
…may your Holy Spirit come, O Lord,
and rest upon this Oblation of your servants,
bless it and sanctify it,
that it may be for us, O Lord, for the pardon of debts and the forgiveness of sins, for the great hope of resurrection from the dead and for new life in the kingdom of heaven with all of those who have pleased you.
And for this whole great and marvelous plan for us, we give you thanks and praise you unceasingly in your Church redeemed by the precious Blood of your Christ, with expressive mouths and unveiled faces, as we lift up praise, honor, thanksgiving and adoration to your living, holy and life-giving Name now, at all times, and forever and ever.
An Image from the Oldest Known Manuscript Text
(Mar Isaiah Hudhra - 10th Century)
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_________. Les liturgies orientales et occidentales. Beyrouth, 1929.
Spinks, B. "The Original Form of the Anaphora of the Apostles." In Ephemerides Liturgicae 91, 1977.
Taft, R. S.J., "The Interpolation of the Sanctus into the Anaphora," OCP 57, 1991.
 Rudolph Pesch, Das Markusevangelium: Zweiter Teil, Freiburg, 1977, pp. 364-77.
 I. Rahmani, Testamentum D.N.J.-C., Mainz 1899, p. 192; Les liturgies orientales et occidentales, Beyrouth, 1929.
 B. Spinks, "The Original Form of the Anaphora of the Apostles," Ephemerides Liturgicae 91 (1977), p. 160.
 J. M. Sanchez Caro, "La anafora de Addai y la anafora maronita Sarar, intento de reconstruccion de la fuente primiiva comun," OCP 43 (1977) 41-49; A. Gelstron, The Eucharistic Prayer of Addai and Mari, Oxford 1992, 118-123; W. Macomber, "The Maronite and Chaldean Versions of the Anaphora of the Apostles," OCP 37 (1971), 77-79.
 J. Magne, "L'anaphore nestorienne dite d'Addee et Mari et l'anaphore maronite dite de Pierre III, Etude comparative," OCP 53 (1987), 107-158.
 B. Botte, "Problemes de l'anaphore syrienne des apotres Addai et Mari," OS 65 (1965), 100-104.
 L. Ligier, "De la Cene du Seigneur a l'Eucharistie," Assemblees du Seigneur, Serie 2, vol. 1, Paris 1968, 31-32.
 E. Mazza, L'anafora eucharistica, Roma 1992, p. 24-25; L. Finkelstein, "The Birkat ha-mazon," The Jewish Quarterly Review 19 (1928-1929), 211-262; M. Dibelius, "Die Mahl-Gebete der Didache," Zeitschrift fur die neutestamentliche Wissenschraft 37 (1938) 32-41; K. Hruby, "La Birkat ha-mazon, La priere d'action de grace apres le repas," Melanges Liturgiques, Offerts au R. P. dom Bernard Botte, Louvain 1972, 205-222, also "L'action de grace dans la liturgie juive," Lex Orandi 46 (1970), 23-51.
 S. Cavalletti, Il Trattato delle Benedizioni del Talmud babilonese, Torino, 1968, 321-322.
 J. B. Chabot, Synodicon Orientale, Paris, 1902, Aramaic text, p. 169.
 L. Bouyer, Eucharist, University of Notre Dame Press, 1968, 147.
 R. Taft, S.J., "The Interpolation of the Sanctus into the Anaphora," OCP 57 (1991), 290. In Regard to A&M, the first two elements were recognized as a posterior addition since 1929 by a remarkably well-written article of E. C. Ratcliff, "The Original Form of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari: A Suggestion," JTS 30 (1929), 32.
 See C. Giraudo, Eucharistica per la Chiesa, Rome 1989, p. 463.
 A. Baumstark, "Trishagion und Qeduscha," Jahrbuch fur Liturgiewissenschaft 3 (1923), 18-32.
 Metzger III, 192-193.
 Apostolic Constitutions VII, 35: 3-5, Metzger II, 76-77.
 Metzger III, 178-205.
 A. Mingana, Narsai Homiliae et Carmina, mossoul, 1905, vol. 1, 281-2.
 W. Macomber, "The Oldest Known Text of the Anaphora of the Apostles Addai and Mari," OCP 32 (1966), 335-71.
 PG 20, col. 1157-1161.
 Synodicon Orientale, p. 19 of the Aramaic text, lines 2-4.
 Ibid, p. 19, ln. 8-9.
 Ibid, p. 18, ln. 19-22.
 Ibid, p. 27, ln. 3-11 (underlining mine). The sentence - close to the end of the previous text - "and the argument of that ancient memory shall no longer exist among us" is a literal translation of a text that lacks clarity. It is not indicated to what "ancient memory" the Fathers are referring. Grammatically, if we consider the dot on top of the Aramaic pronoun "haw" (meaning "that") to be a copyist's error and place the dot under the same pronoun, making the text read "hu" (meaning "it is" or "this is"), the sentence would read as follows: "and the argument that 'this is [a usage of] ancient memory' shall no longer exist among us," then the meaning is clearer.
 Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, 2001.
 I have elected to add this short insertion for use in my Diocese.