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The tradition of the Church of Egypt traces its origin to the Evangelist St. Mark, the first Bishop of Alexandria, and ascribes to him the parent liturgy from which all the others used by Melchites, Copts, and by the daughter-Church of Abyssinia are derived. These three bodies possess the three groups of liturgies used throughout the original Patriarchate of Alexandria. There is the Greek Liturgy of St. Mark, the oldest form of the three, used for some centuries after the Monophysite schism by the orthodox Melchites; there are then three liturgies, still used by the Copts, translated into Coptic from the Greek and derived from the Greek St. Mark, and, further, a number of Abyssinian (Ethiopic) uses, of which the foundation is the "Liturgy of the Twelve Apostles", that also descends from the original Greek Alexandrine rite By comparing these liturgies and noticing what is common to them, it is possible in some measure to reconstruct the old use of the Church of Alexandria as it existed before the Monophysite schism and the Council of Chalcedon (451). There are, moreover, other indications of that use. Clement of Alexandria (d. c. 217) makes one or two allusions to it, St. Athanasius (d. 373) has many more; the Prayer Book of Serapion, Bishop of Thmuis in the middle of the fourth century, and the descriptions of Pseudo-Dionysius (De hierarchâ eccl.), at about the same time, in Egypt, make it possible to reconstruct the outline of the Egyptian Liturgy of their time, which is then seen to coincide with the Liturgy of St. Mark.
This rite as it now exists has already undergone considerable development. A Prothesis (perparation of the oblations before the beginning of the actual liturgy) has been added to it from the Byzantine Liturgy; the Creed is said as at Constantinople just before the Anaphora; the Epiklesis shows signs of the same influence; and the Great entrance is accompanied by a Cherubikon. Since the Monophysite schism this use was more and more affected by the Byzantine Liturgy, till at last it entirely gave way to it among the Melchites. However, it is possible to disengage it from later additions and to reproduce the original Greek Alexandrine Liturgy, the parent rite of all others in Egypt. After the Prothesis, the Mass of the Cathechumens begins with the greeting of the priest: "Peace to all", to which the people answer: "And with thy spirit." The deacon says "Pray" and they repeat Kyrie eleison three times; the priest then says a collect. The whole rite is repeated three times, so that there are nine Kyrie eleisons interspersed with greeting and collects. During the Little Entrance (processions of the priest and deacon with the books for the lessons) the choir sings the Trisagion (Holy God, Holy Strong One, Holy Mortal One, have mercy on us). The lessons begin with the usual greeting: "Peace to all". Response: "And with thy spirit". "The Apostle" is read, and then, after incense has been put into the thurible, follows the Gospel. The deacon tells the people to stand while they hear it. Sozomen (d. after 425) notes as a peculiar custom of Alexandria that the bishop does not stand at the Gospel (Hiss. Eccl., VII, xix). After the Gospel follows the Homily. Both Socrates and Sozomen say that in their time only the bishop preaches, and they ascribe this custom to the result of the trouble caused by Arius (Socr., V, xxii; Soz., VII, xix). Before the Catechumens are dismissed a litany (the great Ekteneia) is said by the deacon. He tells the people to pray for the living, the sick, travellers, for fine weather, and the fruits of the earth, for the "regular rise of the waters of the river" (the Nile, an important matter in Egypt), "good rain and the cornfields of the earth " for salvation of all men, "the safety of the world and of this city", for "our Christ-loving sovereigns". for prisoners, "those fallen asleep", "the sacrifice of our offerings", for the afflicted, and for the Catechumens. To each clause the people answer: "Kyrie eleison." The priest meanwhile is praying silently for the same objects, and when the deacon's litany is finished, he ends his prayer aloud with the doxology. The "verse" (stichos, a verse from a psalm) is sung, and the deacon says "The Three", that is, three prayers for the whole Church, the Patriarch, and the local Church; in each case the priest ends with a collect. The catechumens are then dismissed, and the Mass of the Faithful begins with the "Great Entrance". The priest and deacon bring the offerings from the Prothesis to the altar while the people sing the Cherubikon. The kiss of peace follows, with the prayer belonging to it; then the Creed is said and the Offertory prayer at the altar. (In other liturgies the Offertory is said before the Great Entrance at the Prothesis.) The Anaphora begins, as always, with the greeting to the people and the dialogue: "Let us lift up our hearts." Response: "We have them to the Lord." — "Let us give thanks to the Lord." Response: "It is meet and just." And then the Eucharistic Prayer: "It is truly meet and just, right, holy, proper, and good for our souls, O Master, Lord, God, Almighty Father, to praise Thee. . . . . ." The peculiarity of all the Egyptian Liturgies is that the Supplication for various causes and people, which in all other rites follows the Sanctus and the Consecration, comes at this point, during what we should call the Preface. The Alexandrine Preface then is very long; interwoven into it are a series of prayers for the Church, the Emperor, the sick, fruits of the earth, and so on. Again the priest prays God to "draw up the waters of the river to their right measure"; he remembers various classes of Saints, especially St. Mark, says the first part of the Hail Mary, and then goes on aloud; "especially our all-holy, immaculate, and glorious Lady Mary, Mother of God and ever Virgin'. The deacon here reads the diptychs of the death; the priest continues his supplication for the patriarch, the bishop, and all the living; the deacon calls out to the people to stand and then to look towards the east; and so at last comes the Sanctus: "the many-eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim. . . sing, cry out, praise Thee, and say: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts". And then aloud he goes on: "Sanctify all of us and receive our praise, who with all who sanctify Three, Lord and Master, sing and say" (and the people continue): "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord." After the long Preface the Canon up to the words of Institution is very short. The priest, as usual, takes up the people's words and almost at once comes to "Our Lord, God, and great King (pambasileus), Jesus Christ, who in the night in which he gave himself to a most dreadful death for our sins, taking the bread in His holy, pure, and immaculate hands, and looking up to heaven to Thee, His Father, our God and God of all things, gave thanks, blessed, broke, and gave it to His holy and blessed Disciples and Apostles, saying [aloud]: Take, eat [the deacon tells the concelebrating priests to stretch out their hands], for this is My Body, broken and given for you for the forgiveness of sins." Response: Amen. The words of Institution of the Chalice are said in the same way. The priest lifts up his voice at the end, saying: "Drink of this all"; the deacon says: "Again stretch out your hands", and the priest continues: "this is My Blood of the New Testament, shed for you and for many and given for the forgiveness of sins." Response: Amen. "Do this in memory of Me, . . . " And the Anamnesis follows, referring to Our Lord's death, resurrection, ascension, and second coming and going immediately on to the Epiklesis: "Send down upon us and upon this bread and chalice Thy Holy Ghost that He as Almighty God may bless and perfect them [aloud] and make this bread the Body." Response: "Amen." And this chalice the Blood of the New Testament, the Blood of our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and great King, Jesus Christ." . . . The Epiklesis ends with a doxology to which the people answer: "As it was and is". Then follow the Our Father, said first by the priest silently and then aloud lay the people, with the usual Embolismos, the Inclination before the Blessed Sacrament — the deacon says: "Let us bow our heads before the Lord", and the people answer: "Before Thee O Lord"; the Elevation with the words: "Holy things to the Holy"; and the answer: "One Holy Father, one Holy Son, one Holy Ghost, in the union of the Holy Ghost. Amen". Then come the Breaking of the Bread, during which Psalm cl (Laudate Dominum in sanctis eius) is sung, and the Communion. The form of Communion is: "The holy Body" and then "the precious Blood of Our Lord, God and Saviour". A short thanksgiving follows, and the people are dismissed with the blessing quoted from II Cor., xiii, 13. Some more prayers are said in the Diakonikon, and the liturgy ends with the words: "Blessed be God who blesses, sanctifies, protects, and keeps us all through the share in His holy mysteries. He is blessed for ever. Amen."
PRINTED EDITIONS. — He theia leitourgia tou hagiou apostolou kai euaggelistou Markou mathetou tou hagiou Petrou (Paris, 1583), edited by JOHN A S. ANDREA (de Saint-Andrée). This is the editio princeps. It is reprinted by FRONTO DUCAEUS (Fronton le Duc), Bibliotheca vet. patrum (Paris, 1624); RENAUDOT, Liturgiarum Orientalium collectio (ea. II, Frankfort, 1847), I, 120-148; ASSEMANI, Codez; liturgicus eccl. universalis (Rome, l 754), VII, 1 sqq.; NEALS, Tetralogia liturgica (London, 1849); DANIEL, Cod. Liturg. eccl. univ. (Leipzig, 1853), IV, 134 sqq.; SWAINSON, The Greek Liturgies (Cambridge, 1884), 2-73; BRIGHTMAN, Liturgies Eastern and Western (Oxford, 1896), I, 113-143, I, 113-143 NEALE and LITTLEDALE, The Liturgies of St. Mark, St. James, St. Clement, St. Chrysostom, St. Basil (London), 1875, 5-31.
TRANSLATIONS. — The Edition of John a S. Andrea contains a Latin version since reproducted by ASSEMANI RENAUDOT, etc. English versions in BRETT, A Collection of the Principal Liturgies (London, 1720), 29-41; NEALE, History of the Holy Eastern Church (London, 1850), I, 532-570; The Liturgies of S. Mark, S. James, S. Clement, S. Chrysostom, S. Basil, and of the Christians of Malabar (London, 1859). German versions in PROBST, Liturgie der drei ersten christlichen Jahrhunderte (Tübingen, 1870), 318-334; SORFF, Die griechischen Liturgien (Kempten, 1877), 84-116.
THE COPTIC LITURGIES. MANUSCRIPTS. — The Vatican Library contains a manuscript of the Anaphoras of St. Basil, St. Gregory, and St. Cyril of the year 1288 (Vat. Copt. XVII), as also others of the fourteenth, fifteenth, and seventeenth centuries. For the list of other manuscripts (all quite recent) see BRIGHTMAN, op. cit., LXX. PRINTED TEXTS. TUKI, Missile Coptice et Arabice (Rome, 1736 for the Uniates). The Kulaji (Euchologion) and Diakonikon are published at Cairo in Coptic and Arabic (at the El-Watan office, aura martyrum, 1603, A.D. 1887).
TRANSLATIONS. — Latin in SCIALACH, Liturgies Basilic magni, Gregorii theologi, Cyrilli alexandrini ex arabico conversoe (Augsburg, 1604), reprinted in RENAUDOT, OP. cit., I, 1 25, 25 37, 38 51, ASSEMANI, OP. cit., VII, etc. English in MALAN, Original Documents of the Coptic Church (London, 1875); BUTE, The Coptic Morning Service for the Lord's Day (London 1882); NEALE, History of the Holy Eastern Church (London 1850) I, 381 sqq.; RODWELL, The Liturgies of S. Basil, S. Gregory, and S. Cyril, From a Coptic manuscript of the XIII century (London, 1870); BRIGHTMAN, op. cit., 144-188.
IV. THE ETHIOPIC LITURGIES
PRINTED TEXTS. SWAINSON, op cit., 349-395; although this is described as the Coptic Ordinary Canon of the Mass, it is the Ethiopic Pre-anaphoral according to the Brit. Mug. MS. 545 (see BRIGHTMAN, op. cit., lxxii). - PETRUS ETHYOPS (sic), Testamentum novam . . . Miseale cum benedictions incensi, cerce, etc. (Rome, 1548), 158-167 for the Uniates; this contains the Ordo communis and the Anaphora of the Twelve. Apostles. TRANSLATIONS. Latin in PETRUS ETHYOPS (op. cit); RENAUDOT (op cit.), 1, reprints it 472-495. The Bullarium partronatus Portogallice regum in ecclesiis Africca (Lisbon, 1879) contains versions of the Anaphorce of Our Lady Mary and Dioscor; Dillman, Chrestomathia Aethiopica (Leipzig, 1866), gives that of St. John Chrysostom, 51-56.
V. THE PRESENT USE