English translation: A. GELSTON, The Eucharistic Prayer of Addai and Mari, Clarendon Press, Oxford , 1. THE ANAPHORA OF THE APOSTLES. I suspect that Pray Tell readers may find some of the liturgical Does your church celebrate the liturgy using the anaphora of Addai and Mari?. “The validity of the Eucharist celebrated with the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, This ancient Eastern Orthodox liturgy, attributed to a Pope(!), omits all of the.

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A couple of weeks ago, Commonweal published an article I wrote about the Assyrian Church of adn East. It begins with the story of my encounter with this church and its liturgy, and ends with nari reflections on the current mati situation of Christians in the Middle East and the moral obligations of Christian solidarity.

I suspect that Pray Tell readers may find some of the liturgical material intriguing, so I am sharing an extract here see belowfollowed by a link to the full story for any who are interested.

One reader of the article wrote to me, drawing my attention to a fact I did not know: The fortunes of these Christians went up and down over time, depending on who ruled. The world history of Christianity is rich and full of surprising connections.

Anaphora of Adai and Mari | Liturgy

Another reader wrote and called my attention to the fact that there is also a church made up of Palestinians near the Assyrian church that I visited. Too often we remain in our silos and do not know who are neighbors are. The Assyrians, by the way, have never had their own country. But they are a resilient group, and even now are coping with their present misfortunes courageously.

One of the joys of knowing a bit about liturgical history is that, occasionally, you come across a pebble that proves to be a maari. We were chatting about religion, which itself was not unusual: I write about religion, and my dentist takes a friendly interest in many subjects; he is an Assyrian Christian, and I always want to know more about the various branches of world Christianity. I asked him what day his church celebrates Christmas, thinking magi might follow the Orthodox calendar.

Does your church celebrate the liturgy using the anaphora of Addai and Mari? He looked at me in blank astonishment; he had no idea. But we ad to the computer, called up a few websites, and confirmed that, sure enough, it was true.

The Assyrian Church of the East is the possessor of one of the most ancient, venerable, and fascinating Nari prayers extant in the Christian world. This Eucharistic prayer is famous among liturgists.

Named after the two disciples that their tradition identifies as being among the seventy-two sent out by Jesus see Luke According to him, Addai and Mari is the most Lkturgy of the surviving ancient Eucharistic afdai. So enamored was he of this liturgical artifact that he closed his monumental work with a long quote from the proclamation of the deacon at the breaking of the bread. Here is a bit of it:. Let us all with awe and reverence draw nigh to the mysteries of the precious Body and Blood of our Saviour.

With a pure heart and faith unfeigned let us commemorate His passion and recall His resurrection. Let us receive the Holy and be hallowed by the Holy Ghost. More recently, the anaphora anv Addai and Mari was the focus of attention among liturgical scholars innari the decision was reached by the Catholic Church marii acknowledge this Eucharist as valid. It was a big deal. Taft explained the reasoning behind this decision—reached after considerable research and dialogue, and approved by fo Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Pope John Paul II himself.


The fact that the liturgy has been prayed continuously since ancient times, and the undeniable faith of the Christian people it nourished, influenced the decision.

When the Catholic Church affirmed the anaphora of Addai and Mari as valid, it was saying that the Eucharist produced by this liturgy is truly the Body and Blood of Christ. This is true despite the fact that there is no institution narrative in the prayer.

Yes, you heard that right. The anaphora of Addai and Mari does not contain the story of the Last Supper. Instead, the prayer makes reference to what Jesus has given us, praises God for it, and confesses our unworthiness, using highly eschatological language touched with a kind of spiritual ecstasy. The acdai consecrates the elements in its madi way. Arriving at the point where Catholics could affirm that this is acceptable was not the work of a moment.

It was the fruit of a long process of study and ecumenical dialogue pursued following the Second Vatican Council, which made a commitment to seek unity among all the churches.

Following the landmark decision, the International Liturgy Conference in Rome centered on the anaphora of Addai and Mari, and produced a volume that summarized the history of this dialogue and discussed its ramifications for the various churches. The dialogue proceeded in phases. It began with considerations of the Incarnation this phase concluded inand then moved on to dialogue about the sacramental life leading to the agreement in The third phase concerns church structure and is ongoing.

For Catholics, what does it mean that we recognize the anaphora of Addai and Mari? It does not mean what some hostile Catholic critics have hinted: Instead, it means and ought maru mean that Catholics acknowledge the authentically Christian character of the Assyrian Church and the genuineness of its liturgical tradition.

There are differences between the two churches, of course; neither is about to become the other. I had some vague notion, therefore, that you could only experience the anaphora of Addai and Mari somewhere out on the plains of Nineveh. The entire liturgy was celebrated in Aramaic. The church projected the prayer texts on a screen, paired with English translations to help the congregation follow.

I had never piturgy Aramaic spoken before, and I was intent upon hearing it now because it is the language that was spoken by Jesus.

There was something awesome about that for me, a mati to the Incarnation. We all, more or less, assimilate Jesus into our own cultural landscape, and it is fitting madi he came for all and belongs to all who believe in him.

The peace was solemnly passed from one member of the congregation to the next with a gesture unlike the handshake mwri typically exchange in the Catholic Church. That person then passed it on to the next in the same way—a kind of mime, making an invisible reality visible.

Addxi were also doused with incense before communion in a ritual of purification. The worshippers fanned the smoke toward themselves as llturgy thurifer brought the incense up and down the aisle.

Communion was offered under both forms, with leavened bread and with the chalice administered by the deacon. Communion in the hand is the ancient practice of the Assyrian Church and the cup is always offered, though communion given with a spoon was mentioned as an option in some medieval texts. I learned later that the yeast used in the home-baked bread of the Eucharist is always mixed with some yeast from a previous batch.

Addai, Mari, and Me

addak We Catholics make much of apostolic succession in Holy Orders; the Assyrians have it even in the bread. We were received with respectful and genuine hospitality, which I understand is typical of Assyrian communities.


It was hard to leave—literally. Late as we were, other people had come in later still the service lasted about two hours, with people mzri arriving and our car was boxed in at the parking lot. But because everybody knew everybody else, we were soon able to identify the person who was the overseer of parking and he identified the owner of the car, who obliged us, and soon enough we were on our way, amidst smiles and waves and general camaraderie.

As is the case with all warm cultural traditions, I am sure there are people in it for the food, the shared heritage, the sense of family. But for me, kf a visitor, I remain haunted by the liturgy itself. The Assyrians hold a treasure in their liturgy—a liturgical gem that belongs to aand great, diverse heritage of worldwide Christianity.

The article continues here.

Also, thought about earlier posts especially ajd eucharist and transubstantiation and your description. Your article shows that practices oiturgy and have differed and that the first centuries amri may have had a more insightful view of eucharist.

Just thinking out loud. It also underlines Fr. I went to see the Nestorian Stele do an internet search in Xian where the terracotta army was discoveredChina, in At the time it seemed to me extraordinary that Christianity had arrived in China in the year — it seemed so far away.

But when I got home to Ireland I looked at an atlas, and I discovered that the distance from Jerusalem to China is similar to the distance from Jerusalem to Ireland! I used to wonder why Adda made Constantinople his new centre of empire — it seems to Western people very much out of the way; but it indicates that the known world East of the Mediterranean was where the action, the peoples, the civilizations were.

Rita, I enjoyed your article. I had the privilege nearly 18 years ago to attend St.

Consecration in the Anaphora of Addai & Mari

Not only was I welcomed to Communion as a Lutheran pastor, but I was welcomed after the liturgy to have conversation with people in their social hall. When I went through seminary this church was completely omitted from classes adddai Church history.

They have a remarkable history which needs to be made known to Western Christians. I attended a Chaldean Catholic liturgy in the Detroit area.

Anaphora of Adai and Mari

This is the part of the Assyrian Church of the East that came into communion with Rome. It was quite an experience. There are quite a few Chaldeans in the Detroit area. They are from Iraq — most came before the fall of Saddam.

Some of them are having problems now under the new immigration regime. I xddai enjoyed your article in Commonweal. Adrai you for sharing your excitement in this beautiful and living discovery! I just dug out my Jasper and Cuming book, Prayers of the Eucharist: I have loved reading it, but how wonderful to know the anaphora of Addai and Mari alive in the Church in Yonkers! I am still smiling! Your email address will not be published. Writing this article has been a journey of discovery for me.

Here is a bit of it: Of course I had to go. Some Assyrians have grand churches, but this church building was simple and modern. Inside, a red velvet curtain separated the sanctuary from the rest of the church. There were no icons or sacred images, only the cross—a distinctive cross without a corpus, which is the hallmark of their tradition.