Thursday, December 17, 2009


While at one end of the Christian world, the Usagers among English Nonjurors were publishing (in 1718) a daring new liturgy with a central prayer drawn from Eastern models (taking the post-Sanctus from the Liturgy of St James, and the Anamnesis and Epiclesis from the Apostolic Constitutions), two years previously a daring new eucharistic prayer drawn from a Western model had been inserted into the latest edition of the Maronite Missal. This new anaphora, styled that of the Holy Roman Church, came to be the principal one used for the next two centuries, down to recent times.

The eighteenth century from its earliest decades seems to have been the time for liturgical innovation; the Neo-Gallicans were busy in France (albeit they touched not the Canon), the Jansenists there and elsewhere dreamt of vernacular liturgy, the tiny surviving nucleus of Scottish Episcopalians issued edition after edition of their Communion Office, and the Maronites were eagerly Romanizing their rites, adopting fiddleback chasubles and all the latest altar fashions.

As I can't find an Englishing of the Anaphora of the Roman Church online, I've just rendered it from a Latin version in Hänggi & Pahl's Prex Eucharistica (Fribourg, 1968), and give it below, apologizing that this, being a translation of a translation, may not be too accurate; I have checked it against what appears to be a paraphrase in Liesel's The Eucharistic Liturgies of the Eastern Churches (Collegeville, 1963) - itself a translation into English of the German of the Syriac! - and added the prefatory Grace, usually considered the start of the Anaphora, from it:


This anaphora’s prayers were taken, partly from the Canon of the Roman Missal and partly from the Syriac Anaphora of the Twelve Apostles, by its author, evidently the Maronite pirest Andrea Scandar [died 1748]; by him this anaphora was inserted in the first place in the [Maronite] Missal edited at Rome in the year 1718.

[The Priest says: The love of God the Father, the grace of his onlybegotten Son, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you, my brethren, forever.

[Minister: Amen.]

The Priest signs the disc (paten) with the cross, saying in a loud voice: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, a mystery worshipful and glorious, in which there is no division, now and ever and to the ages.

Minister: Amen.

Then the Priest signs the chalice saying the same. And he signs the disc and chalice repeating the same.

The Priest, elevating and joining his hands: (Lift) up the minds, the intellects and the hearts of all of us.

Minister: They are toward thee, Lord.

The Priest extends his hands: Let us give thanks to the Lord with fear and adore him with trembling.

Minister: It is worthy and just.

The Priest, secretly: Truly it is worthy and just always to give thanks to thee, Lord God almighty.

In a loud voice: They praise thee, Lord, the angels; they adore thee, the dominations; they tremble, the powers; the heavens and the powers of the heavens, as also the blessed Seraphim together celebrate thee; with them may it be right for us to cry suppliantly and concordantly to say: Holy.

Minister: Holy, holy, holy art thou, Lord, mighty God of Sabaoth. Full are the heavens and the earth of the glory and beauty of thy majesty, Lord. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes and shall come in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

The Priest signing the disc, the chalice and both, says secretly: Holy, God the Father, who for our salvation didst send thy Son the beloved Lord Jesus Christ.

Then taking with both hands the bread he says in a loud voice: The day that was before his passion, he took bread in his holy hands, and lifted up his eyes to thee, God his Father almighty, and gave thanks to thee + and blessed + and sanctified + and broke (here he touches the bread in four places) and gave to his disciples, saying: Take, eat of this all of you. For this is my body.

Minister: Amen.

The Priest, having replaced the bread on the disc, genuflects and taking the chalice in his hands, says: In the same way, after they had supped, he took in his pure hands this pure chalice, and gave thanks to thee + and blessed + and sanctified + and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, drink of this all of you. For this is the chalice of my blood, of the new testament that is eternal, the mystery of faith, which for you and for many shall be poured out in remission of sins.

Minister: Amen.

The Priest genuflects and says in a loud voice: Whensoever you shall do these things, you shall do them in my memory, until I come.

Minister: Thy death, Lord, we commemorate, thy resurrection we confess and thy second coming we await. Mercy and indulgence from thee we beg and forgiveness of sins we implore. May thy mercy be upon us all.

The Priest joining his hands upon his breast says in a loud voice: We remember, Lord God, thy saving passsion, thy resurrection from the tomb, and thy glorious ascension into the heavens. Therefore thy Church offers thee this pure and holy sacrifice, saying.

Minister: Have mercy upon us, God the Father almighty, have mercy upon us.

The Priest: We also thy humble servants and sinners, Lord, accepting thy gifts, give thanks unto thee for all and because of all.

Minister: We praise thee, we bless thee, we adore thee, we give thanks to thee, and we beg from thee: be propitious, Lord God, have mercy upon us and hear us.

The Priest in a loud voice: In the first place and before all the memory we make of the holy, glorious and ever virgin blessed God-bearer Mary.

Minister: Remember her, Lord God, and on account of her holy prayers be propitious, have mercy on us and hear us.

The Priest, meanwhile, secretly: Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, beseech for me thy Son the Onlybegotten, who arose from thee, that, remitting my sins and my debts, he may receive from my humble and sinful hands this sacrifice, which by unworthy me is offered upon this altar through thy intercession, O Mother most holy.

The Priest agitating thrice his hands above the oblations says secretly: Have mercy upon us, Lord, and send upon us thy Spirit holy and lifegiving.

Minister: Bless, Lord. How terrible is this hour and how tremendous this time my beloved, when the Holy Ghost from the sublime heights stirs himself and descends and falls upon this eucharist spread forth for our sanctification! With silence and trembling stand and pray. The peace and the security of God, of the Father of all of us be with us. Let us therefore cry and say thrice: Kyrie eleison.

The Priest sinks down on his knees and thrice touches the altar with his right hand and kissing it says: Hear me, Lord, hear me, Lord; hear me, Lord. And may there come, Lord, thy Spirit holy and living and fall upon me and upon this oblation.

People: Kyrie eleison (thrice).

The Priest arises and signs thrice the host saying: And may he make that this mystery, + the body + of Christ our God, be for our salvation.

Minister: Amen.

And he signs thrice the host saying: And may he make that this chalice, + the blood + of Christ our God, be for our salvation.

Minister: Amen.

Then, extending his hands, he continues: Give to us, we beg, Lord God, in this world thy grace, and in thy future kingdom grant unto us by these holy mysteries; and to thee we lift up glory now and ever and unto the ages.

Minister: Amen.

The Minister reads the commemorations.

The Priest says secretly: We beseech thee, God our most clement Father, receive this holy sacrifice which we offer unto thee, in the first place for thy holy catholic Church: pacify, guard, unite and rule her (throughout) the whole world; by name for thy servants Lord N., pope of Rome, and Lord N., our patriarch, and Lord N., our bishop, and for all sons of the orthodox, catholic and apostolic faith. Remember, Lord, thy servants and handmaids here standing for whom we offer this oblation for theirs and for their souls. Remember the holy and glorious and ever virgin blessed God-bearer Mary, and saints Peter and Paul with the company of the blessed apostles and martyrs and all the saints, by whose prayers protect us with thy help. Remember, Lord, thy servants and handmaids who have gone before us, who are dead and rest in the true faith and sleep in the sleep of peace.

He extends his hands and says in a loud voice: Grant them rest and to all sleeping in Christ in a place of light and consolation; and grant thy mercy to us and to them.

Minister: Remit and condone and forgive, God, our sins and defects which either knowingly or unknowingly we commit.

The Priest in a loud voice: We hope in the multitude of thy mercies, Lord God, and therefore we beseech thee that thou wouldst make us worthy of the lot of thy saints. Through thy Onlybegotten Son Our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom thou art blessed and glorious in the unity of the Holy Ghost, now and ever and to the ages.

Minister: Amen. As it is, was, and shall be to the ages of the ages. Amen.

Having consulted Liesel's work, I can also make note of further versions of Roman Rite prayers used in this Maronite liturgy, since the Anaphora extends from after the Creed, censing and Lavabo until the end of the service:

  • at the kiss of peace, the prayer is clearly derived from the Roman Domine Jesu Christe qui dixisti..., and there is an offertory prayer based on the Hanc igitur: "Accept, O Lord, our offering; may all the days of our life pass in thy peace. Deliver us from eternal damnation and rank us among the flock of thy elect. To thee we sing praise now and ever and for eternity. Amen."
  • after the Lord's Prayer, the Roman Libera nos makes an appearance, albeit changed from addressing God the Father to addressing God the Son: "Free us, O Lord, from all past and future evils, through the intercession of thy Blessed Mother and all the saints."
  • at the communion of the faithful, the Ecce Agnus Dei and triple Domine non sum dignus are used.

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