ALEXANDRIKE 304 ALEXANDRINE outline of the Egypti;iii Liturgy of their time, which is then seen to coincide w itli the Liturgy of St. Mark. I. The Liturgv ok St. Athanasius, Serapion, AND PsEUDO-DioNVsius. — The Mass was divided into two cliief parts, the Mass of the Catechumens and that of the Faithful. When the Arians persuaded a certain Ischyras to accuse St. Athanasius of having overturned his altar and broken his chalice during the Liturgy, they made the mistake of producing a catechumen as a witness. St. Athanasius could at once point out that the chalice is not brought to the altar till the Mass of the Faithful, when the cate- chumens have been dismissed (Contr. Arian., xxviii and xlvi). The JIass of the Cateclumiens consisted of Lessons from Holy Scripture, Psalms sung alter- nately, and Homilies. Then follow the blessing and dismissal of various kinds of people who are not allowed to be present at the Holy Eucharist, the catechumens, penitents, and cnergumens. In Sera- Cion and Pseudo-Dionysius the Mass of the Faithful egins with the bringing of the oblations to the altar; they are then covered with a veil. The deacon reads out a litany for various causes (v KutfoXi/cT;), to each petition of which the people answer " Kyrie eleison ", and the bishop sums up their prayers in a collect. Then follows the kiss of peace. St. Athanasius ap- pears to place the offering of the gifts at this point (Probst, Lit. des IV. Jahrh., iii). The diptychs are read, followed by another collect and a prayer for the people. The bishop washes his hands and begins the Eucharistic Prayer (of which our Preface is the first part). The opening of the Eucharistic Prayer has always been very long in the Egyptian Liturgy. St. Athanasius refers to thanksgiving for the Crea- tion, with detailed references to the different works, the Garden of Eden, the Incarnation, and so on; then comes an allusion to the Angels and their orders, who praise God and say (and the people interrupt the prayer by taking up the Angels' words): "Holy, holy, holy. Lord Ciod of hosts ". The bishop con- tinues, praises God the Son who, having been made Man, on the night when He was betrayed took bread, blessed, broke, and gave it to His disciples, saying . . . The words of Institution follow, although St. Atha- nasius, because of the disciplina arcani, avoids quot- ing them. Nor does he mention the Epiklesis that certainly followed. Theophilus of Alexandria (385- 412) says that: "The Bread of the Lord, in which the Body of the Saviour is shown, which we break for our salvation, and the holy Chalice which is placed upon the Table of the Church are (at first) unquick- ened, but are sanctified by the Invocation and de- scent of the Holy Ghost" (translated by St. Jerome, Ep. xcviii, n. 13). The Blessed Sacrament is shown to the people, the Host is broken (the Our Father was probably said at this point). Communion is given, the Host by the bishop, the Chalice by the deacon, and the Thanksgiving (apparently Ps. xxxiii) is said. We notice already in these first references the great length of the first part of the Eucharistic Prayer (the Preface), and the fact that the diptychs are read before the Consecration. These two notes are characteristic of all the Egyptian uses. II. The Gueek LiTiuMiY of St. Mark. — This rite as it now exists has already undergone consideralile development. A Prothpsis (preparation of the obla- tions before the beginning of the actual liturgy) has been added to it from tlic Byzantine Liturgy: the Creeil is said as at Constantinople just before the Anaphora; the Epiklesis shows signs of the same in- fluence; and the Great Entrance is accompanied by a Cherubikon. Since the Mononhysite schism this use was more and more affected by the Byzantine Liturgy, till at last it entirely gave way to it among the Melchiles. However, it is possiljle 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 Catechumens 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 the greeting and collects. During the Little Entrance (procession of the priest and deacon with the books for the lessons) the choir sings the Trisagion (Holy Ciod, Holy Strong One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us). The lessons begin with the usual greeting: "Peace to all ". R. "And with thy spirit". "The Apostle" is read, and then, after in- cense has been put into the thurible, follows the Gos- pel. 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 (Hist. 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 the 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 meanwliile is praying silently for the same objects, and when the deacon's litany is finished, he ends his prayer aloud with a doxology. The "verse" (o-rixos, a 'erse from a psalm) is sung, and the deacon says "The Three", that is, three prayers for the whole Church, the Patriarch, and the local Churcli; in each case the priest ends with a collect. The catechu- mens are then dismissed, and the Mass of the Faitliful 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 Ana- phora begins, as always, with the greeting to the people and the dialogue: "Let us lift up our hearts." ft. "We have them to the Lord." — "Let us give thanks to the Lord." R. "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, sing to Thee, thank 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; inter- woven into it are a series of prayers for the Church, the Emperor, the sick, fruits of the earth, and so on. Again tlio 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, Motlicr of God and ever Virgin ". The deacon iicre reads tlic diptychs of the dead; the priest continues his sujiplication for the patriarch, the bi.shop, and all the living; the deacon calls out to the people to stand and then to look towards the cast; and so at last comes the Sanctus: "the many- eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim . . -
Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/344
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