Wednesday, September 7, 2011

From the Canon of St. Basil

I was going through my files and came across this.  I have no idea where I got it from and it does not seem to be an unedited piece but I have no idea who passed it on to me.  It seems to have been somewhat adapted yet I post this as a form worthy of Lutheran consideration as the prayer of the anaphora or canon of the mass.  It is certainly ancient in origin and its phrases reflect a beauty of language as well as laudable content.  In the ongoing discussion of an Eucharistic Prayer, we often struggle for examples of one with ancient roots and yet evangelical content.  What do you think of this one?

P   The Lord be with you.
C   And with your spirit.
P   Lift up your hearts.
C   We lift them up unto the Lord.
P   Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
C   It is right to give Him thanks and praise.

P   It is truly good, right, and salutary, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to You, Lord of heaven and earth, Master of all creation, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is our Savior and true God, the image of Your goodness, the living Word, eternal Wisdom, and the true Light by whom the Holy Spirit is revealed.  This is the Spirit of Truth and Sonship, the fountain of life and sanctification, by whom all creation offers You eternal praise.  Therefore with angels and archangels, thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, and all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Your glorious name, evermore praising You and saying:

C   Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of Sabaoth:
Heaven and earth are full of your glory;
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
  
P   Holy indeed, and blessed are You, O Lord our God, for You formed us to share Your life forever.  But when we disobeyed Your commandment and fell from eternal life, You banished us from Your paradise.  Yet, in mercy, You did not cast us off forever, but sent Your holy prophets to proclaim Your promise to us.  Now in these last days You have manifested Yourself through Your only-begotten Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He was made flesh and became man by the Holy Spirit of the blessed virgin Mary.  He revealed to us the way of life and His means of salvation.  He gave us new birth by His Word and Spirit in the water of Holy Baptism and so gained for Himself a special people, redeemed by His own blood.  He loved His own who were in the world and offered Himself as a ransom to set us free from sin and death.  Going forth to His voluntary and life-giving death, He handed Himself over and gave us this great mystery of godliness, for which we give thanks, now and forever.
C   Amen.

P   Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: Take, eat; this is my + body, which is given for you.  This do in remembrance of me.

In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: Drink of it, all of you; this is my + blood of the new testament, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.  This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

The Confession may be concluded here as the pastor introduces the Lord’s Prayer with these words:  “Lord, remember us in Your kingdom and teach us to pray.”

P   As often as we eat this bread and drink this cup, the holy body and precious blood of Christ,
C   we remember His sacrifice and proclaim the His death until He comes.

P   Therefore, heavenly Father, remembering our Lord's holy sufferings, His life-giving cross and three-day burial, His resurrection from the dead and His ascension into heaven, His enthronement at Your right hand and His glorious coming for judgment:
C   We praise You, we bless You, and we give You thanks.        

P   And we unworthy sinners pray to You in Your mercy and grace that Your Holy Spirit would sanctify us, body and soul, in the one true faith.  Make us worthy to receive the body and blood of Your Son, given and poured out for the forgiveness of our sins for the life of the world.

   Unite all who receive this one bread and cup with Your saints of all times and places—patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, evangelists, and all the righteous spirits perfected in faith [including ________].  Receive us all into Your kingdom, bestow on us Your peace, and grant us with one heart and voice to glorify Your holy name with Jesus Christ and the life-giving Holy Spirit in Your one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, now and forever.
C   Amen.

C   Our Father...

38 comments:

Chris Jones said...

ancient roots and yet evangelical content

This is a strange turn of phrase that seems to suggest that there might be a conflict between "ancient roots" and "evangelical content." Presumably "evangelical content" (aka the Gospel in its fullness) is the most ancient of roots.

Apropos of the anaphora you posted, I should say that it is "adapted" from the anaphora of St Basil so freely that it is perhaps more accurate to say that it is "suggested by" or "inspired by" St Basil's anaphora than actually adapted from it. Most of St Basil's actual language has been excised.

Just to give one example: in the adaptation, the first sentence after the Sanctus reads:

Holy indeed, and blessed are You, O Lord our God, for You formed us to share Your life forever.

while in the corresponding place in St Basil's anaphora we find:

Together with these blessed powers, O Master who lovest mankind, we sinners also cry out and say: Truly Thou art holy and most holy, and there are no bounds to the majesty of Thy holiness. Thou art holy in all Thy works, for with righteousness and true judgment Thou hast ordered all things for us. For having made man by taking dust from the earth, and having honored him with Thine own image, O God, Thou didst place him in a garden of delight, promising him eternal life and the enjoyment of everlasting blessings in the observance of Thy commandments.

I prefer the original.

William Weedon said...

While Christopher's words are true (it is a paraphrase); it was a paraphrase NOT of Byzantine Basil but of the Egyptian recension of Basil - a somewhat simpler prayer, FWIW.

William Weedon said...

For example: the original we were working of begins after the Sanctus with this:

Holy, holy, holy, you are indeed, Lord our God. Formed us and placed us in the paradise of pleasure, and when we transgressed your commandment through the deceit of the serpent and fell from eternal life, and were banished from the paradise of pleasure, you did not cast us off forever. (Jasper and Cummings, p. 35)

Terry Maher said...

Oh for God's sake, just take the four Eucharistic Prayers of the novus ordo and be done with it. Basil is pretty much the basis of III and IV anyway, III combined with other Eastern elements but following the Roman canon outline, and IV more directly.

Why do we even bother with stuff like this? The only action re a canon needed is Luther's -- remove it. They are just utterly useless, adding nothing but a monument to Man's need improve with his own efforts what needs no improving, in this case, the words of Our Lord.

Did Jesus say hey, would you guys dress this up after I'm gone, I'm kind of pressed for time right now what with being crucified to-morrow and all, but it will really come across better with a lot of great sounding words?

It is the words of Christ, not flowery human elaborations surrounding it, that make the Sacrament. The only good canon is a removed canon.

Chris Jones said...

Oh, nonsense, Terry.

Sure, Jesus didn't say "dress this up after I'm gone." But while we are at it, He did not say "Say the words that I said" either. He said "This do for my memorial"; and what is the "This" that He did, and commanded us to do? He took bread, gave thanks, gave the bread to them, and they ate. So that is what we are to do: take bread, give thanks, distribute, and eat. There is nothing in His command that says "say these words."

But when we use the bare Verba to serve the Lord's Supper, where is the "give thanks" part of the action? Nowhere to be found. And that is all that an anaphora is: the giving of thanks for all that has come to pass for us -- the Cross, the tomb, the rising on the third day, the ascension, the descent of the Holy Spirit, and the second and glorious coming.

Thus when Luther excised the Canon, he condemned us to disobeying our Lord, for we no longer give thanks as part of the action of the Supper.

You are in the position of insisting on what our Lord never commanded -- the repeating of a formula -- while neglecting what He did command -- the giving of thanks before the distribution of the sacrament.

Terry Maher said...

Although they share the same root, the Greek for king, it's Basil for the "saint" and Basel is a city in Switzerland, although in Latin it's Basilia. Well, the colony was Augusta Raurica first, but who the hell knows that now, and anyway the Celts were there long before.

Terry Maher said...

Bull. Ever heard of a Preface, Chris.

Terry Maher said...

Vere dignum et justum est aequum et salutare nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere ...

Just in case.

Chris Jones said...

And just how is the Preface any less a flowery human elaborations surrounding the Verba than the rest of the Canon is? You cannot have it both ways. If you want to insist that only the words of Christ are permissible to serve the Supper, then there should be nothing else than the Verba: no Sursum Corda, no Sanctus, no Preface, and no Agnus Dei following. Just say the Words and distribute the bread and wine.

Anyway, what exactly is the Preface? That is, what is it the Preface to? As our service now stands, it is the Preface to the Verba; but historically, it is the Preface to the Canon. The proper Preface highlights a particular aspect of salvation history appropriate to the day or the feast; but the Canon is the giving of thanks for the whole economy of salvation. Which is why I will never understand why the Canon is objectionable to Lutherans. Why is it anything but a joy to remember, to proclaim, and to give thanks for the mighty acts of God for our salvation? Why do we say "it is very meet, right, and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee" and then skip over the actual thanksgiving? We talk about giving thanks, but we don't do it.

Terry Maher said...

Having a hard time finding a particular aspect in semper et ubique. Proper prefaces go on to mention particulars, but after -- and not just after semper et ubique but all of the Divine Service, which no, I did not say excise that, in which we may just have heard something of the mighty acts of God for our salvation, not to mention the Creed and other prayers.

The Preface is a preface to the acts of Christ, not the words of us, which just hold things up at this point, totally unnecessarily.

Dixie said...

Wait a minute...there seems to be a story under all of this. Pastor Peters writes that he didn't know where this adaptation came from. Pastor Weedon writes, "...it was a paraphrase NOT of Byzantine Basil but of the Egyptian recension of Basil - a somewhat simpler prayer, FWIW. For example: the original we were working of [with?] begins after the Sanctus with this..." So it sounds like Pastor Weedon knows where this came from?

Was there a plan to adapt this liturgy...the Eqyptian recension...for the Lutherans? For just the Eastern European ones? Any particular purpose? Event? Any particular reason why the paraphrase of the Egyptian over the Byzantine? Inquiring minds want to know!

PE...I blame YOU for the fact that I have this phrase "bare, naked verba" in my head and I keep trying to find something to do with it...some bad joke or another.

Chris...I don't think I ever heard anyone point this out before...He said "This do for my memorial"; and what is the "This" that He did, and commanded us to do? He took bread, gave thanks, gave the bread to them, and they ate. So that is what we are to do: take bread, give thanks, distribute, and eat. There is such a strong emphasis on "WORDS" within Lutheranism but quite clearly here the emphasis is on "doing", not just the words. It really helps explain the structure of the liturgy. I like that!

Chris Jones said...

Dixie,

I don't think I ever heard anyone point this out before

Well, I can't take credit for the insight. Read The Shape of the Liturgy by Dom Gregory Dix (London: Dacre Press, 1945).

For anyone interested in liturgy, this book is indispensible. Dix isn't right about everything, and some of his scholarship, though fundamentally sound, has been superseded by more recent work. But he asks all the right questions and in the main he answers them correctly. And he lays out the structure, the history, and the theological significance of the Christian liturgy in clear and forceful language that any educated and interested Christian can understand. You don't need a degree in liturgical theology to follow him.

I first read this when I was in college (decades ago) and it changed everything in the way I thought about the faith.

William Tighe said...

It is possible to demonstrate on a purely historical basis that there were some or at least a few anaphoras used in the Early Church that did not contain the Words of Institution (of which the Anaphora of the Liturgy of SS Addai & Mari is the only one still in use), but it is not possible to demonstrate, and there is not the slightest scintilla of evidence to suggest, that there ever was any form of eucharistic consecration that made use of the Words of Institution alone, detached from an anaphoral or euchologic context, in the Early Church.

I would add to Chris's suggestion to Dixie the chapter on the Eucharistic Prayer in Eric Mascall's *Corpus Christi* (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1953, 1965), which is relatively brief and straightforward, and in which Mascall assimilates and summarizes the arguments of his friend Dom Gregory Dix, as well as making his own contribution.

William Weedon said...

Dixie,

The prayer was the original proposal of the working group on the Lord's Supper liturgy for LSB. I was on the working group. Dr. Stuckwisch was especially enamored of the richness of the Basil prayers, but thought that the Egyptian recension (which probably reflects the original) was where we should start from, so we did. Myself, I suggested that we already a Lutheran tradition starting from the Chrysostom anaphora in the SBH (and Worship Supplement), but the weighty theological richness of the Basil anaphora won the day in the working group; and ironically, its verbosity (despite significant paring down) probably killed it in the Liturgy committee. The working group was directed to abandon the Basil anaphora, and take another approach. That's the scoop - as I recall it.

Chris,

I'll note that in the liturgy we use, though we most often use the "bare Verba" we do indeed include an extended thanksgiving and intercession and even an epiclesis in the Prayer of the Church, immediately before the Preface. Also that the Prefaces in LSB extend the thanksgiving aspect by rejoicing in the mighty deeds of God in Christ for our salvation. You know that I, unlike Terry, have zero problem with a Eucharistic canon, but I would stress that there is not only one way to pray eucharistically, and that the form presented in LSB is largely in the stream of both the wider church tradition AND the Lutheran concern that the Words of Institution be recognized as consecratory (as in St. Ambrose and St. John Chrysostom's own words). Pax!

Brian said...

Once the Words of Institution are spoken, it is time to shut up and receive the Sacrament.

Terry Maher said...

"Was directed"? Passive voice, implies an agent. Was directed BY WHOM? I find that more interesting a question than the direction itself.

Use of "this" -- it's a demonstrative adjective, so what does it demonstrate, what is the "this" -- to prove the Eucharist as we RCs understood it was quite common when I was younger, but not at all in the way Chris uses it. The canon is not to be said aloud anyway, that is part of the prayer the priest says standing in the place of Christ to confect a true Eucharist, the focus is not at all on words, that's in the first part of the Mass, here the focus is on the action of Christ instanced by the priest, so that the entire Mass conforms to the life of Christ, first teaching (words) then redeeming (action). The "thanks" he gave was (and is) part of the seder Haggadah, it is not a place to engage in pious reveries about salvation and that is not the purpose of the canon, to be a grace before meals, not to mention the Communion thanks, What shall I return to the Lord for all he has given me, Calicem salutaris accipiam et nomen Domini invocabo.

Nor does "early church" practice settle anything. That is a curious fiction of scholars, and it's no accident that the Liturgical Movement reformers were Patristics guys, the "Fathers" being right up there with Scripture itself as one of the sources to which we are bloody well going to be ressourced.

The fact is the "Fathers" have no more, and no less, authority than you or I, which is, we are helpful to the extent that we align with Scripture. A false, mistaken, or misguided practice is no less so for being an old one.

William Weedon said...

Terry,

I would certainly disagree with that assessment of the fathers - as would Dr. Chemnitz. I am reminded of his humble words in the Examen:

"When we disapprove of anything in the writing of the fathers which does not agree with the Scripture and reject it, this is done without rashness but by a just judgment, without injury or disgrace to the fathers, without prejudice to their honor, and with their consent, *and that this is done by those also who are incomparably inferior to the fathers."* I:261.

As to the passive, I thought it was clear: the liturgy committee directed the working group to alter course.

Rev. J. Hayes said...

I just want to thank you for posting on this topic. I learned a lot this week from this post and from reading the end of *Worship in the Name of Jesus*

As one who favors DS III, I now have a much greater appreciation for liturgy of the sacrament in DS I & II. Perhaps a Eucharistic prayer is in the future for the common service? We shall wait and see.

Terry Maher said...

If I am saying anything different than Chemnitz, I'll be dipped, whipped, bipped, nipped, tripped and clipped. Honour and revere them as one will, but they are not Scripture, not the basis of faith, and as he says rejected when they -- and they do -- contradict it.

A Eucharist Prayer with the Common Service? May God forbid!

William Weedon said...

We already had one more or less. See the Worship Supplement in which the first and chief Eucharistic liturgy (which oddly received next to no use - unlike the much more experimental II and III) was essentially the Common Service, but with a choice of one of three Eucharistic Prayers.

Rev. J. Hayes said...

Pr. Weedon,

we do indeed include an extended thanksgiving and intercession and even an epiclesis in the Prayer of the Church, immediately before the Preface

Would you be willing to share your text? Thanks.

I just ordered a copy of WS '69. Being a youngster, I wasn't around in 1969.

William Weedon said...

Surely, here you go:

Assisting Minister: We come to You, Holy Father, with praise and thanksgiving, through Jesus Christ, Your Son. Through Him we ask You to accept and bless the prayers and gifts we offer - for we offer You in thanksgiving only what You have first given to us in love. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Remember, Lord, Your holy church. Watch over her and guide her. Grant her peace and unity throughout the world. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Remember, Lord, Matthew, our Synodical President, Timothy, our District President, and all pastors and servants of the Church. Grant them to hold and teach the faith that comes to us from the blessed apostles. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Remember, Lord, our President, our public servants, and all in our armed forces. Guide, bless, protect and uphold them in honor. Bring all nations into the ways of peace and justice. In Your kindness and love, grant us seasonable weather and an abundance of the fruits of the earth. Lord, in your mercy, R.

Remember, Lord, all who suffer for Your name, all who are in prison, the hungry and ill-clad, the poor and the lonely, those who travel, and all who cry out to You in their time of need, especially.... Take them under Your tender care and grant them a happy issue out of their afflictions. Lord, in your mercy, R.

Remember all who are gathered here before You, our living and true God. We pray for our well-being and redemption. Order our days in your peace, deliver us from the danger of eternal death, and number us among Your chosen flock. Though we are sinners, we trust in Your mercy and love. Do not consider what we truly deserve, but grant us Your forgiveness. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Remember, Lord, all our sisters and brothers who have fallen asleep in Christ our Savior. Refresh their souls with heavenly consolation and joy and fulfill for them all the gracious promises in Your Word which You have given to those who believe in You. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Holy Father, in communion with the whole Church we honor Your saints, in whom You have given us a mirror of Your mercy and grace. We praise You especially for the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph her husband, St. John the Baptist, Saints Peter and Paul, and all Your martyrs. Give us grace to walk before you with faith like theirs, and in accordance with their prayers grant us a share in their heavenly fellowship. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Pastor: Lord God, we pray You, bless and sanctify, with the power of Your Holy Spirit, this bread and wine, which at Your bidding we bring before You, that through our Lord’s Words they may become for us His body and blood, the food and drink of eternal life.

Grant that we may receive worthily this sacramental mystery, the New Testament of our Divine Redeemer, for He is the Lamb of God, who gave Himself once and for all, as a holy, spotless and perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sin and for the life and salvation of the whole world.

Through Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is Yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever.

Terry Maher said...

So one can have, and there has been, and still are, canons, anaphoras, whatever you want to call the damn things, without the Words of Institution, verifiable on a purely historical basis.

Case closed. Useless, worthless, babbling, that can even leave out the words of Christ for the words of whoever.

William Weedon said...

Terry,

Were you referring to the prayer of the church that I posted above; or were you referring to Dr. Tighe's point about the ancient Syrian anaphora that apparently lacked the Verba? I don't see the two of a piece, since when we use the prayer of the church it is just that: the prayer of the church. The consecration of the Sacrament is effected solely by our Lord's own speaking and promise. So well did Ambrose state that: when he comes to the consecration, he does not use his own words, but Christ's.

Rev. J. Hayes said...

Thank you very much, Pr. Weedon. That's quite helpful.

Terry Maher said...

PW -- my last comment had no reference at all to the Prayer of the Church you posted. I was not aware that canons had existed or did exist that would not include the Verba, it would never have occurred to me that there would be such, that at least Christ's words would be sandwiched in somewhere among all the dressing up and playing church. Makes the rightness of just removing it all the more evident.

Chris Jones said...

Terry,

I am astounded that even you would condemn the constant practice of the Church from the Apostles' time onward as "dressing up and playing church." Are you so ignorant as not to know that in every extant liturgical text or description of liturgical practice from the early Church, starting from that of St Justin Martyr and going forward, there has always been an anaphora? (Including, in particular, long before the supposedly Church-destroying Edict of Thessalonica.) Do you really subscribe to the theory of Church history that says that as soon as the ink was dry on the book of Revelation, the entire Church went haywire, only to be rescued a millennium and a half later by Dr Luther?

Evidently no amount of historical fact will dissuade you from the idea that the Verba, and the Verba only, may be used to consecrate the sacrament; even though there is no Scriptural command to recite the Verba liturgically as a consecratory formula. Whatever authority there is for using the Verba as the consecratory formula comes only from Tradition, not from Scripture.

Neither Jesus Christ nor any of His Apostles ever explicitly commanded "recite these words" to celebrate the Lord's Supper; and yet, you (who presumably subscribe to Sola Scriptura) insist on this as if it were a Scriptural command. It is not.

Terry Maher said...

There's a Scriptural command to have a canon?

Or do you understand sola scriptura to mean "if it ain't in Scripture we ain't doing it"?

Kind of curious though -- if we can do without the Verba, but cannot do without the canon, and a canon without the Verba but just our words is OK, then what exactly does accomplish the miracle of the Sacrament?

William Weedon said...

Given the weight of the Western patristic tradition, which clearly ascribes the consecration to the almighty Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Roman Church's recognition of the anaphora without the Verba makes no sense at all to me. I don't think it would have made sense to St. Ambrose or St. John Chrysostom either.

Chris Jones said...

There's a Scriptural command to have a canon?

I did not say that. To the contrary, I said that the specifics of the Church's liturgical practice -- including the use of the Verba as the consecratory formula -- rest on the authority of Tradition, not of Scripture. I defy you to demonstrate otherwise.

if we can do without the Verba, but cannot do without the canon, and a canon without the Verba but just our words is OK

This is a hypothetical which has no basis in what I wrote. I would note in particular, however, that the liturgy that is handed down to us in the Church's Tradition is not "just our words" as you put it. Do you think that the Apostle's command to "stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught ... by word ..." (2 Th 2.15) has no content whatsoever? I should be very curious to know whether there is anything in the life and history of the Church that you would regard as being part of what St Paul was referring to in this verse.

what exactly does accomplish the miracle of the Sacrament?

The Holy Spirit (whether explicitly invoked (as in the East) or not (as in the West)).

Terry Maher said...

Not the point. It is you who keeps saying there is no Scriptural command to say the Verba, or say it as a consecratory formula, and that I seem to think the Verba is so commanded, which, speaking of things one did not say, I did not say that. Surely you cannot think the canons such as the one discussed here were meant by St Paul in the quoted Epistle.

The question is not at all hypothetical. It seems you contend the words of Christ are optional but canons are not. Hoc facite -- earlier you argued that a canon giving thanks is part of the "hoc". The words of Christ are not?

(Extra credit question: speaking of the "hoc", it was a Passover seder. After which of the four cups was "This is my blood" said and why?)

William Tighe said...

Rereading the posting and the ensuing comment thread, this phrase lept out at me from the former:

"with ancient roots and yet evangelical content"

The "and yet" seems to imply that normally "ancient roots" and "evangelical content" are oxymoronic qualities -- a view which some of the comments on the thread appear to confirm -- which in this particular instance, happily but perhaps surprisingly, is deemed to be not the case. One may still inquire, however, whether the "evangelical content" springs in any genetic way from these "ancient roots," or has been grafted onto them in a way analogous to the procedure known as "gender reassignment."

Terry Maher said...

That's really the question, Dr Tighe.

Our Confessions say we depart in no way from the catholic faith, but is that so? Or is it that "justification by faith alone", and for that matter the other two solas, are in fact not at all part of the catholic faith but a misguided and mistaken, however well intended, effort at reform, which then is read back in to the earlier sources and traditions it itself quotes, and back into Scripture itself. WRT to earlier sources and traditions then modifying them to suit.

Earlier in my life my vote was with the "or is it that". As we used to put it colloquially, people trying to be Catholic without being Catholic.

My vote is different now, but I will say, all this going over rites and such, from "corrected versions" of liturgical compositions to poring over Roman liturgies to modifying the novus ordo and its stepchild the RCL as Lutheran worship, well, if I may be permitted an uncharacteristic lapse into the vernacular from my characteristic staid academic prose, it sure in the hell as looks that way.

Pastor Peters said...

I guess sometimes the reader deposits more meaning in the words written than the writer:

"Rereading the posting and the ensuing comment thread, this phrase lept out at me from the former:

"with ancient roots and yet evangelical content"

The "and yet" seems to imply that normally "ancient roots" and "evangelical content" are oxymoronic qualities -- a view which some of the comments on the thread appear to confirm -- which in this particular instance, happily but perhaps surprisingly, is deemed to be not the case. One may still inquire, however, whether the "evangelical content" springs in any genetic way from these "ancient roots," or has been grafted onto them in a way analogous to the procedure known as "gender reassignment."

I never meant that the two were antithetical or even that there should be surprise than ancient roots and evangelical content go together but was merely speaking to those for whom the ancient roots (of a canon -- any canon) seemed to automatically betray any evangelical content. As we have heard on the comments portion of this thread already...

Pastor Peters said...

With Pastor Weedon, I too am shocked and surprised that Rome would accord a canon missing the Words of Institution as legitmate and even licit. It must be a political move since theologically Rome has required, as we have, the Words of Institution or there is no Sacrament.

William Weedon said...

I think, Dr. Tighe, that Fr. Peter's phrase meant no more than that Lutherans have traditionally had a difficult time discerning the evangelical content of the Roman canon, but not so much in these Eastern Anaphorae, which our Symbols, of course, speak favorably about. I always think of that glorious Preface in the Chrysostom Anaphora: "Thou hast created us out of nothing; thou hast raised us up when we had fallen; and Thou hast left nothing undone to bring us to Thy future kingdom." Or even the simple center piece of John 3:16 at the beginning of that great prayer. They are just composed in a different key than the Roman Canon, and I think that key is very much of a piece with the Evangel which (as Chris noted at the start of this thread) is as ancient as it gets: "He fulfilled His mission in our behalf; and in the night in which He was betrayed; nay, in which He gave Himself up for the salvation of mankind..." I suspect its just one reason YOU attend a Byzantine rite church, no?

Terry Maher said...

In the context of PW's last comment, it should be noted that the three additional Eucharistic Prayers in the novus ordo were a definite move on Rome's part away from the Roman Canon or at least its exclusive use.

Hippolytus being the basis of EPII and Basil EP III and IV, IV more directly and III mixed with the Roman Canon's structure.

Which, though, is no reason to resume the use of a canon any more than it is a signal that Vatican II was the once hoped-for council to resolve things and we can now "come home to Rome".

Kjetil Kringlebotten said...

This is a bit late, but here goes. There are some problems with this translation of the anicent anaphora of St. Basil. The prayer posted here seems to be a ‘lutheranization’ of the original, with the direction more towards the congregation than towards God. But in the original prayer, the direction i towards God. The institution narrative posted here, for example, says “Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: Take, eat; this is my + body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of me.”

The original, however, says, “For when he was about to go forth to his voluntary, ever-memorable and life-giving death, on the night in which he gave himself up for the life of the world, he took bread into his holy and spotless hands, and [i]when he had shown it to you, his God and Father[/i], given thanks, blessed, hallowed and broken it, he gave it to his holy disciples and apostles, saying.....” (Emphasis added) See http://bit.ly/TgIoue.

The direction is here primarily towards God the Father, with the Apostles being granted a share in its fruit. It seems that the version posted on this site has been ‘de-sacrificed.’