In This Issue: Orientalia Christiana Periodica, February 2015

Pray Tell is starting a new series called “This Issue of,” which will provide abstracts from the new issues of important academic journals related to the field of liturgy. In starting this initiative, Pray Tell has three goals in mind: 1) to house in one location the most recent journal articles related to liturgy, 2) encourage and publicize the work of important journals in the field, and 3) open up the content of liturgical journals to our readers who otherwise might not have exposure to these journals. While we will not be able to reproduce the journal articles in full, the hope is that it will give our readers an idea of the current scholarship in the field, and give lead them to search out the full text of articles that interest them.

The first journal we are adding to our list is Orientalia Christiana Periodica (OCP). OCP issues two fascicles each year and is focused on the Christian East. While not all the articles are related to liturgy, some of the most important articles on liturgical development are published in this series by some of the most renowned scholars in the field.

I’ve highlighted two such abstracts that might be of interest from the most recent issue. The entire table of contents and listing of abstracts can be found here.

Mar Awa Royel, The Pearl of Great Price: The Anaphora of the Apostles Mar Addai & Mar Mari as an Ecclesial and Cultural Identifier of the Assyrian Church of the East

The ancient anaphora of the apostles Mar Addai & Mar Mari is the most precious apostolic relic of the Assyrian Church of the East. By means of its complex history and rich theological import, it acts as an ecclesial, cultural and liturgical identifier of this same Church. The theological import and beauty of this most ancient anaphora has already been studied in an ample fashion, and recently the PIO and the PUG have celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Roman Document Guidelines for Admission to the Eucharist Between the Chaldean Church and the Assyrian Church of the East (26 October 2001) in October of 2011.

This document is a breakthrough in both Eucharistic theology and in ecumenical relations in that, although the Eucharistic Prayer of Addai & Mari does not and never contained the Verba Domini, it is a valid anaphora and an ancient living witness to the faith and Eucharistic praxis of the apostles. These apostles, in particular Ss. Addai & Mari, are foundational for the Assyrian Church of the East. Their history is not simply theological, but their names act as ‘identifiers’ of the form of Christianity observed and believed by the Assyrian Church of the East. Their names connect important cities of the first evangelistic enterprise of the apostles of Christ, namely Ss. Addai & Mari of the Seventy-Two. This anaphora, handed down and faithfully kept by the Assyrian Church of the East, identifies the ancient peoples of this tradition — the Assyrians — and has acted as a liturgical and cultural identifier of this Church since its inception in the first century of the Christian era. Today, this anaphora also bears an ecumenical import which is presently and dynamically engaged in conversation with our Sister Churches. This ecumenical aspect carries pastoral issues as well, brought upon the adherents of this Church due to the present religious conflict in the Middle East. The Assyrian Church continues to see movement towards the diaspora, leaving the historic homelands of this faith community more and more vacant. This poses questions of pastoral needs and necessities which are addressed by the 2001 Guidelines, which in turn were prompted by this most ancient anaphora of Christendom still utilized to this very day — the ‘Anaphora of the blessed Apostles Mar Addai & Mar Mari, who disciple the East.’


Gabriele Winkler, A New Study of the Liturgy of James

This article is based on the author’s new study of all the versions of the Liturgy of James, entitled Die Jakobus-Liturgie in ihren Überlieferungssträngen (= AO/ AA 4, 2013). For the first time, all versions of James were investigated, as well as compared to the versions of the Anaphora of Basil because of the important congruencies between both liturgies. The emphasis of this overview rests on several new findings regarding (1) the significance of the shorter Syriac text and its parallels with the Armenian and/or Ethiopic versions; (2) the fact that the Armenian redaction is based not only on the Syriac version, but also on the first Armenian translation of the Anaphora of Basil. In addition, (3) some remarks concerning the Greek text of the Liturgy of James are offered, as well as (4) several preliminary suggestions regarding the date of the various versions and the possible priority of the Anaphora of Basil over the Liturgy of James.

Click on the link to find the most recent abstracts from the 2014 issues of OCP.


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