Anaphora for the Great Forty Days

This anaphora is the second of two new Eucharistic Prayers written for the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Churches.

An Anaphora for the Great Forty Days (Sundays of Lent)

Deacon: Let us stand aright! Let us stand in fear! Let us attend, that we may offer the holy oblation in peace.

People: A Mercy of peace, a sacrifice of praise.

Priest: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

People: And with your spirit!

Priest: Let us lift up our hearts!

People: We lift them up unto the Lord.

Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord.

People: It is meet and right to worship the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Trinity one in essence, and undivided!

Priest: It is meet and right to give thanks to you, Creator of the universe, for you formed humankind in your image and likeness, calling all of creation good. You made your covenant with our father Abraham, making a holy nation from the barren womb of Sarah. Your great prophet Moses witnessed to your mighty and victorious right arm, leading your chosen people from slavery to freedom in their own land. Like Moses, Joshua stood on holy ground in the presence of your archangel. We join them, together with the Cherubim and the Seraphim, singing the triumphal hymn, shouting, proclaiming, and saying:

People: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord 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!

Priest: God, our ancestors sang, ‘who is like you, o Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendors, doing wonders?’ Your holy nation wandered through the wilderness and cried out until you quenched their thirst. As the uncircumscribed God without beginning, whom no one has ever seen, you create life out of nothingness. You created a holy nation from Sarah’s womb, you sent us the holy Forerunner and Baptist John from Elizabeth, and you sent to us Mary, the mother of God, from the womb of Anna. Mary gave birth to Christ our God, whom you led into the desert for forty days of fasting and prayer by your all-holy Spirit. Denying the bread of the evil one in obedience to you, he offered himself up as the bread of life out of love for the life of the world. He commanded his disciples to keep this supper in remembrance of him; he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his holy disciples, saying,

Take, eat, this is my body, which is broken for you and for many, for the remission of sins.

People: Amen.

Priest: And likewise after supper, he took the cup, saying, Drink of it, all of you, this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many, for the remission of sins.

People: Amen.

Priest: We give you thanks for the Passover, the baptism in the Jordan, the forty-day fast in the desert, and the victory over the evil one; the Passion, cross, the death and burial in the tomb, the descent into Hades and release of its captives, the resurrection on the third day, the ascension, the sitting at the right hand of the Father, the descent of your all-Holy Spirit, and the second and glorious coming. Offering you your own of your own, on behalf of all and for all,

People: We praise you, we bless you, we give thanks to you, o our God.

Priest: Merciful and compassionate God, like our father Jacob of old, we struggle to remain faithful to you. Weak in spirit and weary in the flesh, we stand before you on holy ground with boldness, presenting these gifts here offered. Sanctify us and these gifts by the descent of your Holy Spirit, and reveal them (+) to be the body and blood of our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ. God of our fathers and mothers, as you nourished our holy ancestors with pure water and manna in the desert, grant that we, your unworthy servants, would become your sons and daughters, a holy nation and royal priesthood, by partaking of the holy body and blood of your Son and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Grant us the unity of faith, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, remission of sins, healing of our souls and bodies, deliverance from passions and temptation, and reconciliation in our communities.

Grant us your divine grace and strengthen us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those who are sick and in prisons, give shelter to the homeless, give alms to the widows and orphans, be heralds of your good news to the ends of the earth, console the afflicted, and to be witnesses of your resurrection and bearers of your grace.  

Remember, Lord, all of those who have fallen asleep and await resurrection to eternal life: fathers, mothers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, ascetics, and all the righteous perfected in faith.

Especially for our all-holy, immaculate, blessed Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary.

The people sing the appointed Theotokion.

Priest: For St. John, Forerunner and Baptist, the holy, glorious and honored apostles; for saint N. whose memory we celebrate today, and for all your saints.

Remember, Lord, all of those who have departed this life before us, who here and in all the world lie asleep in the Lord: [the priest recites the names of those remembered here; completing the censing of the table, the deacon also recites the names of living and the dead for the duration of the prayer]

Remember all Orthodox bishops, presbyters, deacons and laity;

Remember those suffering from sickness, depression, and addiction; remember slaves, those who are exploited, those who have been abused, those who suffer persecution, and all prisoners;

Remember all widows, widowers, orphans, refugees, homeless, immigrants, strangers, and the poor, and grant them safe haven, refuge, stability, and peace;

Remember all travelers and those who are absent for a worthy cause. Remember our armed forces and all our civil authorities.

Remember, Lord, all of those for whom we offer our silent prayer:

All observe a moment of silence.

Priest: Among the first, remember, o Lord, our Archbishop (Metropolitan) N. and our Bishop N.. Grant them for your holy churches in peace, safety, honor, health, and length of days, rightly to divide the word of your truth.

People: And all humankind!

Priest: And grant that with one mouth and one heart we may praise your all-honorable and majestic name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

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3 comments

  1. Is this simply an exercise of piety?

    Has anyone approved it for liturgical use?

    Does the Eastern Tradition “invent” new anaphoras? Perhaps you could tell us the last time that happened in history.

    Absent some kind of introduction to this post, it could be highly misleading. I doubt that most Eastern Christians would accept a new anaphora.

    1. See my response to your comment on my earlier blog entry, “Liturgical Renewal.”

      I’m confident that you know the history of levels of redaction in the anaphoras of Chrysostom and Basil. Why is any prayer “invented,” and not written or composed?

      The anaphora was not submitted for approval for use.

  2. A few thoughts

    The Cossacks are said to have worshipped with something called the Liturgy of S. Peter which consisted of Byzantine and Roman elements. The anaphora used was a form of the Roman Canon.

    Come to think of it didn’t Gregory to justify moving the Pater say that the canon was written by a scholar while the Pater was by our Lord?

    The Copts and Ethiopians have an enormous amount of anaphoras amongst others which may account for the size of Archdale A. King’s volumes on Eastern Rites.

    An interesting experiment was that of the Churches of Bombay and Ceylon by trying to meld the BCP with Eastern Rites. The natives preferred the terseness of Cranmer’s magnificent service.

    The introductions to the New Skete liturgical books indicate that Eastern liturgies are less monolithic than we Westerners may think.

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