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Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Anaphora of St John Chrysostom

Deacon: Let us stand well; let us stand with 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, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
People: And with thy spirit.
Priest: Let our hearts be on high.
People: We lift them up unto the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks unto the Lord.
Prople: It is meet and right to worship the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit: the Trinity, consubstantial and undivided!

Priest (in a low voice, while the people sing the above response): It is meet and right to hymn Thee, to bless Thee, to praise Thee, to give thanks unto Thee, and to worship Thee in every place of thy dominion: for Thou art God ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, ever-existing and eternally the same, Thou and thine Only-Begotten Son and thy Holy Spirit.

Thou it was Who didst bring us from non-existence into being, and when we had fallen away didst raise us up again, and didst not cease to do all things until Thou hadst brought us back to heaven, and hadst endowed us with thy Kingdom which is to come.

For all these things we give thanks unto Thee, and to thine Only-Begotten Son, and to thy Holy Spirit; for all things of which we know, and of which we know not, and for all the benefits bestowed upon us, both manifest and unseen. And we give thanks unto Thee also for this liturgy which Thou dost vouchsafe to receive at our hands, even though there stand beside Thee thousands of Archangels and ten thousands of Angels, the Cherubim and the Seraphim, six-winged, many-eyed, soaring aloft, borne on their wings, (aloud), singing the triumphal hymn, shouting, crying aloud, and saying:

People: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth;
heaven and earth are full of thy glory;
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the Highest!

Priest (in a low voice, while the people sing the above): With these blessed Powers we also, O Master Who lovest mankind, cry aloud and say: Holy art Thou and all-holy, Thou and thine Only-Begotten Son, and thy Holy Spirit: holy art Thou and all-holy, and magnificent is thy glory: Who hast so loved thy world as to give thine Only-Begotten Son, that all who believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life; Who when He had come and had fulfilled all the dispensation for us, in the night in which He was betrayed - or rather, gave himself up for the life of the world - took bread in his holy and pure and blameless hands; and when He had given thanks and blessed it, and hallowed it and broken it, He gave it to his holy Disciples and Apostles, saying:

(aloud) Take, eat: this is my Body which is broken for you, for the remission of sins.
People: Amen.

Priest (in a low voice): Likewise, after supper, He took the cup, saying:

(aloud) Drink, ye all, of this: this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many, for the remission of sins.
People: Amen.

Priest (in a low voice): Having in remembrance, therefore, this saving commandment and all those things which have come to pass for us: the Cross, the Grave, the Resurrection on the third day, the Ascension into heaven, the Session at the right hand, and the second and glorious Advent, (aloud), thine own of thine own, offering unto Thee, on behalf of all, and for all:
People: we praise Thee, we bless Thee, we give thanks to Thee, O Lord, and we pray unto Thee, O our God. (sung as slowly or as many times as necessary to cover the epiklesis and the memorials).

Priest (in a low voice, while the above is being sung): Again we offer unto Thee this reasonable and unbloody service, and beseech Thee and supplicate Thee...

Priest: O Lord, Who didst send down thy Most-Holy Spirit upon thine Apostles at the third hour: take Him not away from us, O Good One, but renew Him in us who pray unto Thee.
Deacon: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Priest: O Lord, Who didst send down thy Most-Holy Spirit upon thine Apostles at the third hour: take Him not away from us, O Good One, but renew Him in us who pray unto Thee.
Deacon:Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
Priest: O Lord, Who didst send down thy Most-Holy Spirit upon thine Apostles at the third hour: take Him not away from us, O Good One, but renew Him in us who pray unto Thee.

...send down thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these Gifts here spread forth...
Deacon: Bless, Master, the holy Bread.
Priest: ...and make this + bread the precious Body of thy Christ.
Deacon: Amen. Bless, Master, the Holy Cup.
Priest: ...and that which is in this + cup, the Precious Blood of thy Christ.
Deacon: Amen. Bless both, Master.
Priest: ...changing + them by thy Holy Spirit.
Deacon: Amen. Amen. Amen.

Priest: (still continuing in a low voice) ...that to those who shall partake thereof they may be unto cleansing of soul, unto the remission of sins, unto the communion of thy Holy Spirit, unto the fulfilment of the Kingdom of Heaven, unto boldness towards Thee, and not unto judgment or unto condemnation.

And again we offer unto Thee this reasonable service for all those who in faith have gone to their rest before us: Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Preachers, Evangelists, Martyrs, Confessors, Ascetics, and every righteous spirit in faith made perfect: (aloud), especially our all-holy, immaculate, exceedingly blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary:
People: It is very meet to bless thee who didst bring forth God: ever-blessed and most pure and the Mother of our God: more honourable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim; who without defilement barest God the Word: true Mother of God, we magnify thee!
Priest: (in a low voice, while the above is in singing) ...and for the holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John; the holy, glorious, and all-laudable Apostles; Saints N. & N., whose memory we celebrate; and all thy Saints, at whose supplications look down upon us, O God. And be mindful of all those who have fallen asleep before us in the hope of Resurrection to life eternal; especially N. & N., and grant unto them rest, O our God, where the light of thy countenance shines upon them.

And again we beseech Thee, be mindful, O Lord, of every bishop of the Orthodox, who rightly dividest the word of thy Truth; of all the Priesthood, the Diaconate in Christ, and of every hieratic and monastic order.

And again we offer unto Thee this reasonable service, for the whole world, for the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, for those who live in chastity and holiness of life, for all civil authorities, and our armed forces; grant them, O Lord, peaceful times, that we, in their tranquility, may lead a calm and peaceful life in all godliness and sanctity.

(aloud) Among the first be mindful, O Lord, of our Great Master and Father Alexei, most-holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia; our Master the very most reverend Metropolitan HILARION, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad; and of our Master, the most reverend Archbishop MARK, whom do Thou grant unto thy churches in peace, safety, honour, length of days, and rightly dividing the word of thy Truth.
People (slowly): And all mankind!

Priest (in a low voice, while the above is in singing): Be mindful, O Lord, of this city in which we dwell, and of every city and countryside, and of those who in faith dwell therein. Be mindful, O Lord, of them that travel by sea, land, and by air; of the sick, the suffering, captives and their salvation. Be mindful, O Lord, of them that bear fruit and do good works in thy holy churches, and who remember the poor; and upon us all send forth thy mercies: (aloud) and grant us with one mouth and one heart to glorify and praise thine all-honourable and majestic Name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
People: Amen!

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The above is the anaphora from the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. After having been going to the Liturgy regularly now for nearly a year, I only recently came across the entire text, and was astounded by the sheer beauty of it all. Much of it is said quietly during the Liturgy and so I have only heard the parts that have been sung aloud. I just thought I'd share it here for others who, like me, may be unfamilar with it in its entirety, or indeed, at all.

Enjoy.

2 comments:

Ian said...

It is absolutely glorious, isn't it? We have the entire text in our Service Books, so I have seen (and heard: some priests down here do it all audibly) it before, but it is wonderful to see and read it again. Thanks.

And I love those days when we have St Basil's Liturgy, as there is that little bit more prayed to ponder.

Michael said...

Oooh yes! I agreee entirely. During Great Lent, we use a different setting to the sung parts of the Anaphora which go on for much longer (and are much more beautiful, as it happens, than the one we use regularly), to cover the longer Anaphora.

I've spent more money I don't have on another book I don't need which has the full text of the Liturgy which, sadly, our people's prayer books do not contain, but which I would really like to have.