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The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116657 11/19/04 04:35 PM
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francis Offline OP
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Back in 2001, the Vatican approved inter-communion between the Chaldean Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East, thus declaring the validity of the Assyrian Church's sacraments. The most "controversial" aspect of this is that the Assyrian Church does not include the "words of institution" ("This is my body...This is my blood") in their Liturgy, something that is considered the focal, and necessary, part of the Mass of the Roman Church.

However, recently, there has been some debate within the Vatican about this decision. John Allen at NCR reports that a recent Vatican journal ran a number of articles on this decision, both pro and con, which shows a definite resistance to this decision in Rome. He mentions how it shows a serious disagreement between the traditional emphasis on form and the modern emphasis on intention.

Personally, I'm torn by this. On the one hand, the verbal form is highly important. One can easily see the importance of not allowing just anyone who claims they have the right intention from celebrating a valid Mass no matter what they say. However, on the other hand, the Assyrian Church represents a unique situation. They are not some "liberal" group try to change the meaning of the Mass, nor are they a Protestant group that bastardizes the reality of the Real Presence. They clearly believe in the reality of the Eucharist, and believe they are continuing what was begun on Holy Thursday.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116658 11/19/04 05:09 PM
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Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Francis,

My own view is that this type of resistance has to do with a lack of clarity on the part of some RCers' concerning the very significance of the Epiclesis in the Eastern liturgies altogether.

So it is not just about the Assyrians, but relates to all Eastern Churches with the Epiclesis.

And the general Eastern teaching on the matter is that the Words of Christ represent the historical reality connected to the Mystical Supper.

But it is only the action of the Holy Spirit in the Epiclesis, and in all other Sacraments and actions of the Church, that actually transforms the elements of bread and wine into the Most Precious Body and Blood of OLGS Jesus Christ i.e. the Holy Spirit as the Successor of Christ on earth Who recalls all that Christ said and did etc.

So the Epiclesis of the Holy Spirit itself is not a mystical action separate from Christ in the Liturgy.

The Spirit Himself is the One Who proclaims Christ to us and re-tells all that He did for us. He is the Spirit of Power Who transforms and dwells in us who are His Temples - especially the Body of Christ, the Church.

Conversely, the only way we can know about the power and Person of the Holy Spirit is by way of the teaching of Christ Who sends the Spirit into the world from the Father.

So the Epiclesis is, for the East, the most significant event of the Divine Liturgy for these reasons. It is, in and of itself, the way by which the Spirit re-presents Christ Himself (truly and really).

The Liturgy of Sts. Addai and Mari therefore does indeed contain the Words of Institution "This is My Body" "This is My Blood" because of the Epiclesis, even though the words are not specifically recited.

Who else does the Holy Spirit point to and teach about if not Christ and all that He said and did?

For the Eastern Orthodox Churches as well, the Words of Institution must have the Epiclesis to fulfill what they indicate in reality.

So the disagreement is rooted in an ignorance concerning the role of the Epiclesis as a whole.

To avoid conflict, however, I understand the Assyrians have allowed for the Words of Institution to be inserted into the liturgy.

Alex

Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116659 11/20/04 02:07 PM
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Irish Melkite Offline
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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
To avoid conflict, however, I understand the Assyrians have allowed for the Words of Institution to be inserted into the liturgy.
Alex,

Not sure what you are suggesting here, but if you mean to say that the Assyrians have added text to the Anaphora of Saints Addai and Mari in the form of Words of Institution, I have not seen anything to that effect anywhere.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116660 11/20/04 05:19 PM
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Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Neil,

I was speaking to our Chaldean priest here and he said that he will sometimes add the Words of Institution if there are sufficient number of RC's present.

He said that the Chaldean Patriarch has allowed for that (?)

Alex

Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116661 11/20/04 05:36 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Irish Melkite:
Not sure what you are suggesting here, but if you mean to say that the Assyrians have added text to the Anaphora of Saints Addai and Mari in the form of Words of Institution, I have not seen anything to that effect anywhere.
Neil,

Check this document:
Guidelines for Admission to the Euc...urch and the Assyrian Church of the East

It includes the following, on page 3:

Quote
3. When Chaldean faithful are participating in an Assyrian celebration of
the Holy Eucharist, the Assyrian minister is warmly invited to insert the words of
the Institution in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, as allowed by the Holy Synod of
the Assyrian Church of the East.
So, the Assyrian Church has not added the Words of Institution, but they permit their priests to do so.

Dave

Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116662 11/20/04 05:42 PM
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Dear Chtec,

Thank you for that quick reference! smile

If I'm ever a Grand Master of anything, I'll grant you a ceremonial collar! wink

Alex

Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116663 11/20/04 06:06 PM
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Dave,

Thanks. I knew about the ok for their priests to do so, if they choose to, when the pastoral provision is exercised. I thought Alex was speaking about a formal change in their Liturgy that would have permanently inserted such, since his words suggested that they were doing it to avoid conflict.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116664 11/20/04 07:36 PM
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Dear Neil,

It's a good thing Chtec cleared that up before we got to arguing again! smile

We don't need to set any more bad examples - we've got all the ones we need right now! wink

Alex

Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116665 11/21/04 01:44 AM
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Diak Offline
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I think a great part of the issue has to do with a major Latin focus on "institution". Since the old Roman Canon only had an indirect epiclesis (supplices te rogamus etc.) they simply don't have the perspective or informed understanding of eplicetic-focused liturgical anaphorae such as Addai and Mari.

It has worked for two thousand years, and no one questions the validity of the Eucharistic presence and efficacy of the received Assyrian Qurbano, the "mother liturgy" of the Chaldeans as well.

I don't know what Fr. Taft would say, or has said on this issue, but I suspect he would say to leave the anaphora of Addai and Mari alone in terms of inserting anything into it. If we are inserting words into a venerable and immemorial Anaphora simply for "tourist" purposes, isn't that just a bit superfluous?

It is clear Rome doesn't consider it a necessity for validity if in the guidelines clergy are only suggested to use the words of institution, and not required?

It's also seems a bit ironic as with the traditionalist Latins one of their arguments about the Novus Ordo is precisely this, that the traditional received Canon was changed, altered, etc.

Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116666 11/21/04 11:57 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by francis:
recently, there has been some debate within the Vatican about this decision. John Allen at NCR reports that a recent Vatican journal ran a number of articles on this decision, both pro and con, which shows a definite resistance to this decision in Rome. He mentions how it shows a serious disagreement between the traditional emphasis on form and the modern emphasis on intention.
Francis,

An interesting point about this recent spate of articles is something that went right by me when you mentioned them and only occurred to me last evening - and that is the impetus for raising this issue at this point in time. The Commission (its formal name escapes me) that is conducting the dialogue between Catholics and Assyrians is meeting this coming week - in London, I believe. Archbishop Cyril, the recently enthroned Melkite Eparch for the US, is a member of it.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116667 11/22/04 04:23 AM
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The fact that some Roman Catholics opposed the agreement does not necesarily mean that they deny the validity of the Assyrian Liturgy.

The Pope who first received Nestorian Christians within the Catholic Communion made them add the Words of Institution but never taught explicitly that their previous liturgies were invalid or sacrilegous or something like that.

The thing here is that all the rites of the Universal Church from the Non-Chalcedonean to the Orthodox and the Western Church no matter how ancient their rites have been, including other rites that are celebrated in Syriac, contain these words of consacration as well as the epiclesis except the Assyrian Liturgy.

It's reasonable to think that the Assyrians after signing the agreement with JPII must have added these words to their liturgy (and it would not have been a "forced latinization" since all the rites of the Universal Church have them), and not the Roman Catholic Church to grant this concession.

Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116668 11/22/04 06:38 AM
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Originally posted by Mexican:
It's reasonable to think that the Assyrians after signing the agreement with JPII must have added these words to their liturgy (and it would not have been a "forced latinization" since all the rites of the Universal Church have them), and not the Roman Catholic Church to grant this concession.
Mexican,

No - the Assyrians have not added explicit Words of Institution. In conjunction with the pastoral care provisions of the agreement on intercommunion between the Assyrians and Chaldeans, the Assyrians allow their clergy to insert them, if their congregation includes Chaldean Catholics and the cleric chooses to do so.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116669 11/22/04 08:03 AM
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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
I was speaking to our Chaldean priest here and he said that he will sometimes add the Words of Institution if there are sufficient number of RC's present.

He said that the Chaldean Patriarch has allowed for that (?)
Alex,

I had missed this post until just now and I have to admit that it leaves me a bit confused. All Chaldean liturgical texts that I have ever read include explicit Words of Institution. I also just reviewed an on-line version of the Liturgy and see that it also includes explicit Words of Institution in the text.

Many years,

Neil

Note: the two links above are to separate pages that, together, contain the full text of the Chaldean Liturgy. Because of a missing button at the bottom of the first page, to proceed to the second page, you must either use the above link or manually insert the numeral 2 after the word Chaldian (sic) in the web address of the first page.


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116670 11/22/04 08:10 AM
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Originally posted by Irish Melkite:
the Assyrians have not added explicit Words of Institution. In conjunction with the pastoral care provisions of the agreement on intercommunion between the Assyrians and Chaldeans, the Assyrians allow their clergy to insert them, if their congregation includes Chaldean Catholics and the cleric chooses to do so.
Actually, I just discovered that the Assyrians granted their clergy the option to insert explicit Words of Institution back in 1978, long before the pastoral provision was ever initiated

Quote
the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East, assembled in 1978 in Baghdad, offered ministers in the Assyrian Church the option of reciting the words of the Institution in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari.
That is from [i]Provision Between the Chaldean Church and the Assyrian Church of the East[/i] , an article elaborating on the Pastoral Provision and appended to it on the Vatican website.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: The Anaphora of Addai and Mari #116671 11/22/04 09:45 AM
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As a traditional Latin-rite Catholic with great love for the traditions of the Christian East (from which we can learn a lot today) I am deeply disturbed by the Addai and Mari issue.

The history of this anaphora is complicated, and it is by no means clear whether, in its early form, it did not have an institution narrative. Scholars often give a much exalted impression of what we can actually know about the early liturgy. I tend to think that Addai and Mari actually had an institution narrative; this is suggested by the evidence of East Syrian commentators on the liturgy, such as Narsai (late 5th c.) and Gabriel of Qatraya (early 7th c.).

"Eucharist without Institution Narrative" has become a kind of hobby-horse for modern liturgists. But it would seem a matter of common sense that the Institution Narrative is an essential part of the Eucharistic Prayer, regardless of how one defines its theological function within that context.

There is an interesting passage in St Basil of Casesarea. He defends the presence of the Epiclesis in the liturgy in the 370s as follows:

"We are not confined to the things the apostle or the gospel record, but both before and after, we say things that have a great importance for the mystery, things from the unwritten teaching." (On the Holy Spirit 27,66)

Obviously, it is axiomatic for Basil that the Eucharistic Prayer contains what has been handed down by St Paul (named in the first place) and the Gospels, i.e.the Institution Narrative. Basil of course lived in Constantinople and Cappadocia and traveled extensively through Syria, Palestine and Egypt. He was familiar with the practice in many parts of the Christian world, and this gives his testimony a lot of weight. The Latin position on this point is stated with great clarity already by St Ambrose of Milan in the fourth century.

Regarding the recent practice of the Assyrian Church of the East, William Macomber, who is an authority in East Syrian theology and liturgy, wrote in 1977 that all the Masses he had attended in recent years in which the Anaphora of Addai and Mari was used included the narrative. In 1995 the three anaphoras used by the Assyrian Church were reprinted in Milpitas, California by the Baghdad Patriarchate (there is a schism among the Assyrians). Addai and Mari includes the Institution Narrative.

I'm afraid, I think the Addai and Mari thing is not so much about helping Christians in the Iraq (who are in a very difficult situation and deserve all our support) - it really is about overthrowing the classic Latin sacramental theology. This would not only reinforce the push for even more radical liturgical reform (no more "consecration" with genuflections, bells & incense).

If the idea gains ground that the Papal Magisterium can dispose of what has been considered the form of the sacrament (namely the words of Our Lord), this would have far-reaching consequences. For if the Magisterium can make such changes in the case of a sacrament instituted in specie (such as the Eucharist), changes would also be possible in the case of the sacraments that were instituted in a more general form, especially holy orders. The question of women's ordination could be reopened.

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