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#416832 - 03/28/17 11:44 PM "Do this in remembrance of me"?  
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 5
TheEvangelist Offline
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TheEvangelist  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 5
Georgia, USA
I was reading through the scriptures today and was working through the Gospel of Luke and the Eucharistic exposition of event that took place in the eyes of Luke. I am not very well read in Greek, even thought I'm making a fair attempt these days. I was thinking of the Hebrew word Zikkarer which means to invoke, or to remember and I wonder if this particular scripture is actually using this type of language rather than 'remembrance'. I know this seems tiny, but most protestants say that the Eucharist is symbolic because Christ says remembrance. Whereas, I believe that the statement, "Do this in remembrance of me" signified a command on part of the High Priest to his Priests to do this Todah in this manner for now until he comes again.

Does anyone have any idea if the Greek is closer to either or?

#416833 - 03/29/17 07:57 AM Re: "Do this in remembrance of me"? [Re: TheEvangelist]  
Joined: Nov 2001
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Welcome, TE, to The Byzantine Forum!

The word you are studying is the word "ἀνάμνησιν" (anamnésis). Whenever I come across a word I want to investigate I start by looking it up: Greek Word Study Tool: ἀνάμνησιν (you can see a definition of the word, and then click to see more information in LSJ and Middle Liddle). I also look it up in Strong's: ἀνάμνησιν.

As to the rest of your post I'd need to consider a response, though I'm not seeing the use of the term "remembrance" to suggest that the Eucharist is less than what it is - participation in the Mystical Supper (when the Church celebrates the Eucharist she does not reenact it but participate in the actual event). In the meantime I'm sure others will post.

#416834 - 03/29/17 10:47 AM Re: "Do this in remembrance of me"? [Re: TheEvangelist]  
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ajk Offline
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Joined: May 2007
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Our Eucharist / εὐχαριστία (=thanksgiving) is a Todah / תּוֹדָה (=thanksgiving) but it is of course more as the re-presentation today (σήμερον, as in the liturgical "today" ) of the one-only sacrifice of Christ. Zikkarer is the form found in a modern Hebrew translation of the Gospel's Greek: לזכרוני׃ Luke 22:19, for Luke's ἀνάμνησιν (Luk 22:19). The same word is in a Hebrew translation of the Peshitta, so it fits the Greek and the Aramaic.

Did Luke use this particular word for a reason? Why ἀνάμνησις and not, for instance, μνημόσυνον. The "ana" to me conveys the sense of a "re-" doing (like in anabaptist) rather than just a static memorial of the past. Did Luke have the LXX in mind where the form ἀνάμνησις is found (translated two ways) in:

And you shall put pure frankincense with each row, that it may go with the bread as a memorial portion to be offered by fire to the LORD. (Lev 24:7 RSV)

On the day of your gladness also, and at your appointed feasts, and at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; they shall serve you for remembrance before your God: I am the LORD your God." (Num 10:10 RSV)

And for us Byzantines it's still "frankincense .. with the bread," --- the "beauty so ancient and yet so new."

Last edited by ajk; 03/29/17 10:50 AM.
#416836 - 03/30/17 11:44 AM Re: "Do this in remembrance of me"? [Re: TheEvangelist]  
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theophan Offline
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Hollidaysburg, PA

Welcome to the forum.

My understanding of "anamnésis" follows John and ajk. The anamnesis that we participate in at the Eucharist is a "dissolving," if you will, of time, space, and distance into eternity. Before the Face of God the Father, the one perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross stands now and forever as the Crown Jewel of Creation. Eternity is a perpetual now and for God the Father all of human time is one glance with the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ at the center. In the Liturgy we are transported into the actual events of Jesus' Passion, Death, and Resurrection--as an old radio host used to say "you are there." We stand in the doorway of the empty tomb, knowing that the Lord's sacrifice is not the end but our celebration because it bridges the gap between fallen humanity and our perfect, holy God. Though we are still broken and in need to ask for mercy, we have the assurance in the living bread of the Eucharist that all we have to do is ask and all that we need will be given to us.

The word anamnésis translates into Latin as "memoria" and that is where we get "remembrance" in English. The Latin does not have the mystical understanding today that it once had and neither does present-day English. And that is why many Protestants take the word "remembrance" literally. In Old English, remembrance had the idea of "bringing back into living memory of an event and/or person long since dead and gone." Imagine the society where there was no written language with which to pass along the traditions and myths of the people. The tribe gathered around the fire at night and repeated the stories of their ancestors. Through the flickering of the fire the stories came to life, if you will. The long gone persons came to life in the hearing and seemed to be able to be seen in the flickering of the firelight. Over time we have lost much of this idea and today--as it was in the 16th century--memory is not so real as its original meaning would have had it.

The Liturgy is our doorway into time/space/distance/eternity where all of this becomes one--where we are there, participate, and are sent back to our time with joy to live the promises of the Gospel and proclaim them to others with our lives.

This is my poor attempt to explain anannesis, but it seems to me to approach the idea that the long ago events and persons are brought into living experience.


Last edited by theophan; 04/02/17 12:51 PM. Reason: some spelling and grammar corrections

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