The Liturgy of Addai and Mari is a Divine Liturgy belonging to the East Syrian Rite, which is in regular use, even if in different versions, in the Assyrian Church of the East and Ancient Church of the East, the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and the Chaldean Catholic Church.
The anaphora or Eucharistic Prayer that is part of this liturgy is of particular interest, being one of the oldest in Christianity, possibly dating back to 3rd-century Edessa, even if the outline of the current form can be traced as far back only as the time of the Patriarch Mar Isho-Yab III in the 7th century. This liturgy is traditionally attributed to Saint Addai (disciple of Saint Thomas the Apostle) and Saint Mari (a disciple of Saint Addai). In the form given in the oldest manuscripts, all of the High Middle Ages, this anaphora does not include the Words of Institution, a matter that raised ecumenical concerns
The Liturgy of Addai and Mari has been in continuous use in the Church of the East since at least the 7th century Hymns by Saint Ephrem and others are often sung during the communion. A piece of dough from the eucharistic bread is saved from week to week, not as reserve sacrament but as leaven for the next week's bread. Authors from Theodore of Mopsuestia (c. 400) to Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII in the mid-20th century and Mar Aprem Mooken of India in the early 21st century have identified the Epiclesis, beginning with the words Neethi Mar Rukhada Kudisha... (May the Holy Spirit come...) as the high point of the Holy Qurbana.
In the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church this liturgy has three forms: a simplified form, a standard form for Sundays use, and a highly solemn form, known as the "Raza", used only on solemnities. A reform of the Raza in order to return to the unadulterated and original form was issued in 1985, followed in 1989 by a reform of the other two forms carried out with the same principles.
A slight reform of the liturgy of Addai and Mari celebrated by the Chaldean Catholic Church came into effect on 6 January 2007, making uniform the many different uses of each parish and removing additions introduced over the centuries in imitation of the Roman rite. The main changes were: a return to the ancient arrangement of the interior of churches, restoration of the preparation of the bread and wine before the beginning of the service and removal of Filioque from the Creed.
The prayers of the liturgy of Addai and Mari are of three types, according as they are recited by the celebrating priest or bishop:
· cushapa: personal prayers of the celebrant
· gehanta or "inclinations": prayers said in low voice by the celebrant
· qanona: conclusions of the gehanta conducted aloud
The Eucharistic Prayers (or Anaphoras) of all the present Christian Churches that believe in apostolic succession include the Words of Institution, and the relevant Institution narrative, with the sole exception of some versions of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari.
The oldest manuscript of this anaphora was published by W.F. Macomber in 1966 (known as Mar Eshaya text) and dates from about the 10th or 11th century. It does not include the Words of Institution, nor do other ancient manuscripts of later date. Mar Aprem Mookenof India indicates that many priests of the Assyrian Church of the East follow the old practice of not including the words of institution.
Some scholars believe that the medieval manuscript represents the 4th-century tradition (or even earlier), while others believe that the Words of Institution were originally present and were later dropped, probably due to the liturgical reform of Mar Isho-Yab III in about AD 650. The former include Macomber and Spinks, the latter H. Engerding and E. Mazza. B. Botte suggested that the Words of Institution were originally not written but recited from memory.
While the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches generally deny even the validity of the apostolic succession of the Church of the East, and thus the validity of its priesthood, the Catholic Church has always recognized its validity. Still some Catholics questioned the validity of the consecration in the absence of the Words of Institution because the Council of Florence had declared that the words (in Catholic theology, the "form") of the sacrament of the Eucharist are "the words of the Saviour with which he effected this sacrament",words that the same council indicated as "This is my body" and "This is the chalice of my blood".
Nevertheless, the Catholic Church never officially contested the validity of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari. In the closing decades of the 20th century, ecumenical rapprochement with the Assyrian Church of the East and the situation of the by then widely scattered Assyrian and Chaldean Christians who lacked a priest of their own Church made more acute the issue of the validity of the Eucharistic consecration of the form of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari that did not include the Words of Institution, as used by the Assyrian Christians, while the Eastern Catholic Churches that use the East Syrian Rite include in their versions of this liturgy the Institution narrative, with its Words of Institution. Accordingly, on 20 July 2001 the Holy See declared that the Anaphora of Addai and Mari can be considered valid. Three reasons were given for this judgment. First, the Anaphora of Addai and Mari dates back to the early Church. Secondly, the Church of the East has otherwise preserved the orthodox faith in regard to the Eucharist and Holy Orders. And finally, though the Words of Institution are not spoken expressly, their meaning is present: "The words of Eucharistic Institution are indeed present in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, not in a coherent narrative way and ad litteram, but rather in a dispersed euchological way, that is, integrated in successive prayers of thanksgiving, praise and intercession".
Traditionalist Catholic reaction
Some traditionalist Catholics[which?] denounced recognition of the form of the Holy Qurbana of Addai and Mari in use in the Assyrian Church as valid. They argue that it completely overthrows the sacramental theology ratified by the Council of Trent: according to their understanding, of the three elements necessary for a sacrament - the matter, the form, and the intention of the priest to do what the Church does - the form, which in this case is the words of institution, "For this is my Body" recited over the bread, and "For this is the cup of my Blood" over the wine, is wanting. They reject the statement by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity that the words of the institution of the Eucharist are in fact present in a euchological and disseminated manner.
Vatican reportedly working on “Ecumenical Rite of Mass” for joint Worship with Protestants
The times we live in are such that it is increasingly difficult to distinguish fact from fiction, truth from satire. A few days ago a rumor began to spread on the internet to the effect that the Vatican is working on drafting a new, ecumenical rite of “Mass”, one that can be attended by “Catholics” (i.e. Novus Ordos), Anglicans, and other Protestants, and that can also be concelebrated by “clergy” from these three groups. In other words, it would be a lowest-common denominator worship service that presents no doctrinal obstacle to Novus Ordos, Anglicans, or other Protestants (the Eastern Orthodox are conspicuously absent from this project).
This wouldn’t have to be terribly different from what the Vatican II Sect uses now (the 1969 Novus Ordo Missae or “New Mass” of “Pope” Paul VI). After all, the Novus Ordo “Mass” already fulfils these requirements in large part. As Cardinals Alfredo Ottaviani and Antonio Bacci, along with other Roman theologians, stated in their open letter to Paul VI:
…[T]he Novus Ordo Missae — considering the new elements widely susceptible to widely different interpretations which are implied or taken for granted — represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session 22 of the Council of Trent.
(Alfredo Ottaviani et al., Brief Critical Study of the New Order of Mass, Sep. 25, 1969)
But not only high-ranking Vatican prelates noticed the Protestantism of the New Mass. Even more importantly, the common folk in the pew did, too.
In any case, when we heard rumors that “Pope” Francis was looking to create another, even more “ecumenical” liturgical rite, we were skeptical at first and held off on reporting on it until we could get some sort of confirmation.
At this point, the matter has been reported by mainstream Vaticanist Marco Tosatti, albeit as a rumor. As the journalist himself says, however, “[M]y sources are usually good”, and he surely has no interest in hurting his own credibility.
Tosatti’s piece appeared on Mar. 1, 2017, and can be read in the original Italian here. An English translation of this article is provided here:
Ecumenical Mass, a work in progress? The consecration makes the Protestants uncomfortable. The ploy of silence…
[by] Marco Tosatti
These are only rumors, so we should only take them with a grain or even two or three of salt. But the mere fact that these allegations are circulating is a signal; and my sources are usually good.
We will write everything in the conditional. A mixed commission of Catholics, Lutherans, and Anglicans, bound to secrecy, is working on implementing a kind of rite of mass that can be attended by people from all three [of these] Christian denominations. There is no mention of the Orthodox. There is no written document yet, it’s all by verbal [i.e. oral] communication.
The hypothesis regards a first part with a “liturgy of the word”, which does not pose any problem; after the confession of sins, asking God for forgiveness, and reciting the Gloria, there would be the readings and the Gospel.
The commission is allegedly studying the problem of the Creed. Protestant churches prefer to pray the Apostles’ Creed, although they do recognize the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church alternates between them. So not even this point should be a major problem.
Even the presentation of the gifts, although it must be studied with care, does not appear to present a major obstacle to the project.
The central issue is that of the Eucharist. The Catholic understanding of the Eucharist is profoundly different from that of the Lutherans or of other Protestant denominations. And of course at this crucial moment, when for Catholics (but not for Protestants) transubstantiation takes place, the liturgy cannot be different for the various celebrants.
But how can a common liturgy be celebrated that clearly differs in the wording right at the most important point of the event?
One of the proposed possible solutions would be silence. It would mean that after the Sanctus, at the moment in which normally during the Mass the priest would say the words: “Father, you are holy indeed…” the different celebrants would keep silent, everyone mentally repeating “his own” formula.
The silence is broken in the congregation with the recitation of the Our Father. It is still not clear how the lines for Communion would be formed.
This is the information we got, and we pass it on. A partial confirmation that these works are in progress comes from an article by Luisella Scrosati in Bussola Quotidiana, in which she presents a stratagem “found” by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, then headed by Cardinal [Walter] Kasper. This stratagem acknowledged the validity of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari (eucharistic prayer of the Oriental Assyrian Church, aka the Nestorian Church). This is a prayer that does not contain any words of consecration, “except ‘in a dispersed euchological way’, i.e. not in an explicit way (‘This is my Body… This is the chalice of my Blood’), as a [Vatican] document from 2001 says [–link added by N.O.W.]. This could therefore be extremely useful as a justifying principle for a new eucharistic prayer without any words of consecration that could upset the Protestant brethren”. That liturgy was exclusive to the Chaldean Church and the Assyrian Church, in case there were pastoral problems. But just imagine if such a minor detail could turn out to have great significance in the present ecumenical climate. De minimis non curat praetor [“The chief magistrate does not concern himself with trifles”]…
(Marco Tosatti, “Messa Ecumenica, Lavori in Corso? La Consacrazione Imbarazza I Riformati. L’escamotage Del Silenzio…”, Stilum Curiae, Mar. 1, 2017; translation by Novus Ordo Watch.)
For all those who now think, “There is no way this will ever happen!”, we would like to remind you that the man currently in charge of the Vatican II Sect is Jorge Bergoglio; and here is a comprehensive list of all the things you used to believe could never happen, that have since happened.
In light of this well-founded rumor, “Cardinal” Francesco Coccopalmerio’s recent remarks take on even greater significance: The Vatican “cardinal” has suggested that we stop thinking of sacraments so rigidly as only either valid or invalid. For the sake of ecumenism, he opined that we should start looking into sacraments perhaps having “imperfect” or “partial” validity….
By the way, regarding that heretical-schismatic “Mass” without a consecration, what Tosatti did not mention in his article is that the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, that consecration-less “Eucharistic prayer”, was confirmed as valid by “Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger (who was then the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) and “Pope” John Paul II! Don’t you hate it when that happens?!
As the official Vatican document states:
…a long and careful study was undertaken of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, from a historical, liturgical and theological perspective, at the end of which the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith on January 17th, 2001 concluded that this Anaphora can be considered valid. H.H. Pope John Paul II has approved this decision.
But what do you know: After decades of frowning on the traditional Catholic practice of pronouncing the words of consecration in a low, almost-inaudible voice, the Vatican may just go back to promoting silence at the most important part of the liturgy — except, this time, at the expense of the very words of consecration! Minor detail!
Just wait till they draw the logical conclusion from having an ecumenical liturgy and come up with an interreligious worship service. After all, the groundwork has already been laid: As they freely admit, they do already worship the same god as the Muslims….PAT SAYS:
We are spending a second day thinking about Eucharist/Mass as it is so important to Christianity and Catholicism.
Todays's pieces highlight that the Eucharist has had a long history of change and development and is still evolving.
For instance the Eucharist of Addai and Mari - which is a very old Eucharist DOES NOT CONTAIN the words of CONSECRATION.
Rather the Consecration is implied in the whole of the Eucharistic Prayer.
And this is regarded by Rome etc as a VALID EUCHARIST.
And then we see that The Vatican is working on a valid Eucharist that Catholics and Protestants will celebrate together.
Those who claim that the Eucharist has never evolved are WRONG.
Those who claim that it will not evolve in the future are also WRONG.
Many people are simply resistant to change of any kind.
The world is constantly changing and so is religion and faith.
Thats why we need to hold onto THE BASICS and be open to THE ACCIDENTALS changing.
We need to hold on to the Baby and be prepared to change the water.
JESUS TOLD US TO BE OPEN TO THE NEW:
"He said to them, "Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old."
MATTHEW 13: 52