ANAPHORA OF ST. BASIL
The Anaphora of St. Basil is considered one of three official anaphoras of the Coptic Church. Pope Gabriel ibn Turayk (1131-1145) declared in his canons that only the liturgies of St. Basil, St. Gregory, and St. Cyril are to be used, and he forbade the Christian inhabitants of Upper Egypt from using their many anaphoras.
There are four groups of this anaphora representing four geographical regions: Egypt, Syria, Armenia, and Byzantium. The Egyptian Anaphora of Basil, in contrast to the other three textual traditions, represents a substantially shorter version of the Basilian anaphora. The earliest manuscript of the Egyptian group is preserved on four small sheets of parchment written around the seventh century and discovered by Jean Doresse. It is written in the Sahidic dialect.
Another fragment of the beginning of the anaphora was written on papyrus and discovered in the Monastery of al-Bali’zah. The Bohairic version survives in a rather large number of manuscripts, but they are mostly of a later date. The Greek version of the Egyptian form survives in a dozen manuscripts dated between the 14th and the 19th centuries.
The first edition was published in Rome in 1636 and edited by Rufa’il (Rafael) al-Tukhi, but in all his editions, Tukhi did not respect the text of the original manuscripts. The best edition of the Anaphora of Basil was published by Claudius Labib and edited by Hegumen Abd al-Masih Salib al-Mas‘udi in 1908. It provided different readings in the apparatus according to the manuscripts. This edition was reprinted several times by Hegumen Attalah Arsenius al-Muharaqqi in 1956 by the Commission for Publication in Bani Sueif in 1986, and by Dayr al-Muharraq in 1997.
Another edition was published by the Society of the Sons of the Church in 1945, mainly based on the Abd al-Masih’s edition with some additional hymns and the Horologion (a fixed schedule of daily prayers or services). The Mahabah Bookshop published several editions of the Euchologion in both Coptic and Arabic of the liturgies of Basil and Gregory.