MARK, LITURGY OF SAINT
A Greek liturgy once used in the Church of Alexandria. A recension of its anaphoric part is found in the EUCHOLOGION of the Coptic church as the Anaphora of Saint CYRIL. Egyptian peculiarities are most evident in its anaphoric part, whose opening eucharistic prayer, after a brief summary of God’s saving actions leading to the mystery of the Eucharist as motives for thanksgiving, is interrupted by lengthy intercessory prayers. The people present are explicitly associated with the celestial beings as they sing the triple “Holy,” which ends with “Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.”
The prayer is then carried forward not by resumption of the word “holy,” as in other anaphoras, but by “full,” which leads to a first EPICLESIS (peculiarly Egyptian in its position) in which God is asked to fill the sacrifice with His blessing through the descent of the Holy Spirit. The ANAMNESIS after the Narrative of Institution is followed by a second epiclesis in which the Holy Spirit is called down both upon those present and upon the bread and the wine, that He may hallow and perfect them. There are no intercessory prayers between the second epiclesis and the DOXOLOGY that concludes the anaphora proper.
Typically Egyptian exclamations by deacon and people are indicated. The same features are found in the anaphora of the fourth- century euchologion attributed to Bishop SARAPION OF TMUIS (except for the place of the intercessions and, perhaps, the second epiclesis) and in a sixth-seventh-century papyrus from DAYR AL- BALAYZAH. There is no doubt that they are proper to Egypt. In the surviving texts of the anaphora, some phrases of the Syrian Liturgy of Saint James appear.
The nonanaphoric parts of the Liturgy of Saint Mark also retain typically Egyptian elements. The prayer to accompany the incensation preceding the readings is a prayer for the forgiveness of sin. The prayer preceding the Lord’s Prayer is one of preparation for communion, and a petition for the rising of the river waters is found among the intercessory prayers. Outside the anaphora, however, in the surviving manuscripts, a process of assimilation to the Byzantine rite has been carried far.
An Egyptian prayer of ABSOLUTION has been converted into a prayer for a lesser entrance, the biblical readings have been reduced to two, there is a greater entrance with the singing of the Cherubicon, the creed follows the KISS OF PEACE instead of preceding it in Egyptian fashion, diaconal litanies in the Byzantine manner have been introduced, and several prayers have been borrowed from the Byzantine rite.
Fragments of the anaphora (one of them from the fourth or fifth century) and the Coptic recension cast light on the evolution of the anaphoric part of the Liturgy of Saint Mark, but little is known of the history of its nonanaphoric part. Its full text, with the anaphora in its Melchite setting, survives in a few late manuscripts, which do not agree in all details. The oldest of those containing the complete text are the thirteenth-century Codex Rossanensis (now Vat. graec. 1970) and the Rotulus Vaticanus (Vat. graec. 2281) of 1207.
In the latter, the process of Byzantinization is further advanced. Of the two oldest incomplete witnesses, one, Messina graec. 177, of the twelfth century, has a text similar to that of Vat. graec. 1970, while the other, an unpublished manuscript of the twelfth-thirteenth century in the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai, provides a text similar to that of Vat. graec. 2281. Manuscript 173/36 of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate of Alexandria, a copy of an earlier copy made in 1585-1586, has a text similar to that of Vat. graec. 2281 but with the assimilation to Byzantine usages carried still further.
Almost nothing is known of the history of the Greek-Melchite liturgy or the circumstances of its use. The first clear allusion to its use is also the last. Around the year 1203 the Byzantine canonist Theodorus Balsamon, in his responses to questions put by Mark, Melchite patriarch of Alexandria, declared that the use of the Liturgy of Saint Mark (and of the Syrian Liturgy of Saint James), “read in the regions of Alexandria and of Jerusalem,” was contrary to the canonical traditions and uses recognized by the See of Constantinople, whose liturgies of Saint JOHN CHRYSOSTOM and Saint Basil alone were to be used by churches in communion with that see.
The Greek texts of the Codex Rossanensis, the Rotulus Vaticanus, and, for the parts following the Intercessory Prayers, the Rotulus Messanensis (Messina graec. 177) are printed synoptically, with parallel excerpts (in Latin translation) from the Coptic anaphoras of Saint Cyril and Saint Basil and the Ethiopic common order, in C. A. Swainson, The Greek Liturgies, pp. 2-73 (London, 1884). Swainson’s text of the Codex Rossanensis, supplemented from other sources, is in F. E. Brightman, ed., Liturgies Eastern and Western, Vol. 1, pp. 113-43 (Oxford, 1896). The anaphoric part of Brightman’s resultant text, edited by A. Raes, is given in A. Hänggi and I. Pahl, eds., Prex eucharistica, pp. 101-115 (Spicilegium friburgense 12, Fribourg, 1968). The Greek fragments of the fourth- fifth-century Strasbourg graec. 254 and the sixth-century John Rylands Papyrus 465 are conveniently found on pp. 116-22 of this work. A Sahidic fragment containing a mixture of known and otherwise unknown elements has been published by H. Quecke in Orientalia Christiana Periodica 37 (1971):40-54. An Ethiopic version of the anaphoric part of the Liturgy of Saint Mark has been published, with Latin translation by A. T. M. Semharay Selam, in Ephemerides liturgicae 42 (1928):507-531.
English by G. R. Merry in Liturgies and Other Documents of the Ante-Nicene Period, pp. 47-71 (Ante-Nicene Christian Library 24, Edinburgh, 1872); German in F. Probst, Liturgie der drei ersten christlichen Jahrhunderte, pp. 318-34 (Tübingen, 1870); Latin in E. Renaudot, Liturgiarum Orientalium Collectio, Vol. 1, pp. 120-48 (2nd ed., Frankfurt and London, 1847), of which the anaphoric part, adapted by A. Raes to Brightman’s Greek text, is reproduced on pp. 103-115 of Hänggi and Pahl, Prex eucharistica (see above), to which Raes has added Latin translations of the Strasbourg fragment (by J. Quasten), pp. 117-19, and of the John Rylands fragment (by L. Ligier), pp. 121-23.
- Coquin, R.-G. “L’Anaphore alexandrine de saint Marc.” Le Muséon 82 (1969):307-356.
- Cumming, G. J. “Egyptian Elements in the Jerusalem Liturgy.” Journal of Theological Studies n.s. 25 (1974):117-24. Engberding, H. “Neues Licht über die Geschichte des Textes der ägyptischen Markusliturgie.” Oriens Christianus 40 (1956):40-68.
- . “Das anaphorische Fürbittgebet der griechischen Markusliturgie.” Orientalia Christiana Periodica 30 (1964):398-446.
AELRED CODY, O.S.B