ANAPHORA OF SAINT GREGORY, one of the three anaphoras retained by the Coptic church in its service books. In the manuscript tradition, followed by modern printed editions, the anaphora in the strict sense (from the beginning of the eucharistic prayer to the doxology before the fraction and Lord's Prayer) is supplemented by certain prayers preceding and following it and meant for use with it, which are to replace the corresponding prayers used with the Coptic ANAPHORA OF SAINT BASIL. For other elements of the service, rubrics direct the celebrant to the common order of Coptic service now attached to the Anaphora of Saint Basil.
The anaphora in the strict sense, like the Anaphora of Saint Basil, shows the structure of an Antiochene or Syrian anaphora, without the more strikingly Egyptian features of the anaphora part of the Liturgy of Saint Mark and the ANAPHORA OF SAINT CYRIL, and it is presumably of Syrian origin. Its adaptation to Egyptian use has led to some structural duplication not found in the Basilian anaphora. In the dialogue at the beginning of the anaphora there is a mixture of Syrian elements with the Egyptian, and there are two introductions to the triple Holy, the first characteristically Egyptian in stressing the "Holy" sung by those present, the second typically Syrian in its emphasis on the "Holy" sung by the angelic choirs. A peculiarity of the anaphora lies in its being addressed not to God the Father but to God the Son, to whom divine acts in the history of salvation before and after the Incarnation are attributed, both in the eucharistic prayer after the triple Holy and in the first of the two prayers of the kiss of peace preceding the anaphora proper. In the EPICLESIS, Christ is asked to change the gifts "with His own voice" as well as to send His Holy Spirit to hallow and change them.
Although one of the two alternative prayers of the kiss of peace preceding the anaphora proper may be a secondary addition, both are addressed to Christ and thus fit that peculiarity of the anaphora. These prayers are preceded by a prayer of the veil that is clearly secondary, for it is addressed not to the Son but to the Father. In the Greek recension, probably Melchite, there is also an alternative prayer of the veil which is identical with the Byzantine prayer of the cherubikon, and this is itself preceded by three other prayers absent in the Coptic recension. Of these three, the second, for the end of the prothesis, is addressed to Christ and is not known in another context; the first, for the beginning of the prothesis, is borrowed from the Antiochene Liturgy of Saint James and the third, to precede the Gospel, is identical with the prayer of the Gospel in the Coptic common order. One concludes that, just as in the case of the Anaphora of Saint Basil, the original Anaphora of Saint Gregory as an independent formulary began with a prayer of the kiss of peace, with a prayer of the veil added afterward in imitation of the beginning of anaphoras in Syrian collections, while the additional prayers in the Melchite formulary were further accretions felt to be opportune in Melchite Egyptian practice.
Traditionally, the Anaphora of Saint Gregory is used on major feasts such as Christmas, Epiphany, and Easter, and on PALM SUNDAY, because it is addressed to Christ. In modern times, some celebrants do not use it at all, and some use parts of it in place of the corresponding parts of the Anaphora of Saint Basil, on appropriate feasts.
AELRED CODY, O.S.B.
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