4 September 2023

Addai and Mari

Is the Anaphora of Addai and Mai ... which lacks an Institution Narrative and thus does not include the Words of the Lord ... a valid Consecration of the Most Holy Eucharist?

Rome has given the answer Yes; but not all people in the Traddisphere trust what modern Rome says. But very reliable writers from before the Council came to the same conclusion. Eric Mascall did ... and I have come across the following, in an unpublished and very interesting letter of Dom Gregory Dix shown to me by Mrs Jill Pinnock, where I'm sure the great mystagogue has A and M in mind: "What are the minimum requirements for [eucharistic] validity? I suppose (1) a priest (2) bread and wine (3) the words of institution (I personally would reduce this last to any plain indication that the rite now being performed with the bread and wine by the priest is intended as a deliberate fulfilment of the command at the Last Supper, touto poieite eis ten anamnesin mou. A repetition of the words of institution is the most compendious and unambiguous, and best authorised, way of doing this)."

There is an important theological point here,

It has become axiomatic that the Lex Orandi should prescribe the Lex Credendi. You want to know what the Catholic Church teaches? Look at the words with which the Catholic Church prays.

Pius XII tried to fudge this distinction. A pity. I disapprove of the notion that what we believe (which can vary quite a lot as theological fashions morph) can or should license us to us mess around with the words Tradition gives us in the Liturgy. This error lies at the basis of the mistakes made in the post-Conciliar period, when committees in Rome arrogantly presented to themselves the competence to change whatever they wished.

There are two distinct methodologies in conflict here. 

One ... call it the a priori ... works out from scratch ... from theological basics ... what a liturgical formula should be or should include. 

The other ... the historical ... looks at what actual liturgical phenomena have actually said or done over two actual millennia; and makes that study its basis.

Much more Traddy, in my opinion.

Much safer for us, if we have to endure any more 'creative' pontificates.


frjustin said...

In the June 2019 issue of Parole de l'Orient, Mateus RafaƂ Potoczny writes on pp.312-313:

"Scholarly accusations that the Anaphora of Addai and Mari is defective because of the lack of the narratio institutionis are mistaken. A similar error would be to accuse the esteemed and ancient Roman Canon of lacking a clear epiclesis. The absence of the Words of Institution results from the antiquity and Semitic origin of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari; likewise the lack of a clear epiclesis in the Roman Canon results from the fact that its redaction took place before the pneumatological controversies in the 4th century. It would be absurd to maintain that during the celebration of the Eucharist the Holy Spirit is not operative, simply because He is not mentioned directly. The same applies to the Words of Institution."


Concerned Thomist said...

But don't the said liturgical phenomena have to be ones existing with the Catholic Church?

Moritz Gruber said...

But wasn't this anaphora the one where they refused to write down the Words of Institution, being too holy for that... and may have, but considerably afterwards, slipped into the error of not reading aloud what does not stand there? At least that's a version I heard once.

Archimandrite Gregory said...

When members of the Church of the East join the Orthodox Church the Liturgy of Mari and Adai have the words of institution insert into their Anaphora. No problem then.

Albertus said...

Inspite of the scandalous, anti-traditional, oecumenism-trumps-all-other-considerations, non-infallible, decision of the Roman Congregation under Pope JPII, i do not believe that the schismatical and heretical Addai and Mari rite validly confects the Body and Blood of our Lord. All other rites do contain the Words of Consecration. An anamoly cannot be considered valid proof of sacramental form. The schismatical and heretical Church of the East, known for keeping many other ancient beliefs and practices, is in this eucharistic rite of Addai And Mari defective. Long under moslim rule, the words of consecration were simply not written down due to a sort of arcanum fidei, but entrusted to the priestly memory. Alas, the uneducated clergy eventually forgot the proper form of consecration and presumed to celebrate without them, ignorant of their former existance. There is much other corruption amongst them, shall we now canonise all their sacramental and dogmatic errors?

Jhayes said...

The “Guidelines for Admission to the Eucharist Between the Chaldean Church and the Assyrian Church of the East“ document says:

“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.”


“Elaborated by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, in agreement with the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches”

frjustin said...

The Jewish liturgy shows a similar reluctance to writing down the most important prayers. Neither Philo nor Josephus nor the Mishna nor the Talmud fully describe the synagogue service, nor do they give the text of the prayers. The initial words of the basic prayers are often mentioned in the Mishna and in the Talmud, but the complete text is not given. The prayers were handed down from one generation to the next by oral tradition. In Talmudic times it was forbidden to write down the text of the prayers. Prayer-books did not come into existence until Gaonic times.The oldest of them was compiled by Rav Amram bar Sheshna, Gaon in Sura in the ninth century A. D.

(from the Introduction on p. xvi)

William Tighe said...

"But wasn't this anaphora the one where they refused to write down the Words of Institution, being too holy for that... and may have, but considerably afterwards, slipped into the error of not reading aloud what does not stand there? At least that's a version I heard once."

This is unlikely, because the other two anaphoras in use in the Church of the East, that called "of Nestorius," and that termed "of Theodore of Mopsuestia," both contain the Words of Institution. An anaphora, preserved but not (at least until not recently) used among the Maronites, The "Third Anaphora of St. Peter," often called "Sharar" from its initial word, of which the much expanded text can be found here


has the Words of Institution, which some scholars use to argue that Addai and Mari once had one, while others cite the peculiar place of the Words of Institution in it to argue that it is a late addition. And among the Malabari Christians of South India, when the Portuguese Jesuits arrived there in the 16th Century they found that they used a version of Addai and Mari with the Words of Institution, but at the end of the anaphora, after its final doxology.

Jhayes said...

Issued July 20th, 2001, while Cardinal Ratzinger was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Paul in Melbourne said...

I agree. These guidelines mentined in the last post were issued by Cardinal Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, promulgated a declaration approved by Pope John Paul II stating that this is a valid anaphora.

Before the evangelisation of the New Word, the Church of the East had spread the gospel over the widest geographical area from Persia to Korea and perhaps Japan.

Claudio Salvucci said...

"An anamoly cannot be considered valid proof of sacramental form. "

But if the other liturgical traditions accepted that anomaly as sacramentally valid, that is indeed a proof.

Hence the importance of Fr. Hunwicke's citations from Mascall and Dix.

It's a far superior and far more Traddy argument than "I don't believe it."

Jhayes said...

Professor Tighe, the “Guidelines” I quoted in my earlier post include this provision:

“ 3. When Chaldean faithful are participating in an Assyrian celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the Assyrian minister is warmly invited to insert the words of the Institution in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, as allowed by the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East.”

Simon North said...

Why would you think, Dear Father, that two Protestants would influence me any more than post-conciliar Popes? Really?

Albertus said...

The Eastern Orthodox explicitly reject the validity of the Canon of Addai and Mari without the explicit words of consecration. The Eastern Orthodox donot reject the validity of our Canon Romanius without an explicit calling down of the Holy Ghost: they donot like it, but do not in general consider our Mass to be therefore invalid. Hence the difference.

Catholic said...

From an amateur perspective,the Chaldeans should simply adopt the Roman Canon or Greek Catholic Consecratory prayers? Asking,not commanding,answers are greatly appreciated!