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The Anaphora of Hippolytus is arguably the oldest known complete anaphora or communion liturgy, having been written in the early to mid 3rd century by Hippolytus of Rome. It was used extensively by Dom Gregory Dix in his research for his book The Shape of the Liturgy published in 1945 and subsequently by theologicans such as Dr. Charles (Ted) Hackett and Dr. Don Saliers among others in preparing reforms for the Book of Common Prayer and the United Methodist Liturgies found in the current United Methodist Hymnal.
Selections from the Anaphora
The Sursum Corda shows slight differences from current Sursum Corda of various liturgies. Notable is the turning of the hearts to God, bringing to mind the concept of "repentance" as a turning away from sin and toward God. The Anamnesis is notable when compared to the Nicean creed. The Epiclesis is thought to be 'weak.'
Priest: The Lord be with you!
All: And with your spirit!
Priest: Let us lift up our hearts.
All: They are turned to the Lord!
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord.
All: It is right and just!
Priest: We give you thanks, O God,
through your beloved Child Jesus Christ,
whom you have sent us in the last days as Savior,
Redeemer and Messenger of your will.
He is your Word, inseparable from you,
through whom you have created everything
and in whom you find your delight.
You sent him from heaven into the womb of a Virgin.
He was conceived and became flesh,
he manifested himself as your Son,
born of the Spirit and the Virgin.
He did your will, and,
to win for you a holy people,
he stretched out his hands in suffering to rescue from
suffering those who believe in you.
When he was about to surrender himself to voluntary suffering
in order to destroy death,
to break the devil's chains,
to tread hell underfoot,
to pour out his light upon the just,
to establish the covenant, and manifest resurrection,
he took bread, gave you thanks and said:
"Take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you."
In like manner for the cup, he said:
"This is my blood which is poured out for you. When you do this, do it in memory of me."
Remembering, therefore, your death and your resurrection, we offer you the
bread and the wine, we thank you for having judged us worthy to stand before
you and serve you.
And we pray you to send you Holy Spirit on the offering of your holy Church,
to bring together in unity all those who receive it.
May they be filled with the Holy Spirit
who strengthens their faith in the truth.
May we be able thus to praise and glorify you through your Child, Jesus Christ.
Through him glory to you and honor, to the Father and the Son, with the Holy
Spirit, in your holy Church, now and forever! Amen.
- Dom Gregory Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy, 1945.
- Lucien Deiss, Springtime of the Liturgy, 1979
- Anaphora of Hippolytus, Latin text.