en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandrian_Rite#:~:text=The Alexandrian Rite is the liturgical rite used,by the three corresponding Eastern Catholic Churches .
- The Alexandrian Rite is the liturgical rite used by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, as well as by the three corresponding Eastern Catholic Churches .
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The Alexandrian rite's Divine Liturgy contains elements from the liturgies of Saints Mark the Evangelist (who is traditionally regarded as the first bishop of Alexandria), Basil the Great, Cyril the Great, and Gregory Nazianzus. The Liturgy of Saint Cyril is a Coptic language translation from Greek of the Liturgy of Saint Mark.
Alexandrian rite, the system of liturgical practices and discipline in use among Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians of both the Eastern-rite Catholic and independent Christian churches.
- Rich Heritage
- A Growing Church
- Attempts at Reunion
- A New Rite
- Full Communion with Rome
- Ritual Differences
- Differences in Communion
- The Sacraments and Seasons
- Alexandrian Rite Saints
- Our Common Love For Jesus
As detailed in the first part of this series of essays, there are twenty-four different “ways” to be Catholic. In the second partof this series, we delved into the rich patrimony of the Armenian Rite, utilized by the Armenian Catholic Church. Today, we will explore a part of the Church many in the West are not familiar with as most of these Catholics still reside in the eastern part of Africa. The focus is now on those which express themselves according to the Alexandrian Rite. There are three Churches which use the Alexandrian Rite in their liturgies. They are the Coptic Catholic Church, the Ethiopian Catholic Church, and the Eritrean Catholic Church. Each of these Churches preserve and express the fullness of the Catholic Faith, albeit in a different way than Latin Catholics do. Fr. Awte Weldu, an Eritrean Catholic priest living in the United States, explains:
According to tradition, these Churches have very ancient origins. For Copts, their lineage traces back to St. Mark the Evangelist, while for the Ethiopians tradition states that Christianity first spread in the region through Saints Matthew and Bartholomew. Most Coptic Christians today are members of the Coptic (Oriental) Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Communion was broken with Latin and Byzantine Christians following the Council of Chalcedon in 451. But as we learned in the case of the Armenians, those that reunited with Rome, and Rome with them, we know as the Eastern Catholic Churches. Therefore, many might be surprised to know that many Copts are indeed Catholic and not Orthodox. While they make up a relatively small number both in Egypt and abroad, the number of faithful and parishes have grown over the past ten years, despite persecution that has been experienced by all Christians in the area. There are currently thirty-one Coptic Catholic seminarians throughout Egypt, with th...
Concerning the actual reunion, there were some attempts made over the centuries which unfortunately produced few results. Most notable among these attempts, was the signing of the Cantate Dominoby a delegation of Coptic Orthodox bishops at the Ecumenical Council of Florence in 1442. It wasn’t until the middle of the eighteenth century that a lasting union was achieved. In 1741, Coptic Orthodox bishop Anba Athanasius became Catholic, and in that same year Pope Benedict XIV appointed him as the Apostolic Vicar of the nearly two thousand Coptic Catholics in the region. As the population of Coptic Catholics increased over the next century and a half, Pope Leo XIII re-established the patriarchate by appointing Bishop Cyril Makarios as Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria in 1899. The current head of the Coptic Catholic Church is Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, elected in 2013. His predecessor, Patriarch Emeritus Antonios Naguib, is one of eight living Eastern Catholic cardinals, and p...
Looking to the Ethiopian and Eritrean Catholic Churches, it’s important to note that the latter of these two is the newest of all the Eastern Catholic Churches. Established in 2015 by Pope Francis, the Eritrean Catholic Church was formally part of the Ethiopian Catholic Church. This can be seen as a direct result of the Eritrean War of Independence which ended in 1991. In 1993, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church was established, and many had anticipated something similar happening for Catholics. This makes the history of both of these Churches intimately linked. Like the Copts, most Ethiopian Christians today belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, which also broke communion with other Christians following the Council of Chalcedon. While tradition holds that Saints Matthew and Bartholomew first evangelized the area, tradition also largely credits another saint with bringing a lasting Christian presence to the region. Called the Kesate Birhan(Revealer of Light), St. Frum...
The missionaries that had come imposed many Latinizations upon those that utilized the Ge’ez Rite. The Ethiopians eventually expelled them and two hundred years would pass before any Catholic missionaries came back to the region. In 1839, the Ethiopians allowed Italian Lazarists and Capuchin friars to come into the region on a limited basis. This time, the missionary envoy did much better. St. Justin de Jacobis led these efforts. Instead of imposing Latinizations, he adapted to the liturgical traditions of the Ethiopian Christians there, and won many converts. St. Justin was ordained a bishop and was given the faculties to administer the sacraments according to the Alexandrian Rite (what we would call a bi-ritual priesttoday) and in 1849 was named the Apostolic Vicar of Abyssinia, thus establishing the Ethiopian Catholic Church in full communion with the pope in Rome. Today, the Ethiopian Catholic Church is led by Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphie. Cardinal Souraphie is one of...
Returning to my first experience of the Divine Liturgy in the Alexandrian Rite, particularly with our Ge’ez Catholic brothers and sisters, much can be said about the beauty in which the sacred mysteries were carried out. You can find a full report on that experience here. Keep in mind, though, that their Liturgy is of the same origin as Coptic Catholics. From the Catholic Encyclopedia: This is why the Alexandrian Rite can be subdivided into the Coptic Rite and the Ge’ez Rite. As mentioned above, language is one of the main differences between them. Other differences include certain local customs such as the use of drums during the Liturgy. Also, some women in the congregation ululate at certain moments of the Liturgy, such as before the reception of Holy Communion. This is one of the traditions particular to the Ge’ez Rite, done as an act of praise.
All three Churches administer the Eucharist through intinction, which means they dip the Host into the Precious Blood just before giving It to the communicant. The bread Coptic Catholics use is typically leavened bread and is stamped with the Coptic Cross before it is consecrated. As I experienced when visiting the Eritrean Catholic community, the Host was unleavened. As I approached to receive our Lord in Communion, a deacon stood next to the priest. The deacon held the chalice so the priest could dip the Sacred Host before administering It to each of us on the tongue. The server stood on the other side of the priest with a paten underneath each communicants’ chin. After everyone has received Communion, the priest blesses the congregation with the Sacred Species, just as in the Byzantine Rite.
Traditionally the Alexandrian Rite gives all the sacraments of initiation at the same time, including for infants. As we saw with Armenian Catholics, Chrismation (or Confirmation) is given immediately after baptism. Regarding the Holy Eucharist, Fr. Weldu quotes the Canon Law of the Eastern Churches: As for the liturgical seasons, the year typically begins with the Feast of the Cross in late September, which commemorates the finding of the True Cross by St. Helen. There are also many seasons of fasting throughout the year. The Great Fast does not start with an Ash Wednesday or Clean Monday as seen in the Latin and Byzantine traditions, but is usually stricter than the Lenten fast seen in the Latin Church. The Apostles’ Fast also follows Pentecost in preparation for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Many great saints have come from the Alexandrian tradition in addition to the ones we already mentioned in passing. There’s a direct connection between the great St. Athanasius of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, and St. Frumentius. After staying in the Kingdom of Aksumite for some time, he eventually travelled to Alexandria to ask St. Athanasius to send a pastor to look over the people in the Aksumite Kingdom. In the great Doctor’s wisdom, St. Athanasius ordained St. Frumentius himself as the first bishop of Aksum. He returned to Eritrea and spread the faith through his preaching and miracles. The Latin Church celebrates St. Frumentius’ feast day Church on October 27. Fast-forwarding a bit closer to modern times, we also venerate the very first priest that St. Justin de Jacobis ordained, Blessed Michael Gabra—who converted to the Catholic Faith in 1844. Once St. Justin was consecrated bishop, he ordained Gabra as a priest in 1851. Together with St. Justin, Gabra wrote a catechism...
While it may be a bit difficult to find one of these parishes in North America, it’s important to at least be aware of our Eastern Catholic brothers and sisters. My time spent with the local Eritrean Catholic community was an experience I will always cherish. I look forward to worshipping with them again in the near future. While Fr. Weldu reports there are no Eritrean or Ethiopian Catholic parishes in the United States, there are chaplaincies in various places such as Chicago and Washington, D.C. If you do have an opportunity to worship with our Coptic or Ge’ez Catholic brothers and sisters, you’ll find yourself warmly welcomed by a community that may appear a bit different than your own. However, you’ll soon find that your common love for our Lord Jesus will make things feel familiar very quickly.
The Alexandrian Rite is officially called the Liturgy of Saint Mark, traditionally regarded as the first bishop of Alexandria. The Alexandrian Rite contains elements from the liturgy of Saint Basil, Saint Cyril the Great, and Saint Gregory Nazianzus.
The Alexandrian Rite contains elements from the liturgy of Saint Basil, Cyril the Great, and Saint Gregory Nazianzus. The Liturgy of Saint Cyril is a Coptic version of the Liturgy of Saint Mark that was in Greek. The Alexandrian Rite is sub-grouped into two rites: the Coptic Rite and the Ge'ez Rite.
In the Alexandrian Rite, the main liturgy said during most of the year is the Liturgy of St. Basil. A version of this liturgy is also used in the Churches of the Byzantine Rite.
Sep 09, 2016 · There are three major groupings of Rites based on this initial transmission of the faith, the Roman, the Antiochian (Syria) and the Alexandrian (Egypt). Later on the Byzantine derived as a major Rite from the Antiochian, under the influence of St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom.
Alexandrian Wicca or Alexandrian Witchcraft is a tradition of the Neopagan religion of Wicca, founded by Alex Sanders (also known as "King of the Witches") who, with his wife Maxine Sanders, established the tradition in the United Kingdom in the 1960s.