From The January, 1826 Issue of The Wesleyan Methodist Magazine
LITURGY OF ST. DIOSCORUS, PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA
Translated By Adam Clarke
To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine
The following Liturgy was found in an ancient Ethiopic MS., formerly belonging to Dr. Pocock, and published by J. M. Wansleb, of Erfurt, at the end of Ludolph's Ethiopic Lexicon. Scarcely any person knows it. In my sight it is deeply pathetic, sublime, and beautiful. If your readers do not thank you for its insertion, I may pity, but certainly shall not envy, their taste. I send this and other pieces to you, as a proof of that friendship in which I ever remain, your affectionate brother,
Adam Clarke London, Oct. 31st, 1825
The Consecration of The Lord's Supper
From eternity to eternity is the Lord in his kingdom. He is Jehovah in his Trinity, and Jehovah in his Divinity.
Before the heavens were stretched out, and before the dry land appeared, and before the grass budded forth, was the Lord in his kingdom.
Before the sun, and moon, and stars, and before the revolutions of the luminaries, was the Lord in his kingdom.
Before the animals that creep , and before the birds that fly, and before the monsters of the sea, was the Lord in his kingdom.
Before man was created in His image and similitude, and before the precept was transgressed, was the Lord in his kingdom.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Spirit, for ever and ever! Hear, O heavens! and give ear, O earth! and let the foundations of the strong (mountains) tremble!
The well-beloved of his Father descended to .......... (Here is a chasm in the M.S.) He was a stranger. God was born in the immaculate Virginity. He was brought into a cave belonging to cattle. He received the gifts of his regal honor.
As an infant he wept, demanding nourishment from the breasts of his mother.
He walked as a man, and was seen openly. He grew up by degrees, and in his thirtieth year he was baptized in Jordan.
He fasted evidently as a man, and dwelt in the desert.
He was tempted by the Devil; and by the virtue of his Divinity he dispersed the princes of darkness.
Holy! holy! holy! is the Lord in his Trinity!
Although he were a King, yet he showed his humility like to a servant.
He stretched out his hands, which created man, that he might redeem men from the yoke of sin.
In that night in which they (i.e. the Jews) betrayed him, he took bread in his holy, pure, and immaculate hands. He looked up to heaven, where his Father is. He gave thanks, he blessed and brake it, and gave it to them; to his holy disciples, and to his pure apostles, and he said unto them, "Take, eat; this bread is my body, which is broken for you, for the remission of sins."
He likewise mingled wine and water; he gave thanks, blessed and sanctified it; and gave it to them; to his holy disciples, and to his pure apostles, and said unto them, "Take, and drink; this cup is my blood; that which is poured out for you, for the remission of sins."
The Jews apprehended him, and set in judgment Him before whom archangels stand with fear and trembling. They hung him on a tree, and pierced him through with nails; they smote his head with a reed, and pierced his side with a spear. They quenched His thirst with gall, mingled with myrrh, who gave the wandering Israelites drink from that one rock (in the wilderness.)
He died, though he was immortal. He died that he might take away. death. He died that he might give life to the dead, according to his promise in the word of the covenant.
They took him down from the tree, and rolled him in fine linen, and buried him in a tomb. The third day he arose from the dead. He came where his disciples were gathered together; and he appeared to them in the palace of Zion. On the fortieth day, in which he ascended into the heavens, he commanded them, saying, "Wait for the promise of the Father." And on the fiftieth day, he sent down the Holy Spirit upon them, in the likeness of fire; and they spoke the languages of all countries. Send down thy Spirit upon this bread, and upon this cup! Let the (paschal) Lamb come, that we may see him in our camps; that we may rejoice in him! (Here follows a prayer in breaking.)
Because he hath not despised, nor was averse from our times, -- for the Lord our God is merciful.
Thou art indeed the Lord, the Lord of all.
Thou art indeed the Lord, the Governor of all.
Thou art indeed the Lord, the Creator of all.
Thou art indeed the Lord, who comprehendest all.
Thou art indeed the Lord, who leadest all to veneration.
Thou art indeed the Lord, the Saviour of all.
Thou art indeed the Lord, the King of all.
Thou art indeed the Lord, the Nourisher of all...
We invoke thee; we lift up a mournful cry unto thee; and we supplicate thee, world without
end. * * *
St. Dioscorus, the author of this Liturgy, succeeded St. Cyril in the Patriarchate of Alexandria; A. D. 444... Dioscorus excommunicated Pope Leo, and procured ten bishops to sign the instrument. In the Council of Chalcedon, which was held in 451, he was condemned and deposed, and the Emperor banished him to Gangres, in Paphlagonia, where he died in 455. The
Ethiopic Christians believe him to have been unjustly condemned, and therefore never acknowledge the authority of the above Council.
* * * * * * *