Commemoration

edited December 1969 in Hymns Discussion
Why is it that the Commemoration of the Saints in the Liturgy only mentions the church fathers i.e. Bishops and monks and not martyrs such as Sts. George, Mina, Demiana and so on.
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  • [quote author=I Believe link=topic=12412.msg145403#msg145403 date=1317392043]
    Why is it that the Commemoration of the Saints in the Liturgy only mentions the church fathers i.e. Bishops and monks and not martyrs such as Sts. George, Mina, Demiana and so on.


    The list is a summary list ... in the beginning it does mention the martyrs not by name but s a group, though it does mention few by name (St John the forerunner, St. Stephen, St Mark and St Peter the seal of martyrs)
  • St. Moses the Strong--martyr

    In the introduction it mentions "the martyrs"


    The Canon of the Saints in the Commemoration relies mostly on ordained or sanctified orders in the Church.
  • Why do we pray for God to remember all His saints who pleased Him since the beginning?

    I've asked this before, but my senile mind isn't reliable.  ::)
  • [quote author=TITL link=topic=12412.msg145466#msg145466 date=1317475580]
    Why do we pray for God to remember all His saints who pleased Him since the beginning?

    I've asked this before, but my senile mind isn't reliable.  ::)


    So that they also remember us before God's throne and as such put in effect the unity between the heavenly and the earthly.
  • + Irini nem ehmot,

    [quote author=TITL link=topic=12412.msg145466#msg145466 date=1317475580]
    Why do we pray for God to remember all His saints who pleased Him since the beginning?

    I've asked this before, but my senile mind isn't reliable.  ::)


    The Church Militant prays for the Church Victorious and vice versa.
  • DEar TITL,
    I read this in a book before but can't remember who said it, or what the book was called.. our Church is a Church of the living not the dead, and therefore, we ask the saints to pray for us, and God in His greatest love commanded us to also pray for them... because we are a continuum... their prayers are heard for us and ours for them... why then has the practice changed in singing "ara bowzmow" is beyond me...
    Oujai
  • hi, titL,
    i think it's the translation into old english, in the old days people used to say 'remember me to george', meaning 'say 'hi' to george for me' (arabic 'salimlee 'ala george). it didn't mean i am afraid george has forgotten i exist. so we are asking God to bless people/greet them.
    maybe someone can explain better than me what the original coptic/arabic says.
  • Coptic says: participate in the remembrance (which may have a similar sense to English because) Arabic which is the literal Coptic translation says: participate in mentioning your saints...
    Oujai
  • Thanks for all your responses!

    It's still a bit confusing. Some of you replied, "we pray for them and they pray for us", but I thought we ask for their intercessions/prayers. Why would I pray FOR St. Mary?

    If it's a way of greeting (say hi to george), then why is it a part of the Liturgy? The entire service is preparing us for communion, then in the middle (well, towards the end) we say "oh and say hi to all your saints!" And then what? Does God really say hi to all of them after every Liturgy in every church?  ???

    And, I just don't understand why we would ask God to bless St. Mary..etc. The saints don't need any blessings...
  • My opinion is that the commemoration of the saints, like certain other liturgical texts, is an example where the text switches tenses and persons in the middle of the narrative, some times mid-sentence. A similar, more pronounced example is found in the Gregorian Liturgy. We see a section start out, "O our master and our Savior, the life-giver of our souls". The subject of the verb is in the second person singular tense. Then half way into the paragraph we see the narrative add, "who gave Himself for our salvation from sin and who through the multitude of His mercy have loosened the enmity of mankind". The subject swtiched to the third person singular. And then the paragraph goes back to the second person singular tense. The English translation is strange because it clearly uses the third person singular tense as the subject (he, himself, his) but the verb stays in the second person singular (have vs. has). So if the text were strictly in the second person singular, it would be "O our master and our Savior, the life-giver of our souls...who gave Yourself up for our salvation and who through the multitude of Your mercies have loosened the enmity of mankind." If the text were strictly in the third person singular it would be "The master and the Savior, the life-giver of our souls...who gave Himself up for our salvation and who through the multitude of His mercies has loosened the enmity of mankind." Since the Coptic switched tenses back and forth, the English translation did the same; which makes it bad English.

    Apparantly, under certain narrative circumstances in Coptic, the subject tense, gender and number do not have to match to subordinate clauses. The reader or the audience would simply understand who the subject is. 

    If you look at the commemoration of the saints, the text says arikataxion P[oic `nteker`vmeu`i `nnye;ouab tyrou, which literally means "Make deem worthy, O Lord, that you remember all the saints..." In better English, it could be translated as "Accord worthily, O Lord, that you remember all the saints." In modern English, it could be translated as "Accordingly, O Lord, remember all the saints." This doesn't solve our problem. I'm only pointing out that the Coptic means something different than the English or Arabic translation.

    If we look at the full context, it seems the Coptic text should read, arikataxion P[oic `ntener`vmeu`i `nnye;ouab tyrou, which literally means "Make deem worthy, O Lord, that we remember all the saints..." It's only one letter different in the Coptic. A modern translation would be, "O Lord, deem us worthy that we remember all the saints." This makes more sense because if you look at the paragraph before, the author is making a point that the commandment of the Only-Begotten Son is that we share in the commemoration of all the saint." The next sentence logically flows as "(Accordingly,) O Lord, deem us worthy that we remember all the saints who have pleased You since the beginning." In this logical context, we solved the problem. We are not asking God to remember the saints who have pleased him since He does not need us to ask Him to remember His saints. Nor are we praying for the saints since they have greater honor than we. We are actually praying that God makes us worthy to remember them.

    Does this help?
  • If you look at the commemoration of the saints, the text says arikataxion P[oic `nteker`vmeu`i `nnye;ouab tyrou

    Dear Reminkimi,

    I am not sure where you got the text above. The text should be (St. Basil Liturgy):

    Epidy P=o=c ouahcahni pe `nte pekmonogenyc `[email protected] e;rener`svyr `epier`vmeu`i `nte ny=e=;=u `ntak.

  • [quote author=imikhail link=topic=12412.msg145555#msg145555 date=1317685002]

    If you look at the commemoration of the saints, the text says arikataxion P[oic `nteker`vmeu`i `nnye;ouab tyrou

    Dear Reminkimi,

    I am not sure where you got the text above. The text should be (St. Basil Liturgy):

    Epidy P=o=c ouahcahni pe `nte pekmonogenyc `[email protected] e;rener`svyr `epier`vmeu`i `nte ny=e=;=u `ntak.

    imikhail,
    The text I quoted is the very next sentence after your sentence. You can look it up here. I quoted it because that is what TITL specifically asked about. If you change one letter in the Coptic text, the meaning completely changes and the problem is solved.
  • I do not agree that changing the letter k to n solves the issue.

    It is God who remembers not us. We are pleading to God through His pleasant remembrance of his saints to forgive us, support us and above all lead us to paradise as He lead His saints.
  • DEar all,
    No we aren't pleading with God to forgive us our sins THROUGH their prayers, it's what Remenkimi has refuted... we're actually praying for them. That's what I said in my last post... the Church doesn't consider them having any more honour than us at this stage, or at least in this particular part. The Lord is a Lord of the living, so we pray for them as they do us as in other parts, not least midnight praises..
    Oujai
  • Dear Remenkimi,
    You said: "A similar, more pronounced example is found in the Gregorian Liturgy. We see a section start out, "O our master and our Savior, the life-giver of our souls". The subject of the verb is in the second person singular tense. Then half way into the paragraph we see the narrative add, "who gave Himself for our salvation from sin and who through the multitude of His mercy have loosened the enmity of mankind". The subject swtiched to the third person singular. And then the paragraph goes back to the second person singular tense. The English translation is strange because it clearly uses the third person singular tense as the subject (he, himself, his) but the verb stays in the second person singular (have vs. has). So if the text were strictly in the second person singular, it would be "O our master and our Savior, the life-giver of our souls...who gave Yourself up for our salvation and who through the multitude of Your mercies have loosened the enmity of mankind." If the text were strictly in the third person singular it would be "The master and the Savior, the life-giver of our souls...who gave Himself up for our salvation and who through the multitude of His mercies has loosened the enmity of mankind." Since the Coptic switched tenses back and forth, the English translation did the same; which makes it bad English."
    I see it a perfectly fine translation. It is pretty much the same as saying: "I am the one who gave you his bread to eat". That is perfectly alright as far as English is concerned. I hope you agree.
    Oujai qen `P[C
  • We are not asking God to remember the saints who have pleased him since He does not need us to ask Him to remember His saints. Nor are we praying for the saints since they have greater honor than we.

    The beginning of the commemoration:

    Liturgy of St Basil:
    As this, O Lord, is the command of Your only-begotten Son, that we share in the commemoration of Your saints

    It is the command of the Son which the Church is executing through mentioning the saints names

    The Liturgy of St Gregory:
    Graciously accord, O Lord, to remember all the saints who have pleased You since the beginning

    Here it the Lord who remembers (and we carry along in this remembrance through God's grace as is clear in the liturgy of St Basil). The Church is requesting that the Lord remembers

    The liturgy of St Cyril [St Mark]:
    Our fathers and our brethren who have fallen asleep, whose souls You have taken, repose them. Remembering also all the saints who have pleased You since the beginning.

    Again, it is the Lord who remembers ..... and the Church is asking God to do so

    No we aren't pleading with God to forgive us our sins THROUGH their prayers

    This is not what the Church teaches ... Here is the text of the last part of the commemoration:

    The Liturgy of St Basil:
    And all the choir of Your saints, through whose prayers and supplications have mercy on us all and save us, for the sake of Your holy name, which is called upon us.

    The Liturgy of St. Cyril [St Mark]:
    Not that we are worthy, O our Master, of the intercession for the blessedness of those saints, but rather they are standing before the throne of Your only-begotten Son.

    That they may be in our stead, interceding for our poverty and our frailty.

    The Liturgy of St Gregory:
    And all the choir of Your saints, through whose prayers and supplications have mercy on us all and save us, for the sake of Your holy name, which is called upon us.

    It is clear from the liturgical text that the purpose of the commemoration of saints is that through their blessed memory that the Lord may save us.
  • we're actually praying for them

    the Church doesn't consider them having any more honour than us at this stage

    The saints definitely have more honor than us at this stage and at every stage. Even in heaven, there will be saints who will have more honor than other saints.

    We are still in the body fighting sin. They already conquered sin.

    We are under the sting of the flesh. They overcame the passions of the flesh.

    They are in a state of honor. We are still suffering.

    One question I ask based on the following liturgical text:

    Most of all, the pure, full-of-glory, ever-virgin, holy Theotokos, Saint Mary.

    Are we pure, full of glory like the Theotokos? We can and do sin even during the liturgy up  and until communion and after communion.

    So how can we say that

    the Church doesn't consider them having any more honour than us at this stage

    This is absolutely against what the Church teaches.

    Not that we are worthy, O our Master, of the intercession for the blessedness of those saints, but rather they are standing before the throne of Your only-begotten Son.
  • OK imikhail,
    Very nice response. Let me be clearer than I was, and say that the commemoration in the Liturgy as I understand it (from Fr. Mattaos' book, if I remember rightly) is not about asking for forgiveness of sins through their prayers per se, it rather is to PRAY FOR THEM. Yes we do add in the last sentence, and thereafter in the deacon's response the plea to God to forgive us through their sins (and I guess that goes back to what you rightly pointed out that they do have more honour than us), but in the body of the prayer, we actually do pray for them.
    PS: Please don't misunderstand me because I never meant to imply that they don't have more honour than us FULL STOP. What I meant is that the Church raises our rank and level when we are in the Liturgy to the level that we are as honoured as they are... indeed at the end, not forgetting who we are... no need to say that this goes with the prayer of the Gregorian liturgy "make them like your angels, ... "
    Oujai qen `P[C
  • Church raises our rank and level when we are in the Liturgy to the level that we are as honoured as they are

    Where in the liturgical text can we get this understanding?

    In fact, we say we are not worthy to even mention their names

    Yes we pray that we may be like the angels in purity, ... not in honor.

    The liturgical texts do not have any reference to honor whatsoever.
  • It seems everyone has a different opinion...

    Remnkemi,

    Are you saying the Coptic text is wrong and everything will make sense if we change the "k" to "n"? Please tell me I misunderstood.

    Ophadece,

    I agree with your post. It all made sense after you pointed out that our God is a God of the living. I still feel a little uneasy praying for St. Mary though... ::)


  • [quote author=ophadece link=topic=12412.msg145578#msg145578 date=1317724668]

    I see it a perfectly fine translation. It is pretty much the same as saying: "I am the one who gave you his bread to eat". That is perfectly alright as far as English is concerned. I hope you agree.
    This is not exactly the same thing. In this sentence the object (I) is in the first person singular and the verb matches (am). The primary object is in the second person singular (you) and the subordinate object is in the third person singular (his bread). However, if you think about the narrative in your sentence, it is giving us information about the subject, object and indirect object that is different than our example in the Gregorian liturgy. 

    The subordinate object has to belong to the right person. In our example from the Gregorian liturgy, we are specifically speaking to the Second person of the Trinity. And we know that it was the Second person of the Trinity who "gave Himself up for our salvation." It can't be anyone else. In this case, we can't direct our prayer or sentence to the Logos and use the third person singular anywhere. If we are speaking directly to Christ, then we can't say "You gave Himself up". The second we do this we are saying that someone else gave himself up (the subordinate object doesn't belong to the person we are directly talking to).

    In your example, "I am the one who gave you his bread to eat" tells us that the subordinate object doesn't belong to the primary object of the sentence. The bread belongs to someone else. But if the bread belonged to the primary object (which is similar to our example of the Gregorian), the sentence must be "I am the one who gave you your bread to eat".

    Does this clarify?
  • [quote author=TITL link=topic=12412.msg145585#msg145585 date=1317732093]
    Are you saying the Coptic text is wrong and everything will make sense if we change the "k" to "n"? Please tell me I misunderstood.

    What I am saying is that Coptic text are notorious for switching tenses and number, especially in hagiographical stories. It is possible that this is another example of conflicting grammar. When conflicting grammar occurs like this, the meaning changes drastically. This is the core of the controversy. Who is doing the remembering and who is being remembered? Who needs remembering and who is benefiting from remembering?

    I can't, without enough certainty, say the Coptic text is wrong. I can say that if the text is changed like I described, we have an alternative answer to the controversy that makes sense.
  • I don't really feel comfortable with that.
  • [quote author=imikhail link=topic=12412.msg145579#msg145579 date=1317725148]
    As this, O Lord, is the command of Your only-begotten Son, that we share in the commemoration of Your saints

    It is the command of the Son which the Church is executing through mentioning the saints names
    Up to here I completely agree with you.

    Graciously accord, O Lord, to remember all the saints who have pleased You since the beginning

    Here it the Lord who remembers (and we carry along in this remembrance through God's grace as is clear in the liturgy of St Basil). The Church is requesting that the Lord remembers

    I think we have to clarify some things here. I think the problem lies solely in the fact that arikataxion does not mean graciously or تفضل. It is derived from ari (imperative or vocative marker that expresses a command) + kata (which means "according") + axion (which means "worthy". So arikataxion means "Make according worthy" or "make accordingly worthy" or "make worthy" or simply "deem worthy". I fail to see how arikataxion can mean graciously. In fact in Google translate, تفضل is translated as "prefer or deign" Deign means "Do something that one considers to be beneath one's dignity" which is nothing like arikataxion.

    The only way I can see the Coptic text match your explanation if the explanation means "Deem us worthy, O Lord, that You remember all the saints". This is a very awkward sentence. And the Coptic should be arikataxion nan P[oic `nteker`vmeu`i.... I guess one can argue that we are asking God to deem us worthy to be carried along or be included with all the saints when He remembers them. 

    It is clear from the liturgical text that the purpose of the commemoration of saints is that through their blessed memory that the Lord may save us.

    Maybe I am reading too much into this but this sentence implies that the Lord will save us when He remembers His saints. It implies that our salvation is conditional on remembering His saints. I know this is not what you meant. It should be clear that when the Lord remembers His saints, they immediately intercede for us. The Lord may be persuaded by their constant intercessions.  The saints give us additional hope and opportunity that God may save us.
  • While we are at it, we may also consider changing the Bible text to fit the new liturgical translation. Here are the verses:

    Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants 32:13

    I guess Moses was wrong in telling God to remember Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Or may be the scribe intentionally changed the text.

    Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not look on the stubbornness of this people, or on their wickedness or their sin Deuteronomy 9:27

    According to the logic that we should not say remember your saints in the commemoration of saints, here Moses is making the same mistake as above (or may be the scribe)

    "Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 2 kings 20:30

    Now Hezekiah the king is making Moses' mistake

    Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; Nehemiah 1:8

    My God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat, according to these their works, and the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who would have made me afraid Nehemiah 6:14


    Now, it is Nehemiah turn to do the same mistake

    Should I continue ....

    The ideas raised in this thread are foreign to the Bible, the Church teachings and her prayers.
  • Who is doing the remembering

    Mainly God and we are participants.

    and who is being remembered?

    All the saints that pleased God since the beginning.

    Who needs remembering

    The lives of the saints


    and who is benefiting from remembering?

    We who are still struggling in the flesh.
  • In HH's book, Comparative Theology, it states that the saints remind our Lord of His saints so that His compassionate and merciful heart would be moved immediately upon hearing their names and remembering His promises to them. "But the Lord was gracious to them, had compassion on them, and regarded them, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not yet destroy them or cast them from His presence"  (2 Kin. 13:23).

    I couldn't find any text saying that we pray for the saints. His Holiness only mentioned asking the prayers of the saints and asking our Lord to remember them (remember His promises).

    http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/theology/comptheo.pdf
  • [quote author=TITL link=topic=12412.msg145605#msg145605 date=1317752753]
    In HH's book, Comparative Theology, it states that the saints remind our Lord of His saints so that His compassionate and merciful heart would be moved immediately upon hearing their names and remembering His promises to them. "But the Lord was gracious to them, had compassion on them, and regarded them, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not yet destroy them or cast them from His presence"  (2 Kin. 13:23).

    I couldn't find any text saying that we pray for the saints. His Holiness only mentioned asking the prayers of the saints and asking our Lord to remember them (remember His promises).

    http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/theology/comptheo.pdf


    Thanks TTL for putting the debate to rest - hopefully.
  • Dear TITL,
    It may have only been a meditation, but I read that book, where I still stick to such a very comforting and lifting principle.
    Dear imikhail,
    I may have confused you, and I don't think you can see where exactly I'm coming from. I think as you said in the end I won't debate any further because I can't remember the book or the author who I'm basing my opinion on, so let it rest...
    Dear Remenkimi,
    I think you may debate thiS sentence to, although I hope not..."you are the one who gave us his time and his responses". I see it as a perfectly fine English... if you would still like to carry on, tell me which part of the GregorIan liturgy that is and I'll be clearer... as for your last post you gave me the impression that you don't even understand Coptic... how can you say arikataxin nan ebshois ndakarabmawa?!!! What sort of sentence this is? There is no conflict in the Coptic grammar but you are confusing yourself by comparing Arabic and English and blaming Coptic... by the way "tafadal" may mean many things so please don't keep assuming things and apply to the text at hand when you don't know Arabic... please... you are a scholar and I'm sure you would feel upset hearing this from me a less well-learned...
    Oujai
  • [quote author=ophadece link=topic=12412.msg145612#msg145612 date=1317764489]
    if you would still like to carry on, tell me which part of the GregorIan liturgy that is and I'll be clearer...
    Are we playing riddle games now? If you have something to say, say it. Don't insult me by making me guess and ask me to read your mind.

    as for your last post you gave me the impression that you don't even understand Coptic... how can you say arikataxin nan ebshois ndakarabmawa?!!! What sort of sentence this is?

    Wow. I don't understand Coptic? Please enlighten me in your incredible knowledge of Coptic how and why that sentence is bad Coptic?

    There is no conflict in the Coptic grammar but you are confusing yourself by comparing Arabic and English and blaming Coptic...

    Obviously you don't read anything I write. I was stating that the Arabic translation is wrong. I was not blaming Coptic for anything.

    you are a scholar and I'm sure you would feel upset hearing this from me a less well-learned...

    Don't patronize. If you were really any sort of scholar, you would discuss facts and discuss the topic instead of insulting me or making comments about me.
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