I know that tradition tells us that our 3 Liturgies were written by Sts. Basil of Caesarea, Gregory the Theologian, and Mark the Apostle, with the third being translated from Greek into Coptic by HH Pope Kyrillos I, the Pillar of Faith. But I have some questions about the details:
1- The Commemoration of the Saints obviously couldn’t have been written in its current form by any of the original authors. But besides that, St. Mark would not have had many saints to talk about- the list would essentially be St. Mary, St. John the Baptist, and his… dead friends. Where did the Commemoration come from? Who wrote down the list? In the days before the Internet, did churches just list their holiest departed or was there a semi-standard list? The current list ends with either St. Samuel (K and G) or St. Shenoute the Archimandrite (B)- will it ever formally be expanded to include other saints (ex: no female saints appear in the Commemoration except St. Mary so perhaps Sts. Demiana and Marina, St. Abraam the Bishop of Fayum, St. Habib Girgis the Archdeacon, etc)? *Edit: I just saw there’s a thread about 3 down that includes an extended Commemoration that includes more modern saints. It’s clear that the list is expanding- who decides when it does, and who gets added?*
2- Coptic Reader lists 2 Prayers of Reconciliation for the Kyrillosy liturgy, one by HH Mar Severus of Antioch and another by “the Thrice-Blessed John”. Did St. Mark ever write a prayer of reconciliation? Did his liturgy just go straight from the Gospel response (the Creed is a result of the Ecumenical councils) to an Aspasmos/the Anaphora?
2.1- St. Kyrillos died 100 years before St. Severus. How did the former get something written by someone who didn’t exist?
2.2- Is this “Thrice-Blessed John” the same as John the Beloved? If so, when and how did they communicate about this? I’m guessing it wasnt, “Hey John I’m writing this liturgy, can you write me a little something for it? -John Mark”
3- Who wrote the Aspasmoses? Why was there a need to have an Adam and a Vatos in the same liturgy? Who decided that it should be one of each, wrote them, and decided their tune?
4- Did St. Mark write the standard Kyrillosy Fraction, or did St. Kyrillos, or someone else? Was it used year-round? When did the alternate (festive, short, etc.) Fractions appear?
5- Is the Distribution Rite a later invention or does it come from the Kyrillosy Liturgy?
I hope these questions don’t seem pointless- any clarity or resources would be greatly appreciated.
Ⲧⲱⲃϩ ⲉ̀ϩ̀ⲣⲏⲓ ⲉϫⲱⲓ,