"Glory Be to God for Keeping Us Fine until This Time"
Beyond the fact that the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is ancient, historical and national church, it is also considered as the second church on earth next to the church of Jerusalem.
The reference we very often mention is the feast of Pentecost which means when our Lord and savior Jesus Christ ascended to heaven on 34 A.D to his former heavenly glory after he has completed his earthly ministry and his healing work, and also when the Holy Apostles were making a move for evangelization being guided by the Holy Spirit. "The Holy Spirit said to Philip, go and follow to the chariot man" and the Apostle Philip followed him and he taught to the Ethiopian chamber man about the fulfillment of the passage that he was reading which mainly states about the saving work of Jesus Christ, and the Eunuch said "here is the water and what prevents me not to be baptized?" And finally through the help of the Holy Spirit. He has been baptized and he became the first one to introduce Christianity to the people of Ethiopia, and that is the eternal and living
reference (Acts 8:26-40).
And then, since the time in which the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church came to existence, one of the Holy Scriptures that the Church uses for doctrinal teaching, for prayers, and for God's worship is the book which comprises the 14 Ethiopian Anaphora. In its implementation, the Anaphora can be divided into three services.
- Preparation service,
- Didactic service, and
- Eucharistic service'
The 14 Ethiopian Anaphoras are the following.
1.Anaphora of the Apostles
2.Anaphora of the Lord
3. Anaphora of St. John the Son of thunder
4.Anaphora of St. Mary
5. Anaphora of the 318 Orthodox fathers
6. Anaphora of Athanasius
7. Anaphora of Basil
8. Anaphora of Gregory of Nyssa
9. Anaphora of Epiphanius
10.Anaphora of John Chrysostom
11. Anaphora of Cyril
12.Anaphora of Jacob of Sa rug
13. Anaphora of Dioscoros
14.Anaphora of Gregory of Nazianzus
Nevertheless, since the time of the establishment of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church until now, using the 14.Anaphora and the Eucharistic Liturgy mentioned above, the Holy Spirit through the church makes the bread and the wine into the true body and blood of the son of God Jesus Christ, and is making the people united with God. It will also continue until the end of the world to use the Anaphora for such service.
Earlier and very often, these Anaphora were celebrated in the church only in Ge'ez language. However: the faithful of the Church did not understand the prayer of the Eucharist well because of the language difficulty. But the Church has managed to
translate the Anaphora to Amharic language in the past several years in order to invite people to participate in the prayer.
Moreover, as our church is now becoming a worldwide church and the number of its followers is increasing tremendously, it is really up to the church to have a liturgical service written or translated in different languages such as Ge'ez, Amharic, and English language. We praise and glorify God for helping us to do so in our publication process.
Abba Paulos I (Dr.),
Patriarch of Ethiopia, Archbishop ofAxum,
Etchegue the See of St. Tekle Haimanot,
President ofWCC, Honorary President of World Religions for Peace
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia