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Euchologion of Serapion of Thmuis

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This euchologion, contained in a collection of Egyptian documents in an 11th-century manuscript at the [[Great Lavra (Athos)|Lavra]] on [[Mount Athos]], was published by A Dmitrijewskij in 1894, but attracted little attention until independently discovered and published by G Wobbermin in 1899. It is a celebrant's book, containing thirty prayers belonging to the mass (19-30, 1-6), baptism (7-11, 15, 16), ordination (12-14), benediction of oil, bread and water (17), and burial (18), omitting the fixed structural formulae of the rites, the parts of the other ministers, and almost all rubrication, except what is implied in the titles of the prayers.
The name of Serapion is prefixed to the anaphora of the mass (I) and to the group 15-18: but whether this indicates authorship is doubtful; for whereas the whole collection is bound together by certain marks of vocabulary, style and thought, 15-18 have characteristics of their own not shared by the anaphora, while no part of the collection shows special affinities with the current works of Serapion. But his name is at least a symbol of probable date and provenance: the theology, which is orthodox so far as it goes, but conservative, and perhaps glancing at [[Arianism]], shows no sign that the [[Macedonianism|Macedonian question ]] has arisen; the [[doxology|doxologies]], of a type abandoned by the orthodox, and by ca. 370 treated by Didymus of Alexandria as heretical; the apparent presupposition that the population is mainly [[pagan]] (1, 20); the exclusive appropriation of the mass to Sunday (19; cp. Ath. ap. c. Ar. II), whereas the liturgical observance of Saturday prevailed in Egypt by ca. 380; the terms in which [[monasticism]] is referred to together point to ca. 350: the occurrence of official interpreters (25) points to a bilingual Church, i.e. Syria or Egypt; and certain theological phrases (y~PeflTos, ~1rf&1luia,,Lvi KciOOXLK1~ ~,csX77&La) characteristic of the old Egyptian creed, and the liturgical characteristics, indicate Egypt; while the petition for rains (23), without reference to the Nile-rising, points to the Delta as distinguished from Upper Egypt. The book is important, therefore, as the earliest liturgical collection on so large a scale, and as belonging to Egypt, where evidence for 4th-century ritual is scanty as compared with Syria.
The rites form a link between those of the Egyptian Church Order (a 3rd- or early 4th-century development of the Hippolytean Canons, which are perhaps Egyptian of ca. 260) and later Egyptian rites marking the stage of development reached in Egypt by ca. 350, while exhibiting characteristics of their own.

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