Two Early Christian Communion Prayers.


Communion service from the Apostolic Tradition by Hippolytus

215 AD



The Lord be with you

And with your spirit!


Let us lift up our hearts.

They are turned to the Lord.


Let us give thanks to the Lord!

It is right and just!


Let him continue thus:

We give you thanks, O God,
through your beloved Child Jesus Christ,
whom you have sent us in the last days21
as Savior, Redeemer, and Messenger of your will.
He is your Word, inseparable from you,
through whom you have created everything
iand in whom you find your delight.

You sent him from heaven into the womb of a virgin. He was conceived and became flesh, he manifested himself as your Son,

born of the Spirit and the Virgin.22

He did your will,

and, to win for you a holy people,

he stretched out his hands in suffering

to rescue from suffering

those who believe in you.

account of institution

When he was about to surrender himself to voluntary suffering

in order to destroy death,

to break the devil’s chains,   *

to tread hell underfoot,

to pour out his light upon the just,

to establish the covenant

and manifest his resurrection,23



he took bread,

he gave you thanks and said:

“Take, eat, this is my body

which is broken for you.”

In like manner for the cup, he said:

“This is my blood

which is poured out for you.

When you do this,

do (it) in memory of me.”


ANAMNESIS (the remembering part)

Remembering therefore your death

and your resurrection,

we offer you the bread and the wine,

we thank you for having judged us worthy

to stand before you and serve you.

EPICLESIS (calling upon the Holy Spirit)

And we pray you

to send your Holy Spirit

on the offering of your holy Church,

to bring together in unity

all those who receive it.

May they be filled with the Holy Spirit

who strengthens their faith in the truth.

May we be able thus to praise and glorify you

through your Child Jesus Christ.


Through him glory to you and honor,
to the Father and the Son, with the Holy Spirit,
in your holy Church,                                ;
now and for ever and ever!



A communion service used in Egypt in the 500’s, called the Euchology of Der Balzeh.



Near you stand

the thousands of holy angels

and the numberless hosts of archangels.

Near to you stand

the Cherubim with many eyes.

Around you stand the Seraphim,

each with six wings:

two to hide the face,

two to hide the feet,

and two to fly.

Unceasingly they all proclaim your holiness.

With all their acclamations of your holiness

receive also our acclamation

who sing to you:


Holy, holy, holy is the Lord,

the God Sabaoth!

Heaven and earth

are filled with your glory (Is. 6:2-3).

Fill us too with your glory!

And deign to send your Holy Spirit

on these offerings that you have created,

and make this bread to become

the body of our Lord and Savior

Jesus Christ,

and this chalice to become

the blood of the New Testament

of our Lord, God, and Savior,

Jesus Christ.


prayer for the church

And as this bread was scattered

on the mountains, the hills, and in the valleys,

and was gathered to become a single body .  .  .

and as this wine,

sprung from the holy vine of David,

and this water, sprung from the spotless Lamb,

were mixed

and became a single mystery,

so too gather the catholic Church

of Jesus Christ.

account of the institution

For our Lord Jesus Christ,

on the night when he was betrayed,

took bread in his holy hands,

gave thanks and blessed it,

sanctified and broke it,

gave it to his disciples and apostles, saying:

“Ta/ce and eat of it, all of you.

This is my body

which is given for you

in forgiveness of sins.”

Likewise, after the supper,

he took the chalice and blessed it,

drank of it and gave it to them, saying:

“Take, drink of it, all of you.

This is my blood

which is poured out for you

for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this in memory of me.”

Each time that you eat this bread and that you drink this chalice, you announce my death, you proclaim my resurrection, you make memory of me.”



We announce your death,

We proclaim your resurrection.



Both are taken from Deiss, Lucien.  Springtime of the Liturgy.  The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota 1979.


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