The comparison of two different approaches that have characterized eucharistic thought in the first two millennia of Christianity demand that our third millennium choose between the methodology of the Fathers (“first we pray and then we believe”) and the scholastic methodology (“first we study and then we pray”). The wealth of the patristic methodology is today recognized by the Most Holy Synod 48 with these words: “The mystery of the faith, that is fulfilled primarily in the Eucharist, should be understood by the faithful by means of rites and prayers (per ritus et preces).”
The rigorous application to the texts of the Sacred Liturgy–concretely, to the anaphora of the East and the West–of interpretive techniques that modern exegesis has adopted for the texts of Sacred Scripture will assist us in discovering the doctrinal resources in the teaching of the lex orandi anaforica, and is worth applying to this prayer by which the Church from the beginning performs the Eucharist.
A. Hänggi & I. Pahl, Prex eucharistica, Fribourg- Suisse 19983;
C. Giraudo, “In unum corpus”. Trattato mistagogico sull’eucaristia, Cinisello B. 2007;
Id., Preghiere eucaristiche per la Chiesa di oggi, Roma 1993;
Id. (ed.), The Anaphoral Genesis of the Institution Narrative in Light of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, OCA 295, Roma 2013;
E. Mazza, L’anafora eucaristica. Studi sulle origini, Roma 1992.