The History of the Liturgy
Hegomen Athanasius Iskander
THE FIRST FOUR CENTURIES
The Liturgy and its rites were handed by the Apostles to the churches which they had established. The Apostles were taught by the Lord himself, who for forty days, following His resurrection spoke to them “of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God .” (Act 1:3)
Saint Paul emphasizes this fact when he says: “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread …” (1Cor 12:23 ) Here, Saint Paul emphasizes the fact that each Apostle received the Liturgical tradition from the Lord Himself. Dix  affirms the same when he writes: “Every Local church had received the rite of the eucharist_the way of performing it_with its first evangelization. This is important. It means that the living tradition of the liturgy as the heart of its corporate life went back into the very roots of every apostolic church.”
DOCUMENTATION OF THE LITURGY:
In the beginning, the liturgy was passed from the Apostles to their successors, the bishops as an oral tradition. This is the same way in which the books of the Bible were probagated. Oral tradition always preceded the written forms of both the Bible and the liturgies.
The liturgy was commanded to writing only after heresies started to appear in the church, and when heretics attempted to put their heretic teachings into the liturgy. The fact that a manuscript of a liturgical text is dated to the fourth century, does not mean that the liturgy was composed in the fourth century but merely that it was recorded in writing in the fourth century. Hamman emphasizes this: “The setting down in a written form of the Liturgical prayers in both Judaism and Christianity is a relatively late phenomenon. In both cases, it came about only after it was felt that tradition was in danger of being changed as long as it was not cast in forms that were set even to their last details. This is indeed the reason why we see Christian texts of this type becoming common only after the great crisis of Arianism i.e. after the second half of the fourth century.” 
Some of the heretical texts were also put in writing and these serve to emphasize the point we just mentioned, that the church put the liturgy in writing to guard it against such corrupt influences.
Other texts are also recorded, which although not heretical, yet donot represent the common usage of the church but rather a very localized tradition. An example of these is THE EUCHOLOGIUM OF SERAPION which appears to be the work of Bishop Serapion of Thmuis (Demiat). Such texts became extinct as the authority of the pre_eminent Bishop became established in each see (ecclesiastical jurisdiction), around the fourth century.
THE LITURGY OF ALEXANDRIA :
Saint Mark, one of the seventy Apostles, who brought Christianity to Egypt around the middle of the first century A.D., also brought to Egypt the Liturgy that bears his name; The Liturgy of Saint Mark. This Liturgy which was originally in Greek, is probably the oldest and most authentic Liturgy in Christendom.
Saint John Chrysostom tells us that St. Mark was the first Apostle to inscribe the Liturgy, in the form of a service or a regular church ritual which is strictly followed in the celebration of the Eucharist  . This is not without Biblical foundation. We know that the very first Eucharist was held in the upper room, in St. Mark’s house in Jerusalem . The man carrying the pitcher of water is believed to be no other than St. Mark himself (Mk 14:13_15). The disciples even after the resurrection of the Lord, continued to meet and pray in his home. They also received the Holy Spirit there. According to tradition in all Apostolic churches, St. Mark’s home is well known as the first church in the world. 
When Saint Athanasius, 20th Patriarch of Alexandria sent Fromentius to Ethiopia in 330 A.D., as the first Egyptian head of the Ethiopian church, he gave him a copy of the Liturgy of Saint Mark, which the Ethiopians started to use immediately. 
The Liturgy of Saint Mark has some characteristics that were borrowed by the other liturgies, e.g. the preface and the Sanctus. Gregory Dix emphasizes this: “The use of the preface and the Sanctus in the Eucharistic prayer began in the Alexandrian church at some time before A.D. 230, and from there spread first to other Egyptian churches, and ultimately all over Christendom.” 
By the end of the fourth century, another liturgy started to be used, that is the Liturgy of Saint Basil the great. (read about it later).
THE LITURGY OF ROME :
The earliest Liturgy that is known to exist in the church of Rome is the liturgy of Hippolytus. Most agree now that this liturgy originated in Egypt and was exported to Rome . Hamman, speaking about the early Roman Liturgy had this to say: “The most ancient formula of consecration of the Eucharistic offerings is provided for us by Hippolytus, probably of Egyptian origin, and adopted by the Roman clergy.” 
Dix, quoting another researcher says the same thing concerning Hippolytus: “Are we able to pinpoint his origin? Fr. Hanssens thought it possible and judged that he should be looked upon as an Alexandrian who became a Roman priest, seeking to transport from Alexandria to Rome those forms which he judged ideal.” 
The noted French Theologian Father Louis Bouyer says this about the origin of the Liturgy of Hippolytus : “In any case it is a work of the third century and reflects if not the liturgical life of Rome , then that of Egypt and Alexandria .” 
THE LITURGY OF JERUSALEM :
In Jerusalem, the city of our Lord, the Liturgy of Saint James was the dominant Eucharistic prayer by the fourth century. Not only in Jerusalem, but also in Syria, Arabia, Greece and Armenia. This was accomplished, no doubt, through the many pilgrims who traveled to the holy land.
The Liturgy is attributed to Saint James, the brother of the Lord (the Lord’s cousin), who became the first Bishop of Jerusalem and who wrote the Epistle bearing his name in the New Testament. Hamman describes this liturgy by saying: “Despite the hellenization of its form and of the thought beneath it, it is still astonishingly close to the original Eucharist.” 
Concerning the origin of this liturgy, the same author has this to say: “Even if St. James is assuredly not its author, this liturgy represents a Jerusalemite tradition.”
Jasper and Cuming  believe that there is some form of connection between this liturgy and the liturgies of Alexandria . There was probably at Jerusalem a form very similar to St. Mark. The Liturgy of St. James seems to be a fusion of this early form with the Egyptian anaphora of St. Basil. This may explain the great similarity between this liturgy and the anaphoras of Saint Mark and St. Basil. In some prayers the text is almost word to word.
The liturgy starts with the greeting:
Priest: The love of God the Father, the grace of the Lord, and God and Son, and the communion and the gift of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
People: And with your spirit.
Priest: Lift up the minds and hearts.
People: We have lifted them up to the Lord.
Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord.
People: That is meet and right.
The text that follows is very similar to the Greek St. Marks. … the Angels, the Archangels, the Thrones, the Dominions and the awesome powers, the Cherubim with countless eyes and the six winged Seraphim … crying out and saying: Holy, holy, holy, Lord Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of Thy Glory.
The institution narrative is also very similar: “He took bread in his holy , pure, spotless, and immortal hands. … giving thanks, He blessed it, hallowed it, broke it and gave it His holy disciples and apostles saying … do this as a memorial of me: as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you announce the death of the Son of man and you proclaim His resurrection until He comes” … to which the people respond: “We announce your death, Lord, and we proclaim your resurrection …”
Like in the Liturgy of St. Mark, before the Epiclesis, the priest says: “Thy people and Thy church beseech Thee” to which the people respond: “Have mercy upon us, Lord, God the Father, the Pantocrator.” The priest concludes the Epiclesis by saying: “And make this bread the holy body of Christ.” to which the people respond: “Amen.” …”So that they may be for all who partake of them for the remission of sins and for eternal life.”
The intercessions follow, for the church, the fathers, the deacons, the city … “and every city and town and all who dwell therein in the orthodox faith.” Then follow prayers for seasonable weather, showers, plenty of fruits … “crowning the year with Thy goodness, for the eyes of all hope in Thee and Thou givest them their food in due season.” … A prayer for the gifts and those who brought them … “give them for exchange of earthly goods heavenly ones, for corruptible gifts, incorruptible ones, for temporal gifts eternal ones.”
The commemoration of the saints follows: “Deign again to remember, Lord, those who have been pleasing to Thee over the ages … the holy fathers, patriarchs, prophets apostles, martyrs, confessors … and every righteous spirit consumed in the faith of your Christ. The saints are mentioned starting with the Virgin, the Baptist, the Apostles … etc. The prayer for the departed follows: “grant them rest … in the bosom of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, … where there is no pain, sadness or weeping.”
THE LITURGY OF ANTIOCH :
Antioch was the city in which Barnabas and Paul spent a whole year preaching and where the disciples were called Christians first. (Act 12:25,26). It was the first centre to be preached to outside Judea. In this important centre of Christianity, another Liturgical tradition thrived by the fourth century: The liturgy of the apostles. Supposedly written by Clement, Bishop of Rome, who in turn received it from the Apostles.
The Liturgy is similar to St. Mark’s liturgy. It seems to be a re_arranged and expanded version of an earlier local liturgy that must have been very similar to the liturgy of Saint Mark.
An interesting point of historical importance is the prayer for “bishop Annianus and his parishes.” St. Annianus was of course the second bishop of Alexandria following St. Mark.
To sum up, of all the four early centres of Christianity, Alexandria used a liturgy that is considered to be the oldest of all liturgies, that is the Liturgy of Saint Mark. Jerusalem and Antioch utilized liturgies that were very similar to Saint Mark’s, but probably modified in form. Rome used a very primitive liturgy, imported to Rome by an Alexandrian priest (Hyppolitus) who immigrated to Rome carrying with him the liturgy that bears his name. This Hyppolitus was apparently an ambitious and aggressive Alexandrian who opposed the Pope of Rome and set himself as a renegade “Antipope”!
THE LITURGY IN THE SIXTH CENTURY
THE CHURCH OF ALEXANDRIA
The Greek Liturgy of Saint Mark has now been translated into Coptic. Since the translation is traditionally attributed to Saint Cyril, it became known as The Liturgy of Saint Cyril. There are basically no differences between the two, the odd word is found in one version and not the other and vice versa.
Another anaphora known as the anaphora of Saint Basil was by now established side by side with the anaphora of Saint Cyril. It was believed that Saint Basil brought this anaphora with him from Cappadocia during his visit to Egypt in A.D. 357. This is the view held by Dom Engberding and Baumstark. Another researcher, Father Hanssens questions this theory and thinks that the attribution to St. Basil of the text that the Egyptians knew at a very early date is incomprehensible. 
This view of Father Hanssens has been dramatically confirmed by the discovery in 1960 of a version of the anaphora in Sahidic Coptic that may well be dated to the late third century, years before Saint Basil was born. 
There is no doubt that the anaphora of St. Basil has been derived from the anaphora of St. Mark. The similarity between the two is not co_incidental. The institution narrative is the same in both. Both anaphoras start with “The Lord be with you all” rather than the Cappadocian Paulene formula, “The love of God the Father .. ”
The most probable explanation is that Saint Basil, during a visit to Egypt, edited an already existing anaphora that had evolved from the much older St. Mark’s.
Although similar in many respects, the anaphora of Saint Mark and that which bears the name of Saint Basil have some differences that we shall summarize; In the anaphora of Saint Mark all the intercessions are before the anaphora while in St. Basil’s many intercessions were introduced into the anaphora while still retaining the pre anaphoral intercessions.
The anaphora of St. Mark has no Christological (pertaining to the nature of Christ) or Sotiriological (pertaining to the Theology of salvation) formulas, while St. Basil abounds with these.
Another difference is the Biblical insertions, while St. Mark’s quotes the old Testament, St. Basil’s has many new Testament quotations so much so that some describe it as “nothing but a Biblical patchwork.”
The explanation of these differences rests on the date of composition of these two anaphoras. The anaphora of St. Mark was introduced in the first century, before the definition of the cannon of the new Testament, and probably before any of the books of the new Testament. Formulas of Christology and Sotiriology were developed centuries later, this is the reason why the anaphora of St. Mark is devoid of Theological formulas and new Testament insertions. As these developed, and certainly most of them developed in Egypt, by Origen, Athanasius and Cyril, they found their way into the Liturgy. The same applies to the intercessions, which in all liturgies, increased in number and scope with the passage of time. So, while the anaphora of St. Mark reflects the “raw” spirituality of the first century, that of St. Basil reflects the sophisticated Theology of the third and fourth century.
It is safe to assume that St. Basil took an ancient anaphora that evolved in Egypt by the end of the third century, edited and organized it, putting into it his own style. “The result is a magnificent litany of all the titles and attributions of the Divine persons in the Bible, beneath which we can see Origen’s great vision, corrected by Saint Athanasius and his successors, of the economy of salvation.” 1
A third anaphora known as the anaphora of St. Gregory the Theologian started to make its appearance, first in the monasteries of Nitria, and later in the rest of Egypt. Like the anaphora of St. Basil, which it resembles in many aspects, it is based on the ancient St. Mark’s but reflects more Cappadocian influence. It starts with the Paulene grace formula, “The love of God the Father ..”, so characteristic of the Cappadocian liturgy.
It is believed to be written by St. Gregory during his visit to Egypt as a young monk around the middle of the fourth century. The anaphora is addressed to Christ rather than to the Father. It abounds with the mature Theology of the fourth century, The Christological and sotiriological formulas are greatly expanded into what sounds like one of the sermons of St. Gregory the Theologian.
THE CHURCH OF ROME
In Rome , the Liturgy attributed to Pope Gregory the great, made its appearance in the sixth century and replaced the Liturgy of Hippolytus, which has been in use before it. The Liturgy of Gregory the great is quite different from that of Hippolytus both in structure and in the treatment of its subjects. This led many to believe that it could have not evolved from the Liturgy of Hippolytus. Father Bouyer emphasizes this, “To explain the evolution that might have produced the cannon of the Roman mass of St. Gregory with Hippolytus’ Liturgy as a starting point, is to set a task for ourselves that has no chance of success.”1
Where then, did this Liturgy attributed to Pope Gregory the great come from? Father Bouyer answers this intriguing question by saying, “Ultimately we have to start with the Alexandrian Liturgy .. the Liturgy of St. Mark, which had long been classical in Alexandria.” Father Bouyer further declares, “The analogies of content, structure and even similarities of expression are manifold between the solidly attested forms of the Roman Eucharist and those of the Alexandrian liturgy. If we consequently wish to bring together all the elements capable of shedding light on the genesis of the present Roman eucharist, it is in relation to the Alexandrian eucharist that it is fitting to study it. Here, we are on solid grounds.”
This noted Catholic Theologian (Father Bouyer) continues, “We think that study of the Egyptian eucharist has made available to us most of the elements necessary for elucidating the cannon of the Roman mass. Their general structural analogy alone invites us to connect the two.” He further tells us that if we compare the plan of the eucharist of St. Mark with that of the Roman eucharist, we find that they remarkably agree. “The Schema of the body itself is exactly the same as in the Alexandrian rite.”
Not only does the structure of both liturgies agree but even the words, “To this structural analogy, we must add a whole series of verbal parallelisms, which exclude any assumption that it could be merely coincidental.” Father Bouyer gives several examples of this verbal parallelism, “Only in Egypt and Rome does the introductory dialogue begin with, ‘The Lord be with you’ followed by, ‘lift up your hearts’.” A further point of similarity is the beginning of the eucharist. At Rome it starts by, “It is truly meet and right, equitable and available to salvation.” At Alexandria the same words are used with the addition of “holy” after meet and right. The Roman institution narrative mentions that Jesus “lifted up his eyes” the same as in St. Mark’s liturgy …
THE CHURCH OF CONSTANTINOPOLE
Constantinopole, the city of Constantine, the second Rome and capital of the eastern empire, started to compete with Rome and Alexandria as an important “see”. Not only did it eclipse Jerusalem and Antioch, it eventually dominated all the churches of the east, except those who refused to subscribe to the Chalcedonian formula. Sooner or later, the liturgical practice of Constantinopole is forced on all the local churches, including those of Jerusalem and Antioch. We are therefore going to concentrate on the liturgical developments in Constantinopole, which were in due time, extrapolated to all the eastern Orthodox churches.
Towards the end of the fourth century, the liturgy commonly used in Constantinopole was an expanded version of the Egyptian St. Basil’s, almost twice its size. The question that naturally arises is whether the Egyptian version is an abbreviation of the Byzantine, or the other way around. In 1932, Dom Hieronymus Engberding demonstrated that the Egyptian text is an earlier version of the Byzantine rather than an abbreviation of it, and his conclusions have been universally accepted. This was confirmed by the discovery of a version of the anaphora in Sahidic Coptic that goes back to the end of the third century. This version also has influenced the anaphora of St. James (see previous article).2
Dix emphasizes this, “It is not in Cappadocia , nor in neighbouring Syria , nor even in Constantinopole , but only in Egypt that we find the eucharist of St. Basil in what seems to be its original form.” 
For some centuries, St. Basil was the principal liturgy of Constantinopole, until finally ousted by the liturgy attributed to St. John Chrysostom. The Byzantine St. Basil is still in use in the Eastern Orthodox churches but only ten times each year.
The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom which gradually replaced the Byzantine St. Basil’s, may well be the form used in Antioch during Chrysostom’s episcopate. It has much in common with the anaphora of the Apostles (see previous article) and at several points the wording is very similar to the Byzantine St. Basil’s. It is a short anaphora, less than half the length of the Byzantine St. Basil, which is no doubt the reason it supplanted the latter.
It seems that this liturgy is is derived from both the anaphora of the Apostles and that of St. Basil. St. John Chrysostom might have only abbreviated it and touched it up rather than authored it. It then received his name when he moved from Antioch to Constantinopole.2
To sum up, by the end of the sixth century, Egypt had three liturgies, the old St. Mark which was now translated into Coptic, and two other anaphoras that were derived from the latter, St. Basil’s and St. Gregory”s. Rome abandoned its early liturgy, attributed to Hyppolitus, believed to be of Egyptian origin, to adopt another liturgy, bearing the name of Pope Gregory the great, which is largely an adaptation of the Egyptian St. Mark. Constantinopole starts to use an expanded form of the Egyptian St. Basil and later adopts a much abbreviated liturgy attributed to St. John Chrysostom.
THE LITURGY IN THE MIDDLE AGES
The middle ages saw a lot of dramatic changes, Rome broke up with Constantinopole in the eleventh century and the Protestants broke up with Rome in the sixteenth. The Liturgy deteriorated in the west until it finally “died”, while in Constantinopole there were abuses that history recorded for us. Our main source of the following account is taken from Father Bouyer’s invaluable work. When other sources are consulted, we will give the references.
The “silent” mass:
Around the eighth century, in both Rome and Constantinopole, it became fashionable to say most of the prayers of the liturgy inaudibly. “It becomes certain that in the Frankish lands as at Rome , from the Sanctus on, the faithful could no longer hear what the priest was saying.”
In Constantinopole, the Emperor had to intervene after receiving some complaints. The Emperor chastised the Bishops for violating the cannons of the church by ordaining men “who did not even know the the prayers of the anaphora or of Baptism.” The emperor then gave the following order, “Moreover, we order all bishops and priests to say the prayers used in the divine anaphora and holy baptism, not inaudibly, but in a voice that can be heard by the faithful, so that the mind of those listening can be aroused to a greater compunction.” The emperor threatened those who refused to carry on his orders.
The invention of the Choir:
Choral chants were introduced into the liturgy and gradually overshadowed the role of the celebrating priests as well as that of the congregation. The original liturgies had certain chants, but these were simple enough to be chanted by the whole assembly. Examples of these authentic chants include, the Sanctus, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Hosts …” the people’s “Amen” at certain parts of the liturgy. Following the institution narrative, the people chanted, “We announce your death O Lord, and we proclaim your resurrection.” Before the epiclesis, when the priest said, “Thy people and Thy church beseech Thee.”, the people responded, “Have mercy upon us O God, the Father Almighty.” Before the final doxology the people exclaimed, “Take away, forgive, pardon, O God, our voluntary and involuntary offenses, those that are known and those unknown.” Father Bouyer asserts that these responses are ancient, since they are found in old manuscripts.
In Constantinopole, people started to introduce other chants that became more and more complex that they needed “specialists” to sing them. In due time, choirs took over the role of the congregation. As the Choral chants grew in length they reduced the parts said aloud by the priest to a few sentences.
In Rome, things became even worse, the chants of the choir grew without any direct connection to the prayer of the priest. In the eleventh century, the choir sang throughout the liturgy, songs that had no relationship to the mass. “It may be said that the priest had become so enshrouded in the silence of the canon that in the eyes of the faithful he appeared to vanish within it.”
The “personal” prayers:
As the choir took over the mass, the priest had to introduce all sorts of personal prayers to kill the time while the choir sang! “Evidently these better responded to his own devotion than the official text that he was content to perform functionally. These personal prayers multiplied and invaded the eucharistic prayer like some foreign growth! Nothing of the old liturgy was left intact, and it came to be considered merely as a support for a private devotion which was inspired from other sources.”
The “death” of the liturgy in the west:
More abuses followed, “It was not uncommon to hear one of the voices sing the words of a popular song which had been taken over for use in the liturgy intermingled with the Latin phrases of the Sanctus.”
The priests started denying communion to the people. This led to the invention of “private masses” for those who wanted to have communion. These were “often mingled with a superstition undeniably more magical than religious.”
All of these things combined led to the actual “death” of the liturgy in the west by the end of the middle ages. “At this stage, even if the traditional eucharist is present, it may be said that a eucharistic spirituality and even a theology of the eucharist, both without any serious roots in tradition, have buried it and almost completely stifled it with their parasitical excrescences.”
Jasper and Cuming tell us the same grim story, “The active participation of the laity virtually disappeared, the eucharist becoming a spectacle overlaid with ceremonies and symbolism unknown to the early church: communion itself became a rare occurrence, being supplanted by the elevation and adoration of the consecrated elements.” 
The Protestant movement:
It was these abuses, among others that led to the protestant movement, “The reformers looked upon a church plagued with a multitude of real superstitions, some gross and wholly evil in their effects, some merely quaint an fanciful, and these errors and misconceptions had been accumulating over the centuries.”  Faced by this, the reformists ended up “discarding what was good with what was bad.”1
The Liturgy in Egypt :
The Egyptians, ostracized by both Rome and Constantinopole, and trying to cope with the eccentricity and outright persecution of the various ruling dynasties, were spared the tragic changes that happened elsewhere. In their pre_ occupation with survival in a hostile surrounding, the Copts clung to their eucharistic tradition. In doing so, the Copts did the whole of Christendom a great service, by preserving for them an authentic eucharistic and liturgical tradition that goes back to the roots of Christianity itself. It is this that led many researchers including Leitzman and Richardson to the conclusion that the authentic eucharistic and liturgical tradition as delivered by the Lord to His disciples, and as was practiced by the disciples after the Lord’s ascension is found only in Egypt . 
Even in the fifteenth century, Egypt was still influencing the liturgical practices of the rest of christendom. Dix reports that during this period the custom of the priest dividing the bread during the institution narrative was emulated by the French, the English and later, the rest of Christendom.2
THE LITURGY IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
During this century, a large volume of research concerning worship in the early church was accumulated. The sources we consulted in writing these articles are but a drop in a bucket compared to the volumes of material written on this subject. Historians and Theologians even among Protestants started to realize that the early church had a liturgy, it had sacraments, and that ministry of the early church was deeply liturgical not simply a charismatic ministry as was once thought. The study of Patristics (sayings of the fathers of the church) overwhelmingly supported this fact.
Cullman, a professor in the faculty of Protestant Theology in Paris , studied in detail the worship in the early church and came to the same conclusions, “Primitive Christianity did not hesitate to use stereotaped liturgical formulae. … The liturgy in the first congregations is something extraordinarily alive, … all members take part in the liturgy. … The thought that in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper a communion with the risen christ takes place, lies beneath all the Paulene utterances … We have found a convincing argument for the view that as a rule there was no gathering of the community without the breaking of the bread. … The Lord’s Supper is thus the basis and the goal of every gathering.” Cullman concludes his work by comparing the worship of the early church to that of the Protestant churches, “We must assert here and now that the services of worship in the Protestant Churches of our own era are very much poorer, not only in the free working of the Spirit, but also in respect of what is liturgical.” 
This is just a sampling of the writings of prominent Protestant writers who found out through research that the early Christian worship was both liturgical and sacramental. This led to the “Liturgical movement”, a movement in western christendom aimed at re_discovering the liturgy.
For several years, representatives of tens of Protestant denominations have been meeting in Lima, Peru, for the purpose of formulating a liturgy that can be used by all of their congregations, an ecumenical liturgy. The liturgy has been recently published. It resembles to a great extent our own St. Basil.
In the Catholic church, a movement for liturgical renewal has also been going on for years. The result; three new liturgies are now available for Catholic worship, two of these are based on the Coptic St. Basil.
It seems that the western churches in trying to find the authentic liturgical heritage of the early church, are time and time again led into the direction of Egypt and its liturgy.
To sum it all up, we offer this quotation from the COPTIC REVIEW, “The twentieth century has witnessed a ‘liturgic movement’ in most churches_ Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant. Thanks to this movement, the churches have revised or completely changed their liturgies in order to conform to the liturgy of the early Church; also they changed their practices in favour of more participation of the faithful in the liturgy and more frequent communions. The Coptic Church does not need a movement in this sense, because she has kept the liturgy as it was in the early Church.”