Monday, February 05, 2007

Tobit's Kingdom

Here's a reversal: this blog usually comments on Western Rite Orthodoxy, or discussing Western church occurrences from an Orthodox perspective. Here, I'm going to reproduce this insightful blog about the Byzantine Rite from an Episcopalian priest:



The words of the liturgy are saturated with biblical themes, images, turns of phrase, and even outright quotes. The opening acclamation added to the Eucharistic rite in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer is "V. Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. R. And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen."

I was aware that this was adapted from the opening acclamation of the Byzantine liturgy of St John Chrysostom ("V. Blessed is the kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and for ever. R. Amen."). But I was not aware until now of the source of that acclamation in the Byzantine rite.

It is a trinitarian version of the opening line of Tobit's prayer of thanksgiving at the end of the book Tobit in the Old Testament Apocrypha.

Tobit 13:1

Then Tobit wrote a prayer of rejoicing, and said, "Blessed is God who lives for ever, and blessed is his kingdom. . . . "

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