Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Coptic-Syriac liturgy of the Ethiopians

Thanks to an NLM Reader, John, for pointing out this video clip showing a part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Divine Liturgy.

About the Ethiopian liturgy (from CNEWA):

"The Ethiopian liturgy is of Alexandrian (Coptic) origin and influenced by the Syriac tradition. The liturgy was always celebrated in the ancient Ge’ez language until very recent times. Today a translation of the liturgy into modern Amharic is being used increasingly in the parishes. A strong monastic tradition continues."

Another interesting note from the CNEWA article:

"This church is unique in retaining several Jewish practices such as circumcision and the observance of dietary laws and Saturday as well as Sunday sabbath. This is probably due to the fact that the earliest presence of Christianity in Ethiopia had come directly from Palestine through southern Arabia. But there is a tradition that Judaism was practiced by some Ethiopians even before the arrival of Christianity. There have also been some unusual christological developments, including a school of thought that holds that the union of Christ’s divine and human natures took place only upon his anointing at Baptism. These teachings were never officially adopted and have mostly died out."

There is also an Ethiopian Catholic Church.