LITURGY COME ALIVE (By Fr. Anthony Agnes)
Saints of the Liturgy: St. Hippolytus of Rome
Every August 13 is celebrated as the Memorial of St. Hippolytus, a strange figure of early Church times who died in the 3rd Century.
The “Apostolic Tradition”, believed to be a third century document (c. 235 AD), though many scholars today disagree with that dating, has been attributed to St. Hippolytus as his handiwork. Today, his authorship of the document is largely disputed by scholars.
Hippolytus had problems with the Papacy and disagreed with the Pope when he added murder and adultery to the lists of sins that could be absolved/forgiven in Confession (our current Sacrament of Penance had a slow development over the centuries). Hippolytus opposed these new absolutions and allowed a rival group to elect him Pope (becoming the first Anti-Pope in history).
If he were the originator of the “Apostolic Tradition” that would make it even more interesting because the current Eucharistic Prayer II of the Mass and the current Prayer of Consecration used for the Ordination of Bishops, both have their source from the “Apostolic Tradition” (of Hippolytus).
Surely, Louis Bouyer in the days following the Second Vatican Council in the late 1960s formulated the current Eucharistic Prayer II (whilst sipping a drink at a pub in Rome, they say). But what he actually did was to embellish the ancient old Eucharistic Prayer found in the Apostolic Tradition.
So when we use the Eucharistic Prayer II at Mass or witness the Consecration Rite of a Bishop, we are actually hearing prayers echoing as far back as the third century of Christianity. Our Catholic faith is indeed deeply rooted.
PS: Hippolytus repented and reconciled with the Church before his death.
THIS IS THE MASS.
Sursum Corda…Habemus ad Dominum!
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