Alcuin Club

The Alcuin Club

Promoting the Study of Liturgy

The Alcuin Club

Promoting the Study of Liturgy

The Identity and Purpose of the Angel in the Roman Canon Missae

SKU JLS 95 Category

£7.95

70 in stock

Joint Liturgical Studies 95

This study explores one of the singular features of the Roman Canon Missae, the central eucharistic prayer of the Latin West.  In the section know as the Supplices te rogamus, the prayer asks that God would bid the offered sacrifice “to be borne by the hands of your angel to your lofty altar in the presence of your divine majesty.” Reference to angels and heavenly liturgy in not unusual in Jewish and Christian literature, including Christian anaphoras.   There is  a range of interpretations of the Supplices, both about the identity of the angel and also how both the request and the angel’s role is to be understood.   there are three main lines of interpretations: 1) a plain reading of the text, that it simply refers to an angel as conceived in traditional Christian thought. 2) that the angel is  a reference to Jesus; and finally, 3) that the angel is  a reference to the Holy Spirit, and thus the request is  a form of epiclesis.   This project considers the biblical, pseudepigraphal, and patristic sources that inform the three principal interpretations offered for the identity of the angel.

The Rev. Matthew S. C. Olver, PhD is associate professor of Liturgics and Pastoral Theology at Nashotah House Theoligal Seminary where he has taught since 2014. He is the author of The Origin of the Roman Canon Missae (Studia Traditionis Theolgiae, Brepols), the forthcoming volume with Nathan Jennings, Turning Points in Prayer Book History: Making Sense of the American Tradition (Seabury Press), and has published in Journals such as the Harvard Theological Review, Ecclesia Orans, Anglican Theological Review, Questions Liturgiques, Studia Patristica, and Journal of Anglican Studies.  From 2002 -13 he was the assistant rector of Church of the Incarnation, Dallas, was a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Consultation in the U.S. (ARC-USA) from 2006-14, and currently assists at Zion Episcopal Church, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He was the Alan Richardson Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University for 2022-23, during which this research was completed.