An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Apostolic Constitutions

A document belonging to the genre of early Christian literature known as Church Orders. Contemporary scholarship generally recognizes that it was written in Antioch shortly before the Council of Constantinople in 381. It is dependent upon a number of earlier documents, including Didache, Didascalia Apostolorum, and Apostolic Tradition. Its compiler probably held semi-Arian theological views. The work purports to be the decrees of a council of the twelve apostles in Jerusalem. The seventh and eighth books contain important liturgical material: a baptismal rite in Book 7, and a eucharistic liturgy, frequently called the Clementine liturgy, in Book 8. The words of institution, the anamnesis, and the epiclesis follow each other in that order in the Great Thanksgiving in this liturgy. This structure profoundly influenced the liturgies of the English and Scottish Nonjurors in the eighteenth century, and through the Scots became the model for the prayer of consecration in the first American Prayer Book, the present Eucharistic Prayer I (BCP, pp. 333-336).

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.