Embolism (also Embolis and Embolun).
(1) An inserted prayer; the name given to the prayer which in almost all ancient liturgies follows the Lord's prayer, founded on one or both of the two last petitions. It is so called because it is interposed there, and what had been already asked in the Lord's prayer is expanded, and it is more clearly expressed what evils we seek to be delivered from, viz. past, present, and future. There are also added the names of the saints by whose intercession we strengthen our prayers, viz. the Virgin Mary, Peter, Paul, and Andrew. The embolism was usually repeated by the priest in a low voice, symbolizing the silence during the period that our Lord lay in the grave; but in the Ambrosian rite it was always pronounced aloud. This practice, which has left very faint traces in the Western Church, holds a more important place in Oriental liturgies. The embolism is not, however, found in the liturgies of Chrysostom and Basil, but appears in those of James, Mark, and Theodore the Interpreter, as well as in the Armenian, Mozarabic, and Coptic Basil. As examples of the shorter embolism we give that of the Church of Jerusalem:
"And lead us not into temptation, O Lord, the Lord of Hosts, who knowest our infirmity; but deliver us from the Evil One, and his works, and every assault and will of his, for the sake of Thy Holy name which is called upon our lowliness;" and the Syriac Liturgy of St. James:
"O Lord our God, lead us not into temptation, which we devoid of strength are not able to bear, but also with the temptation make a way of escape, that we may be able to bear it, and deliver us from evil, through Jesus Christ," etc.
(2) Embolism also designates the excess of the solar year over twelve lunar months, commonly called the Epact.