Silent Prayer

Silent Prayer.

In the ancient Church none but communicants were permitted to remain in the Church during the communion service. The entrance on this service was made by a mental or silent prayer, offered by the people in private, and thence called εὐχὴ διὰ σιωπῆς, the silent prayer, and σὐχὴ κατὰ διάνοιαν. The mental prayer (Cone. Laodic. can. 19). Some take the prayer in silence here to mean no more than prayers made over the communicants by the minister alone, the people not making any responses; but we are to understand here such private prayers as each particular person made by himself. That there were such private prayers appears not only from the canon, but from several ancient writers (Chrysostom, De non Evulgandis Peccatis, 5, 762; Basil, Ep. 63). See Bingham, Christ. Antiq. bk. 15, ch, 1, § 1.

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