Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sacramentary of Sarapion - Anthropology of the Texts of Healing

Concern for the body, the physicality of human existence, runs throughout these prayers and the text seems determined to emphasis the physical and spiritual realities of human existence. The invocation over the laity stresses that God’s blessing will come both physically and spiritually. When examining the laying on of hands of the laity, one is struck that the blessings of heaven require some form of physical manifestation. Additionally, I would argue, the text portrays the sovereignty of God over humanity. The titles used to invoke the Father convey the absolute dependency of humanity upon God for its existence. “Modeler of body and maker of soul, constructor of humanity” convey humanity’s absolute dependence upon God for its existence. Humanity receives its existence through the work of God. The titles provided to God imply both that had God not undertaken the creative act humanity would not exist and that like any modeler, maker or constructor, God has the power to disassemble that which he has put together. Titles such as “governor,” “guide” and “benefactor” indicate a belief in God’s continued sustenance of the human race – the divine power that initiated the original creative action has not ceased to provide for creation. “Lord and King of all” and “Savior,” meanwhile, affirm God’s absolute mastery over the final end of humanity and remind the person encountering the text of God’s eschatological reign over all creation.

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