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Anamnesis (from the Attic Greek word ἀνάμνησις meaning reminiscence and/or memorial sacrifice), in Christianity is a liturgical statement in which the Church refers to the memorial character of the Eucharist and/or to the Passion, Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. It has its origin in Jesus' words at the Last Supper, "Do this in memory of me" (Ancient Greek: "τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν", (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
In a wider sense, Anamnesis refers to a key concept in the liturgical theology: in the worship the faithfuls make memory of God's saving deeds. This memorial aspect is not simply a passive process but one by which the Christian can actually enter into the Paschal mystery.
Almost all Eucharistic Prayers (or Anaphoras) contain an Anamnesis. This part of the Anaphora is usually placed after the Institution narrative, i.e. after the account of the Last Supper in which are pronounced the Words of Institution spoken by Jesus Christ. The Words of Institution are usually ended by the sentence "Do this in memory of me", which meaning is thus prepared and immediately taken up by the following Anamnenis.
For example, in the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, the Anamnesis begins with the words:
In the Western Roman Canon the wording of the Anamnesis is:
In the Byzantine Rite, other services besides the Divine Liturgy will have an Anamnesis, such as the Great Sanctification of Waters at Theophany. An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church says of the anamnesis: "This memorial prayer of remembrance recalls for the worshiping community past events in their tradition of faith that are formative for their identity and self-understanding" and makes particular mention of its place in "the various eucharistic prayers".