Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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From where has the prayer of Thanksgiving originated? How long has the church been using it?

The Thanksgiving Prayer was the opening prayer for the original Divine Liturgy of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark.

It was prayed by the priest secretly at the start of the Liturgy. The original text reads "We give Thee thanks, yea, more than thanks, O Lord our God, the Father of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, for all Thy goodness at all times and in all places, because Thou hast shielded, rescued, helped, and guided us all the days of our lives, and brought us unto this hour, permitting us gain to stand before Thee in Thy holy place, that we may implore forgiveness of our sins and propitiation to all Thy people. We pray and beseech Thee, merciful God, to grant in Thy goodness that we may spend this holy day4 and all the time of our lives without sin, in fullness of joy, health, safety, holiness, and reverence of Thee. But all envy, all fear, all temptation, all the influence of Satan, all the snares of wicked men, do Thou, O Lord, drive away from us, and from Thy Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Bestow upon us, O Lord, what is good and meet. Whatever sin we commit in thought, word, or deed, do Thou in Thy goodness and mercy be pleased to pardon. Leave us not, O Lord, while we hope in Thee; nor lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one and from his works, through the grace, mercy, and love of Thine only-begotten Son." .This would date the Thanksgiving prayer to the time of the apostles in the 1st century.

The entire text of St. Mark Liturgy is published in "The Early Church Fathers: The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. VII"
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