Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I am very confused by the placement of Melchizedek in the commemoration of the saints that we chant in Tasbeha and the order of intercessions and prayers in general. Isn't Melchizedek a form of the pre-incarnate Christ? He is the "King of peace,", has no genealogy, no beginning, or end, is greater than Abraham, accepted the tithe of Abraham, and blessed him. Why then do we ask his prayers at all? Isn't this Christ Himself? Even if he was just a type of Christ, why is he so far down the list? He is after Joachim and Anna, etc. Shouldn't he at least be up there with the heavenly hosts in the beginning? It seems like he is not just a regular saint if he had no genealogy or beginning or end.

Melchizedek was a real person; He was not Christ. His distinction in our prayers is because of his unique prelude to Christ Jesus in regards to His priesthood. Melchizedek's bloodless sacrifice of bread and wine (Genesis 14:18) is symbolic to Christ's offering of bread and wine, but only through Christ, this would become His body and blood for the remission of sins. Therefore, we do not refer to Melchizedek as Christ, but rather as a symbol of Christ's priesthood. Thus, we ask for the prayers of our priests and explain that their ordination is according to the Order of Melchizedek.
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