HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT
The evolution of the Byzantine liturgical rite shows that the Eastern liturgies did not develop in a vacuum. They were the fruit of a long and gradual formation through centuries from earlier existing rites.
St. Basil's Work. Tradition in the Church of Byzantium ascribes to St. Basil (d. 379) the oldest of its two Liturgies. It is quite certain that Basil reformed the Liturgy in use in Cappadocia. He wrote to his clergy in Neocaesarea about the complaints leveled against him because he permitted the new antiphonal way of singing the psalms (Epist. 207.3; Patrologia Graeca 32:763). Gregory of Nyssa, his brother, compared Basil to Samuel because he had given a new form to the liturgical service (Oratio funebris ; Patrologia Graeca 46:808). An evolved form of the Antiochene Liturgy must have been used in Neocaesarea during the time of St. Basil, and it was this that he reformed by shortening it considerably. One ancient Antiochene Liturgy is extant, that of St. James. It seems to be the basis for Basil's order and to have prayers nearly identical with his in content and position. The oldest form of the Liturgy of St. Basil in manuscript form, located in the Barberini Library, dates from the 9th century (MS III, 55; Brightman 309–344). The text shows that from the Anaphora to the Communion the Liturgy is of his redaction; the Liturgy of the Word and the Offertory prayers came after Basil's lifetime.
Reform of St. John Chrysostom. The next point in the evolution of the Byzantine liturgy is its reform under St. John Chrysostom (d. 409). The reformed Liturgy of St. John is found in its earliest manuscript in the same Barberini manuscript that contains the 9th-century text of the Liturgy of St. Basil (Brightman 309–344). There is a tradition that St. John, when he came from Antioch to Constantinople to be its patriarch in 397, composed a shortened form of Liturgy from the Liturgy of St. Basil. Pseudo-Proclus [Tract. de traditione div. missae (written not before the 7th century); Patrologia Graeca 65:851] says: "He [Chrysostom] left out a great deal and shortened all the forms so that no one… would stay away from this apostolic and divine institution." A comparison of the two texts shows that the same order is followed, but abbreviations occur mainly in the Anaphora.
Brightman has attempted a reconstruction of the Liturgy as St. John Chrysostom revised it by bringing together bits and pieces from the saint's homilies. His Liturgy must have lacked the present Preparation of the Gifts (Proskomide), the Little and Great Entrances, and the recitation of the Creed. The Liturgy began with the bishop greeting the faithful with "Peace to all." There followed readings from the Prophets, the Epistles, and the Gospels. A homily was delivered and a prayer said over the catechumens who were then dismissed. Chrysostom mentions a new Offertory ritual in which the bishop carried bread and wine from the prothesis to the main altar in solemn procession, but Brightman claims that the present Great Entrance and the Hymn of the Cherubim evolved much later (Brightman 532). One should note
that the doxology after the Our Father, "For thine is the kingdom…" was found in the New Testament codex used by St. john chrysostom (In Matt. hom. 19.6; Patrologia Graeca 57:282). Since it was in Antioch that St. John preached most of the homilies from which we can reconstruct the reformed Liturgy, it is possible that he had already shortened the Liturgy of St. Basil then in use throughout the Eastern world and brought this version to Constantinople. Various additions found their way into the Liturgy in succeeding centuries. The trisa gion was supposedly revealed to St. proclus of Constantinople (patriarch, 434–447); the Cherubim Hymn was added by Justinian II, and the Creed was ordered by him to be recited in each Liturgy (Brightman 532).
Much more recent work on the Liturgy of the Great Church has traced and elucidated more carefully the evolution of these rites. In the West the monumental work of Robert F. Taft, S.J., as well as others is available in the publications of the Pontifical Oriental Academy.
The third Byzantine liturgical service, the Liturgy of the Presanctified, is no real Liturgy, as it consists mainly in a Communion service preceded by Vespers. Legend attributes it to St. Gregory the Great. The real author of this liturgical service is unknown.
Order of the Hours. The sources of the Hours and the administration of the Holy Mysteries and other services of prayer and blessing are more difficult to discover. The basic structure may have come from Antiochene usage. It has already been seen that St. Basil introduced a new way of singing Psalms, which must have affected the Hours. In a letter to the clergy of Neocaesarea, he gave an outline of the monastic Office consisting of a nocturnal penitential watch and at dawn the reciting of Matins (Epist. 207.1, 4; Patrologia Graeca 32:762, 764). The sung Office of the Great Church of Hagia Sophia differed vastly from the monastic office of the Studite monks. Later the Studite office was heavily revised in the direction of the Sabbaitic monastic office coming from Palestine. This revised office in turn became, after the demise of the sung office of the cathedral, the standard form of the office throughout the Byzantine liturgy. Along with the other usages in the East, Byzantine Matins has the singing of the Gloria in Excelsis. The evening vesper hymn, Phôs Hilarón, is quoted by Basil (Liber de Spiritu S. 28.73; Patrologia Graeca 32:205). John Cassian in his Institutiones (3.4; Patrologia Latina 49:131) attributes the addition of First Hour to the monks of Palestine, and Basil refers to Compline as the final evening prayer of the monks (In psalmum 114:1; Patrologia Graeca 29:484). The long, complicated canons, hymns based on the biblical odes or canticles introduced into Matins were the compositions of various hymnographers, such as Cosmas, Romanos the Melode, John Damascene, and St. Theodore of Studion. As was mentioned above SS. Sabas (d. 532) and John Damascene (d. c. 780) are accredited with having arranged the Services for the entire year, although even after their time the Hours underwent further changes.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BYZANTINE LITURGY
Here will be discussed the Eucharist, called by the Liturgy, the Hours, the calendar, the Holy Mysteries, blessings and prayer services, the church building, sacred vessels and vestments, and the liturgical books.
The Liturgy. For the most part the Byzantine liturgical text remains fixed for the whole year. There were formerly many varying Anaphoras, but through the centuries, due primarily to the centralization imposed by Constantinople, these were reduced to the two Liturgies of SS. Basil and John Chrysostom and the Liturgy of the Presanctified of St. Gregory the Great. The scriptural readings in the Liturgy, from the Acts or the Epistles and from the Gospels, differ each day with continuous reading of Gospels or Epistles more or less in their canonical order. Thus in one liturgical year the whole NT is read publicly. There are small sung portions that change, such as the commemorations for each saint or feast day or day of the week, known as troparia and kontakia, along with seasonal antiphons and hymns to Our Lady for special feasts. Now the longer Liturgy of St. Basil is celebrated only ten times a year: for his feast on January 1, the Sundays of Lent or Great Fast (except for Palm Sunday), Holy Thursday, Holy Saturday, and the Vigils of Christmas and Epiphany. It is only in the Anaphora or Eucharistic Canon that there is a change to longer prayers; these are more beautiful in their poetry and theological depth than those expressed in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. The Liturgy of the Presanctified can be celebrated each day during Great Lent except Saturday and Sunday; however it is usually employed on Wednesday and Friday, whereas the Hours are recited on all days. For the other Sundays throughout the year the priest celebrates the Liturgy of St. John. To show the chief characteristics, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom will be taken as most representative, for it contains all of the audible, external parts of the Liturgy of St. Basil.
It is divided into two parts: the Liturgy of Preparation (Proskomedia) and the Divine Liturgy proper.
Liturgy of Preparation (Proskomedia). The priest and deacon prepare themselves individually for celebrating
the Liturgy by reciting prayers before the iconostasis. Entering into the sanctuary, they kiss the Holy Table, Gospel book, and cross; then they proceed to vest. They begin the initial Offertory at the side altar called the prothesis where the leavened bread and wine are prepared for the liturgical sacrifice. The bread is much larger than the Latin host and thicker. It has a special form with a mark stamped on its top. This consists of a square with a cross passing through the middle. Along the arms of the cross are printed the letters IC, XC, and below NI, KA, Jesus Christ triumphs. This square, called the lamb (amnos), is cut out and placed on the paten. With the lance the priest pierces the left side of the lamb saying: "A soldier pierced His side and out poured blood and water" (Jn 19.34). The deacon pours wine into the chalice, adding a few drops of water, while the priest arranges beside the lamb various particles: first, one to the left symbolizing the Blessed Lady and nine in three rows of three to the right in honor of various groups of saints. Below these the priest places further particles, commemorating in the first row the living and in the second the dead. The asterisk is incensed and placed over the diskos, then the two veils likewise are incensed and placed over the diskos and chalice, and the whole offering is covered by a large veil. The priest recites a final prayer of offering, and the deacon begins to incense the altar, icons, and faithful as he recites Psalm 50.
Divine Liturgy proper. The priest begins the Liturgy by making the sign of the cross with the Gospel book, and
the deacon leads the faithful in the Great of Litany (Ektene), a.k.a. "Litany of Peace," so-called from its various petitions for peace in the world and in the churches. After each petition sung by the deacon, the faithful or choir respond with "Kyrie eleison." A series of three antiphons sung by the choir is interspersed by two short litanies, and the priest and deacon then make the Little Entrance, in which the Gospel book is carried in solemn procession. Great respect is shown the Gospel book as representing the Divine Word, Jesus Christ Himself. When the deacon arrives at the royal doors after having passed in solemn procession accompanied by servers carrying candles and followed by the celebrant, he sings out in a loud voice: "Wisdom; let us stand erect." With a proper bow to the Gospel as to Christ Himself the deacon, followed by the priest, goes into the sanctuary where the Gospel is placed on the altar. The troparia and kontakia commemorating the feast of the saints of the day are chanted, followed by the solemn singing of the Trisagion: "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us." During the reading of the Epistle by the lector, the deacon incenses the altar and the people. The priest blesses the deacon, who brings the Gospel to the ambo and reads it solemnly to the people. Several litanies follow with petitions for all present, all the living, the dead, and the catechumens and end with the ancient dismissal of the catechumens.
After this, two short litanies with two prayers for the faithful assisting at the liturgical sacrifice are sung. The Liturgy assumes a greater solemnity with the singing of the Hymn of the Cherubim. During this singing the priest reads a very long prayer asking to be deemed worthy by God to assist at this sacrifice for "it is really You who offer and are offered." The Great Entrance is the procession during which the priest and deacon carry solemnly before the faithful the holy gifts of bread and wine. He blesses the faithful and carries the gifts solemnly through the royal doors to place them on the main altar. The doors are closed and the curtain drawn, thus creating the atmosphere of impending mystery and solemn reverence. The deacon standing before the royal doors leads the faithful in more litanies, ending with the drawing of the curtain and the solemn chanting of the Nicene-Constantinople Creed.
Anaphora. The anaphora (or eucharistic prayer) begins with the Preface dialogue using the same exhortation as in Western liturgies: The priest urges the faithful to lift up their hearts and give thanks to God. At the end of the preface, the assembly responds by singing the Sanctus. A very short prayer of thanks for the salvation brought by Jesus Christ leads into the account of the Last Supper with the priest singing in a loud voice the words of Institution, first over the bread, then over the wine. The deacon crosses his hands above him, holding the paten and the chalice aloft while the priest sings: "We offer You Your own from what is Yours, in all and for all." The Epiclesis or prayer asking the descent of the Holy Spirit on these gifts to change them into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is said, and the gifts are blessed with the sign of the cross by the priest. Other prayers and litanies commemorating the living and the dead are climaxed by the solemn singing of the Our Father. After the priest raises the consecrated bread with the command "Holy things to the holy," he proceeds to break the Lamb into four parts. One part, bearing the mark IC, is placed into the chalice while the ones marked NI & KA are cut into smaller pieces for distribution at Communion. The deacon pours hot water (zeon) into the chalice signifying that in the Blood of Christ there is warmth and life; also that fervor is proper in those participating. The priest and deacon receive communion in both species. The consecrated particles are placed into the Precious Blood and presented to the people with the invitation chanted by the deacon: "Approach with faith and in the fear of God." After Communion, the priest blesses the people with the chalice and brings the Holy Gifts to the prothesis while the hymns and litanies of thanksgiving are sung by the deacon and faithful. After a prayer sung by the priest before the iconostasis, the priest gives the final blessing and the concluding prayer, the Dismissal, which commemorates the feast or saint celebrated in that Liturgy. While the deacon consumes at the side altar the remaining Holy Gifts, the priest gives the cross to the faithful to be kissed and distributes antidora, blessed particles of bread. Thus terminates the Byzantine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
The Office. The Hours are almost the same as those of the Latin Liturgy of the Hours. The Office consists mainly of Psalms and liturgical hymns, litanies and prayers. So that all can be sung according to the eight tones of Byzantine chant. Each week the entire Psalter is read. It is divided into 20 parts called kathismata, which include from seven to eight Psalms each. The normal Matins and Vespers is two-fold or three-fold, and includes the commemoration of the day of the week or season of the year, the great feast in progress, as well as the saints of that day. The ferial service books comprise three parts: that of Great Lent (Triod); that of Paschal time (Pentekostarion) and the time after Pentecost, i.e., the remainder of the year (Octoechos). The Hours begins with Vespers celebrated the evening before; then Night, Midnight Office, Matins which is the equivalent of western Matins & Lauds, First, Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours; the Liturgy is celebrated after the Sixth Hour.
Calendar. The majority of the Orthodox and some Eastern Catholics use the Julian Calendar (called the Old Style), which is 13 days behind the Gregorian. September is the beginning of the new liturgical year. The feasts are divided into four cycles. The weekly cycle commemorates each day a different mystery or group of saints: the Resurrection on Sunday; the angels on Monday; John the Baptist on Tuesday; the Holy Cross on Wednesday and Friday; the Apostles and St. Nicholas on Thursday; and all the saints and the dead on Saturday. The Holy Mother of God is commemorated each day, but in a particular way on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday in connection with the mystery of the Redemption. The cycle of the eight weeks, Octoechos, according to the eight modes of music, begins with the week of St. Thomas immediately after Pascha and every eight weeks repeats the same eight modes. The annual cycle of movable feasts gravitates around the feast of Pascha. It includes the 18 weeks: ten of preparation before Pascha (the period of the Triod) and the eight weeks after Pascha until the Sunday of All Saints (the period of the Pentekostarion). The annual cycle of fixed feasts begins with September 1 and ends with August 31.
Sacraments. Texts for the administration of the Mysteries are found in the liturgical book called the Euchologion. Baptism is conferred by immersion. After the child has been anointed all over its body with blessed oil, it is immersed three times in water while the priest says the formula: "The servant of God, N., is baptized in the
name of the Father, Amen, and of the Son, Amen, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen." Chrismation follows immediately, and the priest is the usual minister, not the bishop as in the Latin Church. As the priest anoints with a specially prepared chrism all the senses and limbs, he recites the simple formula: "The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amen."
The Eucharist is usually given in both kinds with a spoon. Some Eastern Catholic churches distribute communion by intinction: The priest dips slender oblong pieces into the consecrated wine with his fingers and thus distributes it to the faithful.
Among some Orthodox there is the tradition of confessing before each reception of Holy Communion. Except for Eastern Catholic Churches who use the Latin confessional, there is usually no box used. The penitent approaches the priest who stands before a lectern or analogion on which is found the Gospel book and the cross. Standing, the penitent confesses, and the priest places the ends of his wide stole over the head of the penitent as he recites the formula of absolution.
For the Anointing of the Sick oil is blessed, oftentimes containing wine in memory of the Good Samaritan. In some places it is administered as a preparation for Holy Communion during the Great Fast or especially on Wednesday of Holy Week. The priest anoints the senses and limbs, reciting the lengthy formula beginning: "Holy Father, You, the Physician of souls and bodies, who sent Your only Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who heals from every sickness and saves from death, heal your servant, N., of the bodily and spiritual sickness of which he is afflicted and give him the fullness of life through the grace of Your Christ."
Holy Orders. In the Byzantine churches, the order of reader (lector) and subdeacon are the only two minor orders; the major orders are deacon, priest, and bishop. Orders are given in a very simple but moving rite by the bishop's imposing his hands.
Marriage is called the "crowning" because the spouses are crowned with two nuptial crowns with the formula: "The servant of God, N., is crowned for the servant of God, N., in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen."
Blessings and prayers. These are of various kinds. Antidora are blessed particles of bread, distributed immediately after the final blessing. At the vigils of feasts and on great saints' days a special anointing occurs during Matins with an oil usually taken from a lamp that has been burning before the icon or oil especially blessed for the purpose earlier in the Vigil. The blessed grain, the kolyba, is eaten in honor of some saint or in memory of the dead. The Great Blessing of water takes place on Theophany (January 6). There are blessings for all sorts of things, the formulas of which are found in the Euchologion. The priest usually wears for such blessings the epitrakelion with the phelonion.
Church building. The Byzantine churches are usually constructed in the shape of a Greek cross with four arms of equal length. The Russians, besides the one central cupola above the middle of the cross, place other cupolas over the ends of the cross, surmounted on the outside by onion-shaped bulbs covered by copper or gold gilding. The building is divided into three parts, each distinct from the others: the sanctuary, the nave (naos), and the vestibule (narthex). The sanctuary and nave are separated by the iconostasis. This is a partition of wood or marble, usually high and richly decorated with images or icons of Our Lord, Our Lady, and various saints, and set facing the nave. The iconostasis is pierced by three doors, one in the middle and one at each side. The more ornate set of doors in the middle is called the royal or holy or beautiful doors. Only bishops, priests, deacons, and on occasion subdeacons can pass through these doors. Stretching behind the royal doors is a curtain that is pulled aside at certain moments of the Liturgy. The side doors to the south and north are adorned with icons of the archangels or of St. Stephen the Protomartyr or other sainted deacons or even the Good Thief. Through these pass the other clerics and servers.
Behind the royal doors is the Holy Table. It is a flat square of wood or stone, resting on four legs. There is no altar stone as in the Latin Church, but the relics besides being sealed into a fully consecrated Holy Table are also sewn into the antimension, a type of corporal, painted or stamped with the entombment of Our Lord consecrated and signed by the bishop. The Gospel book and a hand cross always rest on the altar. The eucharistic Holy Gifts are usually reserved in a tabernacle. Many small particles sprinkled with the Precious Blood and dried are kept there. Before giving it in Holy Communion, the priest dips the particle into unconsecrated wine. The Holy Gifts are renewed by many of the Orthodox on Holy Thursday but also as needed.
The sanctuary continues in front of the iconostasis by means of an elevated platform above the nave, called the solion or soleas. Here the deacon chants the litanies, and the faithful receive Holy Communion. The ambo in some churches at the left of the altar is the place from which the gospel is chanted. Usually pews are not known, except for members of the clergy and the sick and aged; others usually stand. However, in the United States among the Greeks and many Eastern Catholics pews are used. In the nave there is a lectern (called an analogion or analoy) or a small table on which the image of the saint of the day or the patron of the church is placed for veneration. The nave connects with the vestibule through several doors. In ancient churches a double division separated the vestibule into two parts, the exterior and the interior vestibule. In the interior, the monks recite canonical hours except for Matins and Vespers; here also is kept the baptismal font. In countries not under Turkish domination, bell towers are found. The Islamic governments in the name of the Qu’ran forbade the use of bells, which were replaced by wood, hit by a mallet. Such a device, called a simandron, is still used in monasteries of the Near East. The interior of churches are ornately decorated with icons painted in the Byzantine style with themes proper to each part of the church. Above the altar in the cupola of the apse is usually found a large icon of the Blessed Virgin holding the Child Jesus, while in the central cupola there is a painting of Christ the Pantokrator (the Almighty).
Vessels. The chalice is the same shape as in the West. The paten, called the diskos, is larger and often rests on a base. The lance or knife and the asterisk or star are peculiar to the Eastern liturgies. The lance, symbolizing the spear by which the centurion pierced the side of the Savior, is used to cut the leavened bread. The asterisk is made of two pieces of curved metal superimposed to form a cross. At the point of juncture a small star or sometimes a cross hangs down over the host on the paten. The asterisk is used to prevent the covering over the paten from touching the bread. Another covering is used over the chalice, and a large veil, the aër, covers the whole Eucharistic offering. These veils or covers symbolize the linen clothes and the tomb of Our Lord.
The zeon is a metal container from which hot water is poured into the chalice before receiving Holy Communion. A spoon is used to distribute Holy Communion. A small sponge is employed for purifying the fingers and the diskos.
A ripidion is a round disk made of metal fixed on a wooden pole with the image of the seraphim with six wings. The deacon waves it over the Holy Gifts at certain moments after the Consecration. During the processions two or more ripidia accompany the cross. In hierarchal Liturgies the bishop holds the dikirion, a two-branched candlestick, in his left hand and the trikirion, a three-branched candlestick, in his right hand when blessing the faithful. Usually behind the altar is a seven-branched candelabrum.
Vestments. While he is not celebrating the Liturgy, the priest wears the anterion, much like a cassock. It is generally black, but for the secular clergy no color is prescribed; often it is gray, brown, white, red, blue or purple. Over the anterion, is the rason, with ample sleeves; it is usually pleated and touches the ground, giving an air of dignity when the priest walks. Priests and deacons and sometimes lower clerics wear the kalimavkion or kamilavkion, a black cylindrical hat. Monks, archimandrites, bishops, and patriarchs cover the kalimavkion with a black veil, called an epanokalimavkion or klobuk, that falls over the shoulders. Among the Slavs and Romanians, all clerics often wear a cap called the scoufia.
Vestments worn during the Liturgy are colorful and ornate. Inferior clerics wear the stikharion, loose tunic of varying color without a cincture. The deacon wears a stikharion with the orarion, a long and narrow cloth placed over the left shoulder. The front end he holds in his right hand as he prays, while the other end falls back over his shoulder to the ground. After the chanting of the Our Father the deacon crisscrosses the orarion over his backing the manner done by subdeacons. There are five distinct vestments for the celebrating priest. The stikharion corresponds to the Latin alb; it can be of different materials and colors, usually very light. Over it he wears the epitrakhelion, a wide stole adorned with crosses; it fits over the head and falls down the front almost to the ground. It is held by the cincture (zone), which is fastened around the waist. Cuffs are worn on the wrists to keep the looser flowing sleeves of the stikarion in place. The phelonion or chasuble is of ample and supple material; it is long in front and may be folded back onto the arms for certain ceremonies. The stole, cincture, cuffs, and phelonion may be the same or contrasting color. Archimandrites, bishops, and high ranking priests wear the epigonation, a stiff, diamond-shaped material with a cross or image embroidered on the center. The priest wears it under the phelonion suspended to the height of his knees by a band from the left waist, while the bishop wears it over the sakkos, fixed by a button.
Generally the bishop wears the same vestments as a simple priest, but the phelonion is replaced by the sakkos, a large tunic with half sleeves, richly embroidered and loosely buttoned on the sides or tied by ribbons. Small bells are attached to the sleeves or sides in imitation of the high priest of the Jews. Over the sakkos, the bishop wears the omophorion, which corresponds to the Latin pallium. It is worn around the neck, forming an angle on the breast with one end falling to the ground. On the chest the bishop wears an oval medallion called the enkolpion, one or two icons of Our Lord and Our Lady, along with a pectoral cross. The headdress, or mitra, is not the usual Latin miter, but a crown, made of rigid material and adorned on top with a cross and various small pictures or icons. The pastoral staff terminates in two intertwined serpents or a curving bar, surmounted by a cross. In assisting at, or before actually celebrating, the Divine Liturgy, the bishop wears the mantle called the mandyas. It is very ample with the two parts attached in front at the neck and bottom. Along the border is rich embroidery and small bells.
From ancient times the Byzantine priests employed three liturgical colors in the celebration of the Liturgy: black for the Liturgy of the Presanctified, red for Lent and funerals, and white for all other occasions. But in modern times, the rules of color are not maintained with rigor. For the normal celebration of the Liturgy any color except black that would not shock is admissible.
Books. Many heavy books are used in the performance of the liturgical services. The Euchologion contains the text for the three Liturgies as well as the ritual for the administration of the Mysteries, blessings, and prayer services. Usually the priest and deacon use an extract from this volume called the Liturgikon. This contains their parts for the Liturgies as well as their parts at Vespers and Matins. The remaining parts of the Euchologion can be found in Slavic usage in the three or four volume Trebnik. The Evangelion contains the readings for each day of the gospel, and the Apostolos the corresponding epistles and the Acts. In the Psalterion are the Psalms divided into 20 groups called kathismata and the biblical canticles. The Triodion includes the offices for Great Lent, and the Pentekostarion those of Pascha up to the first Sunday after Pentecost, i.e., the Sunday of All Saints. The Octoechos or Parakletiki has services from the first Sunday after Pentecost to the Sunday of the Pharisee and Publican, the tenth Sunday before Pascha. It contains the tropars, kontakia, canons, and verses on the Vespers psalms and the morning praise psalms for Vespers, Compline, Matins, and Hours divided into eight parts, each to be sung for a week according to one of the eight tones of Byzantine chant.
The Menaion contain the services of the fixed feasts and of the saints for the whole year and is divided into six or 12 volumes. The Horologion has parts of the Hours that never change, also the ecclesiastical calendar, the apolitikia or dismissal hymns, and the kontakia for each day. The Typikon is a type of directory of rules to be observed for putting together the variable parts of the Liturgy and Hours for all the feasts and days of the year.
The Archieratikon corresponds to the Roman Pontifical and provides for the liturgical functions of a bishop. The Theotokarion is a collection of chants in honor of the Mother of God (Theotokos) divided into eight groups according to the eight musical tones. The Hirmologion is made up of strophes and melody types used as basic rhythms for the irmoi of the canons and other hymns found in other liturgical books unaccompanied by musical notation. Finally, the Hagiasmatarion is a collection of prayers, blessings, and offices that the priest has most need of in daily ministrations to the faithful.
Bibliography: d. attwater, The Christian Churches of the East, 2 v. (rev. ed. Milwaukee 1961–62). f. e. brightman, Liturgies Eastern and Western, 2 v. (Oxford 1896) v. 1. j. m. hanssens, Institutiones liturgicae de ritibus orientalibus (Rome 1930–32) v. 2, 3. a. a. king, The Rites of Eastern Christendom, 2 v. (London 1950). r. f. taft, The Byzantine Rite: A Short History (Collegeville, MN 1992); History of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, v. 2, 4, 5 (Orientalia Christiana Analecta 200, 238, 261; Rome 1978–2000); "The Liturgy of the Great Church: An Initial Synthesis of Structure and Interpretation on the Eve of Iconoclasm," Dumbarton Oaks Papers 34; "Mount Athos: A Late Chapter in the History of the 'Byzantine Rite,"' ibid. 42; Beyond East and West (Washington, D.C. 1984); Liturgy of the Hours in East and West (Collegeville, MN 1993). h. wybrew, The Orthodox Liturgy (London 1989). h.-j. schulz, The Byzantine Liturgy (New York 1986). j. f. baldovin, The Urban Character of Christian Worship (Orientalia Christiana Analecta 228; Rome 1987). Liturgical Texts in English: Menaion of the Orthodox Church, 12 v. (Liberty, TN 1996–2001). The Octoechos (Liberty, TN 1999). The Pentecostarion (Boston 1990). The Lenten Triodion (Boston 1978). The Lenten Triodion supplementary texts (France 1979). The Great Horologion (Boston 1997). The Horologion or Book of Hours (South Canaan, PA 2000). The Priest's Service Book. 2 v. (New York 1973. The Great Book of Needs 4 v. (South Canaan, PA 1998–99).
[g. a. maloney/
r. b. miller]
"Byzantine Liturgy." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 18, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/byzantine-liturgy
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Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.