Justin II was Eastern Roman Emperor from 565 to 574. He was the husband of Sophia, nephew of Justinian I and the Empress Theodora, was therefore a member of the Justinian Dynasty, his reign was marked by war with the Sassanid Empire, the loss of the greater part of Italy. He presented the Cross of Justin II to Rome, he was a son of Vigilantia and Dulcidio the sister and brother-in-law of Justinian. His siblings included Praejecta. Justinian I died on the night of 14 to 15 November 565. Callinicus, the praepositus sacri cubiculi, seems to have been the only witness to his dying moments, claimed that Justinian had designated "Justin, Vigilantia's son" as his heir in a deathbed decision; the clarification was needed because there was another nephew and candidate for the throne, son of Germanus. Modern historians suspect Callinicus may have fabricated the last words of Justinian to secure the succession for his political ally; as Robert Browning observed: "Did Justinian bring himself in the end to make a choice, or did Callinicus make it for him?
Only Callinicus knew."In any case, Callinicus started alerting those most interested in the succession various members of the Byzantine Senate. They jointly informed Justin and Vigilantia, offering the throne. Justin accepted after the traditional token show of reluctance, with his wife Sophia, he was escorted to the Great Palace of Constantinople; the Excubitors blocked the palace entrances during the night, early in the morning, John Scholasticus, Patriarch of Constantinople, crowned the new Augustus. Only was the death of Justinian and the succession of Justin publicly announced in the Hippodrome of Constantinople. Both the Patriarch and Tiberius, commander of the Excubitors, had been appointed, with Justin having played a part in their respective appointments, in his role as Justinian's curopalates, their willingness to elevate their patron and ally to the throne was hardly surprising. In the first few days of his reign Justin paid his uncle's debts, administered justice in person, proclaimed universal religious toleration.
Contrary to his uncle, Justin relied on the support of the aristocratic party. Proud of character, faced with an empty treasury, he discontinued Justinian's practice of buying off potential enemies. After his accession, Justin halted the payment of subsidies to the Avars, ending a truce that had existed since 558. After the Avars and the neighbouring tribe of the Lombards had combined to destroy the Gepids, from whom Justin had obtained the Danube fortress of Sirmium, Avar pressure caused the Lombards to migrate West, in 568 they invaded Italy under their king Alboin, they overran the Po valley, within a few years they had made themselves masters of nearly the entire country. The Avars themselves crossed the Danube in 573 or 574, when the Empire's attention was distracted by troubles on the Persian frontier, they were only placated by the payment of a subsidy of 60,000 silver pieces by Justin's successor Tiberius. The North and East frontiers were the main focus of Justin's attention. In 572 his refusal to pay tribute to the Persians in combination with overtures to the Turks led to a war with the Sassanid Empire.
After two disastrous campaigns, in which the Persians under Khosrow I overran Syria and captured the strategically important fortress of Dara, Justin lost his mind. Shortly after the smuggling of silkworm eggs into the Byzantine Empire from China by Nestorian Christian monks, the 6th-century Byzantine historian Menander Protector writes of how the Sogdians attempted to establish a direct trade of Chinese silk with the Byzantine Empire. After forming an alliance with the Sassanid ruler Khosrow I to defeat the Hephthalite Empire, Istämi, the Göktürk ruler of the Western Turkic Khaganate, was approached by Sogdian merchants requesting permission to seek an audience with the Sassanid king of kings for the privilege of traveling through Persian territories in order to trade with the Byzantines. Istämi refused the first request, but when he sanctioned the second one and had the Sogdian embassy sent to the Sassanid king, the latter had the members of the embassy poisoned to death. Maniah, a Sogdian diplomat, convinced Istämi to send an embassy directly to Constantinople, which arrived in 568 and offered not only silk as a gift to Justin, but proposed an alliance against Sassanid Persia.
Justin agreed and sent an embassy to the Turkic Khaganate, ensuring the direct silk trade desired by the Sogdians. The historian Previte-Orton describes Justin as "a rigid man, dazzled by his predecessor's glories, to whom fell the task of guiding an exhausted, ill-defended Empire through a crisis of the first magnitude and a new movement of peoples". Previte-Orton continues, In foreign affairs he took the attitude of the invincible, unbending Roman, in the disasters which his lack of realism occasioned, his reason gave way, it was foreign powers which he underrated and hoped to bluff by a lofty inflexibility, for he was well aware of the desperate state of the finances and the army and of the need to reconcile the Monophysites." After 572 Justin was reported to have fits of insanity. John of Ephesus, whose Monophysite sect suffered persecutions under Justin, offered a vivid description of Justin's madness, in which he behaved like a wild animal, was wheeled about on a mobile throne and required organ music to be played day and night.
In 574, at Sophia's suggestion, he adopted the general Tiberius as his son and heir, retired in his favor. According to Theophylact Simocatta, Justin remained sufficiently clear-minded t
An antependium known as a parament or hanging, or, when speaking of the hanging for the altar, an altar frontal, is a decorative piece of textile, but metalwork, stone or other material that can adorn a Christian altar. And as the etymology of the word suggests, an antependium hangs down in front of whatever it covers, is to be distinguished from the altar linens which are used in the service of the Eucharist, an altar cloth which covers the top of the altar table. "Antependium" is the word used for elaborate fixed altar frontals, which, in large churches and in the Ottonian art of the Early Medieval period, were sometimes of gold studded with gems and ivories, in other periods and churches carved stone, painted wood panel, stucco, or other materials, such as azulejo tiling in Portugal. When the front of an altar is elaborately carved or painted, the additional cloth altar frontal reaches down only a few inches from the top of the altar table. In other cases it may reach to the floor. In both situations, it will cover the entire width of the altar.
A "Jacobean frontal" will cover the entire altar. The Anglican Canons of 1603 order that the Lord's Table should be "covered, in time of Divine Service, with a carpet of silk or other decent stuff, thought meet by the Ordinary of the place". Covers for lecterns and pulpits are similar to a frontlet covering the "desk" of the lectern or pulpit and handing down about a foot or longer in front. In the Orthodox Church, the Holy Table may be covered with two coverings. There is always an outer frontal, covering the top of the Holy Table and hanging down several inches on all four sides; this kind is used alone if the front of the Holy Table is elaborately decorated. For a "fully vested" Holy Table, a second, inner hanging is used; this covers the Holy Table on the top and hangs down to the floor on all four sides. The analogia are covered with a covering known as a proskynitarion; as with the coverings used on the Holy Table, there may, again, be only one outer covering or a second, inner covering that hangs to the floor.
A cloth antependium is of the same colour and of the same fabric and similar style as the vestments worn by the clergy. The fabric may vary from simple material, such as cotton or wool, to exquisitely wrought damasks, fine watermarked silk, velvet, or satin. Embellishment is by means of decorative bands of material called orphreys, embroidery or appliqués, fringes and tassels, all of a complementary colour to the fabric; the most used symbol on both vestments and hangings is the cross. The antependium is lined in satin, using a matching hue; the colours used tend to be suggested by the liturgical tradition of each denomination. Most Western Christian churches that observe a developed liturgical tradition use white, red, green and black, with each being used on specified occasions. A rose colour may be employed for the third Sunday in Advent. In Anglican circles, blue is sometimes prescribed for feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, although it is used, unofficially, in some areas of the Roman Catholic Church.
Among Eastern Christians, there tend to be two types of vestments: festal ones. Beyond that, no specific colours are required. Among groups such as the Russian Orthodox Church, a pattern of fixed colours has developed, somewhat similar to that used in the West, although they are not speaking, required. Antipendium can be used to describe the front of the altar itself if it is elaborately carved or gilded; the famous Pala d'Oro in St. Mark's Basilica in Venice originated as an antependium, although it is used as a reredos now. Altar cloth Liturgical colours Altar Frontal article from the Catholic Encyclopedia Orthodox altar with red frontal Jacobean Frontal St. John's Church, Scotland
In architecture, an apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome known as an exedra. In Byzantine and Gothic Christian church architecture, the term is applied to a semi-circular or polygonal termination of the main building at the liturgical east end, regardless of the shape of the roof, which may be flat, domed, or hemispherical. Smaller apses may be in other locations shrines. An apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault; the apse of a church, cathedral or basilica is the semicircular or polygonal termination to the choir or sanctuary, or sometimes at the end of an aisle. In relation to church architecture it is the name given to where the altar is placed or where the clergy are seated. An apse is found in a synagogue, e.g. Maoz Haim Synagogue; the apse is separated from the main part of the church by the transept. Smaller apses are sometimes built in locations other than the east end for reliquaries or shrines of saints; the domed apse became a standard part of the church plan in the early Christian era.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church tradition, the south apse is known as diaconicon and the north apse as prothesis. Various ecclesiastical features of which the apse may form part are drawn together here: The chancel, directly to the east beyond the choir contains the High Altar, where there is one; this area is reserved for the clergy, was therefore called the "presbytery," from the Greek presbuteros meaning "elder", or in older and Catholic usage, "priest". Hemi-cyclic choirs, first developed in the East, came to use in France in 470. By the onset of the 13th century, they had been augmented with radiating apse chapels outside the choir aisle, the entire structure of Apse and radiating chapels coming to be known as the chevet. Famous northern French examples of chevets are in the Gothic cathedrals of Amiens and Reims; such radiating chapels are found in England in Norwich and Canterbury cathedrals, but the developed feature is French, though the Francophile connoisseur Henry III introduced it into Westminster Abbey.
The word "ambulatory" refers to a curving aisle in the apse that passes behind the altar and choir, giving access to chapels in the chevet. An "ambulatory" may refer to the arcade passages that enclose a cloister in a monastery, or to other types of aisles round the edge of a church building, for example in circular churches. Architectural development of the eastern end of cathedrals in England and France Byzantine architecture Cathedral architecture Church architecture Narthex Joseph Nechvatal, "Immersive Excess in the Apse of Lascaux", Technonoetic Arts 3, no. 3, 2005. Spiers, Richard Phené. "Apse". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 231–232. This has a detailed description of examples in the early church
Zeon is a liturgical action which takes place in the Divine Liturgy of the Rite of Constantinople, during which hot water is added to the chalice. The same term is used as a noun to describe the vessel used for this purpose. Following the fraction, the altar server hands the deacon a vessel of hot water; the deacon presents it to the priest and says, "Bless, the hot water." The priest blesses it with his right hand saying, "Blessed is the fervor of Thy saints, always and and unto the ages of ages. Amen." The deacon pours a portion of the hot water into the chalice, making the Sign of the Cross with the water, as he says, "The fervor of faith, full of the Holy Spirit."The historical beginnings of the ritual are unknown. Symbolically, the warm water represents the water which flowed from the side of Jesus at the time of the Crucifixion. Orthodox Christians believe that they partake of the Resurrected Body and Blood of Christ, the warmth of the chalice is a reminder of that doctrine; the type of vessel used differs depending upon whether Slavic Rite is used.
In the Greek practice, the zeon vessel tends to be shaped like a small ewer set on a tiny plate. The Slavic practice, by contrast, uses a larger vessel shaped like a cup with a flat handle, set on a somewhat larger plate. Both traditions use enough to heat the entire chalice; the practice of drinking wine mixed with water existed in Ancient Greece. Drinking wine unmixed was uncommon, was signaled as such; the Sephardi Hebrews had the practice of meziga the Kiddush wine with water. The Christian Orthodox and Sephardic customs may share the same Oriental origin
A piscina is a shallow basin placed near the altar of a church, or else in the vestry or sacristy, used for washing the communion vessels. The sacrarium is the drain itself. Anglicans refer to the basin, calling it a piscina. Roman Catholics refer to the drain, by extension, the basin, as the sacrarium, they are made of stone and fitted with a drain, are in some cases used to dispose of materials used in the sacraments and water from liturgical ablutions. They are found in Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches, a similar vessel is used in Eastern Orthodox churches; the piscina is a Latin word applied to a fish-pond, used for natural or artificial pools for bathing, for a water tank or reservoir. In ecclesiastical usage it was applied to the basin used for ablutions and sometimes other sacraments, they were named for the baptismal font. Piscinae seem at first to have been mere cups or small basins, supported on perforated stems, placed close to the wall, afterwards to have been recessed therein and covered with niche heads, which contained shelves to serve as ambries.
They were rare in England until the 13th century, after which there is scarcely an altar without one. They take the form of a double niche, with a shaft between the arched heads, which are filled with elaborate tracery. If there is no drain, a niche for washing is a lavabo, though the usage of the two terms is confused; the purpose of the piscina or sacrarium is to dispose of water used sacramentally, by returning these particles directly to the earth. For this reason, it is connected by a pipe directly to the ground. At times the piscina has been used for disposal of other items, such as old baptismal water, holy oils, leftover ashes from Ash Wednesday. A common myth is that consecrated wine was poured down the piscina; the rubrics stated that any consecrated Blood of Christ, left over after communion is consumed either by the priest or by those who assist in the distribution of the Eucharist, there has never been a time when the Precious Blood was poured down the drain. What caused this confusion is that in countries with plenty of cheap wine, if there was any unconsecrated wine left in a cruet, that wine was washed down the piscina.
In the Roman Catholic Church, pouring the consecrated wine, the Blood of Christ, or the Host down a sacrarium is forbidden. The Eucharistic species spoils or becomes contaminated such that it cannot be consumed; the host is dissolved in water until it disappears the water is poured down into the sacrarium. In accordance with what is laid down by the canons, "one who throws away the consecrated species or takes them away or keeps them for a sacrilegious purpose, incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; this applies to any action, knowingly and gravely disrespectful of the sacred species. Anyone, who acts contrary to these norms, for example casting the sacred species into the sacrarium or in an unworthy place or on the ground, incurs the penalties laid down. Certain conditions, laid out in the current Code for Canon Law, must be met in order for the penalties to apply. In the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches the piscina is called a thalassidion, is located in the diaconicon.
The thalassidion is a sink that drains into an honorable place in the ground where liquids such as the water used to wash holy things may be poured, where the clergy may wash their hands before serving the Divine Liturgy. In Orthodoxy the Sacred Mysteries are never poured into the thalassidion, but must always be consumed by a deacon or priest. In some ancient churches, the thalassidion was placed under the Holy Table, though now it is always located in the diaconicon. At one time, before a monk or nun was tonsured, their religious habit would be placed on the thalassidion; when a monk or nun is tonsured, if the hair must be disposed of, it is thrown into the thalassidion. East Hoathly Parish Church building and contents, with a photograph and description of an 11th or 12th-century piscina
A sacristy is a room for keeping vestments and other church furnishings, sacred vessels, parish records. In some countries, it is known as the vestry; the sacristy is located inside the church, but in some cases it is an annex or separate building. In most older churches, a sacristy is near a side altar, or more behind or on a side of the main altar. In newer churches the sacristy is in another location, such as near the entrances to the church; some churches have more than one sacristy. Additional sacristies are used for maintaining the church and its items – such as candles and other materials; the sacristy is where the priest and attendants vest and prepare before the service. They will return there at the end of the service to remove their vestments and put away any of the vessels used during the service; the hangings and altar linens are stored there as well. The Parish registers are administered by the parish clerk. Sacristies contain a special wash basin, called a piscina, the drain of, properly called a "sacrarium" in which the drain flows directly into the ground to prevent sacred items such as used baptismal water from being washed into the sewers or septic tanks.
The piscina is used to wash linens used during the celebration of the Mass and purificators used during Holy Communion. The cruets, ciborium, altar linens and sometimes the Holy Oils are kept inside the sacristy. Sacristies are off limits to the general public; the word "sacristy" derives from the Latin sacristia, sometimes spelled sacrastia, in turn derived from sacrista, from sacra. A person in charge of the sacristy and its contents is called a sacristan; the latter name was given to the sexton of a parish church, where he would have cared for these things, the fabric of the building and the grounds. In Eastern Christianity, the functions of the sacristy are fulfilled by the Diaconicon and the Prothesis, two rooms or areas adjacent to the Holy Table. Work on finding the so-called "lost medieval sacristy of Henry III" at Westminster Abbey during an episode of the archaeological television programme Time Team revealed that the abbey had two separate sacristies; as well as a conventional sacristy for storage of ceremonial vessels such as the chalice and paten, the second, described in a 15th-century document as the "galilee of the sacristy" was determined to have been used for the robing and formation of the procession.
Altar cloth Antependium Sacristan Savilahti Stone Sacristy Sexton Vestry "Sacristy" article from Catholic Encyclopedia
A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches, associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Some Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state; the word deacon is derived from the Greek word diákonos, a standard ancient Greek word meaning "servant", "waiting-man", "minister", or "messenger". One promulgated speculation as to its etymology is that it means "through the dust", referring to the dust raised by the busy servant or messenger, it is assumed that the office of deacon originated in the selection of seven men by the apostles, among them Stephen, to assist with the charitable work of the early church as recorded in Acts 6. The title deaconess is not found in the Bible. However, one woman, Phoebe, is mentioned at Romans 16:1–2 as a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. Nothing more specific is said about her duties or authority, although it is assumed she carried Paul's Letter to the Romans.
The exact relationship between male and female deacons varies. In some traditions a female deacon is a member of the order of deacons, while in others, deaconesses constitute a separate order. In some traditions, the title "deaconess" was sometimes given to the wife of a deacon. Female deacons are mentioned by Pliny the Younger in a letter to the emperor Trajan dated c. 112. “I believed it was necessary to find out from two female slaves who were called deacons, what was true—and to find out through torture ”This is the earliest Latin text that appears to refer to female deacons as a distinct category of Christian minister. A biblical description of the qualities required of a deacon, of his household, can be found in 1 Timothy 3:1–13. Among the more prominent deacons in history are Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Prominent historical figures who played major roles as deacons and went on to higher office include Athanasius of Alexandria, Thomas Becket, Reginald Pole. On June 8, 536, a serving Roman deacon was raised to Silverius.
The title is used for the president, chairperson, or head of a trades guild in Scotland. The diaconate is one of the major orders in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox churches; the other major orders are those of bishop and presbyter and sub-deacon. While the diaconate as a vocation was maintained from earliest Apostolic times to the present in the Eastern churches, it disappeared in the Western church during the first millennium, with Western churches retaining deacons attached to diocesan cathedrals; the diaconate continued in a vestigial form as a temporary, final step along the course toward ordination to priesthood. In the 20th century, the diaconate was restored as a vocational order in many Western churches, most notably in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the United Methodist Church. In Catholic and Anglican churches, deacons assist priests in their pastoral and administrative duties, but report directly to the bishops of their diocese, they have a distinctive role in the liturgy of the Western Churches.
In the Eastern Church, deacons have a profound liturgical presence in the Divine Liturgy. In the Western Church, Pope St. Gregory the Great reduced the liturgical role of the deacon in the Roman Rite, limiting them to serving the bishop, the proclamation of the Gospel, assisting the celebrant at the altar aside from the deacon's calling of charity. Today, deacons are granted permission to preach. Beginning around the fifth century, there was a gradual decline in the permanent diaconate in the Latin church, it has however remained a vital part of the Eastern Catholic Churches. From that time until the years just prior to the Second Vatican Council, the only men ordained as deacons were seminarians who were completing the last year or so of graduate theological training, so-called "transitional deacons", who received the order after they complete their third year at the theological seminary, several months before priestly ordination. Following the recommendations of the council, in 1967 Pope Paul VI issued the motu proprio Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem, restoring the ancient practice of ordaining to the diaconate men who were not candidates for priestly ordination.
These men are known as permanent deacons in contrast to those continuing their formation, who were called transitional deacons. There is no sacramental or canonical difference between the two, however, as there is only one order of deacons; the permanent diaconate formation period in the Roman Catholic Church varies from diocese to diocese as it is determined by the local ordinary. But it entails a year of prayerful preparation, a four- or five-year training period that resembles a collegiate course of study, a year of post-ordination formation as well as the need for lifelong continuing education credits. Diaconal candidates receive instruction in philosophy, study of the Holy Scriptures (