The Byzantine Rite known as the Greek Rite or Constantinopolitan Rite, is the liturgical rite used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek/Byzantine Catholic churches, in a modified form, Byzantine Rite Lutheranism. Its development began during the fourth century in Constantinople and it is now the second most-used ecclesiastical rite in Christendom after the Roman Rite; the Byzantine Rite was developed and used in Greek language and with introduction of Eastern Orthodoxy to other ethnic groups it was translated into local languages and continued further development. Most important non-Greek variants of Byzantine Rite are: Byzantine-Slavonic and Byzantine-Georgian; the rite consists of the divine liturgies, canonical hours, forms for the administration of sacred mysteries and the numerous prayers and exorcisms developed by the Church of Constantinople. Involved are the specifics of church architecture, liturgical music and traditions which have evolved over the centuries in the Eastern Orthodox Church and which are associated with this rite.
Traditionally, the congregation stands throughout the whole service, an iconostasis separates the sanctuary from the nave of the church. The faithful are active in their worship, making frequent bows and prostrations, feeling free to move about the temple during the services. Traditionally, the major clergy and monks neither shave nor cut their hair or beards. Scripture plays a large role in Byzantine worship, with not only daily readings but many quotes from the Bible throughout the services; the entire psalter is read each week, twice weekly during Great Lent. Fasting is stricter than in the Roman Rite. On fast days, the faithful give up not only meat, but dairy products, on many fast days they give up fish and the use of oil in cooking; the rite observes four fasting seasons: Great Lent, Nativity Fast, Apostles' Fast and Dormition Fast. In addition, most Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year are fast days and many monasteries observe Monday as a fast day. There are two ancient liturgical traditions from which all of the Eastern Rites developed: the Alexandrian Rite in Egypt and the Antiochene Rite in Syria.
These two Rites developed directly from practices of the Early Church. Of these two traditions, the Rite of Constantinople developed from the Antiochene Rite. Prior to the see of Constantinople's elevation to the dignity of patriarch by the Second Ecumenical Council in 381, the primary jurisdiction in Asia Minor was the Patriarchate of Antioch. With the council's elevation of Constantinople to primacy in the East, with the words "The Bishop of Constantinople... shall have the prerogative of honour after the Bishop of Rome. Because the Rite of Constantinople evolved as a synthesis of two distinct rites — cathedral rite of Constantinople called the "asmatiki akolouthia" and the monastic typicon of the Holy Lavra of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified near Jerusalem — its offices are developed and quite complex. Further developments continued to occur, centered around Constantinople and Mount Athos. Monasticism played an important role in the development of the rituals. In Constantinople, the work of the monastery of the Studion enriched the liturgical traditions with regard to the Lenten observance.
Iconography continued to develop and a canon of traditional patterns evolved which still influences Eastern religious art to this day. Historical events have influenced the development of the liturgy; the great Christological and Trinitarian controversies of Late Antiquity are reflected in the glorifications of the Trinity heard in the numerous ekphonies encountered during the services. In response to Nestorius' attack on giving the title of Theotokos to the Virgin Mary, the Byzantines increased the use of the term in the liturgy, now every string of hymns ends with one in her honour, called a theotokion. All liturgical rites develop over time; as new saints are canonized, new hymns are composed. The rite profits from the fact that the Christian East is not so centralized in ecclesiastical polity as the West; this allows for greater diversity, as members of one church visit another, a natural cross-pollination occurs with resultant enrichment on all sides. In spite of its great emphasis on tradition, the Byzantine Rite comprises a growing and expanding ritual, with room for local practice.
The tradition of the Church of Constantinople ascribes the older of its two main Divine Liturgies to St. Basil the Great, Metropolitan of Cæsarea in Cappadocia; this tradition is confirmed by the witness of several ancient authors, some of whom were contemporaries. It is certain that St. Basil made a reformation of the Liturgy of his Church, that the Byzantine service called after him represents his reformed Liturgy in its chief parts, although it has undergone further modification since his time. St. Basil himself speaks on several occasions of the changes he made in the services of Cæsarea. and other contemporary witnesses attest his arrangement of the services. Basil had as his goal the streamlining of the services to make them more cohesive and attractive to the faithful, he worked to reform the clergy and improve the moral life of Christians. He wrote a number of new prayers; the most important work attributed to him is the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, he took as his basis the Liturgy of St. James as it was celebrated at his time in the r
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 (
During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the second part of the Mass, the elements of bread and wine are considered to have been changed into the veritable Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The manner in which this occurs is referred to by the term transubstantiation, a theory of St. Thomas Aquinas, in the Roman Catholic Church. Members of the Orthodox, Lutheran communions believe that Jesus Christ is and present in the bread and wine, but they believe that the way in which this occurs must forever remain a sacred mystery. In many Christian churches some portion of the consecrated elements is set aside and reserved after the reception of Communion and referred to as the reserved sacrament; the reserved sacrament is stored in a tabernacle, a locked cabinet made of precious materials and located on, above, or near the high altar. In Western Christianity only the Host, from Latin: hostia, meaning "victim", is reserved, except where wine might be kept for the sick who cannot consume a host; the reasons for the reservation of the sacrament vary by tradition, but until around 1000 AD the only reason for reserving the sacrament was to be taken to the ill, homebound, or dying.
After that devotional practices arose, as for Eucharistic Adoration and for Communion services when a priest is unavailable to celebrate the Eucharist. During the Triduum, the sacrament is taken in procession from the tabernacle, if on the high altar or otherwise in the sanctuary, to the Altar of Repose, reserved from the end of the Mass of the Lord's Supper until the Communion Rite on Good Friday; the Blessed Sacrament is absent from the tabernacle until the end of the first Mass of the Resurrection. The first mention of reservation describes the original and, primary purpose. In the Apology of Justin Martyr, a 2nd-century Christian writer, he describes the Eucharist ending with the distribution by the deacons to the parishioners "and to those who are absent, they carry away a portion." Reservation for distribution of the Communion to the sick is mentioned subsequently in the writings of Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Basil. People carried on their person as being a safe place. After the conversion of Constantine in the early 4th century, the more common place for reservation was in a church.
Indeed, a Council of Toledo in 480 denounced those who did not consume the sacred species when they received them from the priest at the altar, but at the same time numerous decrees of synods and penalties entered in penitential books impose upon parish priests the duty of reserving the Blessed Sacrament for the use of the sick and dying, at the same time of keeping it reverently and securely and providing by frequent renewal against any danger of the corruption of the sacred species. It would be kept either in the sacristy or in the church itself in a pyx hanging over the altar, an aumbry – a safe in the wall of the church – or in a tabernacle – a tent, but in fact a metal safe on or behind the altar itself, sometimes covered with a seasonally coloured cloth. Caskets in the form of a dove or of a tower, made for the most part of one of the precious metals, were used for the purpose, but whether in the early Middle Ages these Eucharistic vessels were kept over the altar, or elsewhere in the church, or in the sacristy, does not appear.
After the 10th century the commonest usage in England and France seems to have been to suspend the Blessed Sacrament in a dove-shaped vessel by a cord over the high altar. Fixed and locked tabernacles were known and indeed prescribed by the regulations of Bishop Quivil of Exeter at the end of the 13th century, though in England they never came into general use before the Reformation. In Germany, in the 14th and 15th centuries, a custom prevailed of enshrining the Eucharist in a "sacrament house" beautifully decorated, separate from the high altar but only a short distance away from it, on the north or Gospel side of the Church; this custom seems to have originated in the desire to allow the Blessed Sacrament to be seen by the faithful without contravening the synodal decrees which forbade any continuous exposition. In the sacrament house, the door was invariably made of metal lattice work, through which the vessel containing the sacred species could be discerned at least obscurely. A second purpose of reservation is.
In the 3rd century, catechumens baptized at Easter or Pentecost might spend eight days in meditation before the Blessed Sacrament, reserved in a home-church, before Christianity was legalized. However, only since the year 1000, or later, was the Blessed Sacrament kept in churches so that the faithful might visit It or pray before It. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the Roman Catholic Church and Anglican Churches for the purposes of adoration has been current since the 14th century and may be either private, where only the doors of the tabernacle are opened, or public exposition where the Host is placed in a monstrance so that it may be more seen. Public exposition permitted only on the feast of Corpus Christi, developed only in recent centuries into a formal service known as Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Reservation was prohibited in many Protestant churches in the 16th century. In England it was permitted in the First Book of Common Prayer of 1549, but disallowed in 1552; the Thirty-Nine Articles stated, "The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Ch
A paten, or diskos, is a small plate made of silver or gold, used to hold Eucharistic bread, to be consecrated during the Mass. It is used during the liturgy itself, while the reserved sacrament are stored in the tabernacle in a ciborium. In many Western liturgical denominations, the paten is either a simple saucer-like plate or a low bowl. A smaller style paten will have a depression that allows it to securely sit on top of the chalice, as shown in the illustration on the left here; the General Instruction of the Roman Missal lays down rules for patens: "Sacred vessels should be made from precious metal. If they are made from metal that rusts or from a metal less precious than gold, they should be gilded on the inside." However, provisions for vessels made from non-precious metals are made as well, provided they are "made from other solid materials which in the common estimation in each region are considered precious or noble."The communion-plate is by some called a paten. The English translation of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal approved by the English-speaking episcopal conferences and confirmed by the Holy See uses "communion-plate", not "paten", to speak of this object, which in the official Latin liturgical norms is called a patina, while a paten is called a patena.
Patens are used among Anglicans and Lutherans. In the United Methodist Church, during the Order for the Ordination of Elders, each elder receives a stole, along with a chalice and paten, from the bishop after the part of the liturgy in which the bishop lays his hands and prays over the ministerial candidates; this is because the newly ordained elders are now able to celebrate the Sacraments, such as Holy Communion. In the Methodist service of the Holy Communion, the bread is placed upon a paten during the offertory and once again after it consecrated following the fraction; the paten, along with the claice, lays on the altar during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. In the Byzantine Rite Orthodox and Byzantine Rite Catholic Churches, the paten is called a diskos and is elevated by a stand permanently attached underneath; the diskos is more ornate than its Latin Rite counterpart, must always be made of gold or at least be gold-plated. The diskos may be engraved with an icon of Jesus Christ, the Nativity of Christ, the Cross, or most the Theotokos.
When a diskos is made, it is accompanied by a matching asterisk, a spoon, a spear. For Christians of Eastern church families, the diskos symbolises the Ever-virgin Mary, who received God the Word into her womb and gave birth to him, as well as the Tomb of Christ, which received his body after the Crucifixion and from which he resurrected. During the Divine Liturgy it is not only the Lamb, placed on the diskos, but particles to commemorate the Theotokos, the Saints, the living and the departed. Thus, on the diskos is represented the entire Church: the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant, arrayed around Christ. At the Great Entrance the deacon carries the Diskos, he kneels at the side of the Holy Table, the priest takes the diskos from him and places it on the Antimension. During the Anaphora, only the Lamb is consecrated. At Holy Communion, the clergy partake of their portions of the Lamb directly from the diskos, but for the Communion of the faithful, the remainder of the Lamb is cut into small portions and placed in the chalice, from which the priest distributes Communion using the spoon.
After Communion, the Deacon holds the diskos above the holy chalice and recites hymns of the Resurrection. He wipes the remaining particles into the chalices saying the words: "Wash away, O Lord, the sins of all those here commemorated, by Thy precious Blood, through the prayers of all Thy saints." Sometimes, when a bishop celebrates the Liturgy, a smaller diskos is prepared for him with a small prosphoron from which he takes particles to commemorate the living and the departed before the Great Entrance. During the Consecration of a Church, a diskos is used to hold the relics of the saints which will be sealed in the Holy Table and antimension by the bishop; when a priest is ordained, a portion of the Lamb will be placed on a small diskos and given to him, as a sign of the Sacred Mysteries which are being entrusted to his care. In the Russian tradition, there is a special liturgy of blessing used to sanctify a diskos before its first use at Liturgy; the diskos may be blessed together in a set with the other sacred vessels.
The blessing is done before beginning of the Liturgy of Preparation, after which the priest carries the diskos into the sanctuary and begins the liturgy, using the newly blessed vessel in that Liturgy. Up until the first time a diskos is used in the Divine Liturgy it is considered to be an ordinary vessel, may be touched by anyone. However, after having been used in the Divine Liturgy, a diskos may be touched only by a deacon, priest or bishop. A subdeacon may touch the sacred vessels, but only; when not in use, the chalice and all the sacred vessels should remain on the Table of Oblation, wrapped in their cloth bags—either sitting on top and covered with a cloth, or stored securely in a cabinet built into the prothesis. In the usage of the Alexandrian Rite, the diskos has a flat bottom with no foot. Additionally, it has a raised edge, forming a high rim, preventing particles of the offer
In Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches, an entrance is a procession during which the clergy enter into the sanctuary through the Holy Doors. The origin of these entrances goes back to the early church, when the liturgical books and sacred vessels were kept in special storage rooms for safe keeping and the procession was necessary to bring these objects into the church when needed. Over the centuries, these processions have grown more elaborate, nowadays are accompanied by incense and liturgical fans. In the liturgical theology of the Orthodox Church, the angels are believed to enter with the clergy into the sanctuary, as evidenced by the prayers which accompany the various entrances; the bishop has the right to enter and leave the altar through the Holy Doors at any time, is not restricted to the liturgical entrances, as the priest and deacon are. During the course of the Divine Liturgy, there are two entrances. Both of the Entrances, as well as the ritual of the Liturgy of Preparation, are viewed by liturgical scholars as additions to the Liturgy, may not have been used by Saints Basil the Great or John Chrysostom, the authors of the most used forms of the Divine Liturgy.
The Little Entrance occurs during the portion of the service known as the Liturgy of the Catechumens, in preparation for the scriptural readings. The priest takes the Gospel Book from the Holy Table, hands it to the deacon They go counterclockwise around the Holy Table and out the North Door of the Iconostasis, come to stop in front of the Holy Doors, while the priest prays silently the Prayer of the Entrance: O Master, Lord our God, Who hast appointed in heaven ranks and hosts of Angels and Archangels for the ministry of Thy glory: Cause that with our entrance may enter the holy Angels with us serving Thee, with us glorifying Thy goodness. For unto Thee are due all glory and worship, to the Father, to the Son, to the Holy Spirit and and unto the ages of ages. Amen; the deacon presents the Gospel Book for the priest to kiss The deacon points to the Holy Doors with his orarion, bowing says to the priest, "Bless, the holy entrance." The priest blesses with his hand and says, "Blessed is the entrance of Thy holy ones, always and and unto the ages of ages."
When the choir finishes singing the Third Antiphon, the deacon lifts up the Gospel Book and says, "Wisdom! Let us attend!" The choir sings the Entrance Hymn: "Come let us worship and fall down before Christ! O Son of God, save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!" and the Troparia and Kontakia of the day. Meanwhile, the deacon and priest go in through the Holy Doors, the deacon replaces the Gospel Book on the Holy Table, both he and the priest kiss the Holy Table; the priest silently says the Prayer of the Trisagion. This entrance is quite elaborate when the bishop is present and a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy is being served, since it is at this time that the bishop himself enters the sanctuary for the first time; until that point he has been standing upon the episcopal kathedra in the center of the church. When a bishop is to be consecrated, the rite takes place at the Little Entrance; this is the point in the Liturgy when the bishop will bestow ecclesiastical awards and honours. After the troparia and kontakia, the choir begins the Trisagion: "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us!"
The chanting of the Trisagion at the Little Entrance is said to have been miraculously revealed to St. Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople. On certain Great Feasts of the church year, the Trisagion is replaced by another hymn, taken from Galatians 3:27 "As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ! Alleluia!" On Feasts of the Cross, the Trisagion is replaced by the hymn, "Before Thy Cross, we bow down in worship, O Master, Thy holy Resurrection we glorify!" During the Trisagion, or its alternate hymn, the priest and deacon go to the High Place to prepare for the reading of the Epistle and Gospel. The Little Entrance symbolizes the Incarnation of Christ and his baptism in the Jordan River: the deacon representing John the Baptist, the priest representing Christ; because the first coming of Christ was in humility, the priest is instructed in the rubrics to make the entrance with his hands at his side. The Great Entrance occurs at a point during the Divine Liturgy, near the beginning of the Liturgy of the Faithful, when the Gifts to be offered are carried from the Chapel of Prothesis, to be placed on the Holy Table.
This entrance is made during the chanting of the Cherubic Hymn The Cherubikon that accompanies the Great Entrance was added by the Emperor Justin II However, the Divine Liturgies celebrated on Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday have their own unique Cherubic Hymns. When the Choir begins the Cherubic Hymn, the deacon begins a censing of the sanctuary, iconostasis and faithful while the priest prays a long silent prayer known as the "Prayer of the Cherubic Hymn". After the prayer and the censing are finished, the priest and deacon make three metanias in front of the Holy Table, raise their hands, say the Cherubic Hymn three times, each recitation followed by another metania, they kiss the Holy Table, bow