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Antiochene Rite or Antiochian Rite designates the family of liturgies originally used in the Patriarchate of Antioch.
Liturgy is the customary public worship performed by a religious group. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a communal response to and participation in the sacred through activity reflecting praise, thanksgiving, supplication or repentance. It forms a basis for establishing a relationship with a divine agency, as well as with other participants in the liturgy.
Patriarch of Antioch is a traditional title held by the Bishop of Antioch As the traditional "overseer" of the first gentile Christian community, the position has been of prime importance in the church from its earliest period. This diocese is one of the few for which the names of its bishops from the apostolic beginnings have been preserved. Today five churches use the title of Patriarch of Antioch: the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, the Syriac Catholic Church, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, and the Maronite Church. Historically, there has also been a Latin Patriarch of Antioch.
The family of liturgies include the Apostolic Constitutions; then that of St. James in Greek, the Syriac Liturgy of St. James, and the other Syriac Anaphoras. The line may be further continued to the Byzantine Rite (the older Liturgy of St. Basil and the later and shorter one of St. John Chrysostom), and through it to the Armenian use. But these no longer concern the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.
The Apostolic Constitutions or Constitutions of the Holy Apostles is a Christian collection of eight treatises which belongs to the Church Orders, a genre of early Christian literature, that offered authoritative "apostolic" prescriptions on moral conduct, liturgy and Church organization. The work can be dated from 375 to 380 AD. The provenance is usually regarded as Syria, probably Antioch. The author is unknown, even if since James Ussher it was considered to be the same author of the letters of Pseudo-Ignatius, perhaps the 4th-century Eunomian bishop Julian of Cilicia.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
Syriac, also known as Syrian/Syriac Aramaic, Syro-Aramaic or Classical Syriac, is a dialect of Middle Aramaic of the Northwest Semitic languages of the Afroasiatic family that is written in the Syriac alphabet, a derivation of the Aramaic alphabet. Having first appeared in the early first century CE in Edessa, classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from the 4th to the 8th centuries, preserved in a large body of Syriac literature. Indeed, Syriac literature comprises roughly 90% of the extant Aramaic literature. Syriac was once spoken across much of the Near East as well as Anatolia and Eastern Arabia. Syriac originated in Mesopotamia and eventually spread west of Iraq in which it became the lingua franca of the region during the Mesopotamian Neo-Assyrian period.
The Apostolic Constitutions is an important source for the history of the liturgy in the Antiochene rite. This text contains two outlines of liturgies, one in book two and one in book seven, and the complete Liturgy of the eighth book of the Apostolic Constitutions, which is the oldest known form that can be described as a complete liturgy.
The Liturgy of the eighth book of the Apostolic Constitutions is a complete text of the Christian Divine Liturgy and found in the eighth book of the Apostolic Constitutions. It is the oldest known form that can be described as a complete liturgy and can be dated to the second half of the 4th century. It belongs to the Antiochene Rite.
All the liturgies of the Antiochene class follow the same general arrangement as that of the Apostolic Constitutions. Gradually the preparation of the oblation (Prothesis, the word also used for the credence table), before the actual liturgy begins, develops into an elaborate service. The preparation for the lessons (the little Entrance) and the carrying of the oblation from the Prothesis to the altar (the Great Entrance) become solemn processions, but the outline of the liturgy: the Mass of the Catechumens and their dismissal; the litany; the Anaphora beginning with the words "Right and just" and interrupted by the Sanctus; the words of Institution; Anamnesis, Epiklesis and Supplication for all kinds of people at that place; the Elevation with the words "Holy things to the holy"; the Communion distributed by the bishop and deacon (the deacon having the chalice); and then the final prayer and dismissal–this order is characteristic of all the Syriac and Palestinian uses, and is followed in the derived Byzantine liturgies. Two points in that of the Apostolic Constitutions should be noticed. No saints are mentioned by name and there is no Our Father. The mention of saints' names, especially of the "All-holy Mother of God", spread considerably among Catholics after the Council of Ephesus (431), and prayers invoking her under that title were then added to all the Catholic liturgies. The Apostolic Constitutions have preserved an older form unchanged by the development that modifies forms in actual use. The omission of the Lord's Prayer is curious and unique. It has at any rate nothing to do with relative antiquity. In the "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" (VIII, ii, 3) people are told to pray three times a day "as the Lord commanded in his Gospel: Our Father", etc.
A credence table is a small side table in the sanctuary of a Christian church which is used in the celebration of the Eucharist..
The Sanctus is a hymn in Christian liturgy. It may also be called the epinikios hymnos when referring to the Greek rendition.
The Lord's Prayer, also called the Our Father, is a venerated Christian prayer which, according to the New Testament, Jesus taught as the way to pray:
Of the Antiochene liturgies drawn up for actual use, the oldest one and the original from which the others have been derived is the Greek Liturgy of St. James. The reference to it in Canon xxxii of the Quinisextum Council, which quotes it as being really composed by St. James, the brother of Our Lord. The Council appeals to this liturgy in defending the mixed chalice against the Armenians. St. Jerome (died 420) seems to have known it. At any rate at Bethlehem he quotes as a liturgical form the words "who alone is sinless", which occur in this Liturgy (Adv. Pel., II, xxiii). The fact that the Syriac Orthodox Church use the same liturgy in Syriac shows that it existed and was well established before the Chalcedonian schism. The oldest manuscript is one of the tenth century formerly belonging to the Greek monastery at Messina and now kept in the University library of that city.
In the Christian sacrament of the Eucharist, the mixed chalice is the admixture of emblessed water and emblessed wine. In preparing the sacrament, the priest blesses the water to represent the grace of God bestowed during baptism with water. The holy water is then mixed with red wine, which symbolises the blood of Christ, so as to represent the uniting of man-seeking-God (Baptism) and God-reaching-out-to-man. In the same way, the Mass is a communion with the whole Christ: Jesus’s Incarnation, ministry, Passion and Resurrection. The mixed chalice also represents the hypostatic union, God incarnate, that subsists in the Trinitarian view of Christ.
Jerome was a Latin Catholic priest, confessor, theologian, and historian, commonly known as Saint Jerome. He was born at Stridon, a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. He is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin, and his commentaries on the Gospels. His list of writings is extensive.
Bethlehem is a city located in the central West Bank, Palestine, about 10 km south of Jerusalem. Its population is approximately 25,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate. The economy is primarily tourist-driven, peaking during the Christmas season, when Christians make pilgrimage to the Church of the Nativity. Rachel's Tomb, an important Jewish holy site, is located at the northern entrance of Bethlehem.
The Greek Liturgy of St. James follows in all its essential parts that of the Apostolic Constitutions. It has preparatory prayers to be said by the priest and deacon and a blessing of the incense. Then begins the Mass of the Catechumens with the little Entrance. The deacon says a litany (’ekténeia), to each clause of which the people answer "Kyrie eleison". The priest meanwhile silently recites a prayer, raising his voice only for the last words, when the litany has ended. The singers say the Trisagion, "Holy God, holy Strong One, holy Immortal One, have mercy on us." The practice of the priest saying one prayer silently while the people are occupied with something different is a later development. The Lessons follow, still in the older form, that is, long portions of both Testaments, then the prayers for the catechumens and their dismissal. Among the prayers for the catechumens occurs a reference to the cross (lift up the horn of the Christians by the power of the venerable and life-giving cross) which must have been written after St. Helen found it (c. 326) and which is one of the many reasons for connecting this liturgy with Jerusalem. When the catechumens are dismissed the deacon tells the faithful to "know each other", that is to observe whether any stranger is still present. The great Entrance which begins the Mass of the Faithful is already an imposing ceremony. The incense is blessed, the oblation is brought from the Prothesis to the altar while the people sing the Cherubikon, ending with three Alleluias. (The text is different from the Byzantine Cherubikon.) Meanwhile, the priest says another prayer silently. The creed is then said; apparently at first it was a shorter form like the Apostles' Creed. The Offertory prayers and the litany are much longer than those in the Apostolic Constitutions. There is as yet no reference to an Iconostasis (screen dividing the choir or place of the clergy). The beginning of the "Anaphora" (Preface) is shorter. The words of Institution and Anamimnesis are followed immediately by the Epiklesis; then comes the Supplication for various people. The deacon reads the "Diptychs" of the names of the people for whom they pray; then follows a list of Saints beginning with "our all-holy, immaculate and highly praised Lady Mary, Mother of God and ever-virgin." Here are inserted two hymns to Our Lady obviously directed against the Nestorian heresy. The Lord's Prayer follows with an introduction and Embolismos. The Host is shown to the people with the same words as in the Apostolic Constitutions, and then broken, and part of it is put into the chalice while the priest says: "The mixing of the all-holy Body and the precious Blood of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ." Before Communion Psalm xxxiii is said. The priest says a prayer before his Communion. The deacon communicates the people. There is no such form as: "The Body of Christ"; he says only: "Approach in the fear of the Lord", and they answer "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." What is left of the Blessed Sacrament is taken by the deacon to the Prothesis; the prayers of thanksgiving are longer than those of the Apostolic Constitutions.
The Trisagion, sometimes called by its opening line Agios O Theos, is a standard hymn of the Divine Liturgy in most of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches.
The Cherubikon, Cherubic Hymn or Cherubim Chant, is the troparion normally sung at the Great Entrance during the Byzantine liturgy.
The offertory is the part of a Eucharistic service when the bread and wine for use in the service are ceremonially placed on the altar.
The Liturgy of St. James as it now exists is a more developed form of the same use as that of the Apostolic Constitutions. The prayers are longer, the ceremonies have become more elaborate, incense is used continually, and the preparation is already on the way to become the complicated service of the Byzantine Prothesis. There are continual invocations of saints; but the essential outline of the Rite is the same. Besides the references to the Holy Cross, one allusion makes it clear that it was originally drawn up for the Church of Jerusalem. The first supplication after the Epiklesis is: "We offer to thee, O Lord, for Thy holy places which Thou hast glorified by the divine appearance of Thy Christ and by the coming of Thy holy Spirit, especially for the holy and illustrious Sion, mother of all churches and for Thy holy Catholic and apostolic Church throughout the world." This liturgy was used throughout Syria and Palestine, that is throughout the Antiochene Patriarchate (Jerusalem was not made a patriarchal see till the Council of Ephesus, 431) before the Nestorian and Monophysite schisms. It is possible to reconstruct a great part of the use of the city of Antioch while St. John Chrysostom was preaching there (370-397) from the allusions and quotations in his homilies (Probst, Liturgie des IV. Jahrh., II, i, v, 156, 198). It is then seen to be practically that of St. James: indeed whole passages are quoted word for word as they stand in St. James or in the Apostolic Constitutions.
The Catechisms of St. Cyril of Jerusalem were held in 348; the first eighteen are addressed to the Competentes (photizómenoi) during Lent, the last six to the neophytes in Easter week. In these he explains, besides Baptism and Confirmation, the holy liturgy. The allusions to the liturgy are carefully veiled in the earlier ones because of the disciplina arcani; they became much plainer when he speaks to people just baptized, although even then he avoids quoting the baptism form or the words of consecration. From these Catechisms we learn the order of the liturgy at Jerusalem in the middle of the fourth century. Except for one or two unimportant variations, it is that of St. James (Probst, op. cit., II, i, ii, 77-106). This liturgy appears to have been used in either language, Greek at Antioch, Jerusalem, and the chief cities where Greek was commonly spoken, Syriac in the country. The oldest form of it now extant is the Greek version. Is it possible to find a relationship between it and other parent-uses? There are a number of very remarkable parallel passages between the Anaphora of this liturgy and the Canon of the Roman Mass. The order of the prayers is different, but when the Greek or Syriac is translated into Latin there appear many phrases and clauses that are identical with ours. It has been suggested that Rome and Syria originally used the same liturgy and that the much-disputed question of the order of our Canon may be solved by reconstructing it according to the Syriac use (Drews, Zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Kanons). Mgr. Duchesne and most authors, on the other hand, are disposed to connect the Gallican Liturgy with that of Syria and the Roman Mass with the Alexandrine use (Duchesne, Origines du culte chrétien, 54).
After the Monophysite schism and the Council of Chalcedon (451), The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, the proto-Maronites (Monothelites) and the Syriac Orthodox Church continued using the same rite. The Syriac Orthodox used only Syriac (their whole movement being a national revolt against the Emperor), originally, the Melkites used Syriac alongside their Jacobite counterpart, until the Crusades indirectly caused liturgical reform in the Antiochene Church due to Byzantine influence. From that point, the Greek Orthodox Church began to use the Byzantine Rite whereas the Syriac Orthodox Church continued using the Liturgy of St James.
The Syriac Liturgy of St. James now extant among Syriac Orthodox is not the original one used before the schism still used by the Maronites, but a modified form derived from it by the Syriac Orthodox for their own use. The preparation of the oblation has become a still more elaborate rite. The kiss of peace comes at the beginning of the Anaphora and after it this Syriac liturgy follows the Greek one almost word for word, including the reference to Sion, the mother of all churches. But the list of saints is modified; the deacon commemorates the saints "who have kept undefiled the faith of Nicæa, Constantinople and Ephesus"; he names "James the brother of Our Lord" alone of the Apostles and "most chiefly Cyril who was a tower of the truth, who expounded the incarnation of the Word of God, and Mar James and Mar Ephraim, eloquent mouths and pillars of our holy Church." Mar James is Baradaï, who helped preserve the church during the sixth century, and from which the name "Jacobite" (considered offensive by the Syriac Orthodox community, although used for purposes of identification by their associated churches in India) is derived (543). The list of saints, however, varies considerably; sometimes they introduce a long list of their patrons (Renaudot, Lit. Orient. Col., II, 101-103). This liturgy still contains a famous clause. Just before the lessons the Trisagion is sung. That of the Greek rite is: "Holy God, holy Strong one, holy Immortal one, have mercy on us." The Syriac rite adds after "holy Immortal one" the words: "who wast crucified for us." This is the addition made by Peter the Dyer (gnapheús, fullos) Syriac Patriarch of Antioch (458-471), which addition was rejected by the Eastern Orthodox and which was adopted by the Non-Chalcedonians as a kind of proclamation of their faith. In the Syriac use a number of Greek words have remained. The deacon says stômen kalôs in Greek and the people continually cry out "Kurillison", just as they say "Amen" and "Alleluia" in Hebrew. Short liturgical forms constantly become fossilized in one language and count almost as inarticulate exclamations. The Greek ones in the Syriac liturgy show that the Greek language is the original.
Besides the Syriac Liturgy of St. James, the Syriac Orthodox have many other Anaphoras, which they join to the common Preparation and Catechumen's Mass. The names of sixty-four of these Anaphoras are known. They are attributed to various saints and Syriac Orthodox bishops; thus, there are the Anaphoras of St. Basil, St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Peter, St. Clement, Dioscurus of Alexandrian, John Maro, James of Edessa (died 708), Severus of Antioch (died 518), and so on. There is also a shortened Anaphora of St. James of Jerusalem. Renaudot prints the texts of forty-two of these liturgies in a Latin translation. They consist of different prayers, but the order is practically always that of the Syriac St. James Liturgy, and they are really local modifications of it. A letter written by James of Edessa (c. 624) to a certain priest named Timothy describes and explains the Syriac Orthodox Liturgy of his time (Assemani, Bibl. Orient., I, 479-486). It is the Syriac St. James. The Liturgy of the Presanctified of St. James (used on the week days of Lent except Saturdays) follows the other one very closely. There is the Mass of the Catechumens with the little Entrance, the Lessons, Mass of the Faithful and great Entrance, litanies, Our Father, breaking of the Host, Communion, thanksgiving, and dismissal. Of course the whole Eucharistic prayer is left out–the oblations are already consecrated as they lie on the Prothesis before the great Entrance (Brightman, op. cit., 494-501).
The Oriental Orthodox in Syria and Palestine still use the Syriac Liturgy of St. James, as do also the Syriac Catholics. The Eastern Orthodox of the two Patriarchates, Antioch and Jerusalem, have used the Byzantine Rite for many centuries. Like most Christians in communion with Constantinople, they have adopted the Byzantine Rite (with the exception of the small number in canonical jurisdictions who use reconstructed Western liturgies). It is not possible to say exactly when the older uses were forsaken for that of Byzantium. Theodore Balsamon says that by the end of the twelfth century the Church of Jerusalem followed the Byzantine Rite. By that time Antioch had also doubtless followed suit. There are, however, two small exceptions. In the island of Zakynthos and in Jerusalem itself the Greek Liturgy of St. James was used on one day each year, 23 October, the feast of St. James the "brother of God". It is still so used at Zakynthos, and in 1886 Dionysios Latas, Metropolitan of Zakynthos, published an edition of it for practical purposes. At Jerusalem even this remnant of the old use had disappeared. But in 1900 Patriarch Damianos revived it for one day in the year, not 23 October but 31 December. It was first celebrated again in 1900 (on 30 December as an exception) in the church of the Theological College of the Holy Cross. Archbishop Epiphanios of the River Jordan, celebrated, assisted by a number of concelebrating priests. The edition of Latas was used, but the Archimandrite Chrysostomos Papadopoulos has been commissioned to prepare another and more correct edition (Échos d'Orient, IV, 247, 248).
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC) also known as the Indian Orthodox Church, is an autocephalous (independent) church based in Kerala, India. Part of Oriental Orthodoxy, it is one of the most ancient Christian communities of Asia. The church belongs to India's Saint Thomas Christian community. According to sacred tradition, the church originated in the missions of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. The church is headed by the autocephalous Catholicos of the East and the Malankara Metropolitan, presently Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II. The church employs the Malankara Rite, an Indian form of the West Syriac liturgical rite.
Divine Liturgy or Holy Liturgy is the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine Rite, developed from the Antiochene Rite of Christian liturgy which is that of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox, the Byzantine Catholic Churches, and the Ukrainian Lutheran Church. Although the same term is sometimes applied in English to the Eucharistic service of Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, they use in their own language a term meaning "holy offering" or "holy sacrifice". Other churches also treat "Divine Liturgy" simply as one of many names that can be used, but it is not their normal term.
The Syriac Catholic Church, also known as Syriac Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch, is an Eastern Catholic Christian Church in the Levant that uses the West Syriac Rite liturgy and has many practices and rites in common with the Syriac Orthodox Church. Being one of the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, the Syriac Catholic Church has full autonomy and is a self-governed sui iuris Church while it is in full communion with the Holy See of Rome. The Syriac Catholic Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity. After the Calcedonian Schism the Church of Antioch became part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and was known as the Syriac Orthodox Church, while a new Antiochian Patriarchate was established to fill its place by the churches which accepted the Council of Calcedon. The Syriac Orthodox Church came into full communion with the Holy See and the modern Syriac Orthodox Church is a result of those that did not want to join the Catholic Church. Therefore the Syriac Catholic Church is the continuation of the original Church of Antioch.
The Byzantine Rite, also known as the Greek Rite or Constantinopolitan Rite, is the liturgical rite used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek Catholic Churches, and 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 Liturgy of Saint James or Jacobite liturgy is the oldest complete form of the Eastern varieties of the Christian liturgy still in use among certain Christian Churches.
Christian liturgy is a pattern for worship used by a Christian congregation or denomination on a regular basis. Although the term liturgy is used to mean public worship in general, the Byzantine Rite uses the term "Divine Liturgy" to denote the Eucharistic service.
The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is a Byzantine Rite liturgical service which is performed on the weekdays of Great Lent wherein communion is received from Gifts that are sanctified (consecrated) in advance, hence its name; this Divine Liturgy has no anaphora.
The Holy Qurbana or Holy Qurbono, refers to the Eucharist as celebrated in Syriac Christianity. This includes various Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches. Syriac Christianity consists of two liturgical rites, the East Syriac Rite and the West Syriac Rite. The main Anaphora of the East Syriac tradition is the Holy Qurbana of Saints Addai and Mari, while that of the West Syriac tradition is the Divine Liturgy of Saint James.
The Anaphora is the most solemn part of the Divine Liturgy, or the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, during which the offerings of bread and wine are consecrated as the body and blood of Christ. This is the usual name for this part of the Liturgy in Greek-speaking Eastern Christianity. In western Christian traditions which have a comparable rite, the Anaphora is more often called the Eucharistic Prayer for the four modern anaphoras in the Latin liturgy, with the first anaphora having the additional name of the Roman Canon. When the Roman Rite had a single Eucharistic Prayer, it was called the Canon of the Mass.
The West Syriac Rite or West Aramean Rite, also called Syro-Antiochian Rite, is an Eastern Christian liturgical rite that uses the Divine Liturgy of Saint James in the West Syriac dialect. It is one of two main liturgical rites of Syriac Christianity. It is chiefly practiced in the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch and churches related to or descended from it. It is part of the liturgical family known as the Antiochian Rite, which originated in the ancient Patriarchate of Antioch. It has more anaphoras than any other rite.
The East Syriac Rite or East Syrian Rite, also called Assyrian Rite, Persian Rite, Chaldean Rite, or Syro-Oriental Rite, is an Eastern Christian liturgical rite that uses the East Syriac dialect as its liturgical language. It is one of two main liturgical rites of Syriac Christianity.
The Euchologion is one of the chief liturgical books of the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches, containing the portions of the services which are said by the bishop, priest, or deacon. There are several different volumes of the book in use.
The Alexandrian Rite is the liturgical rite used by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, as well as by the three corresponding Eastern Catholic Churches.
The Liturgy of Saint Basil or, more formally, the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, is a term for several Eastern Christian celebrations of the Divine Liturgy (Eucharist), or at least several anaphoras, which are named after Basil of Caesarea. Two of these liturgies are in common use today: the one used in the Byzantine Rite ten times a year, and the one ordinarily used by the Coptic Church.
An Ektenia, often called by the better known English word litany, consists of a series of petitions occurring in the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic liturgies. The prevalent ecclesiastical word for this kind of litany in Greek is Συναπτή (synaptê), while ektenia is the word preferred in Church Slavonic.
The Asterisk, or Star-cover, is one of the holy vessels used in the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. The asterisk symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem. Historically, it was also used in some parts of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Liturgy of Saint Cyril is one of the three Anaphoras used at present by the Coptic Orthodox Church and it retains the liturgical peculiarities which have originated in the early Christian Egypt, thus forming the core of the historical Alexandrian Rite. When reference is made to its Greek version, this text is usually known as Liturgy of Saint Mark.
The Liturgy of Saint Gregory the Theologian is one of the three Anaphoras retained by the Coptic Church. The text is named after Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, one of the Cappadocian Fathers.