Paraklesis

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Receiving a blessing at the end of a Molieben at the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra (Siege of Troise-Sergieva Lavra, by Vasily Petrovich Vereshchagin, 1891). Veretrin.jpg
Receiving a blessing at the end of a Molieben at the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra (Siege of Troise-Sergieva Lavra, by Vasily Petrovich Vereshchagin, 1891).

A Paraklesis (Greek : Παράκλησις, Slavonic: молебенъ) or Supplicatory Canon in the Byzantine Rite, is a service of supplication for the welfare of the living. It is addressed to a specific Saint or to the Most Holy Theotokos whose intercessions are sought through the chanting of the supplicatory canon together with psalms, hymns, and ekteniae (litanies).

Greek language language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

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.

Church Slavonic language Liturgical language of the Orthodox Church in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus

Church Slavonic, also known as Church Slavic, New Church Slavonic, or New Church Slavic, is the conservative Slavic liturgical language used by the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria, Russia, Belarus, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia, Slovenia, and Croatia. The language appears also in the services of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese and occasionally in the services of the Orthodox Church in America. It was also used by the Orthodox Churches in Romanian lands until the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as well as by Roman Catholic Croats in the Early Middle Ages. It is also co-used by Greek Catholic Churches, which are under Roman communion, in Slavic countries, for example the Croatian, Slovak and Ruthenian Greek Catholics, as well as by the Roman Catholic Church.

Byzantine Rite Whole of the worship life of the Eastern Catholic Churches

The Byzantine Rite, also known as the Greek Rite or Constantinopolitan Rite, is the liturgical rite used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek/Byzantine 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.

Contents

The most popular Paraklesis is that in which the supplicatory canon and other hymns are addressed to the Most Holy Theotokos (the Mother of God). There are two forms of this service: the Small Paraklesis (composed by Theosterictus the Monk in the 9th century), and the Great Paraklesis (composed by Emperor Theodore II Laskaris in the 13th century). During the majority of the year, only the Small Paraklesis to the Theotokos is chanted. However, during the Dormition Fast (August 1—14, inclusive), the Typikon [ citation needed ] prescribes that the Small and Great Paraklesis be chanted on alternate evenings, according to the following regulations:

<i>Theotokos</i> title given to Mary in Eastern Christianity

Theotokos is a title of Mary, mother of Jesus, used especially in Eastern Christianity. The usual Latin translations, Dei Genetrix or Deipara, are "Mother of God" or "God-bearer".

Theodore II Laskaris 13th-century emperor of Nicaea

Theodore II Doukas Laskaris or Ducas Lascaris was Emperor of Nicaea from 1254 to 1258.

Typikon

Typikon is a liturgical book which contains instructions about the order of the Byzantine Rite office and variable hymns of the Divine Liturgy.

Transfiguration of Jesus episode in the life of Jesus

The transfiguration of Jesus is an event reported in the New Testament when Jesus is transfigured and becomes radiant in glory upon a mountain. The Synoptic Gospels describe it, and the Second Epistle of Peter also refers to it. It has also been hypothesized that the first chapter of the Gospel of John alludes to it.

Moleben

Russian Orthodox priest leading a Moleben on the patronal feast day, Holy Protection Church, Dusseldorf. Gottliche Liturgie.jpg
Russian Orthodox priest leading a Moleben on the patronal feast day, Holy Protection Church, Düsseldorf.

In the Russian Orthodox Church, the equivalent of a Paraklesis is the moleben, molében (Slavonic: молебенъ), molieben, service of intercession or service of supplication, which is similar in structure, except that the canon is omitted, retaining only the refrains and Irmoi of the third, sixth and ninth odes. When the full service itself is performed, it is called the "Supplicatory Canon" (Molebnyj Kanon). It is used in honor of Jesus Christ, the Mother of God, a Feast, or a particular saint or martyr.

Russian Orthodox Church autocephalous Orthodox Christian church, headquartered in Moscow, Russia

The Russian Orthodox Church, alternatively legally known as the Moscow Patriarchate, is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. The Primate of the ROC is the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'. The ROC, as well as the primate thereof, officially ranks fifth in the Orthodox order of precedence, immediately below the four ancient patriarchates of the Greek Orthodox Church, those of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Since 15 October 2018, the ROC is not in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, having unilaterally severed ties in reaction to the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was finalised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 5 January 2019.

The irmos in the Byzantine liturgical tradition is the initial troparion of an ode of a canon. The meter and melody of an irmos is followed by the remaining troparia of the ode; when more than one canon is used, only the first canon's irmos is sung, but the irmoi of the subsequent canons must be known in order to determine an ode's melody and so, even in canons where it is known that the irmos is never sung, the irmos is nonetheless specified. Note that in the Russian tradition, often only the irmos is sung, the rest of the ode simply being read; in Greek parishes, often the remaining troparia are simply eliminated, but in non-Russian traditions, all troparia of a canon are sung

An ode is a type of lyrical stanza. It is an elaborately structured poem praising or glorifying an event or individual, describing nature intellectually as well as emotionally. A classic ode is structured in three major parts: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode. Different forms such as the homostrophic ode and the irregular ode also exist.

The present form of the Moleben originated in Slavic culture, but its use is now widespread both in Europe and in the Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches that follow the Slavic tradition. Whereas the Paraklesis includes as its principal focus the canon to the subject being honored, the Moleben omits the odes of the canon and includes only the simple refrains that occur between the odes.

Christianity in Europe

Christianity is the largest religion in Europe. Christianity has been practiced in Europe since the first century, and a number of the Pauline Epistles were addressed to Christians living in Greece, as well as other parts of the Roman Empire.

A canon is a structured hymn used in a number of Eastern Orthodox services. It consists of nine odes, based on the Biblical canticles. Most of these are found in the Old Testament, but the final ode is taken from the Magnificat and Song of Zechariah from the New Testament.

A canticle is a hymn, psalm or other song of praise taken from biblical or holy texts other than the Psalms.

Molebens are traditionally served by a priest, but may also be done as a reader's service (i.e., the format used when served by a layperson or deacon; omitting or replacing those portions normally chanted by the priest). It is the custom to celebrate a moleben service only in honor of a glorified saint, and when possible the service is done in front of an icon of the person or feast to whom the Moleben is celebrated. Sometimes an Akathist will be chanted during the celebration of a Moleben.

Priest person authorized to lead the sacred rituals of a religion (for a minister use Q1423891)

A priest or priestess is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.

Reader (liturgy) a person who can read aloud the bible during catholic liturgy

In some Christian churches, a reader is responsible for reading aloud excerpts of scripture at a liturgy. In early Christian times the reader was of particular value due to the rarity of literacy.

Icon religious work of art, generally a panel painting, in Eastern Christianity

An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, in the cultures of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic, and certain Eastern Catholic churches. The most common subjects include Christ, Mary, saints and angels. Although especially associated with "portrait" style images concentrating on one or two main figures, the term also covers most religious images in a variety of artistic media produced by Eastern Christianity, including narrative scenes. Icons can represent various scenes in the Bible.

The general outline of a Moleben is based on the service of Matins, as served on a feast day, complete with a Gospel reading.

Molebens may be (a) occasional (i.e., served according to need), for instance for one who is ill or going on a journey; they may be (b) commemorative (assigned to a particular day), such as the beginning of the new year, or when children begin school; or they may be (c) devotional (in honor of a particular saint).

Molebens are very important in the Russian Orthodox tradition, and an entire volume of the Great Euchologion is devoted to them. Most molebens are served in the church, but they may also be served in homes, fields, schools or other appropriate places.

Molebens may also be served in processions. The procession may be going to a particular place, such as during a pilgrimage, or it may circle around the outside of the church building (this is very common on the feast day of the Patron Saint of the church or monastery, and during Bright Week). When a processional Moleben circles around the church, very often the procession will pause on each of the four sides of the building, and the bishop or priest will sprinkle holy water on the church, the icons and people that are taking part in the procession.

See also

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Katavasia

Katabasia or Katavasia is a type of hymn, and the last troparion of an ode of a canon, chanted in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite. Its name is derived from the Greek word katabasia for descent, so called because the cantors used to go down from their stalls and unite in the middle of the church to sing them.