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A troparion (Greek τροπάριον, plural: troparia, τροπάρια; Georgian: ტროპარი, "tropari" Church Slavonic: тропа́рь, tropar) in Byzantine music and in the religious music of Eastern Orthodox Christianity is a short hymn of one stanza, or organised in more complex forms as series of stanzas.
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.
Georgian is a Kartvelian language spoken by Georgians. It is the official language of Georgia. Georgian is written in its own writing system, the Georgian script. Georgian is the literary language for all regional subgroups of Georgians, including those who speak other Kartvelian languages: Svans, Mingrelians and the Laz.
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.
The word probably derived from a diminutive of the Greek tropos (“something repeated”, “manner”, “fashion”), since the earliest function of the troparion was a refrain during the recitation of the cantica (biblical odes) and the psalms, as such the term was used as a synonym of hypakoe. The early meaning of troparion was related to the monastic hymn book Tropologion or Troparologion. Hence its forms were manifold, they could be simple stanzas like apolytikia, theotokia , but also more elaborated homiletic poems like stichera composed in psalmodic hexameters (probably from stichos, “verse”), or in a more complex meter like the odes composed in cycles called canon . Since these Tropologia in their earliest form were organised according to the Octoechos, troparia were always chanted according to a melos of one of the eight tones used in the Eastern liturgical tradition (Gr. echos, Sl. glas). Today, since the redefinition of the Octoechos according to the hyphos of Constantinople, the monodic form of Orthodox chant distincts the troparic (apolytikia, theotokia, kontakia etc.), the heirmologic (related to the hymns of the Heirmologion), and the sticheraric melos (related to the hymns of the Sticherarion) according to its modal formulas and its tempo.
A Theotokion is a hymn to Mary the Theotokos, which is read or chanted during the Divine Services of the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches.
A sticheron is a hymn of a particular genre that has to be sung during the morning (Orthros) and evening service (Hesperinos) of the Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite.
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.
In casual, unqualified use, troparion usually refers to the apolytikion (Greek: ἀπολυτίκιον), or "dismissal hymn", a troparion chanted near the end of Vespers which establishes the overall theme for the liturgical day, for which it is called the "troparion of the day". It is chanted again at the beginning of Matins, read at each of the Little Hours, and chanted at the Divine Liturgy following the Little Entrance.
The Apolytikion or Dismissal Hymn is a troparion (hymn) said or sung at Orthodox Christian worship services. The apolytikion summarizes the feast being celebrated that day. It is chanted at Vespers, Matins and the Divine Liturgy; and it is read at each of the Little Hours. The name derives from the fact that it is chanted for the first time before the dismissal of Vespers. In the Orthodox Church, the liturgical day begins at sunset, so Vespers is the first service of the day. The term apolytikion is used in Greek tradition. In Slavic tradition the term troparion is specifically used to stand for Apolytikion, whilst troparion is of more generic usage in Greek tradition.
Vespers is a sunset evening prayer service in the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies of the canonical hours. The word comes from the Greek ἑσπέρα ("hespera") and the Latin vesper, meaning "evening". It is also referred to in the Anglican tradition as evening prayer or evensong. The term is also used in some Protestant denominations to describe evening services.
Matins is the canonical hour originally celebrated by monks in the nighttime and ending at latest at dawn, the time for the canonical hour of lauds. It was also called vigil and was divided into two or three nocturns. The name "matins" originally referred to the dawn office of lauds, which in the shorter summer nights followed with only a minimal break.
A troparion in honor of the Trinity is called a Triadicon (Greek: Τριαδικόν, Slavonic: Troíchen). Often the penultimate in a series of troparia will be a triadicon, usually preceded by, "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit." There are also special Triadica ("Hymns to the Trinity") which are chanted after Alleluia at the beginning of Matins on weekdays of Great Lent, which differ according to the tone of the week and the day of the week.
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity holds that God is one God, but three coeternal consubstantial persons or hypostases—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—as "one God in three Divine Persons". The three Persons are distinct, yet are one "substance, essence or nature" (homoousios). In this context, a "nature" is what one is, whereas a "person" is who one is. Sometimes differing views are referred to as nontrinitarian. Trinitarianism contrasts with positions such as Binitarianism and Monarchianism, of which Modalistic Monarchianism and Unitarianism are subsets.
Theos Kyrios is a psalm response chanted near the beginning of the Matins service in the Rite of Constantinople, observed by the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches. It is based principally on Psalm 117, the refrain composed of verses v. 27a and 26a.
Great Lent, or the Great Fast, is the most important fasting season in the church year in the Byzantine Rite of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Byzantine Rite Lutheran Churches and the Eastern Catholic Churches, which prepares Christians for the greatest feast of the church year, Pascha (Easter).
A troparion to the Mother of God (Theotokos) is called a Theotokion (Greek: Θεοτοκίον, Slavonic: Bogorόdichen); plural: Theotokia (Θεοτοκία). Theotokia will often occur at the end of a series of troparia, usually preceded by "Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen." If a Theotokion makes reference to the Crucifixion of Jesus, it is called a stavrotheotokion (Greek: σταυροθεοτοκίον, Slavonic: krestobogoródichen).
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".
The crucifixion of Jesus occurred in 1st-century Judea, most likely between AD 30 and 33. Jesus' crucifixion is described in the four canonical gospels, referred to in the New Testament epistles, attested to by other ancient sources, and is established as a historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources, although there is no consensus among historians on the exact details.
The stanzas of a Canon are troparia, as are the verses interspersed between the Beatitudes at the Divine Liturgy.
The Beatitudes are eight blessings recounted by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. Each is a proverb-like proclamation, without narrative. Four of the blessings also appear in the Sermon on the Plain in the Gospel of Luke, followed by four woes which mirror the blessings.
A famous example, whose existence is attested as early as the 4th century, is the Vespers hymn, Phos Hilaron , "Gladsome Light"; another, O Monogenes Yios, "Only Begotten Son", ascribed to Justinian I (527 - 565), occurs in the introductory portion of the Divine Liturgy. Perhaps the earliest set of troparia of known authorship are those of the monk Auxentios (first half of the 5th century), mentioned in his biography but not preserved in any later Byzantine order of service.
At the present time, Troparia occur at the following points in the Divine Services:
Paschal troparion , Tone V:
Troparion of the Holy Cross , Tone I:
*In monarchies where Eastern Orthodoxy was the state religion, this troparion was often used as a national anthem with the name of the ruler occurring here.
The original Greek text at this point uses one of two alternative forms: tois basileusi kata barbaron, "to the Emperors over the barbarians" when referring to an Orthodox Christian sovereign, or tois eusebesi kat' enantion, "to the pious ones against their adversaries", otherwise.
Troparion of Holy Saturday (The Noble Joseph), Tone II:
"Axion Estin", a theotokion
Troparion of Kassiani (Chanted during Holy Week on Great and Holy Wednesday)
Troparion of the Nativity (in Church Slavonic language):
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.
In the Byzantine Rite of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches, Orthros (Greek or Oútrenya is the last of the four night offices, which also include vespers, compline, and midnight office. In traditional monasteries it is held daily so as to end at sunrise. In many parishes it is held only on Sundays and feast days. It is often called matins after the office it most nearly corresponds to in Western Christian churches.
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, and nowadays are accompanied by incense, candles 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 kontakion is a form of hymn performed in the Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic liturgical traditions. The kontakion originated in the Byzantine Empire around the sixth century CE. It is divided into strophes and begins with a prologue. The kontakion usually has a biblical theme, and often features dialogue between biblical characters. By far the most important writer of kontakia is Romanos the Melodist. The only kontakion that is regularly performed in full today is the Akathist to the Theotokos.
Easter Saturday, on the Christian calendar, is the Saturday following the festival of Easter, the Saturday of Easter or Bright Week. In the liturgy of Western Christianity it is the last day of Easter Week, sometimes referred to as the Saturday of Easter Week or Saturday in Easter Week. In the liturgy of Eastern Christianity it is the last day of Bright Week, and called Bright Saturday, The Bright and Holy Septave Saturday of Easter Eve, or The Bright and Holy Septave Paschal Artos and Octoechoes Saturday of Iscariot's Byzantine Easter Eve. Easter Saturday is the day preceding the Octave Day of Easter.
Acolouthia in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, signifies the arrangement of the Divine Services, perhaps because the parts are closely connected and follow in order. In a more restricted sense, the term "acolouth" refers to the fixed portion of the Office. The portions of the Office that are variable are called the Sequences. While the structure and history of the various forms of the Divine Office in the numerous ancient Christian rites is exceedingly rich, the following article will restrict itself to the practice as it evolved in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.
The Paschal troparion or Christos anesti is the characteristic hymn for the celebration of the Orthodox Pascha (Easter) in the Eastern Orthodox Church and churches that follow the Byzantine Rite.
The Midnight Office is one of the Canonical Hours that compose the cycle of daily worship in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The office originated as a purely monastic devotion inspired by Psalm 118:62, At midnight I arose to give thanks unto Thee for the judgments of Thy righteousness (LXX), and also by the Gospel Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins.
The All-night vigil is a service of the Eastern Orthodox Church consisting of an aggregation of the three canonical hours of Vespers, Matins, and the First Hour. The vigil is celebrated on the eves of Sundays and of major liturgical feasts.
Eastern Orthodox worship in this article is distinguished from Eastern Orthodox prayer in that 'worship' refers to the activity of the Christian Church as a body offering up prayers to God while 'prayer' refers to the individual devotional traditions of the Orthodox.
Axion estin, or It is Truly Meet, is a megalynarion and a theotokion, i.e. a magnification of and a Hymn to Mary which is chanted in the Divine Services of the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. It is a troparion and a sticheron composed in honor of the Theotokos. The same name also refers to a style of icon of the Theotokos.
The Ypakoë is a troparion chanted at Orthros (Matins) and the Midnight Office on Great Feasts and Sundays throughout the liturgical year in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Ypakoë which is chanted on Sundays is found in the Octoechos and there are eight of them, according to the Tone of the Week. The Ypakoë used at one of the Great Feasts will be written in the tone of the hymnographer's choice.
The Matins Gospel is the solemn chanting of a lection from one of the Four Gospels during Matins in the Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic churches which follow the Byzantine Rite.
A Doxastikon —plural: doxastika— is a type of hymn found in the Divine Services of the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite.
The entrance prayers are the prayers recited by the deacon and priest upon entering the temple before celebrating the Divine Liturgy in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite.
A liturgical book, or service book, is a book published by the authority of a church body that contains the text and directions for the liturgy of its official religious services.