Divine Liturgy

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[[Image:Divine Liturgy, (Damaskinos).jpg|thumb|right|The [[Divine Liturgy]]. [[Michael Damaskinos|Damaskinos]], 1579-1584.]]
 
{{liturgy}}
 
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The '''Divine Liturgy''' is the primary worship service of the [[Orthodox Church|Church]]. The most commonly celebrated forms of the Divine Liturgy are the [[Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom]], the [[Liturgy of St. Basil]], and the [[Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts]], but there are others such as the [[Liturgy of St. James]]; the [[Liturgy of St. Mark]]; the [[Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great]] and the [[Liturgy of St. Tikhon of Moscow]]. The Divine Liturgy is a [[eucharist]]ic service. It contains two parts: the ''Liturgy of the [[Catechumen]]s'', sometimes called the ''Liturgy of the Word'', at which the [[Holy Scriptures|Scriptures]] are proclaimed and expounded, and the ''Liturgy of the Faithful'', sometimes called the ''Liturgy of the [[Eucharist]]'', in which the gifts of bread and wine are offered and consecrated. The Church teaches that the gifts truly become the body and blood of [[Jesus Christ]], but it has never dogmatized a particular formula for describing this transformation. The ''Prothesis'' (or ''[[proskomedia]]''), the service of preparing the holy gifts, can be considered a third part which precedes the beginning of the Liturgy proper.  
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The '''Divine Liturgy''' is the primary worship service of the [[Orthodox Church|Church]].   The Divine Liturgy is a [[eucharist]]ic service. It contains two parts: the ''Liturgy of the [[Catechumen]]s'', sometimes called the ''Liturgy of the Word'', at which the [[Holy Scriptures|Scriptures]] are proclaimed and expounded; and the ''Liturgy of the Faithful'', sometimes called the ''Liturgy of the [[Eucharist]]'', in which the gifts of bread and wine are offered and consecrated; the faithful then partake of them in the [[Sacrament]] of [[Eucharist|Holy Communion]]. The Church teaches that the gifts truly become the body and blood of [[Jesus Christ]], but it has never dogmatized a particular formula for describing this transformation. The ''Prothesis'' (or ''[[Proskomedia]]''), the service of preparing the holy gifts, can be considered a third part which precedes the Liturgy proper.  
 
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== Preparation ==
 
== Preparation ==
 
Before the Divine Liturgy begins, the [[priest]] and a [[deacon]], if one is serving, begin by preparing the gifts of bread and wine for use in the service. This preparation is itself a considerable service. More than simply setting aside the bread and wine, a robust ritual has developed with elaborate symbolism. Though the main outline is similar for most Orthodox churches, there may be some differences based on which [[typicon]] a jurisdiction uses.
 
Before the Divine Liturgy begins, the [[priest]] and a [[deacon]], if one is serving, begin by preparing the gifts of bread and wine for use in the service. This preparation is itself a considerable service. More than simply setting aside the bread and wine, a robust ritual has developed with elaborate symbolism. Though the main outline is similar for most Orthodox churches, there may be some differences based on which [[typicon]] a jurisdiction uses.
  
Five loaves of bread are used, reminiscent of the five loaves in the wilderness, from which the masses were fed. During the prothesis, the priest cuts out a square called the Lamb from the main loaf of bread ([[prosphora]]). This will be consecrated during the Liturgy of the Faithful to become the holy Body of Christ. He also removes small particles and places them on the [[diskos]] (or paten) in commemoration of the [[Theotokos]], various saints, and the living and departed faithful. The remainder of the bread is blessed and distributed to parishioners and visitors after the service; this bread is called ''[[antidoron]]''.
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Five loaves of bread are used, reminiscent of the five loaves in the wilderness, from which the masses were fed. During the Prothesis, the priest cuts out a square called the Lamb from the main loaf of bread ([[prosphora]]). This will be consecrated during the Liturgy of the Faithful to become the holy body of Christ. He also removes small particles and places them on the [[diskos]] (or paten) in commemoration of the [[Theotokos]], various saints, and the living and departed faithful. The remainder of the bread is blessed and distributed to parishioners and visitors after the service; this bread is called ''[[antidoron]]''.
  
During the prothesis, the priest also blesses wine and water, which are poured into the chalice. Warm water will be added to the chalice after the [[epiclesis]].
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During the Prothesis, the priest also blesses wine and water, which are poured into the chalice. Warm water will be added to the chalice after the [[epiclesis]].
  
Naturally, the gifts are [[incense|censed]] several times during the prothesis. The conclusion of the prothesis leads directly into the beginning of the Divine Liturgy.
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Naturally, the gifts are [[incense|censed]] several times during the Prothesis. The conclusion of the Prothesis leads directly into the beginning of the Divine Liturgy.
  
{{services}}
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== Liturgy of the Catechumens==
  
== Liturgy of the Word==
 
(Liturgy of the Catechumens)
 
 
=== Rites of Entrance ===
 
=== Rites of Entrance ===
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{{services}}
 
After a more or less quiet exchange between the priest and deacon, if one is serving, the Divine Liturgy begins with the memorable exclamation from the priest, "Blessed is the kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages." The assembled faithful respond, "Amen."
 
After a more or less quiet exchange between the priest and deacon, if one is serving, the Divine Liturgy begins with the memorable exclamation from the priest, "Blessed is the kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages." The assembled faithful respond, "Amen."
  
The deacon (or priest, if no deacon is serving) continues with the [[Great Litany]], so called because it is longer than most litanies and its petitions touch on the needs of the world: peace and salvation, the Church, her bishops, her faithful, captives and their health and salvation, deliverance from anger and need. It is concluded, as with most litanies, by calling to the remembrance of the faithful the witness of the [[Theotokos]] and the saints.  In light of that powerful witness, the faithful are charged to commend one's life to Our Lord [[Jesus Christ]]. A closing prayer is exclaimed by the priest.
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The deacon (or priest, if no deacon is serving) continues with the [[Great Litany]], so called because it is longer than most litanies and its petitions touch on the needs of the world: peace and salvation, the Church, her bishops, her faithful, captives and their health and salvation, deliverance from anger and need. It is concluded, as with most litanies, by calling to the remembrance of the faithful the witness of the Theotokos and the saints.  In light of that powerful witness, the faithful are charged to commend their lives to Our Lord [[Jesus Christ]]. A closing prayer is exclaimed by the priest.
  
There follow three [[antiphons]] which vary by day and [[:Category:Jurisdictions|jurisdiction]]. The first two anitphons are followed by a shorter litany and a prayer. The third is followed by the [[Little Entrance]], at which is sung, "O Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ. O Son of God... save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!" "Son of God" is normally followed by an insertion, such as "risen from the dead", "wondrous in thy saints", or "through the prayers of the Theotokos", depending on the day.
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There follow three [[antiphons]] which vary by day and [[:Category:Jurisdictions|jurisdiction]]. The first two anitphons are followed by a shorter litany and a prayer. The third is followed by the [[Little Entrance]], at which is sung, "O Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ. O Son of God... save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!" "Son of God" is normally followed by an insertion, such as "risen from the dead," "wondrous in thy saints," or "through the prayers of the Theotokos," depending on the day.
  
 
[[Troparion|Troparia]] and [[kontakion|kontakia]] prescribed for the day, season, and temple follow next.
 
[[Troparion|Troparia]] and [[kontakion|kontakia]] prescribed for the day, season, and temple follow next.
  
Having fully entered the church liturgically and gathered together around the Word, the gathered body chants the [[Trisagion|Thrice-Holy Hymn]] to the holy Trinity: "Holy God, holy mighty, holy immortal: have mercy on us."
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Having fully entered the church liturgically and gathered together around the Word, the gathered body chants the [[Trisagion]].
  
 
=== Rites of Proclamation ===
 
=== Rites of Proclamation ===
The proclamation of [[Scripture]] is announced with the [[prokeimenon]], a psalm or canticle refrain sung in responsorial fashion. Then, a [[reader]] proclaims the apostolic reading from an [[epistle]] or from the [[Acts of the Apostles]]. This reading is usually chanted, but a spoken reading may be allowed out of economy for local situations. (In some traditions, the reader starts the chant in a very low voice, and steps up to end of the reading with a high voice. This is a reminder of how the Young Church rose up from the catacombs.)   
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The proclamation of [[Scripture]] is announced with the [[prokeimenon]], a [[Psalter|psalm]] or canticle refrain sung in responsorial fashion. Then, a [[reader]] proclaims the apostolic reading from an [[epistle]] or from the [[Acts of the Apostles]]. This reading is usually chanted, but a spoken reading may be allowed out of economy for local situations. (In some traditions, the reader starts the chant in a very low voice, and steps up to end of the reading with a high voice. This is a reminder of how the Early Church rose up from the [[catacombs]].)   
  
 
A triple [[alleluia]] is sung, also with verses as at the prokeimenon. This alleluia announces the Gospel reading. Following the alleluia, there is a short exchange between the priest and the people, after which he or a deacon [[chant|chants]] the Gospel.
 
A triple [[alleluia]] is sung, also with verses as at the prokeimenon. This alleluia announces the Gospel reading. Following the alleluia, there is a short exchange between the priest and the people, after which he or a deacon [[chant|chants]] the Gospel.
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Following the Gospel, the priest will often give a [[homily]], a short or medium-length excursus on the Scripture, the season, or the present festival or commemoration, roughly equivalent to the Protestant sermon. The homily may also be given after the communion or even after the dismissal.
 
Following the Gospel, the priest will often give a [[homily]], a short or medium-length excursus on the Scripture, the season, or the present festival or commemoration, roughly equivalent to the Protestant sermon. The homily may also be given after the communion or even after the dismissal.
  
The service continues with the [[Litany of Fervent Supplication]], which is marked by an insistent triple repitition of "Lord, have mercy." On certain days this Litany is followed by the [[Litany for the Departed]].
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The service continues with the [[Litany of Fervent Supplication]], which is marked by an insistent triple repetition of "Lord, have mercy." On certain days this litany is followed by the [[Litany for the Departed]].
  
The ''Liturgy of the Word'' is concluded by a litany praying for the continued growth of the [[catechumen]]s in faith, leading up to the day of their baptism. Though many churches do not have catechumens in attendance, this litany remains in the liturgy and serves as a constant reminder of the [[Great Commission]], the foundation of the Church as [[mission]] to the world.
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The ''Liturgy of the Catechumens'' is concluded by a litany praying for the continued growth of the catechumens in faith, leading up to the day of their baptism. Though many churches do not have catechumens in attendance, this litany remains in the liturgy and serves as a constant reminder of the [[Great Commission]], the foundation of the Church as [[mission]] to the world.
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== Liturgy of the Faithful==
  
== Liturgy of the Eucharist==
 
(Liturgy of the Faithful)
 
 
=== The Great Entrance ===
 
=== The Great Entrance ===
As the assembly begins chanting the [[Cherubic Hymn]], the celebrants go to the ''[[Table of oblation|prothesis]]'' or table of preparation. The priest presents the [[diskos]] to the deacon and takes the [[chalice]] himself. The deacon leads the priest through the north door of the icon screen. The clergy bring the gifts in procession to the holy doors, the central doors of the icon screen, while the deacon calls the faithful to attention, asking that the Lord will remember all people in his kingdom. As the holy gifts are carried solemnly through the holy doors, the assembled faithful conclude the Cherubic Hymn. ''(Note: if a deacon is not present, the priest makes this entrance with the diskos and chalice alone.)''
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As the assembly begins chanting the [[Cherubic Hymn]], the celebrants go to the ''[[Table of oblation|prothesis]]'' or table of preparation. The priest presents the [[diskos]] to the deacon and takes the [[chalice]] himself. The deacon leads the priest through the north door of the icon screen. The clergy bring the gifts in procession to the holy doors, the central doors of the icon screen, while the deacon calls the faithful to attention, asking that the Lord will remember all people in his kingdom. As the holy gifts are carried solemnly through the holy doors, the assembled faithful conclude the Cherubic Hymn. ''(Note: if a deacon is not present, the priest makes this entrance with the diskos and chalice alone.)''
  
After the priest blesses the faithful the deacon exclaims, "The doors! The doors!" This famous exclamation once marked the point in the service at which the doors to the temple were locked, only faithful Christians remaining. Over the centuries, visitors have been allowed to stay, though the solemnity of what follows is still recalled with this phrase.
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After the priest blesses the faithful, the deacon exclaims, "The doors! The doors!" This famous exclamation once marked the point in the service at which the doors to the temple were locked, with only faithful Christians remaining. Over the centuries, visitors have been allowed to stay, though the solemnity of what follows is still recalled with this phrase.
  
Then, the Church professes its common faith by reciting the [[Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed|Creed]]. The liturgical name for this creed is the ''Symbol of Faith'', indicating its importance to early Christians in determining the Orthodoxy of persons claiming to be of the [[Orthodox Church|Church]].
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Then, the Church professes its common faith by reciting the [[Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed|Creed]]. The liturgical name for this creed is the ''Symbol of Faith'', indicating its importance to early Christians in determining the Orthodoxy of persons claiming to be of the Church.
  
=== The Eucharistic Prayer ===
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=== The Anaphora ===
Following the Creed, the priest begins the ''[[anaphora]]'', the great eucharistic prayer over the gifts, so called because of the initial phrase: "Let us lift up our hearts." The two principal anaphoras in use in the Orthodox Church are those of St [[John Chrysostom]] and St [[Basil the Great]].
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Following the Creed, the priest begins the ''[[anaphora]]'', the great eucharistic prayer over the gifts, so called because of the initial phrase: "Let us lift up our hearts." The two principal anaphoras in use in the Orthodox Church are those of St. [[John Chrysostom]] and St. [[Basil the Great]].
  
After remembering the history of our fall and redemption and the institution of the eucharistic meal, the priest invokes the Holy Spirit, asking that he be sent down on the gifts. It is sometimes noted that this invocation, the ''[[epiclesis]]'', is the climax of the change of the gifts of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, but there is not total agreement among Orthodox scholars whether the change can actually be pinpointed to a single moment in the service. It is certainly true that the prayers of the service treat the gifts as consecrated and changed after this point.
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After remembering the history of our fall and redemption and the institution of the eucharistic meal, the priest invokes the Holy Spirit, asking that he be sent down on the gifts. It is sometimes noted that this invocation, the ''epiclesis'', is the climax of the change of the gifts of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, but there is not total agreement among Orthodox scholars whether the change can actually be pinpointed to a single moment in the service. It is certainly true that the prayers of the service treat the gifts as consecrated and changed after this point.
  
Having invoked the Holy Spirit and consecrated the gifts, the priest commemorates the saints, beginning with the [[Theotokos]]. At this point, the assembled faithful chant the ancient hymn in honour of the Virgin, "It is truly meet to bless you, O [[Theotokos]], ever blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the [[cherubim]], beyond compare more glorious than the [[seraphim]], without corruption you gave birth to God, the Word. True [[Theotokos]], we magnify you."
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Having invoked the Holy Spirit and consecrated the gifts, the priest commemorates the saints, beginning with the Theotokos. At this point, the assembled faithful chant the ancient hymn in honour of the Virgin, "It is truly meet to bless you, O Theotokos, ever-blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the [[cherubim]], beyond compare more glorious than the [[seraphim]], without corruption you gave birth to God, the Word. True Theotokos, we magnify you."
  
The priest prays with the bishop, in whose name he is celebrating the Liturgy, will be kept in the Orthodox Faith and preserved in health and years.
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The priest prays that the bishop, in whose name he is celebrating the Liturgy, will be kept in the Orthodox Faith and preserved in health and years.
  
 
=== The Communion and Dismissal ===
 
=== The Communion and Dismissal ===
After consecrating the gifts, commemorating the saints and praying for the local bishop, the priest lifts up the consecrated gifts, exclaiming, "The holy things are for the holy!" To which the faithful respond, "One is holy, one is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father, amen." This phrase unfortunately loses something in English, since we have two words for ''holy'' and ''saint''. In most other languages, this dialogue has a connotation of, "The holy things are for the saints! / Only one is a saint! Only one is Lord: Jesus Christ...." This is a rather prominent reminder that our holiness finds its source in God alone, and particularly in our participation in this communion.
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After consecrating the gifts, commemorating the saints, and praying for the local bishop, the priest lifts up the consecrated gifts, exclaiming, "The holy things are for the holy!" To which the faithful respond, "One is holy, one is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father, amen." This phrase unfortunately loses something in English, since we have two words for ''holy'' and ''saint''. In most other languages, this dialogue has a connotation of, "The holy things are for the saints! / Only one is a saint! Only one is Lord: Jesus Christ...." This is a rather prominent reminder that our holiness finds its source in God alone, and particularly in our participation in this communion.
  
The faithful communicate in Orthodox tradition by receiving in both kinds (bread intincted in the wine) from a spoon, a tradition which dates to the fourth century. Having received the body and blood of the Saviour, they take a small piece of bread, ''[[antidoron]]'', which is a part of the same loaf from which the Lamb was taken. ''Antidoron'' is not consecrated to be the Eucharist, but it is blessed and so it is treated with reverence. In Russian tradition, a small cup of wine is also offered.
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The faithful communicate in Orthodox tradition by receiving in both kinds (bread intincted in the wine) from a spoon, a tradition which dates to the fourth century. Having received the body and blood of the Savior, they take a piece of antidoron. In Russian tradition, a small cup of wine is also offered.
  
 
After a [[dismissal]] common to the services of the Church, the faithful come forward to venerate the [[Blessing cross|cross]] and leave the church. Renewed by the eucharistic meal, they are sent forth as witnesses to Christ in the world.
 
After a [[dismissal]] common to the services of the Church, the faithful come forward to venerate the [[Blessing cross|cross]] and leave the church. Renewed by the eucharistic meal, they are sent forth as witnesses to Christ in the world.
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== Forms of the Divine Liturgy ==
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The most commonly celebrated forms of the Divine Liturgy are the [[Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom]], and the slightly older [[Liturgy of St. Basil]].  The former is celebrated on most Sundays and Feast Days, throughout the year, whereas the latter is celebrated in on the six Sundays of Lent (unless the [[Annunciation]] should fall on one of them), and in [[Holy Week]], on Holy Thursday and Great and Holy Saturday, in total, ten times throughout the year.  Most of the differences between the two liturgies are in the prayers said by the Priest behind the iconostasis, which were historically inaudible to the congregation, but increasingly in some parishes are heard.  A third liturgy, the [[Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts]], is celebrated on weekdays in Lent, when the celebration of the Divine Liturgy is forbidden, due to its festal nature.  The Presanctified Liturgy, documented by [[Gregory the Dialogist]], and historically attributed to him, but according to recent scholarship, very possibly having originated with the [[Oriental Orthodox]] patriarch [[Severus of Antioch]], is celebrated in the early evening, and features the reception of the reserved sacrament, consecrated at the previous Divine Liturgy.
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There exist Less commonly celebrated liturgies such as the ancient [[Liturgy of St. James]] and the [[Liturgy of St. Mark]].  The Divine Liturgies of St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom are said to derive from the former, which was the ancient Rite of Jerusalem, the see of St. [[James the Just]], with influence from the ancient [[Anaphora of the Twelve Apostles]] historically used in Antioch, whereas the latter is the ancient rite of Alexandria, the See of the [[Apostle Mark]]. The former is increasingly widely celebrated on October 23rd, the Feast of St. James (and also remains the basis for the liturgy of the [[Syriac Orthodox Church]], while the latter has in recent years been celebrated in some seminaries on the Feast of St. Mark; a variant of it named for [[Cyril of Alexandria]] is occasionally used, mainly in Lent, in the [[Coptic Orthodox Church]].  Recently, Metropolitan [[Seraphim (Mentzelopoulos) of Piraeus]] celebrated the Divine Liturgy according to a reconstruction based upon the [[Euchologion of Serapion of Thmuis]], an Alexandrian Rite liturgy similar to that of St. Mark; this may have been the first celebration of that ancient Orthodox liturgy in more than one thousand years.
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In the Antiochian [[Western Rite]] Vicarate, two liturgies are used, the [[Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great]], derived from the [[Roman Catholic]] Tridentine Mass, and the [[Liturgy of St. Tikhon of Moscow]], based on high church Anglican liturgics; in both cases, the liturgies have been corrected to reflect Orthodox theology.  The Western Rite parishes in [[ROCOR]] primarily celebrate the [[Sarum Rite]], the ancient use of the Cathedral of Salisbury prior to the Great Schism.
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
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* [[Typika]]
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* [[Sacraments]]
 
* [[Blood in the Bible]]
 
* [[Blood in the Bible]]
 
* [[Eucharist]]
 
* [[Eucharist]]
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* [[Western Rite]]
  
 
== Bibliographical Resources ==
 
== Bibliographical Resources ==
* Bp. [[Augustinos (Kantiotes) of Florina|Augustinos N. Kantiotes]] (Bp. of Florina, Greece). ''On The Divine Liturgy: Orthodox Homilies''. 2 Volumes. Transl. and Forwarded by Asterios Gerostergios. (Massachusetts: [http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ibmgs/ Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies], 1986). Complete set ISBN 0-914744-71-2
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* Bp. [[Augustinos (Kantiotes) of Florina|Augustinos N. Kantiotes]] (Bp. of Florina, Greece). ''On The Divine Liturgy: Orthodox Homilies''. 2 Volumes. Transl. and forward by Asterios Gerostergios. (Massachusetts: [http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ibmgs/ Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies], 1986). Complete set ISBN 0-914744-71-2.
 
:Originally appeared in the Greek under the title: ''' ''Εις την Θειαν Λειτουργιαν, Πατρικαι Ομιλιαι'' ''', published by the Orthodox Missionary Brotherhood, "Ο Σταυρος" ("The Cross"), Athens, 1977.
 
:Originally appeared in the Greek under the title: ''' ''Εις την Θειαν Λειτουργιαν, Πατρικαι Ομιλιαι'' ''', published by the Orthodox Missionary Brotherhood, "Ο Σταυρος" ("The Cross"), Athens, 1977.
*Bradshaw, Paul, ed. ''Essays on Early Eastern Eucharistic Prayers'' (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1997) ISBN 081466153X  
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*Bradshaw, Paul, ed. ''Essays on Early Eastern Eucharistic Prayers'' (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1997) ISBN 081466153X.
 
:Essays on eucharistic prayers (''[[anaphora]]s'') from various periods and locales.
 
:Essays on eucharistic prayers (''[[anaphora]]s'') from various periods and locales.
*Cuming, Geoffrey J. and R. C. D. Jasper. ''Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and Reformed'' (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1987) ISBN 0814660851  
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*Cuming, Geoffrey J. and R. C. D. Jasper. ''Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and Reformed'' (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1987) ISBN 0814660851.
 
:Includes the texts of eucharistic prayers no longer extant as well as early redactions of the [[anaphora]]s of St. James, St. Basil the Great, and St. John Chrysostom.
 
:Includes the texts of eucharistic prayers no longer extant as well as early redactions of the [[anaphora]]s of St. James, St. Basil the Great, and St. John Chrysostom.
*[[Emmanuel Hatzikidis|Hatzidakis, Fr. Emmanuel]]. ''The Heavenly Banquet: Understanding the Divine Liturgy'' (Columbia, MO: Orthodox Witness, 2008) ISBN 978-0-9778970-1-8
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*[[Emmanuel Hatzikidis|Hatzidakis, Fr. Emmanuel]]. ''The Heavenly Banquet: Understanding the Divine Liturgy'' (2nd ed., Chicago, IL: Orthodox Witness, 2010) ISBN 978-0-9778970-3-2.
 
:The Divine Liturgy explained. 420p, hardbound.
 
:The Divine Liturgy explained. 420p, hardbound.
*[[Alexander Schmemann|Schmemann, Alexander]]. ''The Eucharist'' (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 1987) ISBN 0881410187  
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*[[Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia]]. ''“The Meaning of the Divine Liturgy for the Byzantine Worshipper.”'' In: Rosemary Morris (ed.), '''Church and People in Byzantium''', Twentieth Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies. Manchester, 1986 (Birmingham: Center for Byzantine, Ottoman, and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham, 1990), 7-28. ISBN 0704411008.
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*[[Alexander Schmemann|Schmemann, Alexander]]. ''The Eucharist'' (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 1987) ISBN 0881410187.
 
:A classic reflection on the meaning of the Divine Liturgy from one of the pioneers of [[liturgical theology]].
 
:A classic reflection on the meaning of the Divine Liturgy from one of the pioneers of [[liturgical theology]].
*Taft, Robert F., SJ. ''Divine Liturgies — Human Problems in Byzantium, Armenia, Syria and Palestine'' (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2001) ISBN 0860788679
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*Taft, Robert F., SJ. ''Divine Liturgies — Human Problems in Byzantium, Armenia, Syria and Palestine'' (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2001) ISBN 0860788679.
 
*Taft, Robert F., SJ. ''A History of the Liturgy of St. John Chysostom'' (Rome: Pontifical Oriental Institute)  
 
*Taft, Robert F., SJ. ''A History of the Liturgy of St. John Chysostom'' (Rome: Pontifical Oriental Institute)  
 
:This is a multi-volume work in progress.  
 
:This is a multi-volume work in progress.  
:*Volume II: ''The Great Entrance'' (4th ed., 2004) ISBN 978-8872100994
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:*Volume II: ''The Great Entrance'' (4th ed., 2004) ISBN 978-8872100994.
 
:*Volume IV: ''The Diptychs'' (1991) ISBN 978-8872102855.  
 
:*Volume IV: ''The Diptychs'' (1991) ISBN 978-8872102855.  
 
:*Volume V: ''The Precommunion Rites'' (2000) ISBN 978-8872102855.
 
:*Volume V: ''The Precommunion Rites'' (2000) ISBN 978-8872102855.
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*[http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Index.html The Divine Liturgies Music Project] Thousands of pages of Byzantine music in English and Greek in Western and Byzantine notation
 
*[http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Index.html The Divine Liturgies Music Project] Thousands of pages of Byzantine music in English and Greek in Western and Byzantine notation
 
*[http://www.saintsconstantineandelena.org/Liturgy/liturgy1.htm Orthodox Tradition and the Liturgy] An introduction to Orthodox liturgical practice with lots of photos
 
*[http://www.saintsconstantineandelena.org/Liturgy/liturgy1.htm Orthodox Tradition and the Liturgy] An introduction to Orthodox liturgical practice with lots of photos
*[http://web.archive.org/web/20061205025718/http://sspeterpaul.org/priest.html Priest's Service Book] with links to the [[Prothesis]] ([[Proskomedia]]), the [[Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom]], the [[Prayers of Thanksgiving]], and the [[Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great]]. Translation by His Eminence, [[Dmitri (Royster) of Dallas|Dmitri (Royster)]], Archbishop of Dallas and the South ([[OCA]]).
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*[http://web.archive.org/web/20061205025718/http://sspeterpaul.org/priest.html Priest's Service Book] with links to the Prothesis (Proskomedia), the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the Prayers of Thanksgiving, and the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. Translation by His Eminence, [[Dmitri (Royster) of Dallas|Dmitri (Royster)]], Archbishop of Dallas and the South ([[OCA]]).
*[http://yourpage.blazenet.net/chrysostom/liturgy.html Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom], according to the use of the [[Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America]]
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*[http://www.saintjonah.org/services/sluzhebniks.htm Sluzhebniks for the Liturgy]
 
*[http://www.saintjonah.org/services/sluzhebniks.htm Sluzhebniks for the Liturgy]
 
*[http://www.saintjonah.org/services/liturgydoc.htm Text of the Liturgy for the Choir]
 
*[http://www.saintjonah.org/services/liturgydoc.htm Text of the Liturgy for the Choir]
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*[http://www.synaxis.info/ SYNAXIS] is dedicated to providing resources for those who are liturgists
 
*[http://www.synaxis.info/ SYNAXIS] is dedicated to providing resources for those who are liturgists
 
*[http://www.myriobiblos.gr/texts/english/taft_evolution.html The Evolution of the Byzantine ''Divine Liturgy'']  Robert Taft S. J.   
 
*[http://www.myriobiblos.gr/texts/english/taft_evolution.html The Evolution of the Byzantine ''Divine Liturgy'']  Robert Taft S. J.   
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*[http://www.archive.org/details/liturgiesofsmark00nealuoft The Liturgies of S. Mark, S. James, S. Clement, S. Chrysostom, and the Church of Malabar; translated, with introduction and appendices]. Rev. John Mason Neale. London: T. Hayes, 1859.
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* [http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/ubb/download/Number/1617/filename/Study-Liturgicon-Chrysostom.pdf Byzantine Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom] (Ruthenian Recension - with footnotes & Scriptural references)
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* [http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/ubb/download/Number/1618/filename/Study-Liturgicon-Basil.pdf Byzantine Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great] (Ruthenian Recension - with footnotes & Scriptural references)
  
 
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Latest revision as of 20:24, June 12, 2014

The Divine Liturgy. Damaskinos, 1579-1584.
This article forms part of the series on the
Divine Liturgy
Liturgy of the Preparation
Proskomedia
Liturgical objects
Vestments
Liturgy of the Word
Great Litany
Antiphons
Little Entrance
Troparion
Thrice-Holy Hymn
Epistle
Gospel
Homily
Litany of Fervent Supplication
Litany for the Departed
Litany of the Catechumens
Liturgy of the Eucharist
Cherubic Hymn
Great Entrance
Litany of the Completion
Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed
Anaphora
Epiclesis
Megalynarion
Lord's Prayer
Communion
Dismissal
Antidoron
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The Divine Liturgy is the primary worship service of the Church. The Divine Liturgy is a eucharistic service. It contains two parts: the Liturgy of the Catechumens, sometimes called the Liturgy of the Word, at which the Scriptures are proclaimed and expounded; and the Liturgy of the Faithful, sometimes called the Liturgy of the Eucharist, in which the gifts of bread and wine are offered and consecrated; the faithful then partake of them in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The Church teaches that the gifts truly become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, but it has never dogmatized a particular formula for describing this transformation. The Prothesis (or Proskomedia), the service of preparing the holy gifts, can be considered a third part which precedes the Liturgy proper.

Contents

Preparation

Before the Divine Liturgy begins, the priest and a deacon, if one is serving, begin by preparing the gifts of bread and wine for use in the service. This preparation is itself a considerable service. More than simply setting aside the bread and wine, a robust ritual has developed with elaborate symbolism. Though the main outline is similar for most Orthodox churches, there may be some differences based on which typicon a jurisdiction uses.

Five loaves of bread are used, reminiscent of the five loaves in the wilderness, from which the masses were fed. During the Prothesis, the priest cuts out a square called the Lamb from the main loaf of bread (prosphora). This will be consecrated during the Liturgy of the Faithful to become the holy body of Christ. He also removes small particles and places them on the diskos (or paten) in commemoration of the Theotokos, various saints, and the living and departed faithful. The remainder of the bread is blessed and distributed to parishioners and visitors after the service; this bread is called antidoron.

During the Prothesis, the priest also blesses wine and water, which are poured into the chalice. Warm water will be added to the chalice after the epiclesis.

Naturally, the gifts are censed several times during the Prothesis. The conclusion of the Prothesis leads directly into the beginning of the Divine Liturgy.

Liturgy of the Catechumens

Rites of Entrance

Services of the Orthodox Church
Divine Liturgy
Daily Cycle
Vespers | Compline | Midnight Office | Matins
First, Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hour Services
Other Services
Akathist Hymn | Paraklesis
Great Blessing of Water | Artoklasia
Baptism-Chrismation Service
Ordination Service | Marriage Service
Funeral Service | Memorial Service

After a more or less quiet exchange between the priest and deacon, if one is serving, the Divine Liturgy begins with the memorable exclamation from the priest, "Blessed is the kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages." The assembled faithful respond, "Amen."

The deacon (or priest, if no deacon is serving) continues with the Great Litany, so called because it is longer than most litanies and its petitions touch on the needs of the world: peace and salvation, the Church, her bishops, her faithful, captives and their health and salvation, deliverance from anger and need. It is concluded, as with most litanies, by calling to the remembrance of the faithful the witness of the Theotokos and the saints. In light of that powerful witness, the faithful are charged to commend their lives to Our Lord Jesus Christ. A closing prayer is exclaimed by the priest.

There follow three antiphons which vary by day and jurisdiction. The first two anitphons are followed by a shorter litany and a prayer. The third is followed by the Little Entrance, at which is sung, "O Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ. O Son of God... save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia!" "Son of God" is normally followed by an insertion, such as "risen from the dead," "wondrous in thy saints," or "through the prayers of the Theotokos," depending on the day.

Troparia and kontakia prescribed for the day, season, and temple follow next.

Having fully entered the church liturgically and gathered together around the Word, the gathered body chants the Trisagion.

Rites of Proclamation

The proclamation of Scripture is announced with the prokeimenon, a psalm or canticle refrain sung in responsorial fashion. Then, a reader proclaims the apostolic reading from an epistle or from the Acts of the Apostles. This reading is usually chanted, but a spoken reading may be allowed out of economy for local situations. (In some traditions, the reader starts the chant in a very low voice, and steps up to end of the reading with a high voice. This is a reminder of how the Early Church rose up from the catacombs.)

A triple alleluia is sung, also with verses as at the prokeimenon. This alleluia announces the Gospel reading. Following the alleluia, there is a short exchange between the priest and the people, after which he or a deacon chants the Gospel.

Following the Gospel, the priest will often give a homily, a short or medium-length excursus on the Scripture, the season, or the present festival or commemoration, roughly equivalent to the Protestant sermon. The homily may also be given after the communion or even after the dismissal.

The service continues with the Litany of Fervent Supplication, which is marked by an insistent triple repetition of "Lord, have mercy." On certain days this litany is followed by the Litany for the Departed.

The Liturgy of the Catechumens is concluded by a litany praying for the continued growth of the catechumens in faith, leading up to the day of their baptism. Though many churches do not have catechumens in attendance, this litany remains in the liturgy and serves as a constant reminder of the Great Commission, the foundation of the Church as mission to the world.

Liturgy of the Faithful

The Great Entrance

As the assembly begins chanting the Cherubic Hymn, the celebrants go to the prothesis or table of preparation. The priest presents the diskos to the deacon and takes the chalice himself. The deacon leads the priest through the north door of the icon screen. The clergy bring the gifts in procession to the holy doors, the central doors of the icon screen, while the deacon calls the faithful to attention, asking that the Lord will remember all people in his kingdom. As the holy gifts are carried solemnly through the holy doors, the assembled faithful conclude the Cherubic Hymn. (Note: if a deacon is not present, the priest makes this entrance with the diskos and chalice alone.)

After the priest blesses the faithful, the deacon exclaims, "The doors! The doors!" This famous exclamation once marked the point in the service at which the doors to the temple were locked, with only faithful Christians remaining. Over the centuries, visitors have been allowed to stay, though the solemnity of what follows is still recalled with this phrase.

Then, the Church professes its common faith by reciting the Creed. The liturgical name for this creed is the Symbol of Faith, indicating its importance to early Christians in determining the Orthodoxy of persons claiming to be of the Church.

The Anaphora

Following the Creed, the priest begins the anaphora, the great eucharistic prayer over the gifts, so called because of the initial phrase: "Let us lift up our hearts." The two principal anaphoras in use in the Orthodox Church are those of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great.

After remembering the history of our fall and redemption and the institution of the eucharistic meal, the priest invokes the Holy Spirit, asking that he be sent down on the gifts. It is sometimes noted that this invocation, the epiclesis, is the climax of the change of the gifts of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, but there is not total agreement among Orthodox scholars whether the change can actually be pinpointed to a single moment in the service. It is certainly true that the prayers of the service treat the gifts as consecrated and changed after this point.

Having invoked the Holy Spirit and consecrated the gifts, the priest commemorates the saints, beginning with the Theotokos. At this point, the assembled faithful chant the ancient hymn in honour of the Virgin, "It is truly meet to bless you, O Theotokos, ever-blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the cherubim, beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim, without corruption you gave birth to God, the Word. True Theotokos, we magnify you."

The priest prays that the bishop, in whose name he is celebrating the Liturgy, will be kept in the Orthodox Faith and preserved in health and years.

The Communion and Dismissal

After consecrating the gifts, commemorating the saints, and praying for the local bishop, the priest lifts up the consecrated gifts, exclaiming, "The holy things are for the holy!" To which the faithful respond, "One is holy, one is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father, amen." This phrase unfortunately loses something in English, since we have two words for holy and saint. In most other languages, this dialogue has a connotation of, "The holy things are for the saints! / Only one is a saint! Only one is Lord: Jesus Christ...." This is a rather prominent reminder that our holiness finds its source in God alone, and particularly in our participation in this communion.

The faithful communicate in Orthodox tradition by receiving in both kinds (bread intincted in the wine) from a spoon, a tradition which dates to the fourth century. Having received the body and blood of the Savior, they take a piece of antidoron. In Russian tradition, a small cup of wine is also offered.

After a dismissal common to the services of the Church, the faithful come forward to venerate the cross and leave the church. Renewed by the eucharistic meal, they are sent forth as witnesses to Christ in the world.

Forms of the Divine Liturgy

The most commonly celebrated forms of the Divine Liturgy are the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and the slightly older Liturgy of St. Basil. The former is celebrated on most Sundays and Feast Days, throughout the year, whereas the latter is celebrated in on the six Sundays of Lent (unless the Annunciation should fall on one of them), and in Holy Week, on Holy Thursday and Great and Holy Saturday, in total, ten times throughout the year. Most of the differences between the two liturgies are in the prayers said by the Priest behind the iconostasis, which were historically inaudible to the congregation, but increasingly in some parishes are heard. A third liturgy, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, is celebrated on weekdays in Lent, when the celebration of the Divine Liturgy is forbidden, due to its festal nature. The Presanctified Liturgy, documented by Gregory the Dialogist, and historically attributed to him, but according to recent scholarship, very possibly having originated with the Oriental Orthodox patriarch Severus of Antioch, is celebrated in the early evening, and features the reception of the reserved sacrament, consecrated at the previous Divine Liturgy.

There exist Less commonly celebrated liturgies such as the ancient Liturgy of St. James and the Liturgy of St. Mark. The Divine Liturgies of St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom are said to derive from the former, which was the ancient Rite of Jerusalem, the see of St. James the Just, with influence from the ancient Anaphora of the Twelve Apostles historically used in Antioch, whereas the latter is the ancient rite of Alexandria, the See of the Apostle Mark. The former is increasingly widely celebrated on October 23rd, the Feast of St. James (and also remains the basis for the liturgy of the Syriac Orthodox Church, while the latter has in recent years been celebrated in some seminaries on the Feast of St. Mark; a variant of it named for Cyril of Alexandria is occasionally used, mainly in Lent, in the Coptic Orthodox Church. Recently, Metropolitan Seraphim (Mentzelopoulos) of Piraeus celebrated the Divine Liturgy according to a reconstruction based upon the Euchologion of Serapion of Thmuis, an Alexandrian Rite liturgy similar to that of St. Mark; this may have been the first celebration of that ancient Orthodox liturgy in more than one thousand years.

In the Antiochian Western Rite Vicarate, two liturgies are used, the Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great, derived from the Roman Catholic Tridentine Mass, and the Liturgy of St. Tikhon of Moscow, based on high church Anglican liturgics; in both cases, the liturgies have been corrected to reflect Orthodox theology. The Western Rite parishes in ROCOR primarily celebrate the Sarum Rite, the ancient use of the Cathedral of Salisbury prior to the Great Schism.

See also

Bibliographical Resources

Originally appeared in the Greek under the title: Εις την Θειαν Λειτουργιαν, Πατρικαι Ομιλιαι , published by the Orthodox Missionary Brotherhood, "Ο Σταυρος" ("The Cross"), Athens, 1977.
  • Bradshaw, Paul, ed. Essays on Early Eastern Eucharistic Prayers (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1997) ISBN 081466153X.
Essays on eucharistic prayers (anaphoras) from various periods and locales.
  • Cuming, Geoffrey J. and R. C. D. Jasper. Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and Reformed (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1987) ISBN 0814660851.
Includes the texts of eucharistic prayers no longer extant as well as early redactions of the anaphoras of St. James, St. Basil the Great, and St. John Chrysostom.
The Divine Liturgy explained. 420p, hardbound.
  • Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia. “The Meaning of the Divine Liturgy for the Byzantine Worshipper.” In: Rosemary Morris (ed.), Church and People in Byzantium, Twentieth Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies. Manchester, 1986 (Birmingham: Center for Byzantine, Ottoman, and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham, 1990), 7-28. ISBN 0704411008.
  • Schmemann, Alexander. The Eucharist (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 1987) ISBN 0881410187.
A classic reflection on the meaning of the Divine Liturgy from one of the pioneers of liturgical theology.
  • Taft, Robert F., SJ. Divine Liturgies — Human Problems in Byzantium, Armenia, Syria and Palestine (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2001) ISBN 0860788679.
  • Taft, Robert F., SJ. A History of the Liturgy of St. John Chysostom (Rome: Pontifical Oriental Institute)
This is a multi-volume work in progress.
  • Taft, Robert F., SJ. Through Their Own Eyes: Liturgy as the Byzantines Saw It (2006). ISBN 978-1932401066.

External links

This article forms part of the series
Introduction to Orthodox Christianity
Holy Tradition Holy Scripture | The Symbol of Faith | Ecumenical Councils | Church Fathers | Liturgy | Canons | Icons
The Holy Trinity God the Father | Jesus Christ | The Holy Spirit
The Church Ecclesiology | History | Holy Mysteries | Church Life
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