Divine Liturgy according to St. Germanus of Paris

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St Germanus of Paris, 496-576

La divine liturgie selon Saint Germain de Paris, or the Divine Liturgy according to St Germanus of Paris, is the principal liturgy of the Orthodox Church of France.

History of the liturgy's restoration

Prior to its restoration by the French Church, the Gallican liturgy had been reconstructed by Father Lebrun of the Oratory (18th c.), Father Vladimir Guettée (1816-1892), and the Abbbé Louis Marie Olivier Duchesne (1843-1922). After the formation of the Orthodox Church of France in 1936, the priest Evgraph Kovalevsky, later Bishop Jean-Nectaire (Kovalevsky) of Saint-Denis, set about restoring the Gallican rite for use by the French Church. The principal documents he used that had been unavailable to his predecessors were two letters ascribed to St Germanus of Paris (496-576) that describe the liturgy in sixth-century Paris. Kovalevsky drew on the writings of numerous Gallican saints of the same era that provide information on Gallican liturgical practice, as well as extant missals, sacramentaries, lectionaries, and antiphonaries. The restored liturgy has gone through several editions (1956, 1968, 1973, 1975, and 1998). Some Orthodox outside of the French Church circulated rumors that the liturgy was simply a product of Kovalevsky's imagination. In response to this, Archbishop John Maximovitch chaired a special liturgical commission that studied the liturgy word by word, comparing it to the original sources. The 1961 report of the commission declared the liturgy to be authentic.

Present use

In addition to the parishes of the Orthodox Church of France, St Germanus is also used by a number of parishes that were formerly with the French Church but which are now part of the Church of Romania and the Church of Alexandria (Coptic), and some which are in dialogue with the Church of Serbia.

Structure of the ordinary

The following is the order of the Gallican liturgy as it was restored in the twentieth century by the Orthodox Church of France. Unlike the Roman and Milanese rites, the Gallican does not have a fixed anaphora, but instead uses variable texts before and after the institution narrative.

  • Preparation of the Offerings
  • Prælegendum (entrance psalm)
  • Call for silence and greeting
  • Trisagion in Greek, Latin, and the vernacular)
  • Kyrie (single)
  • Hymn (of the season or the day)
  • Collect of the Day
  • First Reading (Old Testament or patristic text)
  • Gradual
  • Second Reading (Epistle, Book of Acts, or the Apocalypse)
  • Benedicite (Song of the Three Young Men)
  • Alleluia (or Tract in Lent)
  • Thrice-Holy before the Gospel
  • Gospel
  • Canticle of the Apocalypse
  • Homily
  • Litany of St Martin
  • Collect after the Preces
  • Dismissal of the catechumens
  • The Symbol of Faith (Creed)
  • Preface to the Faithful
  • Great Entrance with Sonus and Laudes
  • Collect of the Offertory
  • Diptychs and Collect after the Names
  • Kiss of Peace and Collect
  • Anaphora: Dialogue, variable Immolatio, Sanctus, variable Post-Sanctus, institution narrative, anamnesis, epiclesis, variable Post-Epiclesis, blessing of the elements, final doxology
  • Breaking of the Bread and fraction anthem
  • Lord's Prayer
  • Elevation of the Gifts
  • Blessing of the Faithful
  • Communion and communion chant
  • Trecanum (post-communion hymn of thanksgiving to the Trinity)
  • Postcommunion collect
  • Hymn of thanksgiving
  • Dismissal with blessing


  • La divine liturgie selon Saint Germain de Paris (Paris, 1998)
  • La sainte messe selon saint Germain de Paris (Paris, 1975)
  • La sainte messe selon saint Germain de Paris et le chant des fidèles (Paris, 1968 and 1973)
  • La divine liturgie selon Saint Germain de Paris (Paris, 1956)
  • Monseigneur Jean (Kovalevsky) of Saint-Denis, Le canon eucharistique de l'ancien rite des Gaules (Paris, c. 1956)
  • Du rit occidental: Rapport de la Commision Liturgique (1960)