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date: 11 December 2019

Divine Liturgy (Byzantine) (Gk. hē theia leitourgia)locked

  • Kenneth Levy
  • , revised by Christian Troelsgård


(Byzantine) (Gk. hē theia leitourgia)

The Eucharist in the Eastern Christian rites, corresponding to the Mass of the Roman rite. In the strict sense the term ‘liturgy’ is confined to the anaphora, or consecration prayers, followed by the communion and dismissal rites. The Greek rite, unlike the Roman, has three liturgies in normal use; other Eastern rites, especially the Syriac, use dozens of early anaphoras. Of the three Byzantine liturgies, two are regularly used and contain anaphoral prayers attributed to St Basil and St John Chrysostom respectively; the St Basil liturgy was predominant until about 1000, after which it was celebrated only at major feasts. Except for their anaphoras, these two rites are practically identical in content and structure; they are thus treated together in this article. The third liturgy, that of the Presanctified (‘previously consecrated’) Host, represents the ceremonial for days in Lent when no consecration takes place.

Most of the music for these liturgies is transmitted in the ...

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