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Archimandrite

(149 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
“Archimandrite” (from Greek roots meaning “head of a sheepfold [ mandra]”) refers to a dignitary ranking below a bishop. It was used from the 4th century for certain heads of monasteries (Orthodox or united with Rome). After the 6th century it was reserved for leaders of groups of monasteries and at first restricted to certain abbots. Since the 18th century the title has been conferred on other monks or unmarried priests only loosely connected to the monastic state (as a rhasophore, or novice), either in an honorary way or as a promotion on the way to the episcopal office. See Orthodox Church Pe…

Catholicos

(202 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
Of Antiochian origin, “catholicos” is the title of some Orthodox or ancient Eastern archbishops (Bishop, Episcopate) who have supervision over scattered and relatively independent areas. Among the Jacobites in Persia, the term “maphrian” is also found. Where full autonomy is achieved or claimed, the title is associated with that of patriarch in the Orthodox Church of Georgia and the Assyrian Church of the East. It is used alone for the leaders of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Among the …

Synaxarion

(335 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
From the word synagō, “collect,” the synaxarion is a collection for the church year of short lives and notices of the saints (§5.1) that, in the Eastern churches, can be used either in public worship or privately (Orthodox Christianity; Orthodox Church). From the 9th century onward, the literary genus of the synaxarion has merged into that of church calendars and martyrologies (Martyrs; Martyrs, Acts of the). There are examples in Byzantium and Italy and Greece, and also in the Near East, though usually in translation from the Greek. Modern Greek usage has added the texts to the li…

Patriarch, Patriarchate

(1,573 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
1. Biblical Usage The LXX coined the Gk. word patriarchēs, which derives from patria (family, tribe). In the OT it may be used for any group leaders, but in the NT it refers specifically to Abraham (Heb. 7:4), the 12 sons of Jacob (Acts 7:8–9), and David (2:29). 2. Jewish History From the third century to the fifth, the nasi (prince), the head of the Tiberias Sanhedrin, was called patriarchēs in Greek documents. The office, which was a hereditary one in the family of the editor of the Mishnah, Judah ha-Nasi (d. ca. 220), lasted until after 415 and was recognized and supported by t…

Acathistus

(161 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
The Acathistus (from Greek, meaning “not [sung] sitting”), a Byzantine hymn to the Virgin Mary sung while standing, takes the form of an alphabetic acrostic and is thought to have been first composed by Romanus Melodus (6th cent.). The original served as a model for many similar hymns, especially in Russia. At times having considerable influence in the West, the Acathistus has been illustrated in picture-cycles since the 14th century. See Mariology; Mary, Devotion to Peter PlankBibliography A. Chadzinikolau, “Akathistos Hymnos,” RBK  1.94–96 G. Dévai, “Akathistos–Prooemia in …

Pentarchy

(304 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
“Pentarchy” (lit. “the rule of five”) denotes the widespread theory in the Greek East that the five patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople (Byzantium), Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem are jointly responsible for oversight of the church (Church Government). These patriarchs occupy the seats that were given a special preeminence by the ecumenical councils of the fourth and fifth centuries. The theory is first found in the laws of Emperor Justinian (527–65). It was given fuller theological development by the theologians of the eighth and ninth centuries …

Sabas-Kloster

(260 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[English Version] . 483/490 vom hl. Sabas in einem Ausläufer des Kidrontals 9 km südöstlich von Jerusalem gegründet als Laura, bestehend aus Einzelhöhlen im Fels mit einem Gemeinschaftskloster als Zentrum, erlebte das S. bis zur pers. Invasion 614 trotz seiner starken Involvierung in die origenistischen Streitigkeiten eine erste geistige Blüte (Cyrill von Skythopolis) und war maßgeblich an jener Ausformung des kirchl. Stundengebets beteiligt (Sabas-Typikon), die später in der gesamten chalcedonisc…

Theodoros Graptos und Theophanes Graptos

(268 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[English Version] . Die beiden Brüder wurden um 775 als Söhne des Priesters Ionas in Palästina geboren. Wie ihr Vater wurden sie Mönche im Sabas-Kloster. Wohl von Patriarch Thomas I. von Jerusalem (807–820) auf die Reise geschickt, wurden sie in Konstantinopel festgehalten und gerieten in die Wirren des 815 unter Kaiser Leon V. (813–820) erneut aufgeflammten Bilderstreits (Bilderkult: VI.), in dessen Verlauf sie als erklärte Ikonodulen im Gesicht mit Spottversen tätowiert wurden (»γραπτοι´«/»graptoi«). Theophanes wurde als Dichter zahlreicher gottesdienstlicher K…

James, Liturgy of Saint

(281 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] James, Liturgy of Saint, is the indigenous eucharistic liturgy of the Holy Land, named after the Lord's brother, James, verifiable as the foundation for the fourth and fifth mystagogical catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem or John of Jerusalem; passages are also already evident in Eusebius of Caesarea and in the eucharistic prayer in Origen. In terms of content, the sequence, formulated strictly in accordance with salvation history, of post-sanctus, words of institution, anamnesis, and epiclesis, and the extraordinary scope of the intercessions are n…

Sabas Monastery

(298 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] The monastery was established between 483 and 490 by St. Sabas alongside the Kidron Valley nine km southeast of Jerusalem. It was founded as a laura, consisting of individual caves in the rock with a communal building as its center. Despite its deep involvement in the Origenist controversies, by the time of the Persian invasion in 614 it had already experienced an initial spiritual and intellectual flowering (Cyril of Scythopolis); it played an essential role in the development of…

Troparion

(295 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] Troparion, name of a special chant in Byzantine Orthodox worship; its origin and original meaning are disputed. Over the centuries, the characteristics of a troparion have been subject to considerable variation. As a hymnographic genre, a troparion is hard to distinguish formally from a sticheron and a kathisma. Originally a troparion appears to have been a short text serving as a refrain, framing and/or subdividing the recitation of a psalm. Such troparia have been preserved in c…

Liturgical Languages

(1,039 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] In principle any language capable of supporting a literature is suitable as a liturgical language. All languages in which liturgy has been recorded in writing turn out to be potential literary languages or have become such through the translation of biblical and liturgical texts. Not unlike liturgical vestments, liturgical languages that differ significantly from languages in daily use, spoken or written, have arisen through the exclusion of the liturgical domain from processes of change and development, as well as from potential replacement of spoken idioms. The …

Theodore Graptos and Theophanes Graptos, Saints

(287 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] The two brothers were born in Palestine c. 775 as sons of a priest named Jonas. Like their father, they became monks in the Sabas Monastery. Probably while traveling in the service of Patriarch Thomas I of Jerusalem (807–820), they were detained in Constantinople and became involved in the turmoil of the Iconoclastic controversy (Veneration of images: VI), which had flared up against in 815 under Emperor Leo V (813–820); in the course of it, as declared iconodules, they were forced to have their foreheads branded (γραπτοί/ graptoí) with satirical verses. Theophanes …

Theodore of Studios, Saint

(335 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (759, Constantinople – Nov 11, 826, island of Prinkipo [modern Büyükada]) (feast day Nov 11), influential reformer of monastic and liturgical life, ecclesiastical politician, prolific writer and poet. His family moved in the highest social circles. Led by his uncle Platon, in 781 he along with his parents, siblings, and other family members turned the family estate of Sakkudion in Bithynia into a monastery; he was ordained to the priesthood in 787 and served as abbot after 794. In…

Nikolai Kasatkin, Saint

(163 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (Aug 1, 1836, Berezovskij, district Bel’sk – Feb 3, 1912, Tokyo), founder and first archbishop of the Orthodox Church of Japan. In 1860 he graduated from the seminary in St. Petersburg (II); he worked in Japan from 1861, first as priest of the Russian consulate in Hakodate and, after the granting of religious tolerance in 1873, as missionary; from 1880, as bishop. He achieved an exemplary inculturation of the Orthodox Church in Japanese language and mentality. A minority church wa…

Stephen of Perm, Saint

(135 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (c. 1340, Veliky Ustyug – Apr 26, 1396, Moscow), important early Russian missionary. Around 1365 he entered the monastery of Gregory the Theologian in Rostov Velikhy. There besides Greek he learned the language of the Finno-Ugrian Zyrians (Komi), for whom he devised a new alphabet and translated biblical and liturgical texts. In 1383 he was consecrated bishop, so that he was able to conduct a successful missionary campaign among them. He found an outstanding biographer in his fellow student Epifany the Wise. Peter Plank Bibliography Source: Svjatitel’ Stefan Permsk…

Typicon

(169 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] Until well into the 15th century, the term typicon, which in principle can mean any fixed order, was often used by founders of Orthodox monasteries to denote the structures and offices peculiar to their foundations. Since the 11th century, however, the term has been applied primarily to a collection of rubrics governing the course of worship throughout the year. Its beginnings can be traced back to the 7th century and the Sabas Monastery. From the 9th century on, the dominant typicon was …

Unleavened Bread Controversy

(173 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] Originally ordinary leavened bread (enzyma) was used in celebrations of the Eucharist (III, 3) throughout Christendom. In the mid-11th century, its replacement by unleavened bread (azyma) – attested in the Armenian Church since the 6th century and in the Latin Church since the 9th century – provoked a fierce controversy between Byzantium and Rome; in 1054 it occasioned the schism between East and West. Since the introduction of unleavened bread was obviously modeled after the Isra…

Germanos

(178 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (Strēnopoulos; Sep 15, 1872, Bithynia, Turkey – Jan 23, 1951, London), metropolitan of Thyateira with seat in London and a leading figure in the ecumenical movement. After attending the theological seminary at Chalkis and earning his doctorate in Leipzig, Germanos was appointed professor at Chalkis in 1904 and rector of the same in 1907, retaining his rectorship even after his consecration as bishop in 1912. In 1922, Patriarch Meletius Metaxakis dispatched him to Western Europe as…

Synodicon

(255 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] On the first Sunday in Lent in 843, after years of struggle, the population of Constantinople were solemnly informed that the heresy of iconoclasm had finally been condemned and defeated. In the Orthodox Church, this proclamation became the occasion of a permanent annual festival: the first Sunday in Lent, formerly dedicated to Moses and all the prophets, has been observed as the “Sunday of Orthodoxy” ever since. In all episcopal cathedrals, the Synodicon is recited on this day in a special rite: a lengthy doxology is followed by a renunciation of all…
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