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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…

Baptism

(22,186 words)

Author(s): Alles, Gregory D. | Avemarie, Friedrich | Wallraff, Martin | Grethlein, Christian | Koch, Günter | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. New Testament – III. Church History – IV. Dogmatics – V. Practical Theology – VI. History of Liturgy – VII. Law – VIII. Missions – IX. Art I. History of Religion From the standpoint of the history of religion, baptism is not a general type of rite (Rite and ritual) but a lustration ritual that is carried out not only in Christianity but also in historically related religions such as …

Christmas

(7,716 words)

Author(s): Roll, Susan K. | Köhle-Hezinger, Christel | Plank, Peter | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Hermelink, Jan | Et al.
[German Version] I. History – II. Christian Liturgy – III. Practical Theology – IV. Art History – V. Music I. History 1. Origins. “Christmas,” the nativity feast or birthday celebration of Christ on Dec 25, comes from Middle English Christmesse, Christ's Mass; cf. Dutch Kerstmis. The German Weihnachten, “holy nights,” refers to the twelve days between Dec 24 and Jan 6. The Lat. natalis, dies nativitatis, or nativitas domini nostri Jesu Christi is reflected in Span. navidad, Ital. natale. Gk ἡ γενέθλιος ἡμέρα τὰ γενέθλια, ἡ κατὰ σάρκα γέννησις τοῦ κυρίου/ hēgenéthlios h…

Relics

(5,513 words)

Author(s): Felber, Anneliese | Köpf, Ulrich | Plank, Peter | Hafner, Johann Ev. | Mohr, Hubert
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Relics are the remains (Lat. reliquiae) of individuals endowed with power, such as warriors, chiefs, sorcerers, heroes, prophets, martyrs, and saints – their bodies, their clothing, or objects they have used. Veneration of relics reflects the belief that these forces continue beyond the grave; the intent is to benefit from this power or blessing by erecting structures over the grave, lighting candles or leaving flowers, processions, touching or kissing, or burial near…

Pectoral Cross

(175 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] The pectoral cross represents a special development of the encolpion ( pectorale), otherwise usually rectangular or oval, which Christians as well as pagans and Jews used as an ornament in antiquity. Although long worn by other secular and religious notables, by the 12th century the encolpion and pectoral cross were becoming increasingly a mark of episcopal office. Since 1570 the pectoral cross has been part of the mandatory attire of bishops. Since the 18th century, priests in the Orthodox …

Vestments, Liturgical

(306 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] Basically, liturgical vestments derive from the festal and official garb of antiquity; as secular fashions changed, they became the distinctive liturgical attire of the clergy and identified their various ranks (Clothing and vestments: II). All clergy wear an alb (sticharion), a full-length garment with sleeves. The stole (stola) serves as a mark of ordination; it is a strip of cloth worn over the left shoulder by deacons (orarion), over both shoulders by priests and bishops (epit…

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 …
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