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Prayer Cord

(170 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] (Gk κομποσχοίνι/ komposchoíni, Russ. čëtki) is used in Orthodox churches when reciting the Prayer of the Heart (Heart, Prayer of the). It is intended to aid concentration and help keep count of repetitions, for instance during more intense exercises including bows or prostrations (metanies). A prayer cord is made from a twisted cotton cord, with 100, 50, 300, or 33 knots along its length, often with pearls set between. The two ends come together in a cross, with a tassel attached. The…

Marriage

(10,960 words)

Author(s): Nehring, Andreas | Otto, Eckart | Deming, Willoughby Howard | Schäfer, Rolf | Nave-Herz, Rosemarie | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Sociology – VI. Systematic Theology – VII. Law – VIII. Practical Theology – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. Religious Studies The term marriage denotes a relationship entered into between two or more persons of different sex, ritually formalized, intended to be permanent, and recognized by society. In all cultures, definitions of economic and sexual rights and the conveyance of social status to children (Child/Childhood) are part of the socially ¶ defined framework of marriage…

Alexandria

(1,865 words)

Author(s): Weber, Gregor | Mélèze-Modrzejewski, Joseph | Ritter, Adolf M. | Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] I. Ptolemaic Period – II. Ancient Judaism – III. Early Church – IV. Patriarchate I. Ptolemaic Period Egypt. Rhakotis, Arab. Iskandariya, on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, established 332/31 bce by Alexander the Great west of the Canopic branch of the Nile between the sea and Lake Mareotis. Exact topography is uncertain because of later rebuilding, destruction, and changes in water level. Laid out on a rectangular grid by th…

Christodoulos of Patmos, Saint

(204 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] (c. 1020 – c. 1101) came from Asia Minor near Nicea and became a young monk on Mount Olympus there. In 1043, he became acquainted with the Cluniacensian reform (Cluny) in Rome. In a tumultuous and dangerous time, he lived in several monasteries on the Jordan, in the Anatolian Miletus, on Mount Latros, on the island of Cos, and in Thessalia. Finally, in 1088, he received the island of Patmos as a gift from emperor Alexios I, to found the Monastery…

Philotheus of Sinai (Saint)

(155 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] Philotheus was the hēgoumenos (“superior”; Monasticism: III) of the monastery of the burning bush (Sinai, St. Catherine’s monastery), though not a bishop. Local tradition dates him to the 9th century; in any case he probably lived before 1100. As a spiritual disciple of John Climacus informed by Sinaitic Hesychasm, he wrote on monastic spirituality and achieved great renown. His 40 νηπτικὰ κεφάλαια/ nēptiká kephálaia (“chapters on sobriety”) were incorporated into the Philocalia, a standard collection of works on spirituality. He was concerne…

John the Almsgiver, Saint

(172 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] (born on Cyprus – c. 620, Cyprus), feast day Nov 12. John was married and had children, but after the death of all the members of his family he withdrew to asceticism and, in 610, became patriarch of Alexandria as John V. With him, the imperial church, unpopular in Egypt since the Schism, gained strength, particularly since Heraklios had become emperor and Sergius patriarch of Constantinople at the same time. John gained a reputation especially for his extraordinary benevolence – hence the epithet Ἐλεήμων/ Eleēmōn, the “almsgiver” –, which extended to all church …

Panagia

(220 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] Panagia, Greek Παναγία, “All-holy,” a title and attribute of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. In Orthodox liturgical usage, Mary is addressed by a title (e.g. Theotokos, Our Lady; Mary, Veneration of: II) instead of by name, with the adjective All-holy generally added. The commonest form is Panagia Theotokos. In the course of time, the adjective came to be used independently as both a title and a personal name. The male Greek forename Panagiotis is a derivative. The use of the prefix pan to express the superlative of the adjective is still in everyday use; Panagia is used …

Trembelas, Panagiotis

(172 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] (Oct 23, 1886, Stemnitsa, Greece – Nov 19, 1977, Athens), Greek Orthodox pro-¶ fessor of theology. In 1918 Trembelas was appointed associate professor of the history of dogma in Athens; from 1939 to 1957 he served as full professor of practical theology (catechetics, liturgics, homiletics). He was one of the most prolific theologians of his generation, publishing a great number of theological works on exegetical, liturgical, homiletic, and dogmatic topics, as well as more than 2,000 articles i…

Archbishop

(561 words)

Author(s): Geringer, Karl-Theodor | Petzolt, Martin | Wall, Heinrich de | Mosig, Jörg
[German Version] I. Catholicism – II. Orthodox Church – III. Protestantism– IV. Anglican Church I. Catholicism In the Roman Catholic Church, archbishop is the title of the metropolitan (c. 435) or of the bishop of an archbishopric that belongs to no church province (e.g. Luxembourg, Vaduz); a titular archbishop is a bishop consecrated or designated to the title of a defunct archbishopric (e.g. high officials in the Roman Curia and in the papal diplomatic corps); occasionally the title is bestowed on a meritorious bishop as a mere honorific. Karl-Theodor Geringer Bibliography W. Aymans…

Nilus of Sinai

(180 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] was the author of a Sinai story, probably from the end of the 4th century. In this autobiography, which reads like fiction, with detailed topographical references, he tells how he and his son became monks on Moses’ mountain, and fell under Saracen attack. Since Nilus of Ancyra (end of 4th cent. – c. 430) in a letter ( Ep. IV 62) reports a similar event in a eulogy of St. Platon, the two have been identified as one and the same person, and this monk from Galatia was wrongly named “Sinaites.” In his monastic and exegetical writings, Nilus …

Greek Monasteries

(411 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] Greek monasteries emerged in the 1st millennium ce mainly in Asia Minor, particularly in Cappadocia, Palestine, Egypt and Constantinople. The monasteries in modern-day Greece were founded from the 10th century onwards: Hosios Lukas (1st half of the 10th cent.), Athos (963), Daphni (11th cent., but dates from the 6th cent.) Kaisariani and other small monasteries in Attica (11th cent.), Nea Moni on Chios (mid-11th cent.), the Monastery of John on Patmos (1088), Kechrovouni on Tinos (12th c…

Footwashing (Pedilavium)

(467 words)

Author(s): Thomas, John Christopher | Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] I. Western Churches – II. Orthodox Churches I. Western Churches Footwashing as a Christian rite finds its origin in John 13:1–20, where Jesus washes his disciples' feet and commands them to wash one another's feet. The rite appears to function as a sacrament in the Johannine community and is a distinctively Christian act in 1 Tim 5:10. Evidence for the practice of footwashing can be found in every century of the church's history. The meaning of rite ranges from an expression of humble ser…

Liturgical Books

(1,664 words)

Author(s): Praßl, Franz Karl | Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] I. Catholic – II. Orthodox I. Catholic 1. General Introduction and History The binding nature of its basic elements (Scripture reading, the breaking of bread [Eucharist/Communion]) notwithstanding, the liturgy was initially celebrated quite freely with improvised prayers by the presiding priest (Just. 1 Apol. 67). Later on, model texts (Hipp., Traditio Apostolica ) served as points of reference. From the 4th century onwards, the major ecclesiastical centers (Antioch, Alexandria, Rome, Jerusalem, Byzantium…

Myron

(230 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] Confirmation (Catholic) takes place in all Eastern churches as a direct continuation of baptism ¶ (IV, 2). The priest anoints (Anointing; Gk chrisma) the newly baptized with aromatic olive oil (myron or chrism) in the form of the cross on forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, chest, hands, and feet, with the accompanying formula: “Seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Baptism is already understood to mediate the Spirit; confirmation is its consummation and seal. For that reason, it is also bestowed …

Metéora Monasteries

(537 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] Metéora Monasteries, named after the rock formations of Metéora in Greek Thessaly, which rise steeply like pillars above the Pineios Valley. Probably because of its safe and protected location, hermits began settling there from the 11th century, hiding on the steep rock pinnacles and in caves. The first written evidence is the mention of a Mother of God Monastery from 1336, referring to an originally loose community of hermits which, as a sect of Stagon, stood under the authority …

Meletius Pegas

(176 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] (patriarch of Alexandria, 1549, Chandaka [Heraklion], Crete – Sep 13, 1601, Alexandria). As an Orthodox Greek on Venetian Crete, on Zakynthos and in Italy he received a Humanist education, giving him a good knowledge of Latin theology and Scholasticism. He continued to feel this tension throughout his life. He became a monk, and an abbot at the age of 20, but because of Orthodox catechesis was driven out of Crete. In 1579 he became priest for Alexandria, and assumed responsibility…

Eileton

(87 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] (Gk) is a cloth on the altar on which plate and chalice are placed in the Orthodox liturgy for consecration. It is understood as a symbol of Christ's burial. The antimension was also originally an eileton with relics and a portrayal of the burial sewn in for use in celebrations of the Eucharist on unconsecrated altars. Today the eileton is used as a cover for the antimension. Martin Petzolt Bibliography S. Heitz, Mysterium der Anbetung, 1986, 359 A. Kallis, Liturgie, 1989, 88, 90, 251.

Sticheron

(181 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] pl. stichera, a poetic hymn strophe in the daily office (Liturgy of the Hours: IV) of the Orthodox Church. It is derived from στῖχος/ stíchos, “verse,” because it is sung in alternation with consecutive psalm verses. At Vespers six to ten stichera follow each of the final verses of Psalms 141/142; at Orthros or Matins, they are used with the Lauds Psalms 148–150. In both services, there are aposticha with other psalm verses. On weekdays the stichera focus on the particular feast or saint’s day; on Sunday…

Meletius Metaxakis

(182 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] (Sep 21, 1871, Parsas, Crete – Jul 7, 1935, Alexandria) studied in Jerusalem, was ordained deacon in Antioch in 1891, and worked until 1909 in Jerusalem as secretary to the patriarchate. In 1910 he became metropolitan of Kition (Cyprus). From 1918 to 1920, as metropolitan of Athens, he was a zealous reformer. He was uncanonically deposed, went to the United States, and became patriarch of Constantinople on Nov 25, 1921, as Meletius IV. He founded metropolitan sees for Western Euro…

Reader (Lector)

(672 words)

Author(s): Steck, Wolfgang | Petzolt, Martin | Neijenhuis, Jörg
[German Version] I. Catholic Church It seems that there was a synagogue tradition in antiquity of lay persons undertaking the reading in public worship of lessons other than those taken from the Gospels. From the early Middle Ages, readers were given clerical status (Clergy and laity), and assigned to one of the so-called minor orders at the preparatory stage before ordination of priests. Since the reordering of liturgical services by Paul VI’s apostolic decree Ministeria quaedam (Aug 15, 1972), readers are assigned to the laity (as they were orig.), the office of read…
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