Tag Archives: Byzantine

Byzantine New Year 7525

Lord Maker of the UniverseHappy New Year!

September 1st is the Byzantine New Year 7525. Western Christians begin their new liturgical year on the First Sunday of Advent. The Greek Church, today.

Historically, “the First Ecumenical Council established that the Church’s year would begin on September 1st, continuing the practice of the Roman Empire at that time. For centuries, the beginning of the civil year coincided with the Church year, but later changed, first in western Europe, then in Russia in the time of Peter the Great.”

IN the Divine Liturgy we sing the following trope:

O Lord, Maker of the Universe, who alone has power over the seasons and times, bless this year with your bounty. Preserve our country in safety. Keep your people in peace. Through the prayers of the Mother of God, save us. (from the Troparion)

Divine Liturgy –a catechesis

Coptic and Byzantine monks meet on Athos

Oriental and Byzantine Orthodox preistsThe events in the Holy Land with Pope Francis’ pilgrimage of which an historic visit with Patriarch Bartholomew was key last week obscured in the Christian world another very significant and historic meeting between the Coptic and Byzantine monks on the monastic republic of Mount Athos.

The meeting was blessed by Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and Pope Tawadros II.

The press release and pictures.

This event needs our prayer and fraternal support in a crucial way. The separation of the Oriental and Byzantine Churches is just as painful as the separation of the Eastern and Western Churches.

Saint John Chrysostom

John ChrysostomOn the Byzantine liturgical calendar, today is the feast of John, patriarch of Constantinople, called “Chrysostom” (which is Greek for  “the golden-tongued,” in reference to his amazing gift for preaching the Word of God).

The Latin Church observes the liturgical memorial of Saint John Chrysostom on 14 September. He is revered as our holy father and for that reason he bears mention again. One of the Divine Liturgies of the Byzantine Church, the one used most days, is ascribed to him.

It is hard to overstate the importance of Saint John Chrysostom for Christians due to the intensity of his person, the force of his preaching and the reasonableness of his teaching.

The “Cherubic Hymn,” a chant, is taken his Divine Liturgy, is sung at the time of the Great Entrance. (For Latin Catholics, the Cherubic Hymn is a hymn sung at the presentation of the gifts, a text which is fixed for all but a few days of the liturgical year).

The Cherubic hymn ought to form part of our daily prayer.

We who mystically represent the Cherubim,
and who sing to the Life-Giving Trinity the thrice-holy hymn,
let us now lay aside all earthly cares
that we may receive the King of all,
escorted invisibly by the angelic orders. Alleluia

Protection of the Theotokos

Protection of the TheotokosWe have a busy liturgical day. The feast of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (the Little Flower) and the Slavic Byzantine Church honors Mary under the title the “Protection of the Theotokos.” AND we need her protection!!!

This medieval prose (i.e.,  a devotional poem for use in the liturgy) uses the sentiment of the “Ave Maria.”

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you, serene Virgin.
For lowly and great,
lion and lamb,
our savior Christ:
you have been his temple,
while still a virgin.

For the flower and rose,
the bread and the shepherd:
you queen of virgins,
a rose without a thorn,
you became their mother.

You are the royal seat of justice,
you are the mother of mercy,
from out of the depths of dregs and misery
hast seen Theophilus to grace.

The heavenly court praises you,
you the king’s mother and daughter;
O sweetest Mary,
through you the accused is forgiven.

O most pious Mary,
through you the accused is forgiven.
O most gentle Mary,
through you favor comes to the just.
For us always entreat Christ. Amen.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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