Saturday, May 24, 2014


Above is an explanation of a service I have seen countless times during Orthros (Mattins & Lauds), but never heard aloud aside from a few words. A priest of some Orthodox community explains the Proskomide, the preparation rites for the bread and wine prior to the Divine Liturgy. The prayers are heuristic and indicative of a liturgical theology that takes the reality of the opus Dei during the Eucharist seriously.

As an aside, the priest is likely wrong when he says that the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom originates in St. John Chrysostom. I am told that St. Basil is the most likely to have had extensive influence on the Byzantine rite named for him. The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, like the "Ambrosian rite" of Milan, is probably named for the most prominent bishop of the diocese that used it.


  1. I think you may find this useful:

    On the other hand, I cannot understand what does this priest saying when comparing "Western" and "Eastern" understanding of Our Lord's death on the Cross: I don't believe there is a "defeated faith" in traditional western understanding of Christ as a Sacrificial Victim, but a true victory over death (qui mortem nostram moriendo destruxit, as it is said in Paschal Preface). What do you think about it?

    Kyrie eleison

    1. You are absolutely right about the "Western" understanding of the Cross. During Paschaltide on ferial days the Roman rite sings during the Suffrages at Lauds and Vespers "Dicite in nationibus, alleluia; Quia Dominus regnavit a ligno, alleluia."

      The East, especially the Orthodox, have a hang up about the Western use of the Apocalyptic Lamb imagery, which to them can mean a helpless Jesus being slaughtered rather than the God of all giving up Himself willingly. Also, since Constantine and the Battle of the Milvian Bridge the Greek Christians have emphasized the Cross as a place of triumph, which again may not blend well with the idea of the Lamb (despite how utterly Scriptural it is).

      Or I may be wrong....

    2. These days I have finally understood how much some Byzantine clergy actually misunderstood, and hence despise our western (mainly Roman) liturgies. Their attempts to "restore" the Epiclesis in the Roman Canon, &c. (liturgically and historically) not much better than our latinization efforts some centuries ago; even worse since their liturgies are not more "apostolic" nor "traditional" than ours.

      Sorry, it is 1:15 AM here in Spain, I can't concentrate myself in my University studies, and have read just today lots of eastern commentaries complining how much schismatic and heretic Roman liturgy is... I needed to write this.

      Kyrie eleison

  2. Gregory DiPippo compared this rite to the Roman offertory, seeing that the prayers from both are anticipatory of the actual consecration: