I. Origin and geographical areas – II. Present-day situation. I. Origin and geographical areas. The liturgy today known inclusively as Byzantine is the result of a long process of encounter and evolution of multiple local traditions in the Eastern Christian empire, concluding in a Constantinopolitan synthesis. To reach the beginning of this process, we must take into account several geographical areas that were particularly creative in this field. 1. Jerusalem and Palestine. A cosmopolitan region, a center of constant pilgrimages and densely populated with monasteries characterized by conciliar orthodoxy. From the 4th c. a cathedral liturgy marked by the presence of the holy places developed here, attested in Egeria’s Peregrinatio, in the Armenian lectionary 5th c. and in the Georgian lectionary 7th c.. Great monasteries such as the Laura of St. Sabas or the Cenobium of St. Theodosius produced and reformed their particular monastic traditions, formed between the 4th c. and the Persian 614 and Arab 638 invasions. The most important sediment left by Jerusalem in the Constantinopolitan liturgy is to be found in the liturgical year Great Lent, feasts of dedication, in the divine office agrypnie or vigils and in the anaphora of St. James, which in turn influenced Antiochene eucharistic texts that later emigrated to Constantinople.
A. Baumstark, Denkm¤ler der Entstehungsgeschichte des byzantinischen Ritus: OrChr 24 1927 1-32; J. Mateos, La vigile cath- drale chez Egrie: OCP 27 1961 281-312; G. Bertoni¨re, The Historical Development of the Easter Vigil and Related Services in the Greek Church: OCA 193, Rome 1972; A. Tarby, La pri¨re eucharistique de l’‰glise de Jrusalem, Thol. Hist. 17, Paris 1972. 2. Antioch and Cappadocia. Byzantium-Constantinople, precisely in the period in which it was consolidating its ecclesiastical structure 4th-5th c., came under the direct influence of hierarchs and theologians of Antiochene and Cappadocian origin such as Gregory of Nazianzus 379, Nectarius of Tarsus 381387, John Chrysostom 398 and Nestorius 428431. During this period the liturgy of St. James was introduced at Constantinople, which enjoyed almost universal use in the Syrian East until the 6th-c. monophysite crisis. Constantinople introduced, from the Cappadocian East, the anaphora attributed to St. Basil, which had condensed a more abundant and complex primitive source, perhaps with distant Egyptian roots, and remained normative until it was replaced with 10 exceptions annually by the so-called anaphora of St. John Chrysostom, directly related to the Syrian anaphora of the twelve apostles. Among works of Antiochene derivation that left a deep mark in the field of liturgical theology and of certain rites, we should also mention ps.-Dionysius’s Ecclesiastical Hierarchies 5th-6th c.
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