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Worshi p and its Architectural Setting 4. G REEK E AST AND L ATIN W EST.

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Presentation on theme: "Worshi p and its Architectural Setting 4. G REEK E AST AND L ATIN W EST."— Presentation transcript:

1 Worshi p and its Architectural Setting 4. G REEK E AST AND L ATIN W EST

2 Background info: The Church is impacted by factions. Councils meet and Creeds are written. As Christianity expanded there came to be disagreements within the Church about the nature of Christ and the how to define the relationship between Father, Son and Spirit. Catholics (from katholikos, “universal”) believed in the divinity of Christ. Followers of a presbyter named Arius (ca ) taught that Christ was less than divine, but more than human. Later, there were a variety other heresies (from the Greek word for “faction”), leading to conflict within the wider Church, such as Nestorianism and Monophysitism. Constantine believed that God wanted him to bring unity to the Catholic Church. Therefore, he called the first Ecumenical Council, an assembly of bishops who met at Nicea in 325 to define Christian doctrine. The first seven Ecumenical Councils were in 325, 381, 431, 451, 553, 680-1, and 787. Ecumenical Councils tried, but did not succeed in eliminating divisions. Regional disunity and factionalism would remain a permanent state of affairs among Christians, though the majority would remain Catholic.

3 The Roman Empire was changing during the centuries of most rapid Christian expansion. The Roman Empire ca. AD 400. By 400 the Empire was split into two halves with two emperors. The richest and most populous part had always been the largely Greek-speaking East. Centralized imperial power was most effective there; the Western Empire proved unable to maintain the same level of effective government as the East, and it collapsed by 476. Western Roman Empire Eastern Roman Empire

4 Much effort was expended to defend the Empire against invasions by barbarians (esp. Goths and Germanic tribes) from the north and Persians from the east. Rome was plundered by the Goths in 410 and the Vandals in 455. The “barbarians” (which simply meant that they did not speak Greek) had already adopted many Roman customs, and sooner or later all became Christian. Unfortunately, some of the most effective barbarians became Arians – such as the Goths, who took control of Italy and Spain, and the Vandals, who took over N. Africa.

5 Although Goths and Vandals may have been converted to Arian Christianity, their churches in Italy or N. Africa looked no different from Catholic churches – except for the theology conveyed in their art. The church now known as San Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna was built by the Theodoric, the Gothic king of Italy, an Arian, as his palace chapel around When it later was re-consecrated as a Catholic church, mosaics with Arian theological themes were removed or replaced. (Arians rejected the Nicene definition of the Trinity and regarded the Son as a creation of the Father.)

6 Singing was always a part of Christian worship Biblical Psalms and new hymns were sung in Christian worship from the beginning. The heretic Arius was accused of insinuating his ideas into his followers’ minds by writing hymns that were set to melodies derived from popular drinking songs and theatrical ditties. Use of popular tunes was frowned on by Catholics as unseemly and raucous. Ambrose of Milan responded to Arian popular music by introducing to the West the style of congregational hymn and psalm singing then common in the East. However, shaped by the court and the highly ornate eastern liturgies, choirs ultimately came to replace congregational singing in the East while congregational singing prevailed in the West. Singing in the Greek East tended to be more ornate and melismatic; in the Latin West it was syllabic and metrically simple (“plainsong”).

7 Catholic Christianity had become the state religion of the Empire in 390 and paganism was officially suppressed soon after. But...  In spite of official favor shown to Christianity in the 4 th c. and after, there were no “mass conversions.”  Growth of the Church took place largely as families became Christian. The head of a family exercised great influence over kin and clients.  Well into the 5 th century there were far more pagans than Christians, particularly in the West.

8 Baptism was meant to be a defining and mystical experience In the political climate of a Roman world where Christianity was now a favored faith, it had become all the more necessary to ensure that the implications of a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord were fully understood. To deal with those who might want to become Christians so as to gain social or political advantage, the Church elaborated its already-existing strict requirements for pre-baptismal catechesis, renunciations, and scrutiny. The Church wanted to preserve its moral and spiritual integrity amid radical social changes. Baptistery of the Orthodox, Ravenna

9 The shape of the Eucharist continued to be the same, West and East, though the ceremony grew more elaborate. A.Liturgy of the Word, or Mass of the Catechumens: Entrance litany and Kyrie, preparatory prayers, the Trisagion, hymns and psalms, lessons from Scripture concluding with an Epistle and Gospel, exhortations from presbyters and a sermon from the bishop, ending with the dismissal of everyone except the baptized. B.Liturgy of the Eucharist, or Mass of the Faithful: 1. the Kiss of Peace, 2. “Lift up your hearts.., etc.” 3. Preface and Sanctus, “Therefore with angels…, etc.; 4. Commemoration of the Words of Institution; 5. the Oblation; 6. the Great Prayer of Consecration (with epiklesis in the East); 7. Prayers for the Church on Earth and 8. Prayers for the Dead; 9. The Lord’s Prayer and an expansion of it called “the embolismos”; 10. Breaking of the Bread; 11. “Holy things for holy people…;” 12. Distri- bution of Holy Communion; 13. Prayers of Thanksgiving; 14. Dismissal.

10 The earliest written liturgies date from the mid- 4 th c. But liturgical books did not become usual for another century or more. The first part of the liturgy to be written were the diptychs, two- part lists of the persons (living and dead) and churches for whom prayers were to be offered. Next came the sacramentaries, books of prayers said by the Celebrant (usually the bishop). Then books for the readers (synaxaria) and singers (antiphonaries, troparia). Finally, books of directions for the ceremonies (rubrics). A 12 th c. Sacramentary

11 There were still liturgical “families, but in the West, nearly all were in Latin. In the “Greek East” Greek was most widely used, but there were various vernacular rites. WEST (all Latin) Roman Ambrosian (Milan) Gallican (Gaul) Celtic (Ireland, Britain) Mozarabic (Iberia) EAST Byzantine (Greek) Antiochene (“) Alexandrian (“) Ethiopian (vernacular) Syriac (“) Armenian (“)

12 The Riha Paten (577), an imperial donation showing “the Communion of the Apostles,” shows us a 6 th c. altar and a view of how Holy Communion was distributed to the clergy in the apse.

13 EMPEROR EVERYONE ELSE Patricians, Imperial Officials, Governors, Generals, Bishops Social pyramid of the Later Roman Empire  The ‘social pyramid’ of the Later Roman Empire was very steep. The Emperor was at the top, far above everyone else, as “God’s Chosen Representative.” He had both absolute power and unlimited wealth.  Beneath the Emperor came senators (only.002% of the population), then patricians, imperial officials, generals, and (after Constantine) bishops.  Local civic dignitaries had some rank and status.  Elaborate ceremony and ritual attended all interaction with “superior” people, and most of all with the Emperor.  Ordinary people were of no social significance.  Everyone accepted this as God’s will. The rule of hierarchy was unquestioned, and it applied in the Church as well as in society at large. Local City officials Senators

14 The dominant idea of hierarchy also drove the arrangement of the interior of churches. The Bishop sat on a throne in the apse, facing the people, with deacons standing at his right and left. Presbyters sat beside him on tiers of elevated benches. Other deacons, ministers and singers sat in the schola cantorum. Lay people stood outside the rails in the aisles. Only the clergy could come near the altar.

15 By the late 6 th and 7 th c. the arcades and railings which separated the presbyterium and apse in the Latin West were becoming almost solid in the Greek East. The arcade between the chancel and the body of the church gradually became full barriers, first with the insertion of curtains, then with pictures (icons) and became the iconostasis, hiding the altar from view. Two churches in Salonika, orig. 6 th century.

16 After missionaries later carried Christianity to what is now Russia in the 9 th – 10 th c., the iconostasis ultimately grew taller and more elaborate. Church of the Holy Wisdom, Kiev. 12 th c. Presnya Church, 15 th c.

17 In some churches, curtains were hung around the altar, from the ciborium, and these were closed during the prayer of consecration during the Eucharist. This came to be the rule in Syria. This heightened the sense of mystery, since the area around the altar was thought of as the earthly counterpart to heaven. Euphrasian Basilica, Porec, Croatia. 6 th c.

18 African churches seem to have been an exception. They continued earlier, Constantinian patterns, placing the altar in the nave, nearer to the congregation. This church from Tabarka near Tunis in N. Africa, built ca. 400, shows features of the previous century. The apse, behind its triple arcade, does not shelter the altar. The altar (clearly a cube in the mosaic) is on the floor of the nave and is shown with an altar cloth, antependium, and three candles. Beneath the altar is the tomb of a martyr. Devotion to martyrs was very popular in N. Africa and not much less so in Italy and Gaul. Artist’s version of the church in the mosaic.

19 Architectural styles began to diverge. The West generally stayed more conservative. Above: Santa Sabina in Rome, In the West, the traditional basilican style continued to dominate – with only slight variations. This kind of church continued to be built right down to the Middle Ages, with changes as Romanesque gave way to Gothic. This is illustrated by the Carolingian basilica at Michelstadt, Germany, ca. 815, right.

20 By mid-6 th century, domed churches and cross- shaped churches were being built in the East. After a fire destroyed the 4 th c. basilica of Hagia Sophia (“Holy Wisdom”) in Constantinople, the Emperor Justinian replaced it in 537 with a new, vast and ever-afterwards imitated multi-domed structure, which after the Muslim conquest in 1453 became the favored model for Ottoman mosques. Today the Ayasofya is a museum.

21 Justinian’s great Hagia Sophia church was part of the imperial palace complex. A fifteen foot high templon, an arcade which was forerunner of the iconostasis, divided the apse from the nave. The central area was for liturgical processions and ceremonies. The people stood on the sides or in the galleries.

22 Hagia Sophia, built in 537 in Constantinople. San Apollinare Nuovo, built ca in Ravenna. INNOVATIVE EAST versus TRADITIONAL WEST.

23 But the “modern” style from the East also found its way West, to Ravenna during the brief time the Eastern Empire re-took Italy. San Vitale was built

24 There were Christians in Britain in the 4 th c., and in Ireland in the 5 th c., but the earliest churches we know of date from the late 6 th c. 1. The Gallarus Oratory, on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. This was a chapel in a Celtic monastery (6 th -9 th c). 2. The Church of St. Martin at Canterbury. The chancel of the medieval church was the original (580) church, which had once been a pagan Roman temple. Here St. Augustine baptized Ethelbert, the King of Kent, in 597.

25 The liturgy in a Greek or Russian Orthodox Church today gives us a sense of what worship was like in the Greek East in the 6 th - 7 th c. and after. Little has changed between then and now! The altar is behind the iconostasis. The priests and deacons come through the gates of the iconostasis several times during the liturgy. There is a great deal of chanting, but there are no musical instruments used.

26 The almost cubical altar of a Russian Orthodox church today, seen here behind the iconostasis, is much more like early Christian altars, both East and West, than are the medieval-style, oblong altars common in our churches. 11 th c. fresco of St. Basil the Great celebrating the Liturgy.

27 The Arab conquest and the spread of Islam after 622 had a definitive impact on Mediterranean Christianity in general as the ancient patriarchates of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch all fell to the Arabs.


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