1621 - 1681 Person Name: Georg Neumark, 1621-1681 Composer of "WER NUR DEN LIEBEN GOTT" in Worship (4th ed.) Neumark, Georg, son of Michael Neumark, clothier at Langensalza, in Thuringia (after 1623 at Miihlhausen in Thuringia), was born at Langensalza, March 16, 1621; and educated at the Gymnasium at Schleueingen, and at the Gymnasium at Gotha. He received his certificate of dimission from the latter in Sept. 1641 (not 1640). He left Gotha in the autumn of 1641 along with a number of merchants who were going to the Michaelmas Fair at Leipzig. He then joined a similar party who were going from Leipzig to Lübeck; his intention being to proceed to Königsberg and matriculate at the University there. After passing through Magdeburg they were plundered by a band of highwaymen on the Gardelegen Heath, who robbed Neumark of all he had with him, save his prayer-book and a little money sewed up in the clothes he was wearing. He returned to Magdeburg, but could obtain no employment there, nor in Lüneburg, nor in Winsen, nor in Hamburg, to which in succession the friends he made passed him on. In the beginning of December he went to Kiel, where he found a friend in the person of Nicolaus Becker, a native of Thuringia, and then chief pastor at Kiel. Day after day passed by without an opening, till about the end of the month the tutor in the family of the Judge Stephan Henning fell into disgrace and took sudden flight from Kiel. By Becker's recommendation Neumark received the vacant position, and this sudden end of his anxieties was the occasion of the writing of his hymn as noted below. In Henning's house the time passed happily till he had saved enough to proceed to Königsberg, where he matriculated June 21, 1643, as a student of law. He remained five years, studying also poetry under Dach, and maintaining himself as a family tutor. During this time (in 1046) he again lost all his property, and this time by fire. In 1648 he left Königsberg, was for a short time at Warsaw, and spent 1649-50 at Thorn. He was then in Danzig, and in Sept. 1651 we find him in Hamburg. In the end of 1651 he returned to Thuringia, and bronght himself under the notice of Duke Wilhelm II. of Sachse-Weimar, the chief or president of the Fruit-bearing Society, the principal German literary union of the 17th century. The Duke, apparently in 1652, appointed him court poet, librarian and registrar of the administration at Weimar; and finally secretary of the Ducal Archives. In Sept. 1653 he was admitted as a member of the Fruit-bearing Society, of which he became secretary in 1656, and of which he wrote a history (Der Neu-Sprossende Teutsche Palmbaum, Nürnberg and Weimar, 1668); and, in 1679, became also a member of the Pegnitz Order. In 1681 he became blind, but was permitted to retain his emoluments till his death, at Weimar, July 18, 1681. [K. Goedeke's Grundriss, vol. iii., 1887, p. 74; Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. xxiii. 539; Weimarisches Jahrbuch, vol. iii., 1855, p. 176, &c. The dates given by the different authorities vary exceedingly, and are quite irreconcilable. In the registers at Schleusingen Neumark is last mentioned in 1636, and then as in the Third Form. Dr. von Bamberg, director of the Gymnasium at Gotha, informs me that Neumark's name appears in the matriculation book there under January 31, 1641; and as one of the "newly entered" scholars.]
A long list of Neumark's poetical works is given by Goedeke. A large proportion of his secular poems are pastorals, or else occasional poems written to order at Weimar; and in all there is little freshness, or happiness in expression, or glow of feeling. As a musician, and as a hymn-writer, he is of more importance. His hymns appeared in his (1) Poetisch-und Musikalisches Lustwäldchen, Hamburg, 1652; the enlarged edition, entitled (2) Fortgepfiantzter Musikalizch-Poetischer Lustwald, Jena, 1657; and (3) Unterschiedliche, so wol gottseliger Andacht; als auch zu christlichen Tugenden aufmuntemde Lieder, Weimar, 1675. Of the 34 hymns in these three works a few are found in the German hymn-books of the 17th century, and three or four still survive. The best of Neumark's hymns are those of Trust in God, and patient waiting for His help under trial and suffering; and one of these may be fairly called classical and imperishable.
Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten. Trust in God. First published in his Fortgepflantzter musikalisch-poetischer Lustwald, Jena, 1657, p. 26, in 7 stanzas of 6 lines, entitled “A hymn of consolation. That God will care for and preserve His own in His own time. After the saying 'Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee'“(Ps. lv. 22). This, his finest hymn, was written in 1641, at Kiel, when after unsuccessful attempts to procure employment he became a tutor in the family of the judge Stephan Henning. Of this appointment Neumark, in his Thrünendes Haus-Kreuiz, Weimar, 1681, speaks thus:-—
"Which good fortune coming suddenly, and as if fallen from heaven, greatly rejoiced me, and on that very day I composed to the honour of my beloved Lord the here and there well-known hymn 'Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten'; and had certainly cause enough to thank the Divine compassion for such unlooked for grace shown to me," &c.
As the date of its composition is thus December, 1641, or at latest Jan. 1642, it is certainly strange that it was not published in his Lustwäldchen, Hamburg, 1652. In that volume he does give, at p. 32, a piece entitled, "a hymn of consolation, when, in 1646, through a dreadful fire I came to my last farthing." The apocryphal story, according to which the hymn was written at Hamburg, about 1653 (see Miller's Singers and Songs, 1869, p. 91), has not been traced earlier than 1744. The hymn speedily became popular, and passed into hymn-books all over Germany (Leipzig Vorrath, 1673, No. 1169), and still holds its place as in the Berlin Geistliche Lieder, ed. 1863, No. 73.
Lauxmann, in Koch, viii. 386-390, relates that it was the favourite hymn of Magdalena Sibylla (d. 1687), wife of the Elector Johann Georg II. of Saxony; was sung, by his command, at the funeral, in 1740, of King Friedrich Wilhelm I. of Prussia; was sung, or rather played, by the first band of missionaries from Herrmannsburg as they set sail from Brunshausen on the Elbe (near Stade) on Oct. 28, 1853, &c.
The beautiful melody by Neumark was probably composed in 1641 along with the hymn, and was published with it in 1657. On it J. S. Bach composed a cantata. It is well known in England through its use by Mendelssohn in his St. Paul ("To Thee, 0 Lord, I yield my spirit"), and from its introduction into Hymns Ancient & Modern (as Bremen), and many other collections.
Translations in common use:--
1. Who leaves th' Almighty God to reign. A full but free translation by Sir John Bowring in his Hymns, 1825, No. 58. His translations of stanzas ii., iv.-vi. beginning "How vain are sighs! how vain regret," are included in Curtis's Union Collection, 1827.
2. Who all his will to God resigneth. A good and full translation by A. T. Kussell, as No. 236 in his Psalms & Hymns, 1851. His translations of st. v.-vii. beginning "Say not, I am of God forsaken," are in Dr. Pagenstecher's Collection, 1864.
3. Leave God to order all thy ways. A full and good translation by Miss Winkworth, in her Lyra Germanica, 1st Ser. 1855, p. 152. This is given in full in M. W. Stryker's Christian Chorals, 1885, and, omitting st. vi., in W. F. Stevenson's Hymns for Church and Home, 1873, and the Baptist Hymnal, 1879. Further abridged forms are in the Baptist Psalms & Hymns, 1858; Harrow School Hymn Book, l866; Holy Song, 1869, and others. In the Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Book, 1868; and the American Presbyterian Hymnal, 1874, st. v., vi. are omitted, and the rest altered to 6 stanzas, beginning "My God, I leave to Thee my ways."
4. Him who the blessed God trusts ever. A good and full translation by Dr.John Ker in the Juvenile Missionary Magazine, of the United Presbyterian Church, 1857. It was revised, and st. iii., v., vi. omitted, for the Ibrox Hymnal, 1871, where it begins: "He who,” &c.
5. If thou but suffer God to guide thee. A full and good translation by Miss Winkworth (based on her Lyra Germanica version and set to the original melody), as No. 134 in her Chorale Book for England, 1863. Repeated in full in the Baptist Psalmist, 1878, and in America in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880. It is found, in various abridged forms, in J. Robinson's Collection, 1869; Horder's Congregational Hymns , 1884; the Evangelical Hymnal, N. Y., 1880, and others.
6. He, who the living God hath chosen. A translation of st. i., ii., vii. by Miss Borthwick, as No. 237 in Dr. Pagenstecher's Collection, 1864.
7. He who doth glad submission render. A good translation omitting st. vi., by J. M. Sloan, as No. 284 in J. H. Wilson's Service of Praise, 1865, repeated, omitting the translations of st. ii., vii., in Flett's Collection, Paisley, 1871.
Other translations are:—
(1) "He that confides in his Creator." By J. C. Jacobi, 1720, p. 13 (1722, p. 36; 1732, p. 61). Repeated in the Moravian Hymn Book, 1754, and later eds. (1886, No. 183). (2) "0 Christian! let the Lord direct." By Miss Knight in her Trs. from the German in Prose and Verse, 1812, p. 85. (3) "To let God rule who's but contented." By H. W. Dulcken in his Book of German Song, 1856, p. 274. (4) "He who the rule to God hath yielded." By J. D. Burns in the Family Treasury, 1859, p. 309, and his Memoir & Remains, 1869, p. 240. (5) "Who trusts in God's all-wise direction." By R. Massie, in the British Herald, Aug. 1865, p. 120, and Reid's Praise Book, 1872. (6) "Who yields his will to God's good pleasure. In the British Herald, April, 1866, p. 244, and in Reid's Praise Book, 1872. (7) "He who commits his way to God." In the Family Treasury, 1878, p. 49. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
See also in:
Hymn Writers of the Church
Publication Date: 1902 Publisher: Alexander Gardner Publication Place: Paisley [Scotland] Editors: Rev. John Brownlie Description:
HOLY EASTERN CHURCH
TRANSLATED FROM THE SERVICE BOOKS
HISTORY, DOCTRINE, AND WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH
Rev. JOHN BROWNLIE
"The Hymns and Hymn-Writers of the Church Hymnary";
"Hymns from East and West"; "Hymns of the Early Church";
"Hymns of the Greek Church"; etc.
Publisher by Appointment to the late Queen Victoria
ALEXANDER GARDNER, PAISLEY
The generous reception given to a former
series of renderings of Hymns from the Office Books of the Greek
ChurchHymns of the Greek Church. Translated, with Introduction
and Notes. Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier: Edinburgh, 1900.
by those who are best qualified to judge, and
the gratifying fact that already no fewer
than five pieces from that series have secured
a place in the revised edition of one of our
most valued permanent Hymnals, encourage
the translator to pursue his work in this
department of devotional literature.
No apology is needed for this additional
volume on a subject too little known, the
contents of which are an earnest attempt
to acquaint our people still further with the
valuable praise literature of the Eastern Church.
We are still far from realising the unity of
the Church of Christ in the world, when that
section of it which is historically nearest The
Christ--which joins hands with Him and
with His Apostles--is practically ignored.
Why this should be, let our Christian scholars
answer. About a year ago the Rev. R.
M. Moorsom, of Winchester, published his
Renderings of Church Hymns, containing,
among others, twenty translations from the
Service Books of the Eastern Church. For
that valuable addition to our hymnody, the
Christian Church in our land is under a debt
of gratitude to Mr. Moorsom; but he and
the very few others who have sought to
interest the Church in a subject so rich and
so attractive, have as yet but touched its
Of the forty-six pieces in this volume,
forty-two appear for the first time in English
verse. While leaving critics to pass their
verdict on the value of the work, the translator
can yet justly claim to have made a
substantial addition to our English hymnody
from Eastern sources.
The renderings have all been made from
the Service Books, the edition used being
the one printed at Venice,--with the exception
of the Triodion, which belongs to
the Athens edition.
To enable any who are interested in the
subject, and who may have access to the
Service Books, to compare the renderings
with the original text, the title of the book,
and the number of the page where it can be
seen, are given in each case.
The Introductory chapters on the History,
Sacraments, and Worship of the Church, are
given in the hope that they may be the
means of removing prejudices and misconceptions,
and of awakening some degree of
interest in the Eastern Church.
For much of the information contained in
these chapters the translator is indebted,
among other works, to Neale's History of
the Holy Eastern Church, Stanley's History
of the Eastern Church, King's Rites and
Ceremonies of the Greek Church, and
Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire. But many of the facts were collected
a few years ago during a residence
in the East.
Portpatrick, Nov. 1, 1902.
ἐν τῷ θλίβεσθαί με, εἰσάκουσόν μου τῶν ὀδυνῶν--(Antiphon), 71
εἰς τὰ ὄρη ψυχὴ ἀρθῶμεν·--(Antiphon), 72
ἐπὶ τοῖς εἰρηκόσι μοὶ·--(Antiphon), 73
ἐξεγερθέντες τοῦ ὕπνου, προσπίπτομέν σοι--(Troparia), 74
ταχεῖαν καὶ σταθηρὰν δίδου παραμυθίαν τοῖς δούλοις σου, Ἰησοῦ--(Troparion), 76
ψυχή μου! ψυχή μου! ἀνάστα, τί καθεύδεις;--(Kontakion-Automelon), 78
ἡ βασιλεία σου, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς--(Sticheron Idiomelon), 79
ἡ γέννησίς σου Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν--(Apolutikion), 81
ὅτε ἥξεις ὁ Θεὸς ἐν μυριάσι καὶ χιλιάσι--(Troparia), 82
ὁ κύριος ἔρχηται--(Troparia), 83
ἠχήσουσι σάλπιγγες--(Stichera), 84
βίβλοι ἀνοιγήσονται--(Stichera), 85
δεῦρο ψυχή μου ἀθλία--(Ode), 86
ὁ δεσπόζων τῶν αἰώνων πάντων κύριος--(Ode), 88
τὰ πλήθη τῶν πεπαγμένων μοι δεινῶν--(Sticheron), 90
τίς αὗτος Σωτὴρ, ὁ ἐξ Ἑδώμ--(Troparia), 91
ἔφριξε γῆ, ἀπεστράφη ἥλιος--(Troparia), 92
ὁ βουλήσει ἅπαντα ποιῶν--(Troparia), 93
ὑμνοῦμεν σου Χριστὲ, τὸ σωτήριον πάθος--(Stichera), 95
ἀναστάσεως ἡμέρα, καὶ λαμπρυνθῶμεν τῇ πανηγύρει--(Sticheron), 97
κύριε, ἐσφραγισμένου σοῦ τάφου--(Stichera), 98
τῷ πάθει σου, Χριστὲ, παθῶν ἠλευθερώθημεν--(Stichera), 100
τοῦ λίθου σφραγισθέντος ὑπὸ τῶν Ἰουδαίων--(Apolutikion), 102
ἑσπερινὴν προσκύνησιν--(Stichera), 104
ὁ κύριος ἀνελήφθη εἰς οὐρανοὺς--(Stichera), 106
ὡς αἱ τάξεις νῦν τῶν ἀγγέλων ἐν οὐρανῷ--(Hymn to The Trinity), 107
τὰς ἄνω Δυνάμεις μιμούμενοι οἱ ἐπὶ γῆς--(Hymn to The Trinity), 109
ὑμνῳδίας ὁ καιρὸς, καὶ δεήσεως ὥρα·--(Hymn to The Trinity), 111
σὺ μόνος ὢν θαυμαστὸς, καὶ ἐν ἀνθρώποις τοῖς πιστοῖς ἵλεως--(Ode), 113
ὡς θεῖος ποταμὸς, τοῦ ἐλέους ὑπάρχων--(Kathisma), 114
σταθερῶς τοὺς ἀγῶνας ἐπιδειξάμενοι--(Ode), 115
ποία τοῦ βίου τρυφὴ διαμένει λύπης ἀμέτοχος;--(Idiomela), 116
ὁρῶντές με ἄφωνον καὶ ἄπνουν προκείμενον.--(Sticheron), 118
ὢ τίς μὴ θρηνήσει τέκνον μου--(Stichera), 120
παράδεισε πάντιμε, τὸ ὡραιότατον κάλλος--(Stichera), 121
ἀληθῶς ματαιότης τὰ σύμπαντα--(Cento), 125
The Eastern Church is little known in the
West, and it would seem that there is not
much desire on our part to alter that condition
of things. As the Eastern Hemisphere
is separated from the Western by the
Ural and Carpathian ranges, so is Eastern
Christendom separated from Western
Christendom, and more effectually, by the
mountain barriers which our ignorance, prejudice,
and indifference have set up. But it
is well to remember the German proverb,
Behind the mountains are also people, and
that the people who are behind those mountains
which have been the growth of centuries,
form nearly one-fourth of the followers
of the Faith of Christ, or about one hundred
The causes which have led to this indifference
on the part of the West towards the
East are many, but there are two which
might be mentioned as being perhaps the
(I.) The first of these is the inherent
peculiarity of temperament, which finds its
expression in habits of thought, and modes
of action, in the East, against which the
spirit of the West frets, and for which it has
neither sympathy nor toleration. The quiet,
meditative restfulness of the East--its satisfaction
with past attainment in the matter of
Doctrine and Worship, its wistful retrospective
gaze upon magnificent accomplishment,
which the experience of centuries of trial has
only intensified, are totally alien to the
active, speculative, hopeful spirit of the
West. Attainment is the boast of the East,
and in that it rests content. Progress,
achievement, is the craze of the West.
Those temperaments, so obviously diverse,
have for long parted company.
(II.) The other is the great Roman
Church. Inspired with that spirit which
commends itself to the Western mind--its
activity, its aptitude to fit itself to the
ever-changing circumstances of the times, its
progressive spirit, its thirst for achievement--characteristics
without which it could
scarcely have survived amid the crash of
falling empire, and the chaos of barbaric
anarchy which marked its birth--that
Church for the past nine centuries has
obtruded itself upon our attention, and
claimed, nay demanded, our consideration.
It pervades the West, its advocates are
ubiquitous, its influence is everywhere felt.
It was a knowledge of that Church and a
very real acquaintance with its spirit and
methods, which enabled the reformers of
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to
successfully wage war with it; and we
realise that, in these days, to retain our
freedom we must keep ourselves in touch
with it, and by full and fresh acquaintance
continue armed against its persistent aggressiveness.
We are out of touch with the
East, at no point do we come in contact
with it; we have nothing to fear, though we
might have something to hope from it. But
we are in the West, and whether we will or
not the Roman Church is always with us,
and unceasingly demands our attention. So
the Eastern Church fades from our view:
out of sight it is out of mind, and it is the
Roman Church that bars our vision.
But the Eastern Church deserves better
at our hands than to be thus forgotten. In
these days of unrest, when men's minds are
unsettled on so many questions, a strange,
alluring calm pervades our spirit when we
overtop the barriers and look down upon the
peace and quiet of Eastern Christendom.
There, in all her pristine simplicity and
attractiveness, as in the golden days of
the Empire, as in the fierce conflict of the
early middle ages when John of Damascus
whetted the sword for the conflict, so now
under the misrule and tyranny of the Turk,
she holds in quiet restfulness the simple
faith committed to her by the Apostles and
Fathers, the same Church now as then.
Do we forget that the Fathers of the
Eastern Church formulated our doctrines,
and shaped our Creed, guarding it in
every item with jealous care? Do we forget
that the Churches founded by the
apostles in Syria and Asia Minor still hold
by the apostolic doctrine, and are parts of
that great Church? Do we forget that the
creed framed at Nicea is practically our
creed, even as it is the creed of the Eastern
Church? Do we forget that with unbroken
succession, from the dawn of Christianity
down to the present day, the bishops of that
Church have handed on the torch of truth?
We reap the blessings of Eastern fidelity to
Christian truth, and forget, or ignore, the
source whence it came to us. The high-sounding
pretensions of Rome hide the facts
of the case from us, and Rome, the first
great dissenter from the Catholic Church,
would not only claim for herself what does
not belong to her, but would brand as schismatic
and heretic all who differ from her
in doctrine or practice. What modern
Christendom would have been, had the
Roman schism of 1054 never taken place,
it is difficult to conceive. The suggestion
opens up to our minds an alluring prospect,
for we cannot forget that the revolt of the
reformed faith in the sixteenth century was
not from the faith of the East, but from
the Roman Church with its accumulation of
Such thoughts should incline us sympathetically
towards the Church of the East,
and enable us to overtop the barriers which
have been raised by incidents of history and
unfounded prejudices and differences of temperament,
which in no way affect the fact of
our indebtedness to that Church, and consequently
her claim upon our intelligent
But we are told that, after all, there is
little difference between the Roman Church
and the Greek Church--that the abuses of
the one are the abuses of the other. That,
we shall see shortly, is not the case. And
we are told, too, that the Greek Church is a
dead Church, and without missionary zeal.
How a Church that has stretched out its
hands to the farthest east, bestowing the
blessings of the Gospel upon Tartar and
Indian; southward, planting the Cross in
Arabia, Persia, and Egypt; northward, diffusing
light to the limits of Siberia, can be
termed a non-missionary Church, is difficult
to understand. How a Church that has
fought hand to hand with idolatry, not only
in the early ages when her spirit was young,
but also during the past six centuries under
the abominable superstition of the Turk,
retaining her faith in Christ through it all,
can be termed a dead Church, does not
readily appear. No Church has provided
more martyrs to the Christian Faith; and
even during the course of the nineteenth
century, in the Lebanon, at Damascus,
throughout Syria, and in Armenia, men and
women have chosen death rather than
abandon their faith in Christ. If under
persistent, unceasing persecution--not for
generations, but for centuries--a Church can
hold to its faith and maintain its testimony,
the term dead cannot be applied to it.
When in 1453 the Turk entered Constantinople,
the history of the Greek empire was
closed, but not that of the Church. She
accepted the change of circumstances; and
when her temples were despoiled, and her
worship profaned, still held to her faith in
Christ. If missionary zeal has languished,
if life is faint in the midst of such experiences,
is it to be wondered at? The
struggle with oppression has been long, but
now that the Ottoman Empire totters to its
fall, the prospect brightens, and the Church
which has so nobly maintained the conflict
will doubtless reap her reward when the
tyranny, which is meanwhile co-extensive
with her beneficent sway, has for ever been
Prior to the great schism of 1054, when
the See of Rome separated from the East,
and the Pope excommunicated Michael
Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in
East and West, Christendom was practically
one. The causes which led to that separation,
which was fraught with momentous
and far-reaching issues for Christianity, may
be briefly referred to. They had their
beginnings in the far past.
The building of Constantinople in A.D.
330 by the Emperor Constantine on the
site of the ancient Byzantium, and the subsequent
transference of the seat of government
to that city, were in reality the prime
causes leading to that disagreement and
alienation, which grew in intensity and
broadened, till they reached the point of
Prior to that event, Byzantium was but
one of the many Sees of the Eastern
Church, but thereafter its rank rose with
the rising importance of the city, till at the
Council of Constantinople, A.D. 381, which
closed the Arian controversy, the bishop of
Constantinople was elevated to the second
rank after the bishop of Rome, on the
ground that Constantinople was the New
Rome. No pre-eminence of jurisdiction
was granted at that time, but it came in due
course when, at the Council of Chalcedon,
A.D. 451, the canon of A.D. 381,
conferring second rank, was confirmed, and a range of
jurisdiction granted. Against all this Rome,
of course, protested emphatically, the Pope
excommunicating the patriarchs of Constantinople
and Alexandria, and for forty years
the East and West were practically separated.
At the end of that term, however,
excommunication was withdrawn on the
acknowledgment of the supremacy of Rome;
but the estrangement continued and broadened.
It was aided, on the one hand by the
pride of the Greeks who plumed themselves
on their unbroken succession from
the Apostolic Church, their use of the
language of the Apostles which was little
known in the West, their introduction of
Christianity into the West, and their formulation
of Christian doctrine; and on the
other hand, by the old spirit of Rome, which
aspired to world-wide dominion both in
Church and in State, and could ill brook
rivalry on the part of the Greeks. The
estrangement found its completion in 1054,
when the addition of the word Filioque to
the Latin creed, by which the Roman See
expressed its belief in the doctrine of the
double procession of the Holy Ghost--from
the Father and the Son--a doctrine against
which the Greek Church had emphatically
protested, supplied the ground for a renewal
of the quarrel which this time resulted in
separation complete and final, Pope Leo IX.
excommunicating the patriarch of Constantinople.
The responsibility for the great schism
undoubtedly lies with Rome, and that should
be remembered for all time. The introduction
of Filioque into the Creed was a
proceeding by no means called for. Christians
could quite well have lived and worked
together without dogmatising on that particular;
but a pretext had to be found, and
Filioque supplied it.
Prior to the fall of the Empire in the
middle of the fifteenth century, the Greek
Church comprised within her borders,
Greece, Illyricum (Dalmatia), the islands
of the Archipelago; Russia; Asia Minor,
Syria, and Palestine; Egypt, Nubia, and
Abyssinia; Arabia, Persia, and Mesopotamia.
After that disaster she fell into a
dependent condition in those territories
secured by the Turk. In the eighteenth
century Russia claimed separation from
Constantinople, and has been governed
since by a Holy Synod; and when the new
kingdom of Greece was established in the
early part of last century, the Church there,
in like manner, claimed a distinct organisation.
Scattered portions of the Church,
chiefly in Hungary, Servia, Bosnia, Bulgaria,
and in Poland, which, while following
the Greek rite, accepted the supremacy
of the Pope, united themselves, A.D.
1590, to the Roman See. But those Uniat
Greeks, as they were termed, after 250
years, returned to the Eastern Church, in
part associating themselves with the Russian
Church, and in part with the See of Constantinople.
Servia has now its own Metropolitan.
At the present time, the Eastern Church
may be thus grouped--
I. The Greek Church proper.
II. The Heretical Churches.
III. The Russian Church.
I. The Greek Church comprises those
peoples who speak the Greek language.
Among these are the independent Church
of Greece, the Apostolic Churches of Asia
Minor, and those Uniats in the northern
part of the Balkan Peninsula who returned
to their former allegiance to the Patriarch of
Constantinople. In this group we may also
include the independent Church of Servia.
II. The Heretical Churches are self-supporting
Churches in the countries in which
they are situated. They are termed heretical
on account of their revolt from the
jurisdiction of Constantinople. They hold
with the rest of the Church to the doctrine
of the Nicene creed as drawn up at the first
two Councils, but reject the decisions of
the subsequent Councils. They are the
Churches in Egypt, Syria, and Armenia,
and in those countries known as Kurdistan.
The causes which gave rise to those so-called
Heretical Churches are not a little
interesting, but cannot be gone into here at
any length. They may, however, be referred
to as shewing the relation of the
Churches of the East to the various
The Heretical Churches of the East owe
their existence to the actions of the General
Councils subsequent to the Councils of
Nicea and Constantinople. At these the
doctrines accepted by Orthodox and Heretical
Churches alike were distinctly expressed.
But when to the decisions of those
Councils there came to be added the decrees
of succeeding Councils, certain Churches revolted.
Those universally accepted doctrines
were that Christ was consubstantial with the Father
(ὁμοούσιος), and that He, the
Son of God, became man
It was, however, only when theologians tried
to make plain what was meant by the latter
phrase, that it prickled with disputable points.
The differences of opinion emerging took
two types. One of these so thoroughly
divided the Divine from the human nature
in Christ, as almost to destroy altogether
any real union. Another insisted on an absorption
of the human in the Divine, such
as would disfigure both, and by that absorption
create a distinct nature. The former,
the separation of the natures, became the
doctrine of the Churches of Chaldea, while
the latter was adopted by the Churches of
The Nestorians in like manner accept the
decrees of the first two Councils, and refuse
to entertain the additions made by the
latter Councils, characterising them as unwarranted
alterations of, or additions to
the findings of the first two Councils. The
Monophysites accept the addition of Chalcedon
and of all the Councils following it.
The third General Council, that of Ephesus,
decreed that the title Theotokos (God-bearer)
should be applied to the Virgin, and at
the Council of Chalcedon this was repeated,
affirming that Christ was born of the Theotokos,
according to the manhood; the same
Symbol affirming that two natures are to be
acknowledged in Christ, and that they are
indivisible and inseparable. Thus it was
that the Nestorians repudiated the decrees
alike of Ephesus and Chalcedon, by repudiating
the term Theotokos and holding
the duality of Christ's nature so as to lose
sight of the unity of His Person.
There was nothing for it, therefore, but to
separate from the Greek Church (orthodox),
and in separation from that Church they
became most extensive and powerful.
At the Council of Chalcedon, the fourth
General Council, the now widely acknowledged
doctrine in all the Churches of the
West, as also in the Orthodox Greek Church,
was declared, that Christ was to be acknowledged
in two natures. The Monophysites--those
who held by the one nature theory--revolted,
and gave rise to many sects,
and to three Churches--the Coptic Church
of Egypt, the Abyssinian Church, and the Jacobite Church of
Syria.Jacobus Baradaeus, an eminent Syrian theologian, who
rejected all decisions of Councils subsequent to Constantinople,
The Armenian Church is in much the
same position; but it has been termed
even more heretical than the Jacobite, a
very erroneous charge against a Church
which is really orthodox. The Armenian
Church is separated from the Constantinopolitan
by the difference which the accidental
absence of the Armenian bishop
from the Council of Chalcedon made: the
decisions of which were never understood,
and of course never formally accepted.
III. The Russian Church includes the
peoples of that great Empire. Christianity
was first preached in Russia at the close
of the tenth century, when Prince Vladimir
was baptised, A.D. 992. Originally, and
for many years this Church, subject to the
Patriarch of Constantinople, as already
stated, claimed separate jurisdiction in 1721.
The Czar is the head of the Church in temporalities,
but the Holy governing Synod is
the spiritual head, and supplies the place of
Under so many jurisdictions, the Eastern
Church is dogmatically one. She has
no Confession of Faith; no Thirty-nine
Articles: the Bible is her standard, and the
Creed of Nicea her expression of dogma.
The Athanasian Creed is found in the
Service Books of the Church, but it is not
an acknowledged Symbol; and there it
differs from the text accepted in the West
in the clause relating to the Holy Spirit.
In common with the Roman Church,
the Greek Church has seven Sacraments.
These are--the Eucharist, Baptism, the
Holy Chrism, Penance, Matrimony, Unction
of the Sick, and Ordination.
Holy Communion.--In relation to this
Sacrament, as indeed to all the Sacraments
of the Eastern Church, it is necessary to
say that, doctrine being in an altogether undefined
state, an outsider has considerable
difficulty in realising, in any degree of certainty,
what the attitude of mind generally
of the Church is, or more exactly ought to
be. One cannot help feeling that without
the mental subtleness of the East, and the
atmosphere and environment of its worship,
it is impossible to understand, so as to
express it, how this Sacrament is viewed.
Eastern theology has not been systematised,
and could not be--such subtleties and nice
distinctions abound, as would defy systematising.
And nowhere as in this Sacrament do we
feel this difficulty more. Transubstantiation
as we understand it, and as it is held in the
West, is nowhere a doctrine of belief in the
Eastern Church, although the language of
the service may seem emphatic, and quite
unmistakable. Under the operation of the
Holy Spirit--not as in the West, after the
formula of institution (and this is an important
difference) the bread and wine become
the precious Body and the precious Blood
of our Lord; and when they are partaken
of, are as fire and light in us, consuming the
substance of sin, and burning the tares of
our passions. That all seems plain enough.
But what is the nature of this change? In
the Western Church the material on the
altar--the bread and the wine--are actually
changed into the Body and the Blood: they
are materially no longer bread and wine:
the bread and wine have disappeared, and
the Body and Blood of Christ have taken
their place. They are, as the term expresses
That is not the view of the Greek Church.
The bread and the wine do not change their
substance: they are bread and wine, nothing
more, to the end, with this difference, it is a
subtle one, doubtless, that the Body and
Blood of Christ under the operation of the
Holy Ghost are there IN that bread and
wine. There is, if we might so express it,
Insubstantiation. The materials are not
changed, but the Body and Blood of Christ
As a rule, persons go to Holy Communion
once a year, shortly after confession.
The laity communicate in both kinds,
and in this particular the Eastern Church
differs from the Western, which withholds
the cup from the laity. In other particulars
the two Churches differ. The wine is mixed
twice, not once; the Sacrament is received
standing, not kneeling; and the bread is
ordinary leavened bread, not unleavened.
As noticed in connection with baptism,
infants after that Sacrament partake of the
cup, and continue to do so till they reach
their seventh year. At that age they are
expected to go to Confession, and thereafter
they communicate in both kinds.
There are three methods of communion
practised in the Eastern Church, (1) Giving
the bread first, and thereafter the cup, as is
the uniform custom in the West. (2) The
priest gives the bread, and the deacon gives
the wine with a spoon. (3) The bread is
broken into crumbs, and put into the wine,
and both are given together in a spoon.
Before the people separate, the priest distributes
the Antidoron. The bread of the
Eucharist is called the Gift, and the portion
which is afterwards distributed is for the use
of those who have not communicated, and is
given in place of the gift. It is carried
home, and may be used by the person himself,
or given to any who are sick, or who
for other reasons were absent from the celebration,
and is partaken of fasting. The
services both before and after Communion
are in many cases exceedingly beautiful.
Baptism.--The Eastern Church observes
infant baptism, but insists on trine immersion--in
the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost. A priest is
the celebrant; but in cases of sudden and
serious illness any orthodox person may
perform the rite. In the event, however,
of the sick person recovering, a priest must
fill in and complete the office.
The form of the service is briefly as follows.
The child having been brought to
church, is anointed with oil, which has been
blessed for the purpose by the priest, on the
breast and back, and on the ears, hands, and
feet. Then follows the profession of the
faith in which the child is baptized. The
water of baptism is thereafter blessed, and
the child immersed three times.
The Holy Chrism is the Sacrament of
Confirmation in the Eastern Church, and it
differs considerably from the Western rite.
This Sacrament is given immediately after
baptism, not as in the West when the child
has come to years of discernment, and in
nearly every case by the ordinary priest.
Oil is again used, the priest anointing the
baptised person with it, making the sign of
the Cross--on the forehead, eyes, nostrils,
mouth, ears, breast, hands, and feet. Thereafter
the child partakes of the wine of the
Penance.--In the Greek Church Confession
has never assumed the objectionable
features which so largely characterise that
Sacrament in the Roman Church. It is, as
far as it can be made such, a means of
grace; and when used in a right and proper
spirit, helpful to a degree. To quote from
a catechism of the Russian Church, "Penance
is a mystery, in which he who confesses
his sins is, on the outward declaration of the
priest, immediately loosed from his sins by
Jesus Christ Himself." Or in the language
of a former Metropolitan of Moscow--"Confession
is a mystery in which sins are forgiven
by God, through the means of the
priest, to the faithful, when these confess
them unreservedly, and believe unhesitatingly
in the merits of Christ." At the age
of seven every child is expected to come
to Confession and to continue coming four
times a year ever thereafter.
When the priest has offered up prayer
supplicating the mercy of God, the penitent
confesses his sins, craving pardon from the
just and merciful God, and grace to sin no
more. The confessor addressing the penitent
reminds him that he has come to God
with his sins, and does not confess to man
but to God. After he has been dealt with
in all faithfulness, the priest tells him that
he himself is also an unworthy sinner, and
has no power to forgive sins, but relying on
the Word of Christ, "Whosesoever sins ye
remit," says, "God forgive thee in the world
that now is, and in that which is to come."
Penance is prescribed only for mortal
sins; for venial sins absolution alone is
given, the penitent kneeling while being
absolved, although during confession he sat.
Matrimony.--The first duty of the priest
towards persons contemplating marriage is
to instruct them in the Ten commandments,
the Lord's Prayer, and the Creed. Notice
of intended marriage is announced in church
some weeks prior to the event, and the ceremony
is carried out in church before witnesses.
The Office for Matrimony has two parts,
one dealing with betrothal, and the other
with the marriage. These may be performed
at the same time, or separately, as
the case may demand.
Taking the betrothal first. After prayer
for blessing upon the persons, the priest
takes two rings, one of gold and one of
silver, and giving the ring of gold to the
man says, "A., the servant of God, is betrothed
to B., the handmaid of God, in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Ghost, now and ever and to the
ages of ages, Amen." Afterwards taking
the silver ring, and giving it to the woman,
he says, "B., the handmaid of God," etc.
The godfather then changes the rings,
giving the gold ring to the woman, and the
silver ring to the man, an expressive act,
proclaiming to the bridegroom that he must
learn to accommodate himself to the weakness
of the bride, and that she has now become
sharer of his goods. Then follows the
Coronation, or marriage proper. After words
of instruction and prayer, the priest takes
the crowns, and first of all crowns the bridegroom,
saying, "A., the servant of God, is
crowned for B., the handmaid of God, in the
name of the Father," etc. Then he crowns
the bride, using the same formula. The
words are repeated three times in each case,
the sign of the Cross being made each time.
The crowns are, as a rule, the property of
the Church, and according to the wealth or
poverty of the people are made of precious
metal or of tin. The priest then takes the
common cup and gives to the bridegroom
first, and then to the bride, to drink. Later,
the priest removes the crowns, and after
prayer the friends come forward with their
congratulations, the bridegroom and the bride
kiss each other, and the priest pronounces
Second and third marriages, while allowed,
are not looked upon with favour, and
the Church shows its disapprobation in
several ways. They are not crowned, and
the words of the service for such marriages
have subtle allusions to their unworthiness.
The priest prays, "Give unto them the conversion
of the publican, the tears of the
harlot, and the confession of the thief, that
through repentance they may be deemed
worthy of Thy Heavenly Kingdom." The
priest does not present Himself at the wedding
feast, nor are the parties allowed to partake
of the Sacraments of the Church for
the space of two years. Fourth marriages
Unction of the Sick.--This Sacrament
must not be confounded with the Sacrament
of Extreme Unction of the Roman Church.
It has its authority in the injunction of the
Apostle James--"Is any sick among you?
let him call for the elders of the Church;
and let them pray over him, anointing him
with oil in the name of the Lord." The oil
is consecrated for the purpose by seven
priests, and the Sacrament is not administered
unless several priests, usually three,
are present. This rule is founded on the
use of the plural number by St. James. If
possible, the rite is observed in church, but
where that is impossible, in the house. According
to the Scriptural direction, the priest
anoints the sick with oil, and prays God to
forgive him, and to cure the body and the
soul. In cases of extreme urgency the
Communion is thereafter given to the sick.
Ordination.--This Sacrament, giving as
it does a place in the succession with apostolic
authority, is most jealously guarded.
But before speaking of Ordination, it may
be useful in the first place to give some
description of the vestments worn in the
Greek Church, and with which the clergy
are robed according to their rank. The
origin of the vestments in use in the Greek
Church certainly affords much difficulty. It
is more than likely that they present fundamentally
the dress of the early Greek of
comparatively high social standing in apostolic
times, with certain very important
modifications and additions.
We can find no trace of vestments of any
kind whatsoever in the Apostolic Church.
The garments worn by the apostles and
their companions in work would be the dress
of the ordinary Greek of fairly high social
standing. During the first three centuries,
in which Christianity suffered so much at
the hands of her enemies, we cannot think
of much alteration on dress taking place in
the case of the ministers of religion--men
had something else to think about. But
quieter times came, and no doubt the alterations
would then be made to which we have
referred; and we can fancy that in making
those alterations regard would be had to
symbolism, and that garments to suggest
certain facts and functions would be brought
into use. In making those modifications
and additions there can be little doubt that
the vestments of the Jewish priesthood with
their symbolism would be, as far as possible,
That those vestments in the early centuries
were purely what they now are,
ecclesiastical vestments, we very much
doubt. It is more likely that for some time
they constituted what we would term the
ordinary everyday clerical dress.
The first vestment, and that which is
common to every order, is the Stoicharion,
which corresponds to the Alb in use in the
West. It is a white tunicle, not now of
linen as formerly, but of silk. The Epimanikia,
or hand-pieces, were formerly made
in the shape of the sleeves of a surplice, but
are now considerably contracted. They
hang down on each side of the arm, and
are drawn close to it by cords which are
fastened tightly round the wrist. The significance
of the vestment is not apparent.
They are said to represent the cords with
which Christ was bound before being delivered
to Pilate. Formerly, only bishops
wore the Epimanikia, but now they are
worn by all ranks.
The Orarion, or praying vestment, is
peculiar to the deacon. It is identical with
the Latin Stole, and is thrown over the left
shoulder. Its significance is obscure, but it
has been represented as symbolising wings,
the ministry of the deacon being angelical.
Those three vestments constitute the dress
of the deacon. The priest has the Stoicharion
and the Epimanikia, but instead of
the Orarion the Epitrachelion. This
vestment is not unlike the stole, but of a
different shape. It is not thrown round the
neck hanging down the front in two pieces.
The head of the priest passes through a hole
of sufficient size, and the vestment hangs in
front in one piece. Whether it symbolises
the easy yoke of Christ we cannot say.
The Zone is the next article of vestment,
and is worn to bind the Stoicharion and
the Epitrachelion together round the waist.
The Phaenolion.--This word is translated
cloke in I. Tim., iv. 13, and as a vestment
represents the garment which Paul left
at Troas with Carpus. It is the Latin
Chasuble, but is now much reduced in
dimensions. Those five vestments constitute
the dress of a priest. The bishop, in
addition to the five just mentioned, with the
exception of the Phaenolion, for which is
substituted the Saccos which represents the
robe in which Christ was mocked, has two
other vestments, making seven in all. They
are the Omorphiona, or Pall. It is fastened
round the neck, and is larger than the Latin
Dalmatic; and the Epigonation, which is a
small ornament made of brocade, or some
such stiff material, and of a diamond shape.
It is worn hanging at the right side, and
may represent the towel with which Christ
girded Himself, or if a sword, may be
typical of the victory of the Church over sin.
No doubt the latter is the correct interpretation,
as the words spoken, when it is assumed,
would indicate, "Gird Thy sword on
Thy thigh, O Thou most Mighty."
The office of Ordination is exceedingly
simple and most expressive, and varies
according to the rank of the candidate.
The minor orders are those of Reader,
Singer, Sub-Deacon, and Deacon. If the
candidate be a Reader, he is brought to the
bishop, who counsels him regarding his
duties, and laying his hand upon his head
prays over him, ordaining him to his order.
He is then robed in the Stoicharion and a
copy of the Epistles is put into his hand.
If a Singer, he is robed in like manner, and
a copy of the Psalter is put into his hand.
The office for a Sub-Deacon is more elaborate,
as his rank is higher than that of a
Reader or a Singer. He is set apart for the
exercise of his functions with prayer and
counsel, and is robed with the Stoicharion
and Zone. The Order of Deacon is a much
more important one in the East than in the
West. He has duties in connection with
the celebration of the Eucharist, as we have
already seen, which he alone can perform.
He is vested, in addition to the Stoicharion
and Zone, with the Orarion, or Stole, which
he wears over his left shoulder.
The higher orders begin with the priest.
In his case the Orarion is exchanged for the
Epitrachelion, and the service is arranged to
suit the peculiar functions of his order.
The additional higher orders are--Proto-presbyter,
Abbot, Archimandrite, Bishop,
and Metropolitan or Patriarch. It should
be stated that the lower grades are necessary
steps to the higher ones, and are, as a
Unlike the Roman Church, which demands
the celibacy of the clergy, the Eastern
Church requires of all orders of her
parochial clergy that they should be married
prior to ordination. Bishops, who, as a
rule, are chosen from the monasteries, and
are consequently celibates, continue in that
state, although a married bishop has not
been unknown in the Eastern Church. The
practice is founded on the words of St. Paul
to Timothy, "A Bishop must be ... the
husband of one wife," which they take
literally, in a sense which we do not attach
to them. Before, therefore, orders can be
conferred, the candidate must be married,
and if during his incumbency his wife should
die, he must give up his parochial duties
and retire to a monastery. He cannot
put himself right with this requirement of
Church discipline by marrying again, for
"A bishop must be ... the husband of
one wife." If, as we are bound to infer from
that prohibition, he is deemed the husband
of one wife even after his wife is dead, it is
difficult to understand on what principle he
is obliged to abandon his duties, seeing that
he has fulfilled the apostolic requirement.
Such is the practice of the Church: he must
be married once, and his wife must be alive
during the whole term of his incumbency.
We must however bear in mind the objection
which the Eastern Church has to
second marriages generally, which, while
not prohibited, are stigmatised; and perhaps
in this objection is to be found the
explanation of the general rule.
One other rank should be mentioned--that
of Deaconess or Abbess. It ranks
above that of Deacon, and was instituted in
order to bring conventual establishments,
over which they are set, directly under
The minor rites, canons, and offices, and
special prayers of the Eastern Church, are
too numerous to be dealt with here. Suffice
it to say, that there is no event of ecclesiastical
importance which has not its appropriate
rite, and scarcely an experience of life
for which some provision has not been made
in the magnificent services of the Church.
One office of universal interest, however,
we must refer to shortly, viz., that for Burial.
There are five Burial offices in the Euchologion--for
a monk, for a priest, for a child,
and for laymen (two). It may serve our
purpose to take the last as a specimen.
The office begins with the following
instruction:--"On the death of one of the
orthodox, straightway the relatives send for
the priest, who, when he is come to the
house in which the remains lie, assumes the
Epitrachelion, and burning incense gives the
blessing, and the relatives, as is usual, say
the Trisagion, the Most Holy Trinity, and
the Lord's Prayer." After certain troparia
are sung, and prayer offered, the remains
are carried to the church and placed in the
narthex (page 52). The service, which is
long and varied, and most impressive, is
made up of scriptural lessons--Psalm i.;
The Beatitudes; John v. 24; I. Thess. iv.
13-17; prayers; The Canon of the Dead,
which contains eight odes written by Theophanes
(eighth century), and the idiomela
of John the Monk--presumably John of
Damascus--eight in number, the first of
which is given in this volume. Towards
the close of the service, the priest bows
down and kisses the corpse, in which act
he is followed by the relatives and friends
present. Then the stichera of the last
kiss, said to have been written by John
of Damascus, are sung, followed by the
idiomela. After the priest has given the
prayer of absolution, the body is carried
to the grave followed by the mourners,
the clergy going before chanting the Trisagion.
When the remains have been
laid in the grave, the priest takes some
earth on a shovel, and scatters it crosswise
on the body, saying, "The earth is the
Lord's and the fulness thereof, the world
and they that dwell therein." After the
corpse oil has been poured upon the remains
the grave is covered, while certain troparia
are sung. This office in certain parts is
very striking. The stichera of the last kiss,
of which a rendering can be seen in Neale's
Hymns of the Eastern Church,
and the idiomela, which follow, being specially noteworthy.
It is deserving of note that the Eastern
Church has a special office for the burial
of little children--an appreciation of the
honour conferred upon them by Christ in
His kingdom, and an acknowledgment of
the importance of the child-like spirit, as
constituting an essential qualification on the
part of those who would enter that kingdom,
very beautiful indeed. A rendering of certain
stichera from this office is included in
The following is a typical plan, roughly
drawn, of a Greek church.
1. The Bema; 2. The Altar; 3. The Prothesis; 4. The
Diaconicon; 5. The Iconostasis; 6. Doors; 7. The
Ambon; 8. The Nave; 9. The Narthex.
From this plan it will be seen at a glance
that a Greek Church consists of four
parts: (1) The Bema or Sanctuary, which
contains the altar, and on either side the
Prothesis and the Diaconicon. From the
choir the Sanctuary is separated by the
Iconostasis, which answers to the altar rails
in a Roman Church. (2) In front of the
Iconostasis is the Choir, not architecturally
separated from the Nave, but occupying the
eastern end of it. (3) The Nave. (4) The
Narthex. In some of the larger churches
there are two Nartheces--the esonarthex
and the exonarthex, the latter serving the
purpose of an extended porch.
To look at the arrangement and detail of
the church more particularly--
The (ἅγιον βῆμα) Bema or Sanctuary, for
the due celebration of the Holy Mysteries,
occupies the eastern end of the church.
Only priests are allowed to enter the Bema,
and by them it can be entered only after
fasting and prayer. The altar which stands
in the Bema is built of stone, Christ being
the Head of the Corner, and the Foundation
Stone, and is furnished with candles, a copy
of the Scriptures, and the Cross.
The Prothesis, to the north of the Bema,
is a small chapel, on the table of which the
sacred offerings are prepared for the altar.
The chapel of the Prothesis is separated
from the Bema by a wall to which entrance
is had by a screened doorway.
The Diaconicon is to the south of the
Bema, and contains the sacred utensils and
vestments. It is of inferior sanctity, but the
clergy of the lower orders are not allowed to
The Iconostasis is the screen which separates
the sanctuary from the choir, and is
so called for the reason that certain icons or
pictures are depicted on it. It is of panelled
wood, sufficiently high to hide the interior of
the sanctuary from the worshippers. In
some cases it is simply a curtain of some
cloth fabric. It has three doors leading to
the Prothesis, to the Bema, and to the Diaconicon.
On either side of the door giving
entrance to the Bema are the icons of our
Lord and of the Virgin Mother--the one to
the right and the other to the left. Other
icons are displayed over the screen, which
in many cases is quite a work of art.
In front of the Iconostasis is the choir,
and opposite the Holy door leading to the
Bema is the Ambon, from which the reader
recites the scriptures, and from which, on
special occasions, sermons are delivered.
The Nave is that part of the church designed
for the accommodation of the male
portion of the congregation.
The Narthex gives accommodation to
catechumens and penitents, where the Gospels
can be heard, but from which the
celebration of the Mysteries cannot be witnessed.
Late comers usually content themselves
with a place in the Narthex in order
not to disturb the service. The Narthex is
in some cases vaulted, as are also the aisles,
so called, over which are galleries for the
accommodation of the female portion of the
congregation; where these are awanting,
women are accommodated in the Narthex,
as the division of the sexes during worship
is rigidly maintained.
There are no seats in a Greek Church,
as the recognised posture during worship is
standing. In some churches narrow stalls
are built in which the worshipper can stand,
leaning forward, and resting his elbows
during the long service; and in a church
which the writer visited some years ago in
Constantinople, there were in those stalls
narrow ledges upon which the knee can be
rested. Organs are not used in the services;
but as the greater part of the service
is chanted by the singers, vocal music in
some cases is carried to great perfection.
The services of the Church are contained in
seventeen quarto volumes of closely printed
matter. Of these, from a Western point of
view, the most important would seem to be:
The Euchologion, which contains the
offices of S. Chrysostom and S. Basil, and
those for Baptism, Burial, etc.
The Triodion and Pentecostarion contain
the services for Lent and the three
Sundays preceding it, and for Pentecost.
Those two volumes contain the most attractive
of all the services of the Church, and
their hymnody, which includes much of the
work of S. John of Damascus, is incomparable
in the whole range of the service books.
The Horologion contains the offices for
the eight canonical hours.
The Parakletike or Greater Octoechus,
containing the ferial office, is also
very rich in hymnody.
The Menaea, of which there are twelve
volumes, one for each month of the year,
contain the services for saints' days. Service
books so many and so voluminous,
obviously cannot be in the hands of the
people, but it is remarkable to what extent
their bulk and intricacies are mastered.
The veneration of saints and relics took its
rise on the overthrow of paganism at the
time of Constantine. It was very natural
that those who had suffered martyrdom at
the hands of pagan persecutors should at
that time be remembered; and so it came to
pass that churches were considered honoured
above all others which contained the relics
of those martyrs. The bones of Christ's
witnesses were removed from their lonely
graves, where they had lain long neglected,
and were deposited under Christian altars.
Saint's days were appointed upon which
their deeds were rehearsed and their lives
commemorated. From a veneration of the
saints it was a short step to their invocation,
and what helped the Church to take that
step was the difficulty felt by men in regarding
Jesus Christ as being at once God, and
the Mediator between God and man.
The chief of saints is the Mother of our
Lord after the flesh. The title applied to
her--Mother of God--is quite intelligible,
when we recollect the strife of the Arian
controversy, and the
Hymns of the Holy Eastern Church