Fixed weekly cycle: each day of the week has, besides the texts provided by one of the two cycles, a particular coloring that brings out certain aspects of the economy of salvation. Sunday: continual celebration of the victorious resurrection. Monday: the angels recall the eternity and glory of the Word. Tuesday: St. John the Baptist, the most illustrious and immediate precursor of the Messiah. Nigeria Subway Map Wednesday and Friday: meditation on the cross and on the passion in union with Mary. Thursday: celebration of the apostles’ missionary activity and that of St. Nicholas of Myra, the most popular of the hierarchs. Friday: commemoration of the cross. Saturday: commemoration of the absent faithful, i.e., all saints and the dead.
The texts corresponding to the various daily offices are contained in the important book of the Eight Tones Oktoichos, cycle of eight weeks. Their form, always hymnic, goes back to very different times and authors, some of them famous and particularly inspired, both theologically and poetically: St. John of Damascus, St. Cosmas of Maiuma, St. Theodore the Studite, St. Theophane Grapt³s, St. Joseph of Syracuse, etc. They have different technical names according to their style of metrical composition or their position in the hours of the office sticheron, troparion, apolytikion, kathisma, kontakion, ikos, anavathmos, irmos.
At one time the hymns were dispersed among different collections according to their liturgical genre: irmologion for the poetic canons of matins, kontakarion, kathismatarion. The book of the Eight Tones, in its present form, is a collection of short poems, full of ecstatic and pneumatic beauty; esp. in those of Sunday, the idea emerges of the liturgy as a feast celebrated in the Lord’s vestibules, by a church that wishes to be a new and optimistic garden of paradise, planted by the new Adam: By your cross you destroyed death, gave paradise to the thief, changed the lament of the woman bearing perfumes into joy, and commanded the apostles to announce the joyful news that you are risen, O Christ of God, giving your great mercy to the world Apolytikion, i.e., final troparion for Sunday of the 7th tone. d Fixed daily cycle: the day is divided into periods of time, interrupted by moments of liturgical prayer but conceived as parts of a single structure whence the name acoluthia following given to the divine offices.
The day always begins with vespers; then follow compline, midnight office almost everywhere joined to matins or omitted, matins after which may be celebrated the divine eucharistic liturgy; see Anaphora, prime, terce, sext, none and typics an appendix of purely monastic origin. The evolution of the office began in the 4th c., when cathedral-urban and monastic elements began to mutually influence one another. The invariable parts psalms, ecclesiastical prayers and blessings are in the Horologion, or book of hours, for the use of the lectors; the priestly parts of these are also in the Hieratikon or the Euchologion; and rubrics indicate the variable parts to be taken from the Oktoichos or the Menaia. The multiplication of the Hours, an indication of a preponderant monastic influence, is today undergoing a process of regrouping and anticipation, both in parishes and in monasteries.
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