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Friday, May 08, 2009

The Divine Liturgy of St Mark

Thou wast an Apostle of Christ who learned from the pre-eminent Peter, and didst shine like the sun upon the lands of the Alexandrians, being their adorn­ment. Through thee was Egypt freed from deception, O blessed one, who as the Church's pillar of fire dost illumine all with thy teaching of the Gospel. Wherefore, honouring thy memory, we keep splendid festival, O divinely elo­quent Mark. Entreat God Who was announced by thee, that He grant our souls remission of offences. - St Mark Tropar, tone 3

Today is the Feast of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Mark and is one of the days when churches serve the Liturgy named in his honour. The Liturgy of St Mark is historically part of the local liturgical tradition of the Church of Alexandria. However, during the struggle of the Church under Ottoman rule, many of the local Orthodox traditions began to give way to the Byzantine Rite of the church centred in Constantinople.

Yet, there is evidence that the St Mark Liturgy continued in use up until at least the 16th century, before more recent efforts at its revival beginning with St Nektarios of Pentapolis in the late 19th century. The form in which it is used today retains many elements of the Alexandrian tradition but is heavily byzantinised, perhaps reflecting the Byzantine influence on the latest extant manuscripts.

Bishop Jerome of Manhattan

His Grace Bishop Jerome of Manhattan, while he was still Archpriest John Shaw, laboured to translate this Liturgy into English, and the result, along with his notes about its development and execution, may be found here.

This was blessed for use in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in April of 2007 and musical resources for the Liturgy are available on this website. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has given his blessing for the inclusion of this liturgy in a Slavonic supplement to the Sluzhebnik and work is currently underway to produce an English-language clergy service book for this Liturgy, which should appear in time for st Mark's feast next year. This Liturgy is also blessed for use on the feast of St Cyril of Alexandria, which falls on the 9th of June, (which is the 22nd of June in the civil calendar).

Holy Apostle Mark, pray to God for us!
Holy Cyril, pray to God for us!


ex_fide said...

Next I want to see a video of a subdeacon throwing the eagle mats down.

Michael said...

Better yet, come to the cathedral next time I'm there and you can see for yourself. :D