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The Initiatory Process in the Byzantine Tradition

Texts in Translation from Early Manuscripts of the Euchology and Typikon of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, with a brief commentary


This study provides an English translation of the texts for initiation in the Byzantine tradition, drawing on early manuscripts of the euchology and the typikon of the Great Church (Hagia Sophia). This includes texts for the enrollment of children in the rites of the eighth and fortieth days, catechesis and prayers during Lent, final preparations, including consecration of Chrism and the rites of apotaxis and syntaxis on Good Friday, Baptism at the Easter Vigil, postbaptismal rites and rites of closure, and provisions for the other baptismal feasts.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-60724-430-1
  • *
Publication Status: In Print
Publication Date: Aug 10,2009
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 206
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-60724-430-1
$170.00

Christian Initiation in the classical liturgies of the Eastern Orthodox Churches involved more than just the rite of baptism. The classical texts provide for admission of catechumens (with special rites for children), admission to candidacy, lessons for instruction during Lent, exorcisms, the rite of apotaxis and syntaxis on Good Friday, and baptism and chrismation at the Easter Vigil. This book provides an English translation of all these texts, with a brief commentary, as well as the provisions for the consecration of chrism, for initiation at the other baptismal feasts in the Orthodox tradition (Epiphany, Lazarus Saturday, and Pentecost), and special provisions for Easter week and its closure. Set out in their fulness, the rites are as complete as those in the Western Rites of Initiation of Adults (RCIA). In addition, the provisions for children suggest a somewhat different baptismal journey than what is customary in the West. The book highlights the true Easter Vigil of the Orthodox Church, which is not what is familiar to contemporary Orthodox Christians, but a rite which is now relegated to Saturday morning or early afternoon if it is celebrated at all.

Christian Initiation in the classical liturgies of the Eastern Orthodox Churches involved more than just the rite of baptism. The classical texts provide for admission of catechumens (with special rites for children), admission to candidacy, lessons for instruction during Lent, exorcisms, the rite of apotaxis and syntaxis on Good Friday, and baptism and chrismation at the Easter Vigil. This book provides an English translation of all these texts, with a brief commentary, as well as the provisions for the consecration of chrism, for initiation at the other baptismal feasts in the Orthodox tradition (Epiphany, Lazarus Saturday, and Pentecost), and special provisions for Easter week and its closure. Set out in their fulness, the rites are as complete as those in the Western Rites of Initiation of Adults (RCIA). In addition, the provisions for children suggest a somewhat different baptismal journey than what is customary in the West. The book highlights the true Easter Vigil of the Orthodox Church, which is not what is familiar to contemporary Orthodox Christians, but a rite which is now relegated to Saturday morning or early afternoon if it is celebrated at all.

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ContributorBiography

Byron Stuhlman

Mr. Stuhlman is a retired Episcopal priest who served parishes in Connecticut and Central New York. A graduate of Yale University (BA), General Theological Seminary (STB), and Duke University (PhD), he taught in the Department of Religion at Hamilton College and as an adjunct professor of liturgics at General Seminary and has written five books on the Book of Common Prayer. His doctoral disseration, supervised by Geoffrey Wainwright, examined the liturgical theology of Alexander Schmemann

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Preface (page 9)
  • Abbreviations and Shortened titles with a Bibliography (page 11)
  • Chart of the Initiatory Process (page 27)
  • Introduction: Understanding Baptismal Initiation in the Byzantine Tradition (page 29)
  • Part I. The Admission of Catechumens (page 45)
  • Part II. Candidacy for Baptism (page 63)
  • Part III. The Final Preparations (page 101)
  • Part IV. The Baptismal Rite of the Paschal Vigil (page 131)
  • Part V. Postbaptismal Catechesis and Rites of Closure (page 167)
  • Part VI. Other Occasions for Baptism (page 177)
  • Conclusion (page 199)
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