Narrative of John and Sophronios

Shota

Παλαιό Μέλος
#1
I attach an excerpt from the so-called "Narrative of John and Sophronios" (John Moschos and Sophronios of Jerusalem), which is an important source for the history of liturgy in Palestine. It is taken from Pitra's "Iuris Ecclesiastici Graecorum Historia et Monumenta" (Rome, 1864, vol. 1, pp. 220-221).

A few comments: note that Pitra relegates the reading "megaleion" to the footnote (p. 221, footnote s)) and takes the incorrect "Megalinei" instead. Megaleion in fact denotes the Gospel, see the excerpt from Lampe's dictionary. An interesting conclusion is that according to this document the Gospel in the Orthros was read after the kanon, not before it. I'll probably come to this point some time later. Another observation is that existence and important role of hymnography within non-monastic services is taken as granted. Yet another observation is that the monastic service of Abba Neilos seems to be a mere adaptation of the Jerusalem cathedral rite services to the monastic environment.

A modern critical edition of the text is A. Longo, Il testo integrale della Narrazione degli abati Giovanni e Sofronio attraverso le Hermineiai di Nicone, Rivista degli Studi Bizantini e Neoellenici, vol. 12-13, 1965-1966, pp. 233-67.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Shota

Παλαιό Μέλος
#2
A few comments: note that Pitra relegates the reading "megaleion" to the footnote (p. 221, footnote s)) and takes the incorrect "Megalinei" instead. Megaleion in fact denotes the Gospel, see the excerpt from Lampe's dictionary. An interesting conclusion is that according to this document the Gospel in the Orthros was read after the kanon, not before it. I'll probably come to this point some time later.
Here are some more details: megaleion in a sense of Gospel seems to occur rarely in Greek texts, but it is used in this sense by John Moschos, chronicler John Malalas, John of Scythopolis and Theodore of Stoudios (see the examples in Lampe's dictionary provided in my previous message). So it is no surprise the scribe of one of the two mss employed by Pitra misunderstood it (and then Pitra himself misunderstood it). Now the point is that when Abba Neilos is asked why he omitted certain portions of the service, among this list of omissions the "Pasa Pnoe at the Megaleion" is placed between two other omissions, troparia at the Odes of Three Children and another hymn after the Doxology. This order of listing omissions would indicate that the Gospel in the Orthros was read after the kanon, but before the Doxology. Alternatively, one can argue that the Gospel was read after the Doxology. However, this latter version doesn't appear to be correct, because John and Sophronios talk about omitting the hymn "Tin anastasin" "at the Doxology" and not "at the Gospel". A confirmation of the position of the Gospel after the kanon comes from Georgian sources. The Resurrectional hymns of the Georgian Tropologia of the 10th c. have two chants after the kanon: one is a psalmic chant which apparently served as a prokeimenon to the Gospel, the other is a post-Gospel hymn. After these the stichera of the Ainoi are given in the mss. I attach the excerpts from Charles Renoux's "Les Hymnes de la Résurrection", which deal with these chants, as well as provide an example from Mode 1. Finally, it is probably no coincidence that even in modern practice after the kanon we have Agios Kyrios, which strangely reminds a prokeimenon, and the Exaposteilarion, which in the case of the Resurrectional Exaposteilaria is basically a retelling of the Resurrectional Gospel, i.e. could have perfectly served the role of a post-Gospel hymn.

P.S. I was initially puzzled by the position of the Gospel in Georgian Tropologia and asked Stig Froyshov about the Greek sources, who then indicated the Narration of John and Sophronios to me.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Top