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Author Topic: Is the Cherubic Hymn in the Oriental Orthodox Liturgies?  (Read 4645 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 09, 2007, 10:43:08 PM »

I have recently been exploring different EO styles of the Cherubic Hymn. 
Then I began to wonder... do the OO also use it in their liturgies?
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2007, 11:13:15 PM »

The Cherubic Hymn was added to the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostomos in the late 6th century (i.e. well after the Chalcedonian schism) by order of Emperor Justinian, so it seems unlikely that it would be used by the OO.
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2007, 11:33:54 PM »

Do you have the words to it?  You never know, we may have it.
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2007, 11:34:37 PM »

Would seem unlikely, but stranger things have happened. I believe OO wedding ceremonies include parts of the current Byzantine rite for Marriage, even though that rite doesn't pre-date Chalcedon.

There are many examples of cross-fertilization (liturgical and otherwise) among the Byzantine Church, OO Church and Church of the East for centuries after the major Christological controversies.
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2007, 11:43:12 PM »

Do you have the words to it?  You never know, we may have it.

Let us, who mystically represent the Cherubim, and sing the thrice-holy hymn to the life creating trinity, now lay aside all earthly cares.

[Great Entrance]

[Prayers by Clergy]

Amen.  That we may receive the king of all, who comes invisibly upborne by the angelic hosts.  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

 
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2007, 11:45:04 PM »

Sharing between the Churches does happen.  In the Armenian Church we have a hymn which I think was written by Justinian.  I know it in Classical Armenian, but I think in English it starts out as "Only Begotten Son and Word of God and immortal Being..." or something like that.

I'll look to see if I can find the hymn quoted above.
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2007, 11:47:11 PM »

Ὁ Μονογενὴς Υἱὸς καὶ Λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀθάνατος ὑπάρχων καὶ καταδεξάμενος διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν σαρκωθῆναι ἐκ τῆς ἁγίας Θεοτόκου καὶ ἀειπαρθένου Μαρίας, ἀτρέπτως ἐνανθρωπήσας, σταυρωθείς τε Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, θανάτῳ θάνατον

Only begotten Son and Word of God, although immortal You humbled Yourself for our salvation, taking flesh from the holy Theotokos and ever virgin Mary and, without change, becoming man. Christ, our God, You were crucified but conquered death by death. You are one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit-save us.
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2007, 11:53:04 PM »

That's it, only it's in Classical Armenian.
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2007, 11:53:38 PM »

Ὁ Μονογενὴς Υἱὸς καὶ Λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀθάνατος ὑπάρχων καὶ καταδεξάμενος διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν σαρκωθῆναι ἐκ τῆς ἁγίας Θεοτόκου καὶ ἀειπαρθένου Μαρίας, ἀτρέπτως ἐνανθρωπήσας, σταυρωθείς τε Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, θανάτῳ θάνατον

Only begotten Son and Word of God, although immortal You humbled Yourself for our salvation, taking flesh from the holy Theotokos and ever virgin Mary and, without change, becoming man. Christ, our God, You were crucified but conquered death by death. You are one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit-save us.
I believe we sing this after the Second Antiphon of the Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2007, 12:10:51 AM »

In the Armenian Church it is sung early on, right after the beginning of the "enarxis."  I'm getting these fancy words from a liturgy book open on my lap.  It's the hymn which is usually sung right after the priest says, "Blessed be the kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and always and unto ages and ages.  Amen."  Right after the priest says that, a hymn is always sung.  If it is a special feast day, the hymn is usually something having to do with the feast day.  On regular Sundays they sing that hymn by Justinian.  The book calls it "Monogenes."  Whatever hymn which is sung at that time is called in Armenian "Jhamamood."  The book translates jhamamood into English as "introit" or "troparion."

Wow.  I'm learning new vocabulary.   Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2007, 12:25:30 AM »

Regarding the Cherubic Hymn:

The liturgy book I have on my lap was published in England about twenty years ago and it is really complete.  It has parts in it which a lot of churches leave out and it even includes the prayers which the priest says privately and the congregation never hears.

When I look at the Great Entrance, they have the prayers and hymns I always hear every Sunday.  But then there is a psalm I never hear, followed by the Cherubic Hymn, which you guys quoted above, but which I also never hear sung.  Interesting.  I guess it is officially in the liturgy, but usually not sung. 
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2007, 05:43:36 AM »

Dear Salpy,

I don't really have the time to discuss the relevant historical issues at the moment, but I must nevertheless note that we (the OO Church) do not attribute Omonogenees to Emeperor Justinian, but to St Severus of Antioch.

With respect to the Cherubic Hymn, the Coptic Church certainly has a Cherubic Hymn. It reads as follows:

The Cherubim worship You, and the Seraphim glorify You, proclaiming and saying: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your holy glory.

Here is a link to the audio in Coptic by Cantor Ibrahim Ayad: http://www.esnips.com/doc/b0f06e42-2973-455c-88e7-536daad046f8/Nisherobim---Coptic---Fast---Ibrahim-Ayad
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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2007, 10:23:54 AM »

When I look at the Great Entrance, they have the prayers and hymns I always hear every Sunday.  But then there is a psalm I never hear, followed by the Cherubic Hymn, which you guys quoted above, but which I also never hear sung.  Interesting.  I guess it is officially in the liturgy, but usually not sung. 

In the Byzantine tradition, while the Cherubic Hymn is sung, the priest first says the prayer of the Cherubic Hymn and then continues with Psalm 50. Is this similar to the Armenian usage?

The prayer of the Cherubic Hymn is as follows:
Quote
No one bound by worldly desires and pleasures is worthy to approach, draw near or minister to You, the King of glory. To serve You is great and awesome even for the heavenly powers. But because of Your ineffable and immeasurable love for us, You became man without alteration or change. You have served as our High Priest, and as Lord of all, and have entrusted to us the celebration of this liturgical sacrifice without the shedding of blood. For You alone, Lord our God, rule over all things in heaven and on earth. You are seated on the throne of the Cherubim, the Lord of the Seraphim and the King of Israel. You alone are holy and dwell among Your saints. You alone are good and ready to hear. Therefore, I implore you, look upon me, Your sinful and unworthy servant, and cleanse my soul and heart from evil consciousness. Enable me by the power of Your Holy Spirit so that, vested with the grace of priesthood, I may stand before Your holy Table and celebrate the mystery of Your holy and pure Body and Your precious Blood. To you I come with bowed head and pray: do not turn Your face away from me or reject me from among Your children, but make me, Your sinful and unworthy servant, worthy to offer to You these gifts. For You, Christ our God, are the Offerer and the Offered, the One who receives and is distributed, and to You we give glory, together with Your eternal Father and Your holy, good and life giving Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

I don't really have the time to discuss the relevant historical issues at the moment, but I must nevertheless note that we (the OO Church) do not attribute Omonogenees to Emeperor Justinian, but to St Severus of Antioch.

I knew the Coptic Church had O Monogenis, but didn't know it was attributed to Severus of Antioch. I had always assumed it was simply a very ancient hymn of unknown authorship which found its way into the Byzantine Liturgy via Emperor Justinian (am I correct in saying it is not a part of the Coptic Liturgy except on special occasions?).

Would you be able to elaborate on this tradition - or direct us to some sources - when you do find the time?

With respect to the Cherubic Hymn, the Coptic Church certainly has a Cherubic Hymn. It reads as follows:

The Cherubim worship You, and the Seraphim glorify You, proclaiming and saying: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your holy glory.

This corresponds to the part in the Byzantine Liturgy that says:
Quote
Priest:It is proper and right to sing to You, bless You, praise You, thank You and worship You in all places of Your dominion; for You are God ineffable, beyond comprehension, invisible, beyond understanding, existing forever and always the same; You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit. You brought us into being out of nothing, and when we fell, You raised us up again. You did not cease doing everything until You led us to heaven and granted us Your kingdom to come. For all these things we thank You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit; for all things that we know and do not know, for blessings seen and unseen that have been bestowed upon us. We also thank You for this liturgy which You are pleased to accept from our hands, even though You are surrounded by thousands of Archangels and tens of thousands of Angels, by the Cherubim and Seraphim, six-winged, many-eyed, soaring with their wings, singing the victory hymn, proclaiming, crying out, and saying:

People: Holy, holy, holy, Lord Sabaoth, heaven and earth are filled with Your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna to God in the highest.

There seems to be nothing in the Coptic Liturgy that is equivalent to the Cherubic Hymn though.
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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2007, 10:45:34 AM »

I don't really have the time to discuss the relevant historical issues at the moment, but I must nevertheless note that we (the OO Church) do not attribute Omonogenees to Emeperor Justinian, but to St Severus of Antioch.

Sweet. EA, do you know who first attributed it to St. Severus? Paul of Edessa? This is classic late antiquity.

I haven't seen anything written on the hymn's authorship recently. Just an old article by V. Grumel from 1923. I would assume Grillmeier at least discusses it in footnotes. Don't remember that, though. You happen to have his series? I no longer have access to a good library, now that I'm gradumacated.
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2007, 08:45:19 PM »

The Cherubic hymn I was talking about is the same as what was quoted above by Elisha.  Like I said, it is in that liturgy book, but I never hear it sung.  We do sing another hymn during the Great Entrance about God being surrounded by thousand of angels, and yet He is willing to accept praise from us.  I don't have the words exactly in front of me.  When I have time, I'll go into more detail about how the Great Entrance is done.

I didn't know St. Severus wrote the "Only Begotton Son" hymn.  And here I thought it was Justinian.  What a mistake!
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2007, 08:48:29 PM »

Come to think of it, it always seemed strange to me that an emperor would be writing a hymn.  Like he didn't have enough on his hands running the empire?  The attribution to St. Severus makes sense.
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2007, 10:18:57 PM »

Here's an article about the origins of Omonogenes:

http://www.coptichymns.net/module-library-viewpub-tid-1-pid-135.html

As Copts, we have two traditions of authorships:  St. Athanasius or St. Severus

God bless.
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« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2007, 01:00:57 AM »

So I saw my priest tonight at church and he said he thought the "Only Begotton Son" hymn was written by St. John Chrysostom.  When I tried to describe the Cherubic hymn in the Great Entrance, he wasn't sure what I was talking about and of course I forgot to bring the book with me.  I'll have to show him on Sunday.
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« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2007, 01:12:04 AM »

O.K.  I found that website that has the Armenian liturgy on it.  Here's the "Only Begotton Son" hymn:


http://www.cilicia.com/armo_badarak17.html

I don't think it is a perfect translation, though.  They seem to have forgotten to translate the word "khachetzar," which means "You were crucified."  Oh well, I guess you can still get the idea.

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« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2007, 01:20:04 AM »

A+ for persistent research!
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« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2007, 01:25:23 AM »

Thanks!   Smiley

There's more.

This is pretty much what happens in a typical Armenian church during the great entrance:

http://www.cilicia.com/armo_badarak26.html

Actually, it starts on the previous page.

The liturgy book I have, however, has something in addition to the above.  Right after the "Thousands and thousands of achangels" hymn (which is beautiful, by the way,) the liturgy book has the deacons saying part of a psalm and the choir singing the Cherubic hymn which Elisha quoted earlier.  I have never actually seen that done in a church, though.
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« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2007, 01:49:35 AM »

Come to think of it, it always seemed strange to me that an emperor would be writing a hymn.  Like he didn't have enough on his hands running the empire?  The attribution to St. Severus makes sense.

Tell that to King David.  Wink In comparison, one hymn is nothing.
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« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2007, 10:45:59 AM »

Here's an article about the origins of Omonogenes:

http://www.coptichymns.net/module-library-viewpub-tid-1-pid-135.html

As Copts, we have two traditions of authorships:  St. Athanasius or St. Severus

Thanks for the article!

I didn't find the arguments against Emperor Justinian's authorship particularly convincing though: "It is very unlikely that the Copts would accept a hymn to be forced upon them by a heterodox emperor, considering they were out of communion with the majority of the Christian world for their obstinate belief in Orthodoxy."

Is it any more likely that the Chalcedonians, so shortly after the schism, would adopt a hymn written by Severus, an anathemised heretic in their eyes?

Morover, the christological Trisagion that follows O Monogenis in Coptic use does not feature in the Armenian usage (at least from what Salpy provided) despite their christological view of the Trisagion. This seems to suggest that the Trisagion was a later Coptic addition to the hymn; a possibility the author of the article concedes.

As for the notion that Justinian can't have been the author because it has a Coptic tune, I fail to see the significance of this. Don't pretty much all of the universally shared hymns have tunes reflecting local liturgical traditions? Compare the Byzantine and Coptic melodies for Christos Anesti for example.

I'm not arguing in favour of any particular author btw, I just found some of these criticisms somewhat lacking.
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« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2007, 01:18:23 PM »

Sweet. EA, do you know who first attributed it to St. Severus? Paul of Edessa? This is classic late antiquity.

I haven't seen anything written on the hymn's authorship recently. Just an old article by V. Grumel from 1923. I would assume Grillmeier at least discusses it in footnotes. Don't remember that, though. You happen to have his series? I no longer have access to a good library, now that I'm gradumacated.

Sorry for the late response. I am not sure who first made the attribution in question. I haven't read much on the issue.

I have Volume 1 and Volume 2 Part 1 of Grillmeier's Christ in Christian Tradition series on loan at the moment as I prepare for a final essay I am working on. I haven't come across anything on the issue in question yet (and the lack of an index doesn't help any attempt for a brief search).

There is a brief mention of the fact the Syriac rite attributes the hymn to St Severus in Youhanna Youssef's 'Severus of Antioch in the Coptic Liturgical Books,' Journal of Coptic Studies 6 (2004) 139-148. The footnote to that statement refers to the following sources: Baumstark, Comparative Liturgy, 93; Maspero, Histoire des Patriarches, 104 n. 11, P.G. CVIII, 477; King, The Rites of Eastern Christendom, 164. After my exams I will investigate those sources which are accessible to me, and will post any further information I may find.
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« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2007, 03:01:56 PM »

Thanks for the article!

I didn't find the arguments against Emperor Justinian's authorship particularly convincing though: "It is very unlikely that the Copts would accept a hymn to be forced upon them by a heterodox emperor, considering they were out of communion with the majority of the Christian world for their obstinate belief in Orthodoxy."

Is it any more likely that the Chalcedonians, so shortly after the schism, would adopt a hymn written by Severus, an anathemised heretic in their eyes?

Morover, the christological Trisagion that follows O Monogenis in Coptic use does not feature in the Armenian usage (at least from what Salpy provided) despite their christological view of the Trisagion. This seems to suggest that the Trisagion was a later Coptic addition to the hymn; a possibility the author of the article concedes.

As for the notion that Justinian can't have been the author because it has a Coptic tune, I fail to see the significance of this. Don't pretty much all of the universally shared hymns have tunes reflecting local liturgical traditions? Compare the Byzantine and Coptic melodies for Christos Anesti for example.

I'm not arguing in favour of any particular author btw, I just found some of these criticisms somewhat lacking.

It could have been a slowly evolved hymn, like you pointed out.  Let's also not forget that Justinian did have dialogue with Severus.  It was this dialogue with Severus that lead Justinian to a council in 553.  The EO's might have adopted it through Justinian, the Syrians through Severus, and part of the hymn being composed by St. Athanasius, if it does have some sort of Athanasian source.

Just a speculation, but I can see that there could be truth to all "three origins."  Severus may have added the Christological Trisagion (out of curiosity, do Syrians have the same Christological part?)

God bless.
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« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2007, 02:16:52 AM »

out of curiosity, do Syrians have the same Christological part?

In the Syriac Orthodox Church the 'Only Begotten Son' hymn is the first hymn that is sung when the public celeberation of the Holy Qurbana (Divine Liturgy) begins. While the congregation sings this hymn, the celebrant and the deacon go around the altar in a procession. When the procession ends they stand before the altar. There the celebrant censes the altar, the clergy and the people.

This hymn is followed by the 'Trisagion'.

http://sor.cua.edu/Liturgy/Anaphora/PubCeleb.html

You can view a video of this at:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1831446707889844255

In this above video the public celebration of the Qurbana and the hymn "Only Begotten Son" is from 4:25 to 5:40 minutes. Immediately after that from 5:41 to 8:21 minutes is the Trisagion. In this video the hymn is not very audible because of the bells. The hymn and the Trisaigon is in the Malayalam language, the language spoken in South West India.

You can hear the hymn better in the following video. But you can't see what is going on at the alter because of the angle of the camera.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5329334079251026994

In this video the "Only Begotten Son" hymn is from 1:25 to 2:35 minutes and the Trisagion is from 2:35 to 3:48 minutes. In this video the hymn is in the Malayalam language and the Trisaigon is in the Syriac language.

Hope this clarifies...

In Christ,
Mathew G M



4:25 to 5:40
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 02:31:00 AM by dhinuus » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2007, 12:51:02 AM »

As Mathew has clarified the Omonogenes is a part of the liturgy of both the Syriac and Indian Churches and is attributed to St Severus of Antioch. 
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« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2007, 03:51:30 AM »

Just a speculation, but I can see that there could be truth to all "three origins."  Severus may have added the Christological Trisagion (out of curiosity, do Syrians have the same Christological part?)

God bless.

The Syriacs have all 3 to the Son as "who was crucified for us"

The Copts and the Ethiopians have the 3 addressed to the Son as:
"Who was born of the Virgin/ Who was crufieid for us/Who rose from the dead and ascended into heaven"
(In some Ethiopian anaphoras, the Trisagion occurs again, split between the 2 and 3 statement)

The Armenians have the Trisagion with variable address to the Son which depends on the season.

"Who rose from the dead".
"Who came and who is to come"
"Who gloriously ascended to the Father"
"Who came and rested upon the apostles" (seems to be addressed to the Spirit?)
"Who was revealed on the Mountain of Tabor"
"Who came at the assumption of your Virgin Mother"

(How do you post links?)


 
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« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2007, 05:14:00 PM »

The Copts and the Ethiopians have the 3 addressed to the Son as:
"Who was born of the Virgin/ Who was crucified for us/Who rose from the dead and ascended into heaven"
(In some Ethiopian anaphoras, the Trisagion occurs again, split between the 2 and 3 statement)


I should add that I was once in the Coptic church and they sang a different versicle- maybe "who was baptised for us" or something like that. Do Copts also change it for certain feasts?
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« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2007, 05:27:38 PM »

I should add that I was once in the Coptic church and they sang a different versicle- maybe "who was baptised for us" or something like that. Do Copts also change it for certain feasts?

Yes, for feast days there is some variation (or repetition).  You must have come for Theophany/Epiphany (Jan 19).
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« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2007, 08:56:34 AM »

(How do you post links?)
Welcome, Specs!

We have a Technical Help forum which has threads explaining this issue and many others. If ever you have a question about such things, take a look there. Chances are, someone else has had the same question.

This thread is about posting links.

Of course, we do have some rules about posting links. Reply #1 to this thread explains those in detail. Don't worry, though, we don't like to nitpick about what is or isn't appropriate. As you'll read, we have these rules mainly to protect people from unwanted or dangerous advertisements. As long as you're not doing that, we'd love for you to link pages. I myself have encountered many entertaining and/or informative pages through the links of posters here.

Again, welcome to the forum.
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« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2007, 06:46:15 PM »

Thank you, ytterbiumanalyst!!
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« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2007, 04:37:44 PM »

In another forum a Copt IN COMMUNION WITH ROME (emphasis his) asked for comments from his coreligionists Eastern and Oriental to comment on the "Catholic Encyclopedia" on Rites.  On it I found the following:

In some instances, however, the correctors were over scrupulous. In the Gregorian Armenian Liturgy the words said by the deacon at the expulsion of the catechumens, long before the Consecration: "The body of the Lord and the blood of the Saviour are set forth (or "are before us") (Brightman, "Eastern Liturgies", 430) were in the Uniat Rite changed to: "are about to be before us". The Uniats also omit the words sung by the Gregorian choir before the Anaphora: "Christ has been manifested amongst us (has appeared in the midst of us)" (ibid., 434), and further change the cherubic hymn because of its anticipation of the Consecration. These misplacements are really harmless when understood, yet any reviser would be shocked by such strong cases. In many other ways also the Armenian Rite shows evidence of Roman influence. It has unleavened bread, our confession and Judica psalm at the beginning of Mass, a Lavabo before the Canon, the last Gospel, etc. But so little is this the effect of union with Rome that the schismatical Armenians have all these points too. They date from the time of the Crusades, when the Armenians, vehemently opposed to the Orthodox, made many advances towards Catholics. So also the strong romanizing of the Maronite Liturgy was entirely the work of the Maronites themselves, when, surrounded by enemies in the East, they too turned towards the great Western Church, sought her communion, and eagerly copied her practices. One can hardly expect the pope to prevent other Churches from imitating Roman customs. Yet in the case of Uniats he does even this. A Byzantine Uniat priest who uses unleavened bread in his Liturgy incurs excommunication. The only case in which an ancient Eastern rite has been wilfully romanized is that of the Uniat Malabar Christians, where it was not Roman authority but the misguided zeal of Alexius de Menezes, Archbishop of Goa, and his Portuguese advisers at the Synod of Diamper (1599) which spoiled the old Malabar Rite.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13064b.htm
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