OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 26, 2014, 04:15:04 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Early Trisagion sources?  (Read 634 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Suryoyutho
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Suryoyo (Syriac)
Posts: 188



« on: December 07, 2013, 06:42:22 PM »

I have been reading about the trisagion (called qadishat aloho/holy God in Syriac) lately. One often comes across that it is inspired by Isaiah 6:3 but I can't seem to find any early (around 5th century) sources where someone writes about the prayer or the passage and refers to the other (or is it just assumed because the name of the prayer is "trice holy"?). I'm searching for such sources/quotes as well as some sources on when and where the prayer originated.

In the Syriac Orthodox Church we have a tradition about Nicodemus and Joseph and the trisagion but I think the earliest reference to that is from the 9th century. In The Syriac Chronicle it is written that it was used in the 4th century in Antioch ("had been proclaimed in the whole jurisdiction of Antioch from the days of Eustace the bishop" - Book 7, Chapter 7).

So anything early on the trisagion would be much appreciated!
Logged

The Tur Abdin Timeline - A timeline of Tur Abdin (Syriac for "the Mountain of the Servants [of God]"), the heartland of the Syriac Orthodox Christians, a hilly region located in upper Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates.
Suryoyutho
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Suryoyo (Syriac)
Posts: 188



« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2013, 07:35:06 AM »

Here is the earliest source on the Joseph/Nicodemus tradition by Mor Moses Bar Kepha (+903):



Logged

The Tur Abdin Timeline - A timeline of Tur Abdin (Syriac for "the Mountain of the Servants [of God]"), the heartland of the Syriac Orthodox Christians, a hilly region located in upper Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates.
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 20,093


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2013, 08:25:26 AM »

In the EO tradition it is attributed to the 5th Century (just a decade or so before Chalcedon) in Constantinople - I think during Patriarch Proclus's time.  By the time Chalcedon was convened, it was in use and accepted (I think it made it into the acts of the Council).

Suryoyutho : I should point out, in case you didn't know, that EO and some OO seem to view the hymn has having a different focus.  From my (limited) exposure, for many OO (Syriac and Armenian; I'm not sure about Coptic and Ethiopian and Indian) the Trisagion is in reference to Incarnate Son of God, while to the EO it is in reference to the Trinity (which is why the EO don't use the "who was crucified for us" language). 

As for evidence of historical use: besides the Acts of Chalcedon, there is also reference in the life of St. Savvas the Sanctified (who was a Palestinian monk, father of the EO Typikon, and a defender of Chalcedon in the Palestinian monastic communities) to a certain group of Armenian monks who wanted to join his monastery, and he allowed them to have their own space and to celebrate services in their own language (without translation).  However, when he heard that their "Holy God" was longer than what he was accustomed to he investigated, and when he heard the extra phrasing he insisted that only that hymn would be sung in Greek rather than Armenian.

(The above is not presented in a spirit of "Who is right," but rather a historical footnote providing a timeline of use; by the late 5th century the hymn was already used, and in fact sung differently by EO and OO.)
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
Suryoyutho
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Suryoyo (Syriac)
Posts: 188



« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2013, 01:54:59 PM »

Thank you for the references, Fr. George.

I am aware of the Christological/Trinity difference, which is very interesting to read about.

Mostly I am looking for some early references where Isaiah and the trisagion are used together. For example a commentary on Isaiah where the trisagion is mentioned or the other way around. I have a difficult time finding anything like that.

It would be interesting if there were any more sources about the prayer in Antioch before Chalcedon as well. There's supposed to be something in the text below about the prayer in Antioch, by Ephraim of Amida (can anyone read it?):

« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 01:55:38 PM by Suryoyutho » Logged

The Tur Abdin Timeline - A timeline of Tur Abdin (Syriac for "the Mountain of the Servants [of God]"), the heartland of the Syriac Orthodox Christians, a hilly region located in upper Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates.
mabsoota
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 2,574


Kyrie eleison


« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2013, 03:10:59 PM »

try this:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28925.0.html
and this:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37642.msg595749.html#msg595749

and look for some of the sources mentioned there.
it is a big topic; i expect someone somewhere has done his / her PhD on it!

in the armenian liturgy i attended today, it was used as a hymn to the Son of God.
when i go to EO churches, i have no problem using it as a hymn to God the Trinity.
Logged
Suryoyutho
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Suryoyo (Syriac)
Posts: 188



« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2013, 05:39:25 AM »

Thank you.

It's a really interesting subject. I would love to find out more about these documents that Fr. Peter mentioned: "The Trisagion is documented in Syria a hundred years at least before Chalcedon".

Still can't seem to find much (anything) early on the prayer together with Isaiah though.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 06:08:04 AM by Suryoyutho » Logged

The Tur Abdin Timeline - A timeline of Tur Abdin (Syriac for "the Mountain of the Servants [of God]"), the heartland of the Syriac Orthodox Christians, a hilly region located in upper Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates.
Gamliel
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Metropolis of San Francisco
Posts: 2,221



« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2013, 10:47:25 AM »

By this discussion I can see that the words are old, but I was curious about the music.  Is there an "original music"?  I hear it sang different ways.
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2013, 10:53:29 AM »

Thank you for the references, Fr. George.

I am aware of the Christological/Trinity difference, which is very interesting to read about.

Mostly I am looking for some early references where Isaiah and the trisagion are used together. For example a commentary on Isaiah where the trisagion is mentioned or the other way around. I have a difficult time finding anything like that.

It would be interesting if there were any more sources about the prayer in Antioch before Chalcedon as well. There's supposed to be something in the text below about the prayer in Antioch, by Ephraim of Amida (can anyone read it?):


Where and how did you get that page? The passage, btw, is about the Trisagion around the time of Chalcedon and after.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Suryoyutho
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Suryoyo (Syriac)
Posts: 188



« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2013, 01:36:07 PM »

It's from Patrologia Graeca 103. I got the page from one of Matti Moosa's books.

Are you able to give a summary of what it says? Does it mention anything theological or about the origin of the prayer? Here's the next page if it is of any help:

Logged

The Tur Abdin Timeline - A timeline of Tur Abdin (Syriac for "the Mountain of the Servants [of God]"), the heartland of the Syriac Orthodox Christians, a hilly region located in upper Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates.
frjohnmorris
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 1,177


« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2013, 02:44:54 PM »

I have been reading about the trisagion (called qadishat aloho/holy God in Syriac) lately. One often comes across that it is inspired by Isaiah 6:3 but I can't seem to find any early (around 5th century) sources where someone writes about the prayer or the passage and refers to the other (or is it just assumed because the name of the prayer is "trice holy"?). I'm searching for such sources/quotes as well as some sources on when and where the prayer originated.

In the Syriac Orthodox Church we have a tradition about Nicodemus and Joseph and the trisagion but I think the earliest reference to that is from the 9th century. In The Syriac Chronicle it is written that it was used in the 4th century in Antioch ("had been proclaimed in the whole jurisdiction of Antioch from the days of Eustace the bishop" - Book 7, Chapter 7).

So anything early on the trisagion would be much appreciated!

I have also read that as the Body of Christ was taken to His tomb that the angels sang the Trisagion from Eastern Orthodox sources.  That is why we sing the Trisagion during the Procession with the Tomb on Great and Holy Friday.
There is also the tradition that as the people of Constantinople were gathered for prayer during an earthquake that a boy was taken up to heaven where he heard the angels singing the Trisagion.
I think that this disagreement shows that the major problem was communication, not theology. I do not see how the EOs could object to the Oriental practice if the Trisagion is considered a hymn to Christ rather than to the Trinity. When the EOs heard "who was crucified for us..." they did not understand that the OOs were singing the Trisagion as a hymn to Christ, rather than to the Holy Trinity as is our tradition. Had calmer minds on both sides had taken the time to understand the other side, perhaps the schism could have been avoided. Now that both sides are talking I hope that if we really believe the same thing, but express ourselves differently, that we can restore Communion between the two families of Orthodox Christians.

Fr. John W. Morris
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 03:01:08 PM by frjohnmorris » Logged
frjohnmorris
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 1,177


« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2013, 02:48:14 PM »

Thank you for the references, Fr. George.

I am aware of the Christological/Trinity difference, which is very interesting to read about.

Mostly I am looking for some early references where Isaiah and the trisagion are used together. For example a commentary on Isaiah where the trisagion is mentioned or the other way around. I have a difficult time finding anything like that.

It would be interesting if there were any more sources about the prayer in Antioch before Chalcedon as well. There's supposed to be something in the text below about the prayer in Antioch, by Ephraim of Amida (can anyone read it?):



Perhaps what you have heard linking the Trisagion to Isaiah, is due to the fact that Eastern Orthodox refer to the hymn that Isaiah heard that is sung before the Anaphora in all ancient Liturgies, "Holy, Holy, Holy...." as the Biblical Trisagion.

Fr. John W. Morris
Logged
Cyrillic
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 9,535


Cyrillico est imperare orbi universo


« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2013, 02:53:18 PM »

It's a review of a work of a certain St. Ephrem of Theopolis (i.e. Antioch) and is part of St. Photius' Bibliotheca. That's a work from the 9th century. Most of it is about the Oriental addition who was crucified for us and christology. Nothing much about the origin of the Trisagion.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 02:55:27 PM by Cyrillic » Logged

"And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin
is pride that apes humility."
-Samuel Coleridge
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,170


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2013, 06:09:26 PM »

In the Coptic Church, we have two hymns chanted on Good Friday, the hymn of "Omonogenes" and the hymn of "Golgotha".  I'll provide for you the text of both hymns from tasbeha.org:

Quote from: Omonogenes
O only-begotten Son, the eternal and immortal Word of God; who for our salvation did will to be incarnate of the holy Theotokos (and ever Virgin Mary)x2.

Who without change became man and was crucified, the Christ God. Trampled down death by death. One of the Holy Trinity, who is glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.

Holy God, who being God, for our sake, became man without change.

Holy Mighty, who by weakness showed forth what is greater than power.

Holy Immortal, who was crucified for our sake, and endured death in His flesh, the Eternal and Immortal.

O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us.
http://tasbeha.org/hymn_library/view/149

There's a superscript of 2 after the "and ever Virgin Mary".  It should be known that there's no reference or addendum that one is looking for.  All this superscript is saying is that this phrase is said twice in the hymn.

Quote from: Golgotha
Golgotha in Hebrew, kranion in Greek, the place where You were crucified, O Lord. You stretched out Your hands, and crucified two thieves with You; one on Your right side, the other on Your left, and You, O good savior, in the midst.

(Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.)

The right-hand thief cried out saying: Remember me, O my Lord, remember me, O my savior, remember me, O my King, when You come into Your Kingdom.

The Lord answered him in a lowly voice saying: This day you will be with Me in Paradise.

(Both now, and ever and unto the age of all ages. Amen.)

The righteous Joseph and Nicodemus came took away the Body of Christ, wrapped it in linen cloths with spices, and put it in a sepulcher and praised Him saying, “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, who was crucified for us, have mercy on us.”

(Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.)

(Both now, and ever and unto the age of all ages. Amen.)

We also worship him saying: “Have mercy on us, O God our Savior, who was crucified on the cross, destroy Satan under our feet.”

Save us and have mercy on us. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord bless us. Amen. Give the blessing; I prostrate, forgive me, give the blessing.
http://tasbeha.org/hymn_library/view/209

So as you can see, the tradition of Joseph and Nicodemus is in our Coptic hymns as well.  I also put the "Zoxa Patri" refrains in parantheses, as they carry a function of a praise in a chorus, or refrain function, not connecting the Trisagion to the Trinity.

According to Coptic tradition, both these hymns were attributed to St. Athanasius in some way, but of course, research suggested that Omonogenes is of a 6th Century origin approximately.  Golgotha on the other hand, I haven't read up on any research of it.  The music of Golgotha is also traditionally attributed to the music given for a Pharaoh's funeral and burial.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 06:12:26 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,170


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2013, 06:14:38 PM »

From what I can understand, the Trisagion hymn in the book of Isaiah seems to be interpreted in either way in Church history.  One way was an interpretation for the Logos.  Another was an interpretation for the Holy Trinity.  One interpretation I read somewhere that I found interesting was as they looked at the image of Christ, their minds contemplated the Holy Trinity, even though they only see the second person of the Trinity.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
frjohnmorris
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 1,177


« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2013, 08:15:45 PM »

In the Coptic Church, we have two hymns chanted on Good Friday, the hymn of "Omonogenes" and the hymn of "Golgotha".  I'll provide for you the text of both hymns from tasbeha.org:

Quote from: Omonogenes
O only-begotten Son, the eternal and immortal Word of God; who for our salvation did will to be incarnate of the holy Theotokos (and ever Virgin Mary)x2.

Who without change became man and was crucified, the Christ God. Trampled down death by death. One of the Holy Trinity, who is glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.

Holy God, who being God, for our sake, became man without change.

Holy Mighty, who by weakness showed forth what is greater than power.

Holy Immortal, who was crucified for our sake, and endured death in His flesh, the Eternal and Immortal.

O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us.
http://tasbeha.org/hymn_library/view/149

There's a superscript of 2 after the "and ever Virgin Mary".  It should be known that there's no reference or addendum that one is looking for.  All this superscript is saying is that this phrase is said twice in the hymn.

Quote from: Golgotha
Golgotha in Hebrew, kranion in Greek, the place where You were crucified, O Lord. You stretched out Your hands, and crucified two thieves with You; one on Your right side, the other on Your left, and You, O good savior, in the midst.

(Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.)

The right-hand thief cried out saying: Remember me, O my Lord, remember me, O my savior, remember me, O my King, when You come into Your Kingdom.

The Lord answered him in a lowly voice saying: This day you will be with Me in Paradise.

(Both now, and ever and unto the age of all ages. Amen.)

The righteous Joseph and Nicodemus came took away the Body of Christ, wrapped it in linen cloths with spices, and put it in a sepulcher and praised Him saying, “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, who was crucified for us, have mercy on us.”

(Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.)

(Both now, and ever and unto the age of all ages. Amen.)

We also worship him saying: “Have mercy on us, O God our Savior, who was crucified on the cross, destroy Satan under our feet.”

Save us and have mercy on us. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord bless us. Amen. Give the blessing; I prostrate, forgive me, give the blessing.
http://tasbeha.org/hymn_library/view/209

So as you can see, the tradition of Joseph and Nicodemus is in our Coptic hymns as well.  I also put the "Zoxa Patri" refrains in parantheses, as they carry a function of a praise in a chorus, or refrain function, not connecting the Trisagion to the Trinity.

According to Coptic tradition, both these hymns were attributed to St. Athanasius in some way, but of course, research suggested that Omonogenes is of a 6th Century origin approximately.  Golgotha on the other hand, I haven't read up on any research of it.  The music of Golgotha is also traditionally attributed to the music given for a Pharaoh's funeral and burial.

The hymn "Only Begotten..." was introduced into the Byzantine Divine Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil by the Emperor Justinian where it is sung at the end of the 2nd Antiphon. Many historians believe that it was written by Servius of Antioch, who was in Constantinople at the time that it was introduced. I believe that it is also sung in the Syriac Liturgy.
Its use in the Coptic, Byzantine and, I am sure, in the Syriac Liturgy shows a common agreement on Christology.

Fr. John W. Morris
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 08:19:11 PM by frjohnmorris » Logged
Suryoyutho
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Suryoyo (Syriac)
Posts: 188



« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2013, 12:22:22 PM »

Fr. John, I hope so as well, seems like it has some kind of connection to the tomb/crucifixion in many of our Churches.

Cyrillic, thanks, it's supposed to say something about the trisagion (including the crucified phrase) being used in Antioch before patriarch Peter the Fuller...?

Mina, yes, if you read commentaries I believe both interpretations can be found. It's strange though that there doesn't seem to be many early sources connecting the prayer to Isaiah 6:3.

I just read that Patrologia Orientalis 29 includes a homily by St Severus of Antioch where he writes about the thrice holy in Isaiah together with the prayer though.
Logged

The Tur Abdin Timeline - A timeline of Tur Abdin (Syriac for "the Mountain of the Servants [of God]"), the heartland of the Syriac Orthodox Christians, a hilly region located in upper Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates.
Suryoyutho
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Suryoyo (Syriac)
Posts: 188



« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2013, 04:00:49 PM »

These pages contain a debate written by 9th century Syriac Orthodox poet David Bar Paul, between him and a Chalcedonian on the trisagion.

http://i.imgur.com/dnyrE4G.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/3c782ry.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/D6gvIT9.jpg

I can understand some of the syriac parts but not enough. I can see that it's a debate, it's in the following kind of form: "Yawnoyo omar: (Greek says:) [text]. Suryoyo omar: [text]. Yawnoyo omar: [text]. etc." and the Trinity is mentioned a lot. The latin starts in the second page (cursive style).
Logged

The Tur Abdin Timeline - A timeline of Tur Abdin (Syriac for "the Mountain of the Servants [of God]"), the heartland of the Syriac Orthodox Christians, a hilly region located in upper Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates.
Tags: trisagion 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.081 seconds with 43 queries.