Divine Liturgy Course

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Jun 02, 2019

Divine Liturgy Course (43): The Institution Narrative

In this 43rd lecture of her ongoing Divine Liturgy course, Sister Vassa discusses the "Institution Narrative" of the Anaphora of St. John Chrysostom. She also talks about the issue of "the moment of consecration"; its history and theology, and how the present-day rubrics of Byzantine Divine Liturgy reflect a "consecratory" understanding of more of its "moments" than one.

Apr 07, 2019

Divine Liturgy Course (42): The Sanctus (Pt 2)

In this 42nd lecture of her Divine Liturgy course, Sr. Vassa discusses the theological reasons for, and history of, the addition of the "Sanctus-Benedictus" (Holy, holy, holy... Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord...) into Eucharistic praying of both East and West.

Apr 04, 2019

Divine Liturgy Course (41): The Sanctus (Pt 1)

 In this 41st lecture of our online Divine Liturgy course, Sister Vassa begins her discussion of the "Sanctus" (and "Post-Sanctus") of the Anaphora of St. John Chrysostom. She also covers the rubrics, at this point in the Liturgy, instructing the deacon to remove the "Asteriskon" or "Star" from the Diskos/Paten and to "fan" the Gifts with the Ripidion. 

Mar 06, 2019

Divine Liturgy Course (40): Anaphora, Preface & Pre-Sanctus

In this 40th video of her ongoing Divine Liturgy-course, Sr. Vassa discusses the structure and theology of the beginning of the Anaphora of St. John Chrysostom, the "Preface" and "Pre-Sanctus," which includes the themes of thanksgiving,(for) the creation of the world, the economy of salvation, and also a lead-in into the "Sanctus" or "Holy, holy, holy..."

Mar 05, 2019

Divine Liturgy Course (39): "Let us give thanks to the Lord!"

In this 39th lecture of her ongoing, Divine Liturgy-course, Sr. Vassa discusses the history and meaning of the final parts of the Pre-Anaphoral Dialogue: "Let us lift up our hearts", "Let us give thanks to the Lord!", and also "It is meet and right" (including the origins of this "Axion kai dikaion" in both Jewish and pagan "acclamations"; and the origins of its extension, in Slavonic usage, to include the words, "...to worship the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit...").

Jan 23, 2019

Divine Liturgy Course (38): Anaphora, Opening Greeting

In this lecture of Sister Vassa's Divine Liturgy course, she discusses the history and meaning of the priest's/bishop's Opening Greeting at the beginning of the Anaphora, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...," the people's response to it, "And with your spirit," and also the history and liturgical theology of the priest/bishop making the sign of the cross (the priest - with his hand, and the bishop - with the dikerion & trikerion), as he says the Opening Greeting.

Dec 29, 2018

Divine Liturgy Course (37): The Diaconal Admonition before the Anaphora

In this lecture, Sr. Vassa discusses the history and meaning of the diaconal admonition before the Anaphora, "Let us stand aright!....," and of the (perplexing) response to it, "Mercy of peace..."

Dec 13, 2018

Divine Liturgy Course (36): Anaphora (Overview Pt 2)

In this lecture, Sister Vassa offers the final part of an overview of the structure and text of the Chrysostom-Anaphora, from the Epiclesis to the Concluding Doxology.

Dec 13, 2018

Divine Liturgy Course (35): Anaphora (Overview Pt 1)

In this lecture, Sister Vassa offers the first part of an overview of the structure and text of the Chrysostom-Anaphora, from the Introductory Dialogue to the Epiclesis.

Sep 19, 2018

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 34: The Waving of the Aer

In this 34th lecture of her Divine Liturgy course, Sister Vassa talks about the custom of "waving" or "shaking" the "Aer" (the large veil that covers both the Chalice and Diskos/Paten) over the Gifts, during the Creed. She discusses the way this is done today, as well as the origins and history of the practice, and its "allegorical" interpretations.

Sep 09, 2018

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 33: The Creed

In this lecture, Sister Vassa discusses the history, practice, and liturgico-theological scope of praying the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in the context of the Divine Liturgy.

Aug 30, 2018

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 32: “The Doors! The Doors!”

In this lecture, Sister Vassa explains the curious historical evolution of the deacon's command that proceeds the Creed: "The doors! The doors! In wisdom let us be attentive. " She also discusses the drawing open of the "curtain" at this moment, in the connection with the concept of "concealment of the mysteries" from the eyes of the congregation. Finally, she addresses what what all-of-the-above means for our liturgical piety and practice today.

Aug 05, 2018

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 31: The Kiss of Peace, Pt 2

In this second of two lectures on the "Kiss of Peace," Sister Vassa discusses more of the historical development of this liturgical unit, its liturgico-theological meaning, and the reasons for its placement (in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy) shortly before the Anaphora.

Aug 05, 2018

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 30: The Kiss of Peace, Pt 1

In this first of two lectures on the topic, Sister Vassa describes the formulas and actions of the liturgical unit known as "The Kiss of Peace," which begins with the priest's greeting, "Peace to all."

Jun 26, 2018

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 29: The Priest’s Offertory Prayer

In which Sister Vassa discusses the "Prayer of Proscomide," a.k.a. "Offertory Prayer," read silently by the priest during the Litany of Completion, (after the Great Entrance and before the Creed).

May 03, 2018

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 28: Litany of Completion (Pt 2)

Liturgy of Completion (Pt 2) In this second of two videos dedicated to the "Litany of Completion" after the Great Entrance, Sister Vassa explains how it is that this litany landed in the peculiar place(s) that it did within our Divine Liturgy, according to the findings of recent liturgical scholarship.

May 03, 2018

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 27: Litany of Completion (Pt 1)

In this first of two videos dedicated to the "Litany of Completion" (Ta Plerotika) that follows the Great Entrance, Sister Vassa reviews the petitions of this litany. She also explains why the placement of this litany, which is traditionally a litany of dismissal (that usually happens at the end of services, and not in their middle), after the Great Entrance (and also before the Our Father), is a "problem" with which liturgical scholars have long grappled.

Feb 06, 2018

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 26: The Dialogue After the Great Entrance

In which Sister Vassa discusses the dialogue of the celebrants after the Great Entrance; the history of the mix-up in the distribution of roles between the priest and deacon, and the liturgical theology underlying the words (from Lk 1: 35) addressed to the celebrating priest: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you..."

Jan 15, 2018

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 25: Prayer of the Cherubic Hymn

In which Sr. Vassa discusses the priest's long prayer, "No one is worthy," read quietly in the sanctuary, as the choir begins to sing the Cherubic Hymn.

Nov 09, 2017

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 24: The Cherubic Hymn

In which Sr. Vassa discusses the history and liturgico-theological implications of the Cherubic Hymn, sung before and after the Great Entrance. 

Nov 09, 2017

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 23: The Great Entrance (Pt. 2)

In which Sr. Vassa covers the final part of The Great Entrance, the 3 hymns ("The Nobel Joseph" etc.) read quietly by the priest as he places the Holy Gifts upon the Altar-Table, as well as the "Christ-Burial" layer of symbolism therein.

Sep 25, 2017

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 22: The Great Entrance (Pt. 1)

In which Sr. Vassa introduces the topic of the Great Entrance, describing its components and symbolism.

Jul 20, 2017

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 21: The Two Prayers of the Faithful

In which Sister Vassa discusses the two Prayers of the Faithful, read  (silently) by the priest right after the Dismissal of Catechumens.

Jun 12, 2017

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 20: Prayer & Dismissal of Catechumens

In which Sr. Vassa discusses the priest’s (silent) Prayer for the Catechumens, and the Dismissal of the Catechumens.

Jun 12, 2017

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 19: Litany for Catechumens

In which Sr. Vassa covers the history of the Catechumenate in Constantinople, as well as the Litany for the Catechumens, and the meaning of it for both the baptized and not-yet baptized. 

Apr 06, 2017

Divine Liturgy Course, Lecture 18: The Ektene After the Gospel

In which Sister Vassa discusses the complicated history of the  post-Gospel "Ektene," as well as the implications of its placement  before, and not after, the Dismissal of the Catechumens. She also covers  the priest's (silent) prayer of Fervent Supplication.

Feb 11, 2017

Liturgy Course, Lecture 17: The Third Movement of Liturgy, Offering Up

In this video Sr. Vassa reviews the structure of Part 3 of Divine Liturgy  (from the post-Gospel Ektene to the Great Entrance), which she has  called "Offering Up." In this video, Sister merely lists the sub-units  of this liturgical unit (Ektene & Prayer of Ektene, Prayers &  Dismissal of Catechumens, 2 Prayers of Faithful, Cherubic Hymn, "No one  is worthy" & Great Entrance), in order to familiarize the viewers  with this structure. In following videos she will cover each of these  sub-units in more detail.

Dec 16, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 16: Prayer of Gospel & Blessing of Deacon

In which Sister Vassa discusses the Prayer of the Gospel, read (usually  silently) by the priest, and the Blessing of the deacon, preceding the  Gospel-reading.

Nov 14, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 15: The Alleluia

In which Sr. Vassa discusses the moments immediately following the  reading of the Epistle, and their origins in the public worship of the  Old Testament.

Oct 12, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 14: The Prokeimenon & Epistle

In which Sr. Vassa discusses the Prokeimenon & Epistle.

Oct 12, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 13: Prayer of Throne & ‘Peace to All!’

In which Sr. Vassa discusses Prayer of Throne & 'Peace to All!'

Aug 05, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 12: The Trisagion Prayer

In which Sr. Vassa discusses the Prayer of the Trisagion, read silently by the priest.

Jul 20, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 11: Trisagion-Hymn (Meaning)

In which Sr. Vassa discusses the theological meaning of the Trisagion in the Divine Liturgy of today.

Jul 18, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 10: Trisagion-Hymn (History)

In which Sr. Vassa discusses the history of the Trisagion-Hymn, and of the brief formulas that precede it.

Jun 24, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 9: Troparia of the Day

In which Sr. Vassa discusses the hymns, called Troparia and Kontakia, sung right after the Little Entrance.

Jun 07, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 8: Prayer of the Little Entrance

In which Sr. Vassa explains the text of the Prayer of the Little Entrance, continuing her course on the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. She also explains the other brief formulas said by priest and deacon during the Little Entrance.

Jun 06, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 7: History of the Little Entrance

In this lecture Sister discusses the historical origins of the Little Entrance and its various routes (the longer one, through the whole nave, and the shorter one, which proceeds in front of the iconostasis).

Jun 06, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 6: Meaning of the Little Entrance

In this lecture, Sr. Vassa discusses the Little Entrance and its "allegorical" interpretation, as well as the function of the iconostasis in Byzantine Liturgy.

Apr 20, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 5: Theology & Prayers of 3 Antiphons

In this episode Dr. Sr. Vassa discusses the theological meaning of the Antiphons and Psalmody at the beginning of Divine Liturgy, as well as the 3 Antiphon Prayers, read by the priest. She also shares her article, published in St. Vladimir's Thoelogical Quarterly.

Apr 20, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 4: Antiphons & Psalmody

In this episode Sister talks about the singing of the three Antiphons, or other Psalmody at the beginning of Divine Liturgy.

Mar 08, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 3: The Great Synapte

This is the exciting continuation of Dr. Sr. Vassa's course on Divine Liturgy! In this instalment she discusses The Great Synapte, which is prayed at the beginning of the Divine Liturgy.

Mar 04, 2016

The 2-part Premiere of Sister’s Liturgy Course (part B)!

And here's Lecture 2, Part B! See you in two weeks for Lecture 3!

Mar 04, 2016

The 2-part Premiere of Sister’s Liturgy Course (part A)!

You have all seen Lecture 1, "Introduction to Byzantine Divine Liturgy" on YouTube, and we thank you for your interest & support in making this series possible. 

Feb 18, 2016

Liturgy Course, Lecture 1: Introduction to Byzantine Divine Liturgy

The introductory lecture to Sr. Vassa's video-course on Divine Liturgy, premiered on YouTube.

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