Keywords: Byzantine literature, hymnography, liturgical scrolls, rite of the consecration of myron, patriarch Sophronios the Third of Alexandria.
For citation:

Nikiforova A.Yu. Myron Liturgy: Constantinople vs Near East. Studia Litterarum, 2019, vol. 4, no 3, pp. 50–71. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-3-50-71

Author: Alexandra Yu. Nikiforova
Information about the author:

Alexandra Yu. Nikiforova, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia; St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University, Likhov per. 6, build. 1, 127051 Moscow, Russia.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received: February 18, 2019
Published: September 25, 2019
Issue: 2019 Vol. 4, №3
Department: World literature
Pages: 50-71
DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-3-50-71
UDK: 821.14
BBK: 83.3(0) 4


In this article, the author discusses the Greek Melkite Pontifical rite of the consecration of chrysm, or the “chrism liturgy,” as it was performed in Egypt during the lifetime of Patriarch Sophronios III of Alexandria (ca. 1166–1171), based on the scroll Sin. gr. ΝΕ/Е 55 + fragment E sine numero (A.D. 1156), discovered in 1975 at St. Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai in Egypt. So far only the Constantinopolitan version of this rite has been known, preserved from the 8 th c. (Barb. gr. 36) until today without any essential distinctions and used today in the liturgy of the Orthodox Churches. The scroll provides an alternative to the Constantinopolitan rite, and describes a rite that must have been used from the end of the 6 th c. until the 12 th c. in Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria, and is related to Syriac and Coptic texts. In contrast to the sober Constantinopolitan practice, this rite was a solemn and long-lasting public ceremony, accompanied by the hymn for the Great Entrance and the “Samuel chant” dialogue of epiclesis, performed in turn by the priests and the people. The originality of the Greek Melkite rite can be explained by a unique attitude to a holy chrysm in the Middle East, rooted in ancient and Old Testament traditions, and unknown in Constantinople.


1 Barberini Evkhologii gr. 336. [Euchology Barberini gr. 336], ed.,with a preface and notes E. Velkovska, S. Parenti; transl. by S. Golovanov; Russian transl. by E. Velkovska, M. Zhivova. Omsk, Golovanov Publ., 2011. 512 p. (In Russ.)

2 Dmitrievskii A.A. Bogosluzhenie Strastnoi i Paskhalnoi sedmits vo sv. Ierusalime IX–X vv. [The worship of the Holy and Bright Weeks in Holy Jerusalem in the 9 th –10 th centuries]. Kazan, Tipolitografiia Imperatorskogo Un-ta Publ., 1894. 458 p. (In Russ.)

3 Zheltov M. Miro [Chrism]. Pravoslavnaia entsiklopediia [Orthodox encyclopedia]. Moscow, Tserkovno-nauchnyi tsentr “Pravoslavnaia Entsiklopediia” Publ., 2017, vol. 45, pp. 355–358. (In Russ.)

4 Nikiforova A. Egipetskii sled v Tropologii Sin. Gr. ΝΕ / ΜΓ 56 + 5 [The Egyptian Trace in the Tropologion Sin. Gr. ΝΕ / ΜΓ 56 + 5]. Vestnik SPbGU. Seriia Vostokovedenie i afrikanistika, 2016, vol. 4, pp. 40–54. (In Russ.)

5 Arranz M. La consécration du saint myron (Les sacrements de l’ancien Euchologe constantinopolitain 10). Orientalia Christiana Periodica, 1989, vol. 55, pp. 317–338. (In French)

6 Brakmann H. Neue Funde und Forschungen zur Liturgie der Kopten (1996–2000). Coptic Studies on the Threshold of a New Millennium. Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Coptic Studies. Leiden, Aug. 27–Sept. 2, 2000, eds. M. Immerzeel, J. van der. Vliet. Leuven, 2004, vol. 1, pp. 575–606. (In German)

7 Brock S. Jacob of Edessa’s Discourse on the Myron. Oriens Christianus, 1979, B. 63, S. 20–36. (In English)

8 Brock S. The Holy Spirit in the Syrian Baptismal Tradition. Pune, India, Anita Printers, 1998. 221 p. (In English)

9 Chronz T., Brakmann H. Ein neuer Zeuge des Ordo der Osternacht in Jerusalemer Tradition. Edition, Übersetzung und liturgiegeschichtlicher Kommentar mit Anmerkungen zur Überlieferung der altgeorgischen Version des hagiopolitischen Lektionars. Ostkirchliche Studien, 2017, B. 66, S. 112–171. (In German)

10 Concilia Africae, A. 345–A. 525, ed. C. Munier. Turnhout, Brepols, 1974 [= CCSL 149]. 425 p. (In Latin)

11 Cyrille de Jérusalem. Catéchèses mystagogiques, ed. A. Piédagnel. Paris: Ed. du Cerf, 1966 [= SC 126]. 210 p. (In French)

12 Cyrilli, archiep. Hierosolymitani. Catechesis XXI. Mystag. III, Patrologia Graeca, ed. Jacques-Paul Migne. T. 33. Parisiis, Garnier Fratres, editores et J.-P. Migne succesores, 1886. Cols. 1085–1095. (In Old Greek)

13 Das Sakrament der Myron-Weihe in der Schrift de Ecclesiastica Hierarchia des Pseudo- Dionysios Areopagita in syrischen Übersetzung und Kommentaren, ed. W. Strothmann. Wiesbaden, Otto Harrassowitz, 1977–1978 [= GO I, Reihe Syriaca 15]. (In German) Studia Litterarum /2019 том 4, № 3 70

14 Dionysius Bar Salibi: Commentaries on Myron and Baptism, ed. B. Varghese. Baker Hill, Kottayam: St. Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute (SEERI), 2006. 180 p. (In English)

15 Documents of the Baptismal Liturgy, ed. by E.C. Whitaker. London, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1970. [Alcuin Club collections. No. 42]. 256 p. (In English)

16 Engberding H. Zum Myronweihegebet des Vat. gr. 1970. Orientalia Christiana Periodica, 1960, vol. 26, pp. 251–274. (In German)

17 Jacob A. Cinq feuillets du “Codex Rossanensis” (Vat. gr. 1970), retrouvés à Grottaferrata. Muséon, 1974, vol. 87, pp. 48–57. (In French)

18 Jacob A. L’Euchologe de Sainte-Marie du Patir et ses sources. Atti del Congresso Internazionale su S. Nilo di Rossano, 28 sett. — 1o ott. 1986. Rossano — Grottaferrata, 1989, pp. 75–118 + 2 taf. (In French)

19 Kranemann B. Krankenöl. Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum, Stuttgart, Hiersemann, 2006, B. 21, S. 915–964. (In German)

20 Mansi J.D. Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio. Paris, Arnhem, Leipzig, 1901, vol. 2. (In Latin)

21 Μενεβίζογλου Π. Μελετήματα περὶ ἁγίου μύρου. Ἀθῆναι, 1999. (In New Greek)

22 Mercati G. L’eucologio di S. Maria del Patire con uno frammento di anafora greca inedita. Revue Bénédictine, 1934, vol. 46, pp. 224–240. (In Italian)

23 Mercier Chr. La Liturgie de saint Jacques: édition critique du texte grec avec traduction latine. Paris, Firmin-Didot, 1946 [= PO XXVI. Fasc. 2], p. 159–254. (In French)

24 Messling R. Die Schrift des Anton von Tagrit “Über das Myron.” Paul de Lagarde und die syrische Kirchengeschichte. Göttingen, 1968, S. 150–161. (In German)

25 Morozowich M. Holy Thursday in Jerusalem and Constantinople: The Liturgical Celebrations from the Fourth to the Fourteenth Centuries. Diss. ad doctorandum. Rome, Pontificio Istituto Orientale, 2002. 391 p. (In English)

26 Moses bar Kepha, Myron-Weihe, ed. W. Strothmann. Wiesbaden, Otto Harrassowitz, 1973 [= GO I, Reihe: Syriaca 7]. (In German)

27 Nikiforova A. The Oldest Greek Tropologion Sin. Gr. ΝΕ / ΜΓ 56+5: A New Witness to the Liturgy of Jerusalem from outside Jerusalem with First Edition of the Text. Oriens Christianus, 2015, B. 98, S. 138–173. (In English)

28 Nikiforova A. The Consecration of Holy Myron in the Near East: A Reconstruction Attempt of the Greek-Melkite Rite (with the Edition of Sinai Greek NF/ E 55 + Fragment E sine numero, A.D. 1156). Orientalia Christiana Periodica, 2019, vol. 85 (In print). (In English)

29 Παντέρη Β. Ὁ καθαγιασμός του αγίου μύρου στα πρεσβυγενή Πατριαρχεία της Ανατολής. Αθήνα, 2017. 259 σ. (In New Greek)

30 Παπαδόπουλος-Κεραμεύς Α. Ἀνάλεκτα Ἱεροσολυμιτικῆς σταχυολογίας. Ἐν Πετρουπόλει, 1894, τ. 2. 542 σ. (In Old Greek) 

31 Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita. De coelesti hierarchia, de ecclesiastica hierarchia, de mystica theologia epistulae, ed. G. Heil, A.M. Ritter. Berlin, De Gruyter, 1991 [= Patristische Texte und Studien 36]. 300 S. (In German)

32 Ritus Orientalium, Coptorum, Syrorum et Armenorum in administrandis sacramentis, ex Assemanis aliisque fontibus authenticis collectos, prolegomenis notisque instructos, ed. H. Denzinger. Würzburg, Typis et sumptibus Stahelianis, 1863–1864 (reprint: Graz, 1961), t. I–II, p. 500+554. (In Latin)

33 S. Dionysii Areopagitae. De Eccles. Hierarch. Cap. IV, Patrologia Graeca, t. 3. Parisiis, Petit-Montrouge, 1857. Cols. 369–584. (In Old Greek)

34 Τὰ νέα εὑρήματα τοῦ Σινᾶ. Ἀθῆναι, 1999. 288 σ.+ 240 φωτ. (In New Greek)

35 Taft R. In the Bridegroom’s Absence. The Paschal Triduum in the Byzantine Church, La celebrazione del Triduo pasquale: anamnesis e mimesis. Atti del III Congresso Internazionale di Liturgia, Roma, Pontificio Istituto Liturgico, 9–13 maggio 1988. Rome, Benedictina - Edizioni Abbazia S. Paolo, pp. 71–97 [= Studia Anselmiana 102]. (In English)

36 Theodoros Anagnostes, Kirchengeschichte, ed. Hansen G. Berlin: Brandeburgische Akademiе der Wissenschaften, 1995 [= Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte, NF 3]. 232 S. (In German)

37 Varghese B. Les onctions baptismales dans la tradition syrienne. Louvain, Peeters, 1989 [= CSCO 512, subs. 82]. 348 p. (In French)

38 Varghese B. George, Bishop of the Arabs († 724): Homily on the Consecration of Myron. The Harp, 2006, vol. 19, pp. 255–280. (In English)

39 Winkler G. The Original Meaning of the Prebaptismal Anointing and Its Implications. Worship, 1978, vol. 52, pp. 24–45. (In English)

40 Wright W. The Chronicle of Joshua the Stylite. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1882. (In English)