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Exarchic Greek Abbey of St. Mary of Grottaferrata - Basilian Monks

Corso del Popolo, 128 - 00046 Grottaferrata (Rome) ITALY - Phone (01139) 069459309 - Fax (01139) 069456734

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The Byzantine Rite at Grottaferrata

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The center of the life of the Monks of Grottaferrata is the Divine Liturgy (Holy Mass) and the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office).

The Byzantine liturgical rite properly belongs to the Church of Constantinople, the ancient Byzantium, the Second Episcopal See of the Christian world, called the 'New Rome'. The nucleus of this rite comes from the customs of the Church of Antioch: St. John Crysostom (died in 407), before to becoming a bishop of Constantinople, was a priest in Antioch and at the same time introduced into the byzantine rite the antiochean eucharistic prayer (anàphora), which still in our days keep his name. In the IX Century the Byzantine rite assumes more and more a monastic face.

Celebrations for St. Nilus FeastGreat features of the monastic reform supported by men like St. Theodore Studites and St. Athanasius of Athos gave a great emphasis to the liturgical compositions and their disciples wrote several hymns for the various feasts and circumstances. The influence of the Liturgy of the monastery of St. Sabas near Jerusalem was also deeply felt and so the Byzantine rite took on an 'oriental aspect'. The last synthesis between these elements happened around the XIV Century – a period during which the Byzantine rite rose up but not anywhere. Because of the difficult contacts between East and West, the Monastery of Grottaferrata follows the Byzantine rite but according to a more ancient type not touched by the changes which took place after the 10th.

Between the rites of Eastern and Western Christendom there are no substantial differences (with the exception of the influence operated by the different cultures) concerning the purpose of their own existence, which is to celebrate the glory of God in this world.

The Italo-Byzantine Liturgy is shared by pilgrims and tourists during the whole Liturgical year. Particularly meaningful are the Celebrations of the Holy Week. See Calendar.

Download the Apolitìkion "O kalé mou" from the "Life of St. Nilus". ( .mp3 - 3,10MB - stream 192Kbps).

This Hymn of Byzantine Melurgy is sung by the Basilian Monks of Exarchic Greek Abbey of Grottaferrata.


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