Holy Mothers of Orthodoxy

by

Eva Catafygiotu Topping


Glossary

Acrostic
the initial letters of each line of the verse, in order, spell the hymnographer’s name
Aetiological or Etiological
assigning or seeking to assign a cause
Akathistos Hymnos
Akathist Hymn, a hymn dedicated to a saint, holy event or one of the persons of the Holy Trinity
Amartia
sin, literally missing the mark
Anastasis
Resurrection
Androcentrism
centered on, emphasizing, or dominated by males or stereotypical “masculine” interests
Anthropos
person, not gender specific
Apocrypha
a group of 14 books included in the Septuagint and the Vulgate as part of the Old Testament, depending on the book they are consider canonical or authoritative by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church but are usually omitted from Protestant editions of the Bible.
Aposticha
a set of hymns (stichera) accompanied by Psalm verses chanted towards the end of Vespers and Matins in the Eastern Orthodox Church
Apse
in architecture a semicircular recess in a building, usually vaulted and used especially at the end of a church
Ascetic
a nun, monk or hermit, living in a convent, monastery or alone in a wilderness
Bards
poets (including hymnographers)
Basileus
king, queen, emperor, empress
Blood taboo
ancient belief (superstition) that women are “unclean” during menstruation or for 40 days after the birth of a child and may not participate in the sacraments of the Church (still practiced in the Eastern Orthodox Church, even after it rejection by Christ in His healing of the woman with the 12-year flow of blood)
Byzantium
an ancient Greek city on the Bosporus and the Sea of Marmara: Constantine I rebuilt it and renamed it Constantinople A.D. 330, modern day Istanbul
Canon
1. In the Eastern Church: a liturgical sequence sung at matins, usually consisting of nine odes arranged in a fixed pattern, also spelled kanon
2. (canon law) the body of ecclesiastical law, usually plural- canons
Canonize
to place in the canon of saints, to glorify
Cherubim
a member of the second order of angels
Chiote
person from the Greek island of Chios
Church Fathers
teachers and writers of the early Christian church, eminent for their learning and orthodoxy, experience, and sanctity of life
Church Mothers
women who, by their teaching; preaching; baptizing; founding and leading churches [e.g. St. Phoebe, Deacon of the Church at Cenchrae and “a leader of many, and of myself” (Romans 16:2, Young’s Literal Translation)]; and defending Christianity, often with their lives, insured the survival and growth of the Christian Church
Cloister
a monastery or convent
Consecrated virgins
a designated order of women in the early Church who were set aside to remain virgins in order to serve the Church fully, without the responsibilities of family (evolved into nuns)
Corpus
a collection of writings
Cult
In Christianity: group of Christian people who embrace a particular doctrinal system taught by an individual leader, group of leaders or who follow a Christian personage whom they greatly admire and wish to imitate
Daughters of Eve
Christian women
Deification (synonym for Theosis)
by the grace of God becoming more like God, moving toward restoring the original relationship between God and humans through spiritual struggle (It is not possible, however, for any created being to become perfect as God is
Demotike
demotic, modern everyday Greek language has a similar relation to Byzantine Greek as Modern English has to Old English
Desert Mothers/Fathers
Christian hermits who were spiritually influential in the early centuries of the Church
Diakonia
the selfless giving of love, service to God
Diatonic
certain modes in Byzantine chant
Diocese
an ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop
Divine Liturgy
the Eucharistic (where Holy Communion is offered) service of the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches
Dogma
the teachings of the Church
Doxa
glory, praise, worship
Echeirotonisen auten diakonon
He ordained her a deacon.
Eisegesis
an interpretation, esp. of Scripture, that expresses the interpreter's own ideas, bias, or the like, rather than the meaning of the text
Ekklesia
the people who comprise the Church
Enanthropeo
become human
Enanthropesis
incarnation, act of becoming human
Encomium
a formal expression of high praise
Episcopal
of or pertaining to a bishop
Epithets
any word or phrase applied to a person or thing to describe an actual or attributed quality: “Richard the Lion-Hearted” is an epithet of King Richard I of England
Esperinos
an evening service, vespers
Euangelion (Evangelion)
the Gospel, good news of the Resurrection
Euangelistrai (Evangelistrai)
evangelists
Eusebia
piety
Evangelismos
evangelism
Exegesis
a critical explanation or interpretation of the Bible
extant
still in existence
Fall
when Adam and Eve sinned and fell from God’s grace
Feastday/Feast
the day on which a saint of the Church died and is the date on which the memory of that person is commemorated
Fugue
a polyphonic composition based upon one, two, or more themes, which are enunciated by several voices or parts in turn, subjected to contrapuntal treatment, and gradually built up into a complex form having somewhat distinct divisions or stages of development and a marked climax at the end
garrulous
excessively talkative in a rambling, roundabout manner, esp. about trivial matters
Hagia Sophia
literally, “Holy Wisdom; by order of Emperor Justinian and with the aid of Isidorus of Miletus, he built (532-37) the magnificent church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (Istanbul), which is at the site of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
Heirmoi (plural of heirmos)
trains of thought, coherence
Hierarchy
an organized body of ecclesiastical officials in successive ranks or orders
Hieratic
pertaining to priests or the priesthood; sacerdotal; priestly
Hieron
the area in which the Altar is located in Eastern Orthodox churches
Holy
1. entitled to worship or veneration as or as if sacred
2. saintly; godly; pious; devout, having a spiritually pure quality
Homiletic
having to do with preaching of homilies (sermons)
Hosia
indicating a female hermit
Hosios
indicating a male hermit
Hypapante
the presentation of the infant Jesus into the Temple and the purification by the Virgin Mary
Icon
a representation of some sacred personage, such as Christ, a saint, or angel; or of important event such as the Nativity of Christ painted usually on a wood surface
Iconoclasm
the beliefs of breakers or destroyers of images or icons, especially those set up for religious veneration. Theprinciple belief is that veneration is the same was worship of the icon. Worshiping an icon is considered idolatry.
Iconophile
someone who supports the veneration but not the worship of icons as representations of events or people. The distinction is the God is worshiped but an icon of Christ is only venerated. Note saints are never worshiped only venerated for their piety and example.
Incarnation
God taking human form (as Jesus)
Internalize
to accept and incorporate (the cultural values, beliefs, mores, motives, etc., of another or of a group), through learning, socialization, or psychologization
Kathismata
the 20 divisions of the Psalter in the Greek rite
Kerygma
the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, esp. in the manner of the early church, the content or message of such preaching
Kontakion
a hymn consisting of 18-24 oikoi (stanzas), often honoring a saint
Ladies Philoptochos Society
A Greek Orthodox Church women’s charitable Organization. Men can join, but they cannot vote.
Leitourgia
liturgy
Liturgical
pertaining to the liturgy or Eucharistic service
Liturgy
the Eucharistic (offering Holy Communion) service
Mathetria(i)
female students, disciple(s)
Melodes
melodies
Melodos
signifying a hymnographer
Menaion
a work of twelve volumes, each containing the offices (services) in the Greek Orthodox Church for a month
Metania
repentance
Meter Theou
Mother of God (Virgin Mary)
Mnemosynon
memorial service
Mother of God
refers to the Virgin Mary as the mother of God as Jesus
Myrophoros(oi)
myrrhbearer(s), normally refers to one of the women (group) who went to Christ's tomb on the Sunday after the Crucifixion to anoint His body with spices and who where the first to learn of the Resurrection and the empty tomb
O monoyenes yios
the beginning words to a hymn: “O only-begotten Son…” (Hymns are often identified by their first few words.)
Ode
a lyric poem or hymn typically of elaborate or irregular metrical form and expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion
Odines
griefs
Oikos
the 18 to 24 metrically identical stanzas of a kontakion
Oikoumene
the inhabited earth, world
Opprobrium
the disgrace or the reproach incurred by conduct considered outrageously shameful; infamy
Orthodox Eve
Eastern Orthodox Christian woman (who presumably carry forever the taint of the sin of Eve in Eden)
Orthros
Matins (immediately precedes the Divine Liturgy)
Ostentatious
characterized by or given to pretentious or conspicuous show in an attempt to impress others, puts on “airs”
Paean
any song of praise, joy, or triumph
Pagan
observing a polytheistic religion, such as the ancient Romans and Greeks,
Paradigm
example, model, pattern
Panegyric
formal or elaborate praise
Pathos
That quality of anything which touches the feelings or excites emotions and passions, awakening emotions such as pity or sorrow
Patriarch
1. Patriarch of Constantinople, regarded as the highest dignitary of the Greek Orthodox Church
2. the head of a self-governing branch of the Eastern Orthodox Church, e.g., the Patriarch of Moscow is the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. Patriarchs have considerably less authority and power than the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church
Patriarchal
ruled by males
Patriarchy
a form of social organization in which the father is the supreme authority in the family, clan, or tribe and descent is reckoned in the male line, with the children belonging to the father's clan or tribe, a society, community, or country based on this social organization
Patristic
of or pertaining to the “Fathers” of the Christian Church or their writings
Pedantic
overly concerned with minute details or formalisms, esp. in teaching.
Perfidy
deliberate breach of faith or trust; faithlessness; treachery
Pharisee
a member of a Jewish sect that flourished during the 1st century B.C. and 1st century A.D. and that differed from the Sadducees chiefly in its strict observance of religious ceremonies and practices, adherence to oral laws and traditions, and belief in an afterlife and the coming of a Messiah
Philanthropia
charity
Philanthropos
friend of humanity
Pieuses (Fr.)
pious (women)
Polity
a state or other government (including ecclesiastical) organized community or body
Praxis
convention, habit, or custom, church practices
Protomartyr
first martyr
Psalter
a psalm book used for reading in church services
Relic
the body, a part of the body, or some personal memorial of a saint, martyr, or other sacred person, preserved as worthy of veneration
Saint
any of certain persons of exceptional holiness (righteousness) of life, formally recognized as such by the Christian Church, esp. by canonization
Self-fulfilling prophecy
something someone else says about you that you make to come true by accepting it as truth and behaving according to its premises (Many people who are oppressed come to accept their oppressors (false) opinions of them as true and act according to them.
Sign of the Cross
a means of witnessing as a Christian in which the right hand, with fingers positioned to represent the two (human and divine) natures of Christ and the Trinitarian nature of God, makes the shape of a Cross over the upper body
Staurophoros
one who puts on (accepts and follows) the Cross
Sticheron pl. stichera
a particular kind of hymn used in the Divine Liturgy, acolouthia (daily office) or other services of the Orthodox Church usually sung in alternation with psalm verses or other scriptural verses
Strophe(s)
the first of the three series of lines forming the divisions of each section of a Pindaric ode
Sun of Righteousness
a title for Christ as the Light of the World
Suppliant
a person who supplicates, asks for something; petitioner
Synaxaria
a book containing the summaries of the lives of saint, read at the orthros service
Synaxis
an assembly for religious worship, esp. for the celebration of the Eucharist
Taxis
place (esp. in some kind of qualitative order)
Theia Doxa
holy glory, divine glory
Theophoros
one who puts on (accepts and follows) Christ
Theosis
deification — becoming like God. a lifelong process of becoming closer to God and increasing spiritual maturity, struggle, and holiness. One never fully realizes ultimate theosis
Theotokarion
book of hymns to the Virgin Mary
Theotokos
the Virgin Mary (means “bearer of God”—as in Jesus)
Thiasos
a band or company assembled in honor of a divinity
Tokos
interest
Tone
any of the eight “scales” to which hymns are chanted in Byzantine chant
Tonsure
the shaving of the head or of some part of it as a religious practice or rite, esp. in preparation for entering a clerical or monastic order
Topos
a place, site
Triodion
the liturgical book used by the Eastern Orthodox Church during Great Lent and the preparatory weeks leading up to it
Troparion
a short hymn of one stanza, or one of a series of stanzas
Ubiquitous
existing or being everywhere, esp. at the same time; omnipresent from Latin ubique - everywhere
Venerate/veneration
to regard or treat with reverence or greatly respect but is not to worship as deity, worship is only for God
Vigil
a nocturnal devotional exercise or service, esp. on the eve before a church festival

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