Volume III - Church History

Fourteenth Century

Liturgical Developments

Patriarch Philotheos Kokkinos of Constantinople (r. 1353–1354 and 1364–1376) consolidated the adoption by his Church of the monastic typikon of the Saint Sabbas Monastery in the Holy Land. This helped stabilize the Church’s worship patterns to such an extent that the order of worship in the Church in the 14th century was virtually the same as it is today.

In his Commentary on the Divine Liturgy, Saint Nicholas Cabasilas gave a symbolical interpretation of the liturgy that is still applicable today. The liturgical commentaries of Saint Symeon of Thessalonica (d. 1429), which also provide detailed information about Church worship, are also still relevant.

Saint Symeon’s writings reveal that at this time in the marriage service, the Holy Eucharist was still being given to the bride and groom if they were Orthodox Christians, and the blessed “common cup” was given only to those who were not allowed to receive Holy Communion in the Church. And for the first time, the prothesis (proskomedia), as a separate rite preceding the liturgy of the Word, appeared in the liturgical books.