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date: 17 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Beginning with a notice of the major Marian hymnal elements in the New Testament text, this study goes on to consider how the most ancient Christian tradition of celebrating the role of the Virgin Mary in the salvific events the Church commemorates at prayer runs on in an unbroken line into the earliest liturgical examples from the Byzantine Greek liturgy. The study exegetes some of the chief liturgical troparia addressed to the Theotokos in the Eastern Orthodox Church ritual books. It analyses some of the more famous and renowned poetic acclamations of the Virgin in Byzantine literary tradition, such as the Sub Tuum Praesidium, the Akathist, and the Nativity Kontakion of Romanos the Melodist, but also goes on to show how the minor Theotokia (or ritual verses in honour of the Virgin), taken from the Divine Liturgy and from the Eastern Church’s Hours of Prayer, all consistently celebrate the Mother of God’s role in the salvific work of Christ in the world.

Keywords: Magnificat, Theotokos, Akathist, Chairetismoi, Proklos of Constantinople, Romanos the Melodist, Byzantine hours

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