NeoChalcedonian has posted this comment on our last post:
Could you point me in the direction of works on the development of liturgical traditions, prayers, etc.? I am extremely ignorant on these matters. Knowing the history & meaning of the symbolism helps me appreciate the service more.
Actually, responding is a little difficult. We are not really aware of works in English that interpret symbolically the Divine Liturgy and the Services. There is the work of St Symeon of Thessalonica writing in the 15th Century just before the fall of Thessalonica who does that sort of thing, but we are not sure how much of his work has been translated into English. There is also St Nicholas Cabasilas on the Divine Liturgy.
From an academic point of view, there really is no synoptic work on the development of the Greek Typikon. The best writer is Fr Robert Taft, SJ, who is (the last we heard) at the Gregorian in
In brief, there were historically two orders of service in the
All the services in the Orthodox Church now follow the Monastic Typikon. That is why they sometimes present difficulties for members of the Orthodox Parish—because the Services were originally designed for a monastery. There is a complicated history to the development of the Monastic Typikon that has it begin in the Monastery of St Savvas in
For these sorts of questions, the best thing is to approach an Orthodox Seminary or Theological Faculty, where the Professor of Liturgy will have a reading list. Part of the problem, given that the synoptic literature is meagre, is that many of the studies are in foreign languages. It’s a difficult topic to find literature on in English.