Nikiforova Alexandra

Old hagiopolite footwashing rite in tropologion SIN. GR. ΜΓ/ΝΕ 56+5

Nikiforova Alexandra (2018) "Old hagiopolite footwashing rite in tropologion SIN. GR. ΜΓ/ΝΕ 56+5 ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2018, vol. 84, pp. 9-34 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201884.9-34


In this article, the author presents the fi rst publication and study of an ancient Hagiopolite rite of footwashing from a 9th century Greek Tropologion from Egypt, Sin. gr. ΝΕ / ΜΓ 56+5. The rite is typologically close to the rites in the Ancient Iadgari and the Georgian Lectionary, and can be dated to a time before the 7th–8th c. The ceremony was performed on Great Thursday after the Eucharistic synaxis, in the same way in the towns as in monasteries. The kernel of the rite consists of a prokeimenon, Gospel reading from Jn 13, synapte, prayer, and washing of the feet. The rite in this Tropologion diff ered from that in the Georgian witnesses by including the reading of the Gospel (Jn 13: 3–17) after the washing of the feet, rather than before it, as well as by a different hymnographical formulary, performed in a diff erent way, with refrains from psalms 118 and 50. The archaic troparia refl ected the early patristic interpretations of the washing of the feet as purifi cation from sin, receipt of the portion of Christ, and an example of humility. These texts were maintained in the liturgy for only a brief period (in Sin. gr. 734–735, 10thc.; EBE 788, 12th c.; Stavrou 43, A.D. 1122; Vatop. gr. 1488, 13th c.), but the structure of the rite itself (Gospel – synapte – prayer – footwashing), its position after the Eucharistic liturgy, and the infl uence of the ideas of the early Church Fathers has remained until today. The ancient rite was still in use in the 10th c., when new, more complicated rites appeared, with more complicated and refi ned hymnography, composed in the 7th–8th c., and a more strongly pronounced dramatic element, in which not only the footwashing itself was signifi cant, but also the commemoration of the historical event, where each participant played a specifi c role, either of Christ or of one of Apostles.


liturgy of Jerusalem, footwashing rite, new fi nds at St. Catherine’s monastery, tropologion


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Information about the author

Nikiforova Alexandra

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Philology;
Academic Rank: Senior Research Fellow;
Place of work: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities; 6/1 Likhov pereulok, Moscow 127051, Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0001-8453-7179;
Email: sashunja@yandex.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.