Review: St. Germanus of Constantinople on the Divine Liturgy

This book serves as an interesting introduction to the Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine Church (most typically, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom) as well as a sound introduction to liturgical commentaries more generally. The introduction provides an excellent overview of commentaries on the Eastern liturgy both before and after St. Germanus. Through this overview, Meyendorff is able to demonstrate the important place which the commentary of St. Germanus takes among such liturgical commentaries.

The commentary itself is interesting, even when not especially insightful. St. Germanus treats each of the externals of the liturgy as a symbol for some other truth of Christianity, pointing especially to the life of Christ. While most of these references and correspondences seem rather forced, they do nonetheless provide an interesting example for the common Medieval Christian practice of deriving meaning from even the most seemingly insignificant elements of Church practice.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in the historical developments and theological content of the liturgies of the Eastern Churches.

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