Lecture: Stefanos Alexopoulos

Event Date: 
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 18:45

Visiting Assistant Professor of Liturgical Studies, Yale Institute of Sacred Music presented his lecture titled “When a Column Speaks: The Liturgy of the Christian Parthenon”.

Date, time and location:
Friday, March 9th, 2012 at 8 pm
Chapel of the Annunciation Cathedral
245 Valencia St. (in the Mission district)
San Francisco, CA 94103

Rev. Stefanos Alexopoulos, Visiting Assistant Professor of Liturgical Studies, Yale University, teaches in the College Year in Athens (Greece) program and was recently elected assistant professor of liturgy at the Ecclesiastical Academy of Athens. He is a graduate of Notre Dame’s Department of Theology, and the author of 'The Presanctified Liturgy in the Byzantine Rite: A Comparative Analysis of Its Origins, Evolution, and Structural Units' (2009).

Rev. Alexopoulos provided an abstract of his talk:
“By far the best known and most visited monument in Greece today is the Parthenon, situated in the Acropolis of Athens. It is not an understatement to say that the Parthenon stands for most people as a symbol for Athens, for Greece, and for Hellenism. In the same time, however, one of the least known facts about the Parthenon is that it served as a Christian church for almost a thousand years. It functioned as the Cathedral of the city of Athens, was known as the shrine of Panagia Atheniotissa and became a famed pilgrim destination during the Byzantine era. Notwithstanding its use as a Christian church for close to a millennium, we know close to nothing as to what sort of liturgy was celebrated within its walls. We have no written evidence, no direct or indirect witnesses as to what was going on ritually in the Christian Parthenon throughout its history. However, one hitherto unexploited source for the liturgy of the Christian Parthenon is the corpus of Christian inscriptions on the columns of the Parthenon which, I argue, give us enough evidence to establish links with the Cathedral Typikon of the Great Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, and also indicate that the Cathedral Typikon was followed and celebrated in the Christian Parthenon between the 9th and the 13th centuries.”

This lecture was co-sponsored by the Annunciation Cathedral and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco.