Double Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Bishops and Confessors

Missa "Sacerdótes Tui"

White Vestments

    Saints Cyril and Methodius were two brothers were born in Thessalonica in 827 and 826 respectively to a Byzantine Greek drungarios (a military rank) named Leon. Cyril was reputedly the youngest of seven brothers, according to the Vita Cyrilli ("The Life of Cyril"). Cyril's birth name was Constantine and he was probably renamed Cyril (Greek for 'Lordly') just before or after his death in Rome.

    The two brothers lost their father when Cyril was only fourteen, and their uncle Theoktistos ( became their protector. Theoktistos was a "Logothetes tou dromou," a powerful Byzantine official, responsible for the postal services and the diplomatic relations of the Empire. He was also responsible, along with the regent Bardas, for initiating a far-reaching educational program within the Empire which culminated in the establishment of the University of Magnaura, where Cyril was to teach. Theoktistos invited Cyril to Constantinople in 843, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and helped him continue his studies at the University there. He also arranged the later placement of Methodius as an abbot in the famous Greek monastery of Polychron in Constantinople.

    Photius is said to have been among Cyril’s teachers; Anastasius Bibliothecarius mentions their later friendship, as well as a conflict between them on a point of doctrine. Cyril learned an eclectic variety of knowledge including astronomy, geometry, rhetoric and music. However, it was in the field of linguistics that Cyril particularly excelled. Besides his native Greek language, he was fluent in Latin, Arabic, Hebrew; and Slavonic.

    After the completion of his education Cyril took holy orders and became a monk. He seems to have held the important position of chartophylax, or secretary to the patriarch and keeper of the archives, with some judicial functions also. After six months' quiet retirement in a monastery he began to teach philosophy and theology.

    The fact that Cyril was a master theologian with a good command of both the Arabic and Hebrew languages made him eligible for his first state mission to the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mutawakkil in order to discuss the principle of the Holy Trinity with the Arab theologian and to tighten the diplomatic relations between the Abbashid Caliphate and the Empire.

    Cyril also took an active role in relations with the other two great Judaic, monotheistic religions, Islam and Judaism. He penned fiercely anti-Jewish polemics, perhaps connected with his mission to the Khazar Khaganate, a state located near the Sea of Azov ruled by a Jewish king who allowed Jews, Muslims, and Christians to live peaceably side by side. He also undertook a mission to the Arabs with whom, according to the Vita, he held discussions. He is said to have learned the Hebrew, Samaritan and Arabic languages during this period.

    The second mission in 860 requested by the Byzantine Emperor Michael III and the Patriarch of Constantinople Photius (a professor of Cyril's at the University and his guiding light in earlier years) was a missionary expedition to the Khazar Khagan in order to prevent the expansion of Judaism there. This mission was unsuccessful, as later the Khagan imposed Judaism to his people as the national religion. It has been claimed that Methodius also accompanied Cyril on the mission to the Khazars, but this is probably a later invention. The account of his life presented in the Latin Legenda claims that he also learned the Khazar language while in Chersonesos, in Taurica (today Crimea).

    After his return to Constantinople, Cyril assumed the role of professor of philosophy at the University while his brother had by this time become a significant player in Byzantine political and administrative affairs, and an abbot of his monastery.

    In 862, both brothers were to enter upon the work which gives them their historical importance. That year the Prince Rastislav of Great Moravia requested that the Emperor Michael III and the Patriarch Photius send missionaries to evangelize his Slavic subjects. His motives in doing so were probably more political than religious. Rastislav had become king with the support of the Frankish ruler Louis the German, but subsequently sought to assert his independence from the Franks. He is said to have expelled missionaries of the Roman Church and instead turned to Constantinople for ecclesiastical assistance and, presumably, a degree of political support. The request provided a convenient opportunity to expand Byzantine influence, and the task was entrusted to Cyril and Methodius. Their first work seems to have been the training of assistants.

    In 863, they began the task of translating the Bible into the language now known as Old Church Slavonic and travelled to Great Moravia to promote it. They enjoyed considerable success in this endeavour. However, they came into conflict with German ecclesiastics who opposed their efforts to create a specifically Slavic liturgy.

    For the purpose of this mission, they devised the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet to be used for Slavonic manuscripts. The Glagolitic alphabet was suited to match the specific features of the Slavic language and its descendant alphabet, the Cyrillic Alphabet, is still used by many languages today.

    They also translated Christian texts for Slavs into the language that is now called Old Church Slavonic and wrote the first Slavic Civil Code, which was used in Great Moravia. The language derived from Old Church Slavonic, known as Church Slavonic, is still used in liturgy by several Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches.

    It is impossible to determine with certainty what portions of the Bible the brothers translated. The New Testament and the Psalms seem to have been the first, followed by other lessons from the Old Testament. The Translatio speaks only of a version of the Gospels by Cyril, and the Vita Methodii only of the evangelium Slovenicum, though other liturgical selections may also have been translated.

    Nor is it known for sure which liturgy, that of Rome or that of Constantinople, they took as a source. They may well have used the Roman, as suggested by liturgical fragments which adhere closely to the Latin type. This view is confirmed by the "Prague Fragments" and by certain Old Glagolitic liturgical fragments brought from Jerusalem to Kiev and there discovered by Saresnewsky-- probably the oldest document for the Slavonic tongue; these adhere closely to the Latin type, as is shown by the words "mass", "preface", and the name of one Felicitas. In any case, the circumstances were such that the brothers could hope for no permanent success without obtaining the authorization of Rome.

    In 867, Pope Nicholas I invited the brothers to Rome. Their evangelizing mission in Moravia had by this time become the focus of a dispute with Theotmar, the Archbishop of Salzburg and bishop of Passau, who claimed ecclesiastical control of the same territory and wished to see it use the Latin liturgy exclusively. Travelling with the relics of Saint Clement and a retinue of disciples, and passing through Pannonia (the Balaton Principality), where they were well received by Prince Kozel, they finally arrived in Rome in 868 where they were warmly received. This was partly due to their bringing with them the relics of St. Clement; while the rivalry with Constantinople, as to the jurisdiction over the territory of the Slavs would incline Rome to value the brothers and their influence.

    The brothers were praised for their learning and cultivated for their influence in Constantinople. Anastasius would later call Cyril "the teacher of the Apostolic See". Their project in Moravia found support from Pope Adrian II, who formally authorized the use of the new Slavic liturgy. The ordination of the brothers' Slav disciples was performed by Formosus and Gauderic, two prominent bishops, and the newly made priests officiated in their own tongue at the altars of some of the principal churches. Feeling his end approaching, Cyril put on the monastic habit and died fifty days later on February 14, 869.

    Methodius carried on the work among the Slavs alone; not at first in Great Moravia, but in Pannonia (in the Balaton Principality), owing to the political circumstances of the former country, where Rastislav had been taken captive by his nephew Svatopluk, then delivered over to Carloman, and condemned in a diet of the empire at the end of 870.

    Friendly relations, on the other hand, had been established with Kocel on the journey to Rome. This activity in Pannonia, however, made a conflict inevitable with the German episcopate, and especially with the bishop of Salzburg, to whose jurisdiction Pannonia had belonged for seventy-five years. In 865 Bishop Adalwin is found exercising all Episcopal rights there, and the administration under him was in the hands of the archpriest Riehbald. The latter was obliged to retire to Salzburg, but his superior was naturally disinclined to abandon his claims. Methodius sought support from Rome; the Vita asserts that Kocel sent him thither with an honorable escort to receive Episcopal consecration.

    It is noteworthy that the pope named Methodius not bishop of Pannonia, but archbishop of Sirmium, thus superseding the claims of Salzburg by an older title. The statement of the Vita that Methodius was made bishop in 870 and not raised to the dignity of an archbishop until 873 is contradicted by the brief of Pope John VIII, written in June, 879, according to which Adrian consecrated him archbishop; John includes in his jurisdiction not only Great Moravia and Pannonia, but all of Serbia as well.

    The archiepiscopal claims of Methodius were considered such an injury to the rights of Salzburg that he was forced to answer for them at a synod held at Regensburg in the presence of King Louis. The assembly, after a heated discussion, declared the deposition of the intruder, and ordered him to be sent to Germany, where he was kept a prisoner for two and a half years. In spite of the strong representations of the Conversio Bagoariorum et Carantanorum, written in 871 to influence the pope, though not avowing this purpose, Rome declared emphatically for Methodius, and sent a bishop, Paul of Ancons, to reinstate him and punish his enemies, after which both parties were commanded to appear in Rome with the legate.

    The papal will prevailed, and Methodius secured his freedom and his archiepiscopal authority over both Great Moravia and Pannonia, though the use of Slavonic for the mass was still denied to him. His authority was restricted in Pannonia when after Kozel's death the principality was administered by German nobles; but Svatopluk now ruled with practical independence in Great Moravia, and expelled the German clergy. This apparently secured an undisturbed field of operation for Methodius; and the Vita depicts the next few years, from 873 to 879, as a period of fruitful progress. Methodius seems to have disregarded, wholly or in part, the prohibition of the Slavonic liturgy; and when Frankish clerics again found their way into the country, and the archbishop's strictness had displeased the licentious Svatopluk, this was made a cause of complaint against him at Rome, coupled with charges regarding the Filioque.

    Methodius vindicated his orthodoxy at Rome, the more easily as the creed was still recited there without the Filioque, and promised to obey in regard to the liturgy. The other party was conciliated by giving him a Swabian, Wiching, as his coadjutor. When relations were strained between the two, John VIII steadfastly supported Methodius; but after the pope's death in December 882, the archbishop's position became insecure, and his need of support induced Goetz to accept the statement of the Vita (xiii.) that he went to visit the Eastern emperor.

    It was not, however, until after Methodius' death, which is placed, though not with certainty, on 8 April 885, that the animosity erupted into an open conflict. Gorazd, whom Methodius had designated as his successor, was not recognised by Pope Stephen V. The same Pope forbade the use of the Slavic liturgy and placed the infamous Wiching as Methodius' successor. The later exiled the disciples of the two brothers from Great Moravia in 885. They fled to the First Bulgarian Empire, where they were welcomed and commissioned to establish theological schools. There they devised the Cyrillic Alphabet on the basis of the Glagolitic Alphabet. Cyrillic gradually replaced Glagolitic as the alphabet of the Old Church Slavonic (Old Bulgarian) language, which became the official language of the Bulgarian Empire and later spread to the Eastern Slav lands of Kievan Russia. Cyrillic eventually spread throughout most of the Slavic world to become the standard alphabet in the Orthodox Slavic countries. Hence, Cyril and Methodius' efforts also paved the way for the spread of Christianity throughout Eastern Europe.

    Cyril was canonized as a saint by the eastern Church, with Pope Leo XIII canonizing him separately in 1880 along with Methodius. The two brothers are known as the "Apostles of the Slavs" and are still highly regarded by the Catholic and Orthodox Church. Sources: Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913 and Encyclopedia Britanica

    Resources: We are grateful to Friends of Our Lady of Fatima for providing the Propers for the faithful. Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945



Missa "Sacerdótes Tui"

Go to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS THE MASS OF THE CATECHUMENS
INTROIT:    Psalm 131: 9-10
Sacerdótes Tui Dómine, índuant justítiam, et sancti tui exsúltent: propter David servum Tuum, non avértas fáciem Christi Tui. V. (Ps. 131: 1) Memento Dómine David et omnis mansuetúdinis ejus. v. Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancti sicut erat in principio et nunc, et semper, et saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Repeat Sacerdótes Tui...
Let Thy priests, O Lord, be clothed with justice, and let Thy saints rejoice: for Thy servant David's sake, turn not away the face of Thine anointed. V. (Ps. 131: 1) O Lord, remember David and all his meekness. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat Let Thy priests...
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COLLECT
Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, qui Slavóniæ gentes per beátos Confessóres tuos atque Pontífices Cyríllum et Methódium ad agnitiónem tui nóminis veníre tribuíisti: præsta: ut, quorum festivitáte gloriámur, eórum consórtio copulémur. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
Almighty, eternal God, Who didst grant the peoples of Slavonia to come to the knowledge of Thy name through Thy blessed confessors and bishops, Cyril and Methodius, grant that, as we glory in their festival, we may be joined with them in fellowship. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
Forever and ever.
R.Amen.

EPISTLE: Hebrews 7: 23-27
Léctio Epístolæ beáti Pauli Apóstoli ad Hebros. Fratres: Plures facti sunt sacerdótes, idcírco quod morte prohiberéntur permanére: Jesus autem eo quod máneat in ætérnum, sempitérnum habet sacerdótium. Unde et salváre in perpétuum potest accedéntes per semetípsum ad Deum: semper vivens ad interpellándum pro nobis. Talis enim decébat ut nobis esset póntifex, sanctus, innocens, impollútus, segregátus a peccatóribus, et excélsior coelis factus: qui non habet necessitátem quotidie, quemádmodum sacerdótes, prius pro suis delíctis hóstias offérre, deínde pro pópuli: hoc enim fecit semel, seípsum offeréndo, Jesus Christus Dóminus noster. Deo Gratias.
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews. Brethren, there were made many priests, because by reason of death they were not suffered to continue: but Jesus, for that He continueth forever, hath an everlasting priesthood. Whereby He is able also to save forever them that come to God by Him; always living to make intercession for us. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, and undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily (as the other priests) to offer sacrifice first for His own sins, and then for the people's; for this Jesus Christ our Lord did once, in offering Himself. Thanks be to God.

GRADUAL:   Psalm 131: 16-17
Sacerdótes ejus induam salutári: et sancti ejus exsultatióne exsultábunt. V. Illuc prodúcam cornu David; parávi lucérnam Christo meo. Allelúja, allelúja. V. (Ps. 109: 4). Jurávit Dóminus, et non poenitébit eum: Tu es sacérdos in ætérnum, secúndum órdinem Melchísedech. Allelúja.
I will clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall rejoice with exceeding great joy. V. There will I bring forth a horn to David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 109, 4). The Lord hath sworn, and He will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. Alleluia.

GOSPEL:   Luke 10: 1-9
Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam
R.Gloria tibi, Domine

In illo témpore: Designávit Dóminus et álios septuagínta duos: et misit illos binos ante fáciem suam in omnem civitátem et locum, quo erat ipse ventúrus. Et dicébat illis: "Messis quidem multa, operárii autem pauci. Rogáte ergo Dóminum messis ut mittat operários in messem suam. Ite: ecce ego mitto vos sicut agnos inter lupos. Nolíte portáre sácculum, neque peram, neque calceaménta, et néminem per viam salutavéritis. In quamcúmque domum intravéritis, primum dícite: Pax huic dómui; et si ibi fúerit fílius pacis, requiéscet super illum pax vestra: sin autem, ad vos revertétur. In eádem autem domo manéte edéntes, et bibéntes quæ apud illos sunt: dignus est enim operárius mercéde sua. Nolíte transíre de domo in domum. Et in quamcúmque civitátem intravéritis, et suscéperint vos, manducáte quæ apponúntur vobis: et curáte infírmos, qui in illa sunt, et dícite ilis: Appropinquávit in vos regnum Dei."
Laus tibi Christe

The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Luke.
R. Glory to Thee, O Lord

At that time, The Lord appointed also other seventy-two; and He sent them two and two before His face into every city and place whither He Himself was to come. And He said to them, "The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He send laborers into His harvest. Go, behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say, Peace be to this house: and if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him: but if not, it shall return to you. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Remove not from house to house. And into what city soever you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you; and heal the sick that are therein; and say to them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you."
Praise be to Christ

Return to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS THE OFFERTORY
OFFERTORY:    Psalm 67: 36
Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

Mirábilis Deus in sanctis suis: Deus Israël, ipse dabit virtútem, et fortitúdinen. plebi suæ: benedíctus Deus.
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

God is wonderful In His saints: the God of Israel is He Who will give power and strength to His people: blessed be God.
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SECRET
Preces nostras, quæsumus, Dómine, et tuórum réspice oblatiónes fidélium: ut tibi gratia sint in tuórum festivitáte Sanctórum, et nobis cónferant tum propitiatiónis auxílium. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
Have regard to our prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and to the oblations of Thy faithful, that they may be pleasing unto Thee on the festival of Thy saints, and may draw down on us the aid of Thy mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
R.Amen.

PREFACE   of the Apostles
Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Sursum corda.
R.Habemus ad Dominum.
Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro.
R. Dignum et justum est.

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare. Te Domine supplicitur exorare, ut gregem tuum pastor aeterne, non deseras: sed per beatos Apostolos tuos continua protectione custodias. Ut iisdem rectoribus gubernetur, quos operis tui vicarious eidem contulisti praesse pastores. Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus, cumque omni militia caelestis exercitus, hymnum gloriae tuae canimus, sine fine dicentes:
SANCTUS, SANCTUS, SANCTUS...
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Lift up your hearts.
R.We have lifted them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is meet and just.

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou woulds not desert Thy flock. O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangesl, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of The glory, evermore saying:
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY...


Return to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS THE CANON OF THE MASS
COMMUNION:   Matthew 10: 27
Quod dico vobis in ténebris, dícite in lúmine, dicit Dóminus: et quod in aure audítis, prædicáte super tecta.
That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light, saith the Lord; and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the house tops.

POSTCOMMUNION
Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Oremus.
Quæsumus, omnípotens Deus: ut, qui nobis múnera dignáris præbére coeléstia, intercedéntibus sanctis tuis Cyríllo et Methódio, despícere terréna concédas. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
We beseech Thee, O Almighty God, that Thou, Who dost vouchsafe unto us the Heavenly gifts, grant us, by the intercession of Thy saints, Cyril and Methodius, to despise all things earthly. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God,
Forever and ever.
R. Amen.
Return to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS CONCLUSION OF THE HOLY MASS


Daily Proper for the Feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius