The Byzantine Rite

The small St. Nicholas Church
The large St. Nicholas Church

Our nurture of the byzantine rite (the tradition of the Eastern Church) arose from the ecumenical mission of our monastery. Decades of intensive efforts in the area of byzantine liturgy, spirituality and theology have come to create a tradition of its own in Niederaltaich. In the sense of “experiential transmission” the monks celebrate both the byzantine rite of the Divine Liturgy (Eucharist) and the Divine Office (prayers of the hours) in the German language, in order to make the riches of eastern liturgical, spiritual and theological tradition more accessible for Christians from the Western Churches.

For this purpose a large selection of the byzantine liturgical texts were translated from the Greek or Church Slavonic over a period of many years and adjusted for singing. From the beginning on, the basis for the musical form was Russian monophonic or polyphonic choral song.

Because the old Byzantine Chapel had become too small for the growing number of churchgoers, in 1986 an older tract of the monastery was used to create a larger church and a chapel. Both of them are consecrated to Bishop Nicholas of Myra, who is venerated in both East and West.