Divine Liturgy (Greek: Θεία Λειτουργία, Georgian: საღმრთო ლიტურგია, Bulgarian: Божествена литургия, Russian: Божественная литургия, Armenian: Սուրբ Պատարագ, Serbian: Света Литургија, Romanian: Sfânta Liturghie) is the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, use the same term. Some Oriental Orthodox employ the term "holy offering" (Syriac: qurbana qadisha , Armenian: surb patarag) for their Eucharistic liturgies instead. The term is sometimes applied also to Latin Rite Eucharistic liturgies, though the term Mass is more commonly used there.
In Eastern traditions, especially that of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Divine Liturgy is seen as transcending time, and the world. All believers are believed to be united in worship in the Kingdom of God along with departed Saints and the celestial Angels. To this end, everything in the Liturgy is seen as symbolic, yet also not just merely symbolic, but making the unseen reality manifest. According to Eastern tradition and belief, the Liturgy's roots go back to Jewish worship and the adaptation of Jewish worship by Early Christians. This can be seen in the first parts of the Liturgy that is termed, the "Liturgy of the Word" that includes reading of scriptures and the Sermon/Homily. The latter half was believed to be added based on the Last Supper and the first Eucharistic celebrations by Early Christians. Eastern Christians participating in the Liturgy also traditionally believe that the Eucharist is the central part of the service, as they believe it truly becomes the real Body and Blood of Christ, and through their partaking of it, they see themselves as together becoming the Body of Christ (that is, the Church). Each Liturgy has its differences from others, but most are very similar to each other with adaptations based on tradition, purpose, culture and theology.
There are three Divine Liturgies in the Byzantine Rite that are in common use in the Eastern Orthodox Church and Byzantine Catholic churches:
The Hierarchical Liturgy. As numbers in a diocese increased dramatically the bishop as presiding over the Eucharistic assembly appointed presbyters as celebrant in the local community (the parish). Still, the Church is understood in Eastern Orthodoxy not in terms of the presbyter, but the diocesan bishop. When the latter is present, he is chief celebrant. Phrases and hymns are also added. The hierarch commemorates his hierarch demonstrating unity with the greater Orthodox community.
The format of Divine Liturgy is fixed, although the specific readings and hymns vary with season and feast.