Alexander Gretchaninoff composed four complete settings of the Divine Liturgy. His first Liturgy, opus 13, dates from 1898 and represents the composer’s first foray into the realm of Orthodox liturgical music. In terms of style it closely follows the model of Tchaikovsky's Liturgy of St. John Chrystostom, composed twenty years earlier. The music is through composed, making no use of pre-existing chant melodies. The elegant and colorful harmonic writing serves as the primary means of expressing the sacred text.