Author Topic: Old Believer Psalter  (Read 2319 times)

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Offline The young fogey

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Old Believer Psalter
« on: November 01, 2002, 12:59:14 AM »
From Fr Serge Keleher:

Psalter: -Æ’-ü-¦-+-+-ï -í-¦-Ã…-é-¦-¦-+ -Æ’-Ç-+-Ç-+-¦-¦ -+ -ª-¦-Ç-Ã… -ö-¦-¦-+-¦-¦, -+-+-¦-¦-+-+-¦ -í-é-¦-Ç-+-+-¦-Ç-Ã…-¦-ç-¦-ü-¦-+-¦ -£-+-é-Ç-+-+-+-+-+-¦ (Psalms of the Holy Prophet and King David, a publication of the Old Rite Metropolia), Moscow 1996, with the authorisation of Metropolitan Alimpii, printed in Smolensk.  Pp. 335.

This book is printed in modern Russian orthography, though in an imitation Slavonic font. There are two short paragraphs on the Sign of the Cross (quotations from Saint John Chrysostom) and a page of instruction on
the Jesus Prayer. There are two instructions from Saint Athanasius the Great on the Psalter, an instruction from Saint Basil the Great on the first Psalm and another, by the same Holy Father, on the fourteenth Psalm. There is an instruction by Saint John Chrysostom on the third Psalm, and two briefer instructions by Saint Ephrem the Syrian, one on the Psalms and one on prayer.
The order of the reading of the Kathismata of the Psalter at the various times of the year follows (in Old Ritualist practice the Kathismata are always read in full). Pages 70-71 explain how to read the Psalter for those fallen asleep. Page 72 gives a troparion for a deceased monk, to be
offered three times with fifteen bows. Pages 73-75 explain how one individual may chant the Psalter. Pages 77-266 consist of the actual Book of 150 Psalms, divided into Kathismata as usual; page 267 gives "Psalm 151", which appears in the Septuagint and in Orthodox editions of the
Psalter, but is not read in divine services. Pp. 268-286 provide the nine Scriptural Canticles, with indications of where to intercalate the poetic troparia of the Canons used at Orthros. Pp. 287-293 provide the prayers to be said in conclusion, after reading or chanting the Psalter and the
Scriptural Canticles. Pp. 294-329 give the penitential troparia and prayers to be used after each Kathisma of the Psalter.

Pages 330-335 give some catechetical material: the Ten
Commandments, the Beatitudes (in Russian rather than Church-Slavonic), nine Commandments of the Church (prayer, fasting, reverence for Holy Orders, Confession and Holy Communion four times a year, the avoidance of heretics
and their writings, prayer for the spiritual and civil authorities, acts of charity "for our fellow believers and for all people", not to alienate or abuse Church property, and to avoid the occasions of sin), how to prepare to receive Holy Communion - this is a page and a half of instruction on the rule of prayer for this purpose, including the use of the Lestovka (the leather form of the prayer rope as used by the Old Ritualists and which was used by all Russian Orthodox Christians before the Niconian reform). Strangely, there is no mention of Holy Confession, although the Old
Ritualists retain the use of Confession. The fifth appendix, the "spiritual pharmacy", consists of a page of maxims on the healing of spiritual infirmities and sins. The final page
lists the Seven Sacraments, the four last things, the seven deadly sins and the seven virtues opposed to those sins. The book closes with a brief exhortation on virtuous life by Saint Basil the Great.

The book could well repay a more thorough study than I have been able to give it. The actual text of the Psalter appears (at a cursory glance) to be at least related to the Church-Slavonic of the Ostrih Bible, but this requires careful, detailed comparison. The order of the Kathismata should be closely compared with that given in the Greek books, the Old Kievan books and the Niconian books. Such work would be time-consuming, but potentially worth-while.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2002, 01:59:12 AM by Serge »
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