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Author Topic: The Hours of Prayer: A Book of Devotion  (Read 4156 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: May 04, 2010, 02:10:17 PM »

The Hours of Prayer: A Book of Devotion is a book of the cycle of services published by the American Carpatho-Russian Diocese of the U.S. I used to have a perfect bound version of this book, but the recent one I bought is the spiral-bound one. Overall I would definitely recommend this book. Here are some random thoughts about it…

- The spiral binding makes it easier to hold than a regular book is, which is certainly nice if you’re standing for a while in prayer.

- There are no inter-hours in this book. I can’t recall if there were in the last edition that I had.

- At about 5” x 8” in size, and having 222 pages, the book is very manageable and light, and certainly easier to hold than the huge horologions.

- The translation is rather modern, so if you want something akin to the KJV then this isn’t it.

- Some of the words seem a bit off to me. For example: “My lips shall gush with hymns when You have taught me Your statutes”. Is “gush” really the best word they could find there? As a point of comparison, the KJV has that line as: “My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.”

- They use the term “Birthgiver of God”. Not that it’s a big deal, but I tend to prefer Theotokos.

- Including in the book are 1) an introduction, 2) Midnight Office for all seven days of the week, 3) Matins, 4) the Hours, 5) Vespers, 6) Compline, 7) various Tropars and Kondaks, 8) Typika, 9) brief morning, mid-day, and evening prayers, and 10) preperation prayers for holy communion and prayers for after communion.

- It has the different texts that are used in Great lent, and they are set apart in shaded boxes.

- They use trespasses/evil in the Our Father.
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2010, 08:28:26 PM »

A few comments on your post:

“My lips shall gush with hymns when You have taught me Your statutes”.  Perhaps "My lips shall pour out hymns ..." might have been better, and more poetic. This is the problem with some approaches to translation, where the translator attempts to be literal, without regard for idiom in the language to which he is translating. This is particularly obvious when a literalist approach is taken in translating from Slavonic to English. Oyyy!!

"- They use the term “Birthgiver of God”. Not that it’s a big deal, but I tend to prefer Theotokos."

Mother of God
is fine by me, but that's me. Cheesy


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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2010, 09:08:22 PM »

Mother of God[/i] is fine by me, but that's me. Cheesy

I also tend to prefer Mother of God, partially because it's a part of our language's history. Also, the fact that the title causes so much scandal among Protestants and Nestorians tells me that it's right on the money.  Wink
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 09:08:51 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
DeathToTheWorld
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2010, 09:55:42 PM »

The Hours of Prayer: A Book of Devotion is a book of the cycle of services published by the American Carpatho-Russian Diocese of the U.S. I used to have a perfect bound version of this book, but the recent one I bought is the spiral-bound one. Overall I would definitely recommend this book. Here are some random thoughts about it…

- The spiral binding makes it easier to hold than a regular book is, which is certainly nice if you’re standing for a while in prayer.

- There are no inter-hours in this book. I can’t recall if there were in the last edition that I had.

- At about 5” x 8” in size, and having 222 pages, the book is very manageable and light, and certainly easier to hold than the huge horologions.

- The translation is rather modern, so if you want something akin to the KJV then this isn’t it.

- Some of the words seem a bit off to me. For example: “My lips shall gush with hymns when You have taught me Your statutes”. Is “gush” really the best word they could find there? As a point of comparison, the KJV has that line as: “My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.”

- They use the term “Birthgiver of God”. Not that it’s a big deal, but I tend to prefer Theotokos.

- Including in the book are 1) an introduction, 2) Midnight Office for all seven days of the week, 3) Matins, 4) the Hours, 5) Vespers, 6) Compline, 7) various Tropars and Kondaks, Cool Typika, 9) brief morning, mid-day, and evening prayers, and 10) preperation prayers for holy communion and prayers for after communion.

- It has the different texts that are used in Great lent, and they are set apart in shaded boxes.

- They use trespasses/evil in the Our Father.



I really like the Old believer prayer book because its so compact.

It has The Hours, and everything else from the Jordanville Prayerbook, except the Old Believer book makes you do bows and certain other things which greatly contribute to piety. A canon for the sick.


I would easily say that the Jordanville prayerbook is a watered down version of the Old Believer one. You would think that the Old Believer Prayerbook is a book for monks only.

I guess that just means that the change to the new rite was not for the better...
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 09:57:03 PM by DeathToTheWorld » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2010, 11:41:01 AM »

Here's a link to some of these resources Online:

http://www.acrod.org/prayercorner/textsresources
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2011, 05:59:05 PM »

I used to have a perfect bound version of this book, but the recent one I bought is the spiral-bound one.

There are no inter-hours in this book. I can’t recall if there were in the last edition that I had.

I bought another copy of the perfect bound version, and it arrived today. Not much different, as it has the same prayers and language ("birthgiver of God," "gush with hymns," etc.), but I just wanted to follow up and say that there are no inter-hours in this edition either.
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 01:01:47 AM »


I really like the Old believer prayer book because its so compact.

It has The Hours, and everything else from the Jordanville Prayerbook, except the Old Believer book makes you do bows and certain other things which greatly contribute to piety.

 I got lucky and found this book in a used bookstore a couple years back.  I really like it as well, and have learned many edifying things I believe.  One thing I find cumbersome, though, is that the pages alternate back and forth between English and Russian.  I feel it would've been easier on speakers of both languages to have Russian first and the English in the back (or vice versa).  If you can find it for a reasonable cost, and you have your spiritual fathers' blessing as I did, I'd say go for it. 

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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2011, 01:48:36 PM »

The Hours of Prayer: A Book of Devotion is a book of the cycle of services published by the American Carpatho-Russian Diocese of the U.S. I used to have a perfect bound version of this book, but the recent one I bought is the spiral-bound one. Overall I would definitely recommend this book. Here are some random thoughts about it…

- The spiral binding makes it easier to hold than a regular book is, which is certainly nice if you’re standing for a while in prayer.

- There are no inter-hours in this book. I can’t recall if there were in the last edition that I had.

- At about 5” x 8” in size, and having 222 pages, the book is very manageable and light, and certainly easier to hold than the huge horologions.

- The translation is rather modern, so if you want something akin to the KJV then this isn’t it.

- Some of the words seem a bit off to me. For example: “My lips shall gush with hymns when You have taught me Your statutes”. Is “gush” really the best word they could find there? As a point of comparison, the KJV has that line as: “My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.”

- They use the term “Birthgiver of God”. Not that it’s a big deal, but I tend to prefer Theotokos.

- Including in the book are 1) an introduction, 2) Midnight Office for all seven days of the week, 3) Matins, 4) the Hours, 5) Vespers, 6) Compline, 7) various Tropars and Kondaks, Cool Typika, 9) brief morning, mid-day, and evening prayers, and 10) preperation prayers for holy communion and prayers for after communion.

- It has the different texts that are used in Great lent, and they are set apart in shaded boxes.

- They use trespasses/evil in the Our Father.


Don't forget that until the 1930s they were in communion with Rome as an Eastern Rite church. One of the conditions for becoming Orthodox was that they'd be allowed to retain most of their forms. They recite the Angelus prayer, too, in some churches.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2011, 12:03:14 PM »

For anyone who was waiting for it to come back into print, the Hours of Prayer book (spiral bound) is now available again from the orthodoxgoods site.
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2011, 12:54:59 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I live and breathe the Coptic Agpeya (Book of Hours) prayer book.  It has so thoroughly changed my life for the better in my walk with the Orthodox life, and I am eternally grateful for it.  Orthodox living is adjusting to the reality that Jesus Christ came to proclaim the Kingdom of God was at hand and near.  It is not necessarily limited to the future, the Sacraments bring the Kingdom into our daily lives.  Through our Baptism, our Chrismation, our reception of Eucharist, our participation with Reconciliation, our reverence of the traditions of the Ordained Clergy, venerating our marriages as divine institutions, and praying over the sick/possessed/suffering the Kingdom of God enters into our very present moment, and is not something we have to necessarily wait on, as if it wasn't eternally present and able through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord!

The Prayer Books (along with fasting) are a uniquely Orthodox way to bring this Kingdom mentality into our daily lives.  It allows us to conform our hearts and desires to God in all opportunities, when we sincerely lift out hands in prayer.  But prayer is a hard routine to start, this is why the Fathers gave us  various prayer book/bead/rope traditions to help us develop a sustaining prayerful effort.  They are not "vain repetitions" when prayed sincerely, quite the opposite.  This is why I am so grateful for my Agpeya, it carries me through each new day as faithfully as my pocket New Testament Smiley

stay blessed,
Habte Selassie
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2011, 02:19:50 PM »


I really like the Old believer prayer book because its so compact.

It has The Hours, and everything else from the Jordanville Prayerbook, except the Old Believer book makes you do bows and certain other things which greatly contribute to piety.

 I got lucky and found this book in a used bookstore a couple years back.  I really like it as well, and have learned many edifying things I believe.  One thing I find cumbersome, though, is that the pages alternate back and forth between English and Russian.  I feel it would've been easier on speakers of both languages to have Russian first and the English in the back (or vice versa).  If you can find it for a reasonable cost, and you have your spiritual fathers' blessing as I did, I'd say go for it. 


I actually like the feature you object to, because my Slavonic isn't so good. I can look at the English text if I need to. And if I want to know what the original is while studying something in English, it's right there on the other page. I use an interlinear (Greek/English) translation of the New Testament for the same reason.

BTW--Jordanville publishes a Slavonic version of its famous prayer book.
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2011, 12:39:05 PM »

I thought the Jordanville Prayer Book was in Russian, not Slavonic? Could be wrong. I have their Slavonic molitvoslov (молитвословъ) which I use in Church occasionally and for reference. It doesn't have the Slavonic abbreviations common in the service books. It is excellent.
Also the Old Believers Prayer Book taught me much about the services when I was a new Orthodox especially the rubrics and instructions for bows. Used it for years. Problem is, the Creed is slightly different than the version I'm used to. I now have the new edition. I too love the canons for the Small and Great Paraclesis, for the sick, for the departing soul, for the departed soul. Not all these canons are freely available elsewhere in English. I haven't seen The Hours of Prayer.
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2011, 01:47:10 PM »

I thought the Jordanville Prayer Book was in Russian, not Slavonic? Could be wrong. I have their Slavonic molitvoslov (молитвословъ) which I use in Church occasionally and for reference. It doesn't have the Slavonic abbreviations common in the service books. It is excellent.
Also the Old Believers Prayer Book taught me much about the services when I was a new Orthodox especially the rubrics and instructions for bows. Used it for years. Problem is, the Creed is slightly different than the version I'm used to. I now have the new edition. I too love the canons for the Small and Great Paraclesis, for the sick, for the departing soul, for the departed soul. Not all these canons are freely available elsewhere in English. I haven't seen The Hours of Prayer.

The Old Orthodox Prayer Book has the little hours, as well as Matins and Vespers. The Creed isn't the only difference, as I'm sure you've noticed, and the Slavonic is also different from modern versions. (Compare with Jordanville, for example). Jordanville publishes their prayer book in editions of (badly edited) English and Slavonic. Maybe there's a Russian version I haven's seen. You probably also know that Erie also publishes an Old Ritualist Horologion. The Old Believer books are still my favorite prayer books.
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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2011, 10:57:21 PM »

Yes, I noticed the differences. There is a Russian JPB which ethnic Russians in my church use. Those born here use the English. I don't have either because I have the Unabbreviated Horologion and all the service books thank God. The OBPB is excellent and I love the Paschalion dates in the back and it has many advantages.
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2011, 11:14:44 PM »


Not that it’s a big deal, but I tend to prefer Theotokos."

I know that The Theotoke was not known to the English Orthodox in the 1970s/80s.   Neither the Patriarchal diocese of Sourozh nor the Church Abroad.

When was the term introduced into Services of the Russian Church Abroad?  The English still frown on it and avoid it.  What about its introduction into Australia?
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2011, 10:46:00 AM »


Not that it’s a big deal, but I tend to prefer Theotokos."

I know that The Theotoke was not known to the English Orthodox in the 1970s/80s.   Neither the Patriarchal diocese of Sourozh nor the Church Abroad.

When was the term introduced into Services of the Russian Church Abroad?  The English still frown on it and avoid it.  What about its introduction into Australia?

Very interesting point Father. Please forgive lack of grammatical declensions. I do not pretend to know these languages!
Greeks use mostly θεοτόκε, but sometimes θεογεννήτορ (Sm Parakl: Ode III Trop. 2 incl Irmos) and sometimes θεομήτορα (Sm Parakl:Ode V at Glory [the English has an added Trop before Glory]).
The Russians use богородицы, sometimes матер божiе. (Compare yourselves the Paraclesis at the cited places.)
English texts use Mother of God, sometimes Birthgiver of God, and sometimes Theotokos.

Most of my English language books have been translated from the Slavonic, but the translations are by no means consistent. They are Fr Laurence's (Jordanville) and Br Isaac's (SJOKP Tennessee).

Which is to be preferred? Personally I like Theotokos. Birthgiver of God is quite a mouthful and Mother of God doesn't always convey the sense of the actual giving of birth of the Mother (an adoptive mother may not have given birth).

Why would all these three languages use such diverse translations?
Why did the Slavonic not follow the Greek? Has the Greek or Slavonic changed over time? (God forbid!)
Did the translators of the English not consult both Slavonic and Greek texts? If so, why were not the literal translations used, even if they differed from the Slavonic in favour of the Greek?
You Greek linguists, what is the difference between θεοτόκε and θεογεννήτορ?
Please, some of you ecclesiastic linguists, help us!
Hanging out for a response,
unworthy Adelphi
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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2011, 09:49:04 PM »

For anyone who was waiting for it to come back into print, the Hours of Prayer book (spiral bound) is now available again from the orthodoxgoods site.

It's not spiral bound. It's comb bound, which is a big difference. I find comb bound bindings tend to rip a great deal. I much prefer spiral bound. My St. Tikhon's prayer book (Orthodox Daily Prayers) was a falling apart paperback. Someone spiral bound it for me, and it's much nicer to handle. A friend recommended The Hours of Prayer (she has the perfect bound one) and we were both disappointed to find it was comb bound. If I get it, I'll take it and get it spiral bound, if there's enough room on the margin.
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« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2011, 10:01:07 PM »

Oh, ok, I was just going by what the site said (it calls it "Spiral bound paperback"), and didn't know, thanks for explaining Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2011, 10:05:25 PM »

Oh, ok, I was just going by what the site said (it calls it "Spiral bound paperback"), and didn't know, thanks for explaining Smiley

Looking at it again, yeah, they do call it "spiral bound" but if you look at it, you can tell it's comb-bound. My choir comb-bound a few of the small OCA Holy Week service books, and they have fallen apart so easily.
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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2011, 11:01:47 AM »


I really like the Old believer prayer book because its so compact.

It has The Hours, and everything else from the Jordanville Prayerbook, except the Old Believer book makes you do bows and certain other things which greatly contribute to piety.

 I got lucky and found this book in a used bookstore a couple years back.  I really like it as well, and have learned many edifying things I believe.  One thing I find cumbersome, though, is that the pages alternate back and forth between English and Russian.  I feel it would've been easier on speakers of both languages to have Russian first and the English in the back (or vice versa).  If you can find it for a reasonable cost, and you have your spiritual fathers' blessing as I did, I'd say go for it. 


I apologize for repeating myself, but the Old Orthodox Prayer Book is in print easily available from a variety of Orthodox sources. St. John of Kronstadt Press carries it, as do St. Tikhon's Bookstore, and (believe it or not) amazon.com. It costs about $25.00. Other Old Believer publications are available as well, and if your usual sources fail all can be purchased from the source, i.e., Church of the Nativity in Erie, PA. Here's the link. https://securehost85.hrwebservices.net/~cotn/shopping/
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« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2011, 10:30:04 AM »

I bought a copy of this a number of years ago and mine is a perfect bound edition. I have yet to use it since I am currently sticking to the morning an evening prayers from either my little red pocket prayer book when pressed for time or my Jordanville prayer book when I am not.

REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wish they would release the Hours of Prayer in a hardcover. I do intended to incorporate it into my daily prayer rule at some point and for prayer books, I greatly prefer a hardcover.
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« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2011, 05:39:58 PM »

I bought a copy of this a number of years ago and mine is a perfect bound edition. I have yet to use it since I am currently sticking to the morning an evening prayers from either my little red pocket prayer book when pressed for time or my Jordanville prayer book when I am not.

REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wish they would release the Hours of Prayer in a hardcover. I do intended to incorporate it into my daily prayer rule at some point and for prayer books, I greatly prefer a hardcover.

A number of relatively portable hard-bound books contain the hours, but they contain other stuff as well. The Antiochian Liturgikon, for example, which has been recently released on Bible paper. You'd still need the Menaion, Oktoechos, etc., for the movable parts.
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