We just received a 'Psalter For Prayer' from Jordanville.
As a personal Psalter for prayer at home or Church, this psalter published by Jordanville is second to none. This is the only psalter I have found in English that retains all the traditional readings, and it is in traditional language with two ribbon markers.
(It gets my highest rating: It's Old Believer grade material.)
To be completely accurate, the Jordanville Psalter For Prayer is perhaps just slightly less than Old believer grade as I have gone through it erasing the (Nikonian style) third hallelujah at the end of every stasis with white ink. In spite of such things, it is still the best psalter in print in the English language of which I am aware.
That said, Johanna Manley's 'Grace For Grace: The Psalter and the Holy Fathers'
is the best English language Explanatory Psalter
of which I am aware. These two psalters complement each other: one for prayer, the other for searching out the meanings.
BOOK OF HOURS
вєликаго, who is superior to me in these things, advised that the Book of Hours (Horologion) complements the Prayer Psalter.
I have long owned both the big red Boston monastery Horologion and the Old Rite Book of Hours published in Erie, PA, but I seldom used and little understood these because I always defaulted to the same morning and evening prayers located at the beginning of my Old believer prayer book.
However, I recently trashed my Boston Horologion which proved to be a blessed act because the Old Rite Book of Hours published in Erie, PA contains ample and simple instructional information on how to use the Book of Hours - unlike the Boston HTM Horologion or any other Book of Hours for that matter. For this reason alone (not to mention others
), I have found the Old Rite Book of Hours to be the best Book of Hours available in the English language. You can know nothing about traditional chanting and order of prayer and the book elegantly and simply explains it all.
Upon reflection, active use of a Psalter and Book of Hours is more in accord with traditional, ancient, patristic Christian life than forever reciting the same evening & morning prayers from a little prayer book which is more of a nineteenth century little house on the prairie kind of thing.
Some of the other reasons I like Jordanivlle's 'Psalter For Prayer' and Erie's 'Old Rite Horologion' are that both of these include bows as part of the prayers - especially the Old Rite Horologion. Here is another review of the Old Rite Horologion:
-------------------------------------------------------------"Today I received (as a birthday gift from Dad) the Old Rite Horologion, as translated by Hieromonk German Cuba and published by the Old Rite Church of the Nativity. This is the third of their publications that has come into my possession and as with the other two, it does not disappoint.
First an explanation for why I, the laziest of laymen, owns a horolgion. In my research on the origins of the prayer rule for laity I discovered that the rule found in most prayer books (I am talking primarily about Russian style prayer books) is of recent origin, around the 19th century. I am not attacking these rules at all, and I still use them on occasion but I wanted to try and at least get a taste of what the Church (at least the literate Church) had practiced for the majority of its existence. This lead me to the horologion. The standard practice has been for Midnight Office and Compline to be read as morning and evening prayers respectively, with the 3rd, 6th, and 9th hours read during the day. I have begun to emulate this practice, though in a reduced form that takes me no longer than the rule prescribed in the Jordanville Prayer Book. I am not a morning person, and I generally cut it close with timing so generally in the morning instead of the Midnight Office (which is fairly lengthy) I read the 1st or 3rd (or on bad days, the 6th) hour, the 6th hour at midday, and the 9th hour in the afternoon. Then after dinner I read Small Compline, with or without the Canon to the Mother of God depending on how I feel. This is a very traditional and manageable rule. Other than for prayer, I also find it extremely useful to have "hard copies" of Matins and Vespers to look through for reference purposes, though I would never attempt to pray them at home. Now on to the review.
The text is an almost exact translation of a 1910 edition Old Ritualist horologion printed in Moscow. The Psalms are from the "Psalter According to the Seventy." It is well bound (at least it seems well bound, we will see how it holds up) and comes with four marker ribbons, a useful feature often missing from Orthodox publications, including my Jordanville horologion. It is divided into 28 chapters, the first 15 of which are devoted to the texts of the hours and intermediate hours themselves. A Canon to the Theotokos is included for private recitation of Small Compline, as is a Canon to the Holy Trinity for Sunday Midnight Office. The other chapters include troparia and kontakia for every weekday and Sunday of the year (one of the best features of the book), detailed rubrics on how to use said troparia and kontakia at all the services, all of the Odes, a Paschalion going all the way to 2099, and writings about the spiritual meaning of each of the hours. The differences between Old Rite and New Rite services seem to be extremely negligible, especially if like me you are not using the book for Matins and Vespers.
What it does not contain are the private devotions that take up so much space in the Jordanville Horologion. There are no extra morning and evening prayers or devotions for Holy Communion, and the book would seem to be meant to be used in concert with the Old Rite Prayer Book by the same publisher. The rubrics regarding seasonal changes are very clear and easy to understand, another shortcoming in the Jordanville edition. I have only used the Old Rite Horologion a couple of times, but so far I am extremely pleased with it. If anyone has any questions about the book that I have not answered here, please leave a comment and I will try to figure it out."