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Author Topic: Enquiry: Essential Orthodox Liturgical books  (Read 1740 times) Average Rating: 0
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MiniCooperS1275
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« on: August 31, 2013, 01:08:06 PM »

Hello,

Just a bit of background: I hail from a Traditional Roman Catholic background, but have recently developed a keen interest in Eastern Orthodoxy - in terms of how Orthodox understand the Christian faith, the Traditions, the Liturgy, etc. I have obtained and read several books on Orthodoxy, e.g. Bishop Kallistos Ware and Vladimir Lossky, as well as some works by apologetics.

I am interested to learn and understand more about Orthodox Liturgy, and am therefore looking to procure the essential Service Books that one would need in order to cover all aspects of the Liturgy. As I initially understood it in very broad terms, what I would require as an absolute minimum are:
1. One volume of the fixed portions of the Liturgies themselves (the four (4) main ones - St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great, St. James and Presanctified Gifts), but should also include calendar references to the appointed readings for the day.
2. One Gospel Lectionary
3. One Psalter
4. One Epistle Book

I currently own the following:
1. "The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom" by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America (http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Liturgy-Saint-John-Chrysostom/dp/0917651170/)
2. "Service Book of the Orthodox Church" by Isabel Hapgood
I find the Hapgood service book to be very good, in that it has the complete texts for all the fixed parts, but also includes a neat table of all the movable parts by date (though, the actual texts of the readings are not included here, whereas they are in the other book).

However, I have since come across this web-page that appears to provide a much longer list:
http://www.saintjonah.org/services/library.htm

To this end, I have a few questions which I hope someone can help me with:

1. Is there such a thing as an 'all-in-one' volume, equivalent to the Roman Catholic Missal? Would the Horologion or Liturgikon be such a volume?
2. The recommendations provided in the above link notwithstanding, which editions of the Psalter, Epistle Book and Gospel Lectionary are highly recommended?
3. Is there a major difference in using Liturgical books that correspond to the Byzantine vs. Slavic rites?

Thanks & regards,
Mark
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2013, 03:14:43 PM »

There is no one book. Menaion for daily troparia, Horologion, Euchologion for Liturgy, Gospel and Apostle are minimun for the Sunday DL. And it's practically the easiest service to serve.
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2013, 03:25:15 PM »

1. Is there such a thing as an 'all-in-one' volume, equivalent to the Roman Catholic Missal? Would the Horologion or Liturgikon be such a volume?

Nope. You'll need a book shelf full of liturgical books. The Horologion is the book of hours.

2. The recommendations provided in the above link notwithstanding, which editions of the Psalter, Epistle Book and Gospel Lectionary are highly recommended?

The Septuagint Psalter and the Patriarchal Text of 1905.
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2013, 03:33:35 PM »

To this end, I have a few questions which I hope someone can help me with:

1. Is there such a thing as an 'all-in-one' volume, equivalent to the Roman Catholic Missal? Would the Horologion or Liturgikon be such a volume?

I don't think there's an "all-in-one" volume, no.  That said, if your interest is specifically the Byzantine rite Eucharistic Liturgy, I don't think you'd need anything more than the priest's service book for the Divine Liturgies.  In order to offer the Liturgy, you'd also need the Epistle and Gospel books and the Octoechos, Menaion, Triodion/Pentecostarion for the variable portions.  But in terms of studying the order, texts, and rubrics of the Liturgy, I don't think you'd need these, you'd just need to note which books would be consulted for what parts.  

Quote
2. The recommendations provided in the above link notwithstanding, which editions of the Psalter, Epistle Book and Gospel Lectionary are highly recommended?

I don't know if it really makes a difference unless you're curious about regional variations in rubrics or something like that.  But again, there wouldn't be one book that covers all variations.  So you'd likely have to get different editions of the same basic books.

Quote
3. Is there a major difference in using Liturgical books that correspond to the Byzantine vs. Slavic rites?

There are differences in rubrics, in the order of how things are done, etc., but I don't know that I'd characterise them as "major" differences.  
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2013, 03:37:00 PM »

The Hieratikon is probably what the OP is looking for.
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2013, 04:10:33 PM »

For most weekends and feast days, I think you will find this site helpful... http://www.antiochianladiocese.org/service_texts_weekends.html

There really is no need to go through the expense of buying all the books needed, after all the Menaion will run you $1200 for the complete set.

If you are just interested in the Sunday Liturgy, there really is not a need to get any book other than the text of the Liturgy you will be using. The only parts that really change are the hymns after the Little Entrance, and the readings from the Epistle and Gospel.
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2013, 05:26:02 PM »

Saint Tikhon's divine liturgy book contains the liturgies of Sts. Chrysostom, Basil, and Gregory (Pre-Sanctified) along with festal troparia/ kontakia and a calendar of saints' days/ fixed feasts. There is no Orthodox equivalent of the Roman missal.

As far as the Psalter, I assume you mean an English translation.

If you like Elizabethan-style English, the Jordanville psalter (A Psalter for Prayer) is the way to go. The best contemporary English psalter I've seen is the one published by Holy Dormition Monastery. You'll have to email them about it as they don't list it on their website.
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2013, 07:42:52 PM »

Hi, all,

Thanks for all your feedback. Really appreciated.

I was thinking that in addition to the Patriarchal Text, it would be nice to keep a dedicated Gospel Book and Apostolos for liturgical purposes. Was wondering if any of you have any comments regarding the editions below:

Gospel Lectionary

1. The Divine and Holy Gospel Book (Antiochian Archdiocese)
http://store.antiochianvillage.org/The-Divine-and-Holy-Gospel-Book.html

2. The Gospel Lectionary (Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies)
http://www.ctosonline.org/liturgical/GL.html

3. Gospel Book (Holy Cross Press)
http://store.holycrossbookstore.com/h3stbopr.html

Apostolos

1. The Epistle Lectionary (Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies)
http://www.ctosonline.org/liturgical/EL.html

2. Apostolos (Holy Cross Press)
http://store.holycrossbookstore.com/916586391.html

Psalter

1. The Psalter According to the Seventy
http://www.bostonmonks.com/product_info.php/products_id/57

Thanks again.
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2013, 07:44:51 PM »

Why would one need liturgical edition of Apostle or Gospel?
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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2013, 07:47:10 PM »

Hi, all,

Thanks for all your feedback. Really appreciated.

I was thinking that in addition to the Patriarchal Text, it would be nice to keep a dedicated Gospel Book and Apostolos for liturgical purposes. Was wondering if any of you have any comments regarding the editions below:

Gospel Lectionary

1. The Divine and Holy Gospel Book (Antiochian Archdiocese)
http://store.antiochianvillage.org/The-Divine-and-Holy-Gospel-Book.html

2. The Gospel Lectionary (Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies)
http://www.ctosonline.org/liturgical/GL.html

3. Gospel Book (Holy Cross Press)
http://store.holycrossbookstore.com/h3stbopr.html

Apostolos

1. The Epistle Lectionary (Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies)
http://www.ctosonline.org/liturgical/EL.html

2. Apostolos (Holy Cross Press)
http://store.holycrossbookstore.com/916586391.html

Psalter

1. The Psalter According to the Seventy
http://www.bostonmonks.com/product_info.php/products_id/57

Thanks again.


Why do you need a Gospel Book? You are a "Traditional Roman Catholic", so are you changing Rites and/or converting? Or are you just buying a bunch of Orthodox liturgical items for decoration?

You could always find an Eastern Catholic Church and look at their service books...
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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2013, 07:48:01 PM »

What is the difference between Orthodox Gospel and Catholic Gospel BTW?
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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2013, 08:10:20 PM »

Oriental Orthodox readings, hymns and Liturgics can be read here.

http://www.copticchurch.net/
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« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2013, 08:23:50 PM »

Well, those are Coptic readings, hymns, and liturgical texts, but they're not necessarily "Oriental Orthodox" in the same way as Byzantine liturgy is "Eastern Orthodox" liturgy.  Each of the Oriental Churches has its own proper liturgy.   
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2013, 08:24:56 PM »

What is the difference between Orthodox Gospel and Catholic Gospel BTW?

The lectionary and the liturgical year are structured differently, so they're not interchangeable. 
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« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2013, 09:33:05 PM »

Michał Kalina wrote:
Quote
Why would one need liturgical edition of Apostle or Gospel?
Quote
What is the difference between Orthodox Gospel and Catholic Gospel BTW?

Mor Ephrem wrote:
Quote
The lectionary and the liturgical year are structured differently, so they're not interchangeable.

That's precisely my reason. In the same way that I could carry a copy of the Latin Vulgate or Douay-Rheims with me for Traditional Latin Mass, no one does that because we have the Roman Missal. The appointed readings for each day/season are included, and the readings are also prefaced accordingly. Plus, I was made to understand that beyond just Biblical texts, the Psalter, Apostolos and Gospel Book also includes supplementary prayers.

After reading the above comments, I am now aware that there is no such thing as an "all-in-one" volume in Eastern Orthodoxy equivalent to the Roman Missal. So, I do not mind having them as separate volumes.

xOrthodox4Christx wrote:
Quote
Why do you need a Gospel Book? You are a "Traditional Roman Catholic", so are you changing Rites and/or converting? Or are you just buying a bunch of Orthodox liturgical items for decoration?

Where I come from, we do not have any Eastern Orthodox churches, which means that I do not have the priviliege of attending Divine Liturgy. So you will excuse me if having the required liturgical books is the next best thing for me. While I identify myself as a Traditional Roman Catholic, there are many elements of Eastern Orthodoxy that I have come to appreciate (having attended Divine Liturgy a couple of times while I was in Australia), and I see nothing wrong in embracing aspects of Orthodoxy (even if the absence of full Communion between East and West means that I cannot participate in the Eucharist).
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2013, 10:24:58 PM »

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xOrthodox4Christx wrote:
Quote
Why do you need a Gospel Book? You are a "Traditional Roman Catholic", so are you changing Rites and/or converting? Or are you just buying a bunch of Orthodox liturgical items for decoration?

Where I come from, we do not have any Eastern Orthodox churches, which means that I do not have the priviliege of attending Divine Liturgy. So you will excuse me if having the required liturgical books is the next best thing for me. While I identify myself as a Traditional Roman Catholic, there are many elements of Eastern Orthodoxy that I have come to appreciate (having attended Divine Liturgy a couple of times while I was in Australia), and I see nothing wrong in embracing aspects of Orthodoxy (even if the absence of full Communion between East and West means that I cannot participate in the Eucharist).

Are there any Eastern Catholic Churches near you? They have the same Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2013, 02:55:19 AM »

What is the difference between Orthodox Gospel and Catholic Gospel BTW?

The lectionary and the liturgical year are structured differently, so they're not interchangeable. 

Finding them in normal Bible takes too long, like 5 seconds.

Where I come from, we do not have any Eastern Orthodox churches, which means that I do not have the priviliege of attending Divine Liturgy.

Where are you?
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« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2013, 03:05:36 AM »

I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

There are currently only two (2) Orthodox churches in Malaysia, neither of which are Chalcedonian:

1. St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, which is under the Malankara Orthodox Church.
http://www.mymalankara.com/

2. The Coptic Church of St. Mary & St. Mark in Malacca, which is two (2) hours away from Kuala Lumpur.
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« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2013, 03:21:35 AM »

There is one in Singapore. Not sure how crossing the boarder looks like so this might be a stupid answer.
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« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2013, 06:22:31 AM »

A short coming of Orthodoxy to be sure and one of the beneficial aspects of Catholicism.  It would help if we were more organized.
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« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2013, 08:19:22 AM »

I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

There are currently only two (2) Orthodox churches in Malaysia, neither of which are Chalcedonian:

1. St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, which is under the Malankara Orthodox Church.
http://www.mymalankara.com/

2. The Coptic Church of St. Mary & St. Mark in Malacca, which is two (2) hours away from Kuala Lumpur.

No, there is at least one Chalcedonian mission in KL. They are probably very small and don't have a website, but I know they exist. The last I heard, they did not yet have a priest. There is a poster named Nathaniel Woon who posts sometimes at the forum at monachos.net- he attends this parish.
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« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2013, 10:02:07 AM »

What is the difference between Orthodox Gospel and Catholic Gospel BTW?

The lectionary and the liturgical year are structured differently, so they're not interchangeable. 

Finding them in normal Bible takes too long, like 5 seconds.

I'm not sure I understand your point. 
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« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2013, 10:05:20 AM »

I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

There are currently only two (2) Orthodox churches in Malaysia, neither of which are Chalcedonian:

1. St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, which is under the Malankara Orthodox Church.
http://www.mymalankara.com/

2. The Coptic Church of St. Mary & St. Mark in Malacca, which is two (2) hours away from Kuala Lumpur.

Ultimately, it's up to you which you choose to visit or, if you're interested in converting, which you choose to join.  But the Indian parish comes well recommended.  I haven't been there, but I know a couple of people who used to go there and have nothing but wonderful things to say about it (one may still, if he has returned to KL, he's a native Malaysian who converted...a great guy).   
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« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2013, 10:06:32 AM »

What is the difference between Orthodox Gospel and Catholic Gospel BTW?

The lectionary and the liturgical year are structured differently, so they're not interchangeable.  

Finding them in normal Bible takes too long, like 5 seconds.

I'm not sure I understand your point.  

Finding proper reading for a day using calendar and normal Bible is no more difficult or exhausting than using the one with fancy red letters on the beginning of perycopes. Buying "Orthodox" Gospel while having "Catholic" one is wasting money unless you want to use it in liturgical setting.
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« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2013, 10:22:29 AM »

A short coming of Orthodoxy to be sure and one of the beneficial aspects of Catholicism.  It would help if we were more organized.

In terms of liturgical books, it's interesting that RC's have developed a reputation for being more organised liturgically because of their "all-in-one" books.  Actually, they have the same variety of separate liturgical books that the Orthodox have, and in the traditional monasteries they are still used today (psalter, lectionary (scriptural and patristic), evangeliary, antiphonary, martyrology, etc.).  The "all-in-one" volumes were developed for secular clergy, mendicant friars, and other sorts of religious who did not live a traditional monastic life but were still bound to pray the same form of liturgy and needed to keep things as simple and affordable as possible.  Of course, this often came at the expense of a fuller liturgy, a sung liturgy, etc.  

In some ways, I agree that it's convenient and more organised, esp. if Western clergy are bound to the full office the way monks are (and most non-Byzantine Eastern clergy are).  But what seems to have happened in Western Christianity with such things is that they contributed to a minimalist tendency in liturgy.  Rather than taking the full liturgy as the ideal and adjusting it according to our real life circumstances (which is how these resources came into being in the first place), the "new" product was considered "just as good" and became the standard: in many circles, it's the minimalist liturgy that is the norm, and anything fuller is looked at as "extra" or "non-essential".  IMO this went hand in hand with the disconnect of people from liturgical prayer and the emphasis on private and communal devotions that even took hold in a number of religious orders.  

If requiring more books and the appearance of disorganisation keeps our liturgical life healthy, I can deal with "messy".  "Neat and tidy" hasn't always worked out so well.    
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« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2013, 11:31:14 AM »

The "all-in-one" volumes were developed for secular clergy, mendicant friars, and other sorts of religious who did not live a traditional monastic life but were still bound to pray the same form of liturgy and needed to keep things as simple and affordable as possible.  Of course, this often came at the expense of a fuller liturgy, a sung liturgy, etc.

I don't know if the Breviary didn't exist earlier than the Counter-Reformation (I think it must have), but IIRC the Jesuits were the first order that were exempted from praying the hours in common. This seemed so preposterous back then, that Ignatius of Loyola had to wait for a pope (Paul III) to die, and only the next one (Julius III) approved his Constitutions with this provision.

OTOH the huge choir books of Benedictine monks only contain the Psalms, distributed for each canonical hour over one week (according to their Rule). Besides these, they have the Antiphonale, which has hymns and antiphons with musical notation. There's also the Hymnale (hymns alone with music), the Processionale (processional chants), the Nocturnale (contains only Matins, as opposed to Diurnale, which has only the day hours), and the Kyriale and/or Graduale for Mass. All these books come in the Roman or "monastic" variety (because the monastic office used by the Benedictines, Cistercians or Carthusians differs somewhat from the Roman Breviary in the distribution of Psalms, number and length of readings for Matins, etc.).   

For Mass, a Lectionary would be used for the readings, even though the old Missale also contains them. Traditionally, the Latins also had the Apostle and the Gospel, which were kept on the altar (the Epistle on the right side of the altar - cornus Epistolae, the Gospel on the left one - cornus Evangelii).
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« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2013, 11:35:10 AM »

I don't know if the Breviary didn't exist earlier than the Counter-Reformation (I think it must have)...

My recollection is that the Breviary dates back at least to the founding of the Franciscans.
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« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2013, 11:50:39 AM »

Finding proper reading for a day using calendar and normal Bible is no more difficult or exhausting than using the one with fancy red letters on the beginning of perycopes. Buying "Orthodox" Gospel while having "Catholic" one is wasting money unless you want to use it in liturgical setting.

Well, the "wasting money" issue isn't really an issue IMO.  Both of us agree that buying a Gospel book for use during liturgical services isn't a waste of money, but surely it would be just as easy and more cost efficient to simply consult the calendar, find the right passage, and read from a "normal" Bible, it just wouldn't look as pretty.  If a person has the money and desires for a good reason to buy the book, and it's not forbidden for him to have the book, why not? 

Leaving this point aside, though, I think it can be more useful to buy a Gospel and/or an Epistle rather than consulting the calendar and a normal Bible, but it depends on the reason.  If you're just an average person who wants to know the reading for the day for his private reading and devotion, a calendar will do.  But if you want to understand how the cycle of readings works, a calendar is not going to help much. 

The cycle of readings in the lectionary is organised in several ways.  In the temporal cycle, there are the Sunday readings, the weekday readings, and in some systems Saturday readings are a third cycle, while the sanctoral cycle also assigns readings to feasts and certain days related to great feasts, and so on.  You need to see how they are arranged in the lectionary and how they relate to the liturgical year in order to make sense of how readings are organised and selected for a particular day.  A calendar is simply a cheat sheet; it plugs in dates and calculates for you what the reading for the day/feast will be, but it won't tell you how it was selected, or on what basis those particular options were chosen when the day itself had two or three options (and you need the calendar for your preferred jurisdiction--the Greek calendar I currently use is from a monastery, and its readings often differ from what is posted on the GOA website, and both of these differ at times from what is used in Greece). 

For liturgical study of the lectionary, the actual liturgical books are indispensable.  If you only want to know what the readings will be on Sunday so that you can read them in advance, a calendar and Bible (or a website) will suffice. 
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« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2013, 11:58:21 AM »

I am aware of that, I am also aware that even ef he buys all those euchologions, triodions, menaions, horologions etc. he won't be able to make anything reasonable out of it due to lack of liturgical knowledge and any experience..

We had recently some guy who wanted to buy vestments to play services at home. I can't say this thread differs much from it. If one wants to engage in services there are plenty of more practical and safer ways like live broadcasting etc. Orthodoxy is not DIY religion.
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« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2013, 11:58:39 AM »

I don't know if the Breviary didn't exist earlier than the Counter-Reformation (I think it must have)...

My recollection is that the Breviary dates back at least to the founding of the Franciscans.

That's probably right. But even so, it's to bulky in one volume. Usually it comes in two or, more often, four parts (one for each season).

In Italian, they have compiled a Breviary for the Byzantine rite. The Chaldean (and Syrian?) Catholics also have the hours compiled in a single Breviary. IMO leafing through one bulky volume can be even more frustrating than using several books. Takes a while before you learn how to use it.  
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« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2013, 12:51:00 PM »

I am aware of that, I am also aware that even ef he buys all those euchologions, triodions, menaions, horologions etc. he won't be able to make anything reasonable out of it due to lack of liturgical knowledge and any experience..

We had recently some guy who wanted to buy vestments to play services at home. I can't say this thread differs much from it. If one wants to engage in services there are plenty of more practical and safer ways like live broadcasting etc. Orthodoxy is not DIY religion.

You have valid concerns, and I share them, but I don't know if I would agree in this particular situation that the original poster is the same as "some guy buying vestments to play church at home".

Certainly, the best way to learn the services is to go to church consistently for a few years and prayerfully and attentively participate in them at the chanter's stand.  But if that's not possible, or even as a supplement to that, the books can be useful.  In both cases, you need to start from the books anyway.  They don't contain all the necessary instructions, but they contain enough rubrics to get started on a basic understanding of how things fit together.  If that's what you're after, I don't see a problem in buying books.  Actually, that is how I've studied Coptic and Armenian liturgy, whereas my study of Syriac and Byzantine liturgy was more systematic and thorough.  In all cases, I regularly attended services in those traditions, but I also have at least a few basic books in each tradition (my Syriac is virtually a complete set), and I can't see how you could realistically do this sort of study without some basic liturgical books to start with, even if you need more than just that to "really get it".   
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« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2013, 12:54:34 PM »

In Italian, they have compiled a Breviary for the Byzantine rite. The Chaldean (and Syrian?) Catholics also have the hours compiled in a single Breviary. IMO leafing through one bulky volume can be even more frustrating than using several books. Takes a while before you learn how to use it.  

If the Syrian Catholic breviary is what I think it is, it can't or need not be too bulky and is fairly easy to follow if you know the basic structure of the services.  I don't know about how a breviary would work in the Chaldean tradition, and I really can't imagine a "Byzantine rite breviary" (can it really be the actual office or more of an office-style devotion?). 
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« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2013, 01:59:38 PM »

In Italian, they have compiled a Breviary for the Byzantine rite. The Chaldean (and Syrian?) Catholics also have the hours compiled in a single Breviary. IMO leafing through one bulky volume can be even more frustrating than using several books. Takes a while before you learn how to use it.  

If the Syrian Catholic breviary is what I think it is, it can't or need not be too bulky and is fairly easy to follow if you know the basic structure of the services.  I don't know about how a breviary would work in the Chaldean tradition, and I really can't imagine a "Byzantine rite breviary" (can it really be the actual office or more of an office-style devotion?). 

This is the Syrian Catholic Breviary I meant (seems quite huge): http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/CUA/id/119324. It's more than just the Shhemo...

This is the Chaldean (of which I have a copy - 500 pages): http://www.paxbook.com/algorithmiS/servusPrimus?iussum=monstraScriptumEditum&numerus=29715

The Byzantine one I didn't get to have a close look at - IIRC it was two volumes. There are some EC monks in town who use it. It seemed quite bulky, so I imagine there's more than the Horologion and some troparia to it. Could be something like the Synekdemos, though.
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« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2013, 02:18:37 PM »

This is the Syrian Catholic Breviary I meant (seems quite huge): http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/CUA/id/119324. It's more than just the Shhemo...

I imagined that a Syrian Catholic "breviary" was the Sh'himo plus a Paschal Office for Sundays (as the Pampakuda Sh'himo was).  What you posted is not really a Breviary, even if that is its Latin title.  These volumes are equivalent to the Greek Paraklitiki (for Sundays), Triodion, Pentecostarion, and Menaion.  Nothing brief about any of them. 

Has anyone put out an English language Synekdemos with all the contents of the Greek edition?  That would be a rather useful book. 
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« Reply #34 on: October 09, 2013, 06:34:52 AM »



1. Is there such a thing as an 'all-in-one' volume, equivalent to the Roman Catholic Missal? Would the Horologion or Liturgikon be such a volume?


I've been wondering this same thing--where I could find one book that would help me through the Liturgy.  It looks like there is no such equivalent for Orthodox Liturgies. 

Before I started looking into the Orthodox Church, I would pick up the Missal at the Catholic bookstore and was good to go.  The one Orthodox church I was going to had a few copies of the children's guide to Liturgy, and I was fumbling around with that one plus two others as I sat in the pew.  

Can anyone recommend a book that very simply and plainly explains Orthodox Liturgies?  Is there an "Orthodox Liturgy for Complete Morons" floating around out there I could buy?  

Also, is there an Orthodox Dictionary?  I swear, just keeping all these words straight has got me boggled.
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« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2013, 07:59:44 AM »

I've been wondering this same thing--where I could find one book that would help me through the Liturgy.  It looks like there is no such equivalent for Orthodox Liturgies. 

If you just mean the Divine Liturgy, most liturgy books have will have the complete text, plus Apolytikia and Kontakia for Sundays, seasons of the year, major feasts and Sundays of the Triodion and Pentecostarion. These are only sung at one point in the Liturgy - at the small entrance - so once you know where those go, the rest is pretty straight forward.

If you want the Apolytikia and Kontakia for every day of the year, you'll find these in most copies of the Horologion (although their 'proper' place is in the Menaia). These are also the only variable parts for all of the hours as well, meaning that a Horologion is enough to get through everything but Matins, Vespers and the Sunday Midnight Office (since Psalm 118 is replaced by a canon).

If you want to follow Matins and Vespers in church on a Sunday, the Synekdimos is great. It's basically an Horologion but with all the variable stuff for Sundays and big feasts inserted - so the only thing missing is he stuff from the Menaion. Having so much content in one little book makes it imho more difficult to use than the normal collection of books, but unless you're at the kliros (or you're Vishnu) you'll probably appreciate not having to hold several books at once.
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« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2013, 08:26:56 AM »

This is the Syrian Catholic Breviary I meant (seems quite huge): http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/CUA/id/119324. It's more than just the Shhemo...

I imagined that a Syrian Catholic "breviary" was the Sh'himo plus a Paschal Office for Sundays (as the Pampakuda Sh'himo was).  What you posted is not really a Breviary, even if that is its Latin title.  These volumes are equivalent to the Greek Paraklitiki (for Sundays), Triodion, Pentecostarion, and Menaion.  Nothing brief about any of them. 

Has anyone put out an English language Synekdemos with all the contents of the Greek edition?  That would be a rather useful book. 

It's a huge book, from my understanding.
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« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2013, 08:28:50 AM »

unless you're at the kliros (or you're Vishnu) you'll probably appreciate not having to hold several books at once.

 laugh

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« Reply #38 on: October 09, 2013, 10:15:02 AM »

Hey, be nice.  Were it not for St Thomas, there's a decent chance that would've been my god.  Tongue
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« Reply #39 on: October 09, 2013, 10:34:30 AM »

Hey, be nice.  Were it not for St Thomas, there's a decent chance that would've been my god.  Tongue

I thought Vishnu was just an Avatar for Krishna...  Huh
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« Reply #40 on: October 09, 2013, 10:53:01 AM »

Hey, be nice.  Were it not for St Thomas, there's a decent chance that would've been my god.  Tongue

I thought Vishnu was just an Avatar for Krishna...  Huh

You have it the other way around. Krishna is one of the 10 most prominent avatars of Vishnu, who is seen as the maintainer god of the the Trimurti.
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« Reply #41 on: October 09, 2013, 08:41:22 PM »

Oops.  I asked a question, and unwittingly started a conversation about Hari Krishnas.  lol. 

Does anyone know of an Orthodox dictionary?  There's an average of three to five words in every single post that I have no idea what they are or mean. 
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« Reply #42 on: October 09, 2013, 09:48:48 PM »

Oops.  I asked a question, and unwittingly started a conversation about Hari Krishnas.  lol. 

Does anyone know of an Orthodox dictionary?  There's an average of three to five words in every single post that I have no idea what they are or mean. 

There is an Orthodox Encyclopaedia but I don't know of any dictionary.

What words are you struggling with?
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« Reply #43 on: October 09, 2013, 10:56:59 PM »

Why would one need liturgical edition of Apostle or Gospel?

To celebrate proper readers' services in one's living room, of course.
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« Reply #44 on: October 09, 2013, 11:02:50 PM »

In Italian, they have compiled a Breviary for the Byzantine rite. The Chaldean (and Syrian?) Catholics also have the hours compiled in a single Breviary. IMO leafing through one bulky volume can be even more frustrating than using several books. Takes a while before you learn how to use it.  

If the Syrian Catholic breviary is what I think it is, it can't or need not be too bulky and is fairly easy to follow if you know the basic structure of the services.  I don't know about how a breviary would work in the Chaldean tradition, and I really can't imagine a "Byzantine rite breviary" (can it really be the actual office or more of an office-style devotion?). 

This is the Syrian Catholic Breviary I meant (seems quite huge): http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/CUA/id/119324. It's more than just the Shhemo...

This is the Chaldean (of which I have a copy - 500 pages): http://www.paxbook.com/algorithmiS/servusPrimus?iussum=monstraScriptumEditum&numerus=29715

The Byzantine one I didn't get to have a close look at - IIRC it was two volumes. There are some EC monks in town who use it. It seemed quite bulky, so I imagine there's more than the Horologion and some troparia to it. Could be something like the Synekdemos, though.

One day I may show up at your house just to browse your library.
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