Author Topic: Daily Prayer -Jordanville Prayer Book  (Read 386 times)

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Offline Landon13

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Daily Prayer -Jordanville Prayer Book
« on: May 19, 2017, 03:06:39 PM »
Hello everyone,

I have recently tried to be more active in my daily prayer, praying the morning and evening prayers in my Jordanville prayer book, and have some questions for you all.

1) Do you pray all of the Morning and Evening prayers or can you pick and choose? They take so long for me to pray sometimes especially if I pray them intently.

2) What are all of the other things in this prayer book? I'm so confused by the different troparia and kontakia and stichera and akathists...I don't even know what all of these words mean!

3) In my daily prayer, should I bow or do prostrations during the reciting? I know I make the sign of the cross every time the Trinity is mentioned, but what else should I do?

4) Should I pray these in an icon corner? I don't really have any icons but I guess I should get some more or find them somehow

5) Any other suggestions to make the most out of daily prayer?

Thanks and God bless

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Daily Prayer -Jordanville Prayer Book
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 03:27:13 PM »
I can tell you my expereince from the OCA prayerbook from St Tikhon's.
1) Yes, when you want to do it the standard way, you pray them all.
3) I think you do bow at the waist when you do the sign of the cross int he russian tradition.
4. You can make an icon corner in an eastern corner where you face to pray.
The ocean, impassable by men, and the world beyond it are directed by the same ordinances of the Master. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Daily Prayer -Jordanville Prayer Book
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 03:39:43 PM »
Hello everyone,

I have recently tried to be more active in my daily prayer, praying the morning and evening prayers in my Jordanville prayer book, and have some questions for you all.

1) Do you pray all of the Morning and Evening prayers or can you pick and choose? They take so long for me to pray sometimes especially if I pray them intently.

Hi, Landon! First of all, I recommend this article that gives some of the historical background of the morning and evening prayers as they appear in the Russian prayer books. It's really interesting and also gives some important perspective. These prayer rules are still something of a work in progress in the Church, so some flexibility is called for. Can you pick and choose? I would say yes. From the above article: Father Alexander Men (1935-1990) mentions a “shorter Rule meant for everyone,” which consists of the standard beginning and end of the Morning and Evening Rules, but with only three selected prayers from each “main group” respectively: one to God, one to the Theotokos, and one to the Guardian Angel. The complete Rule, according to Men, is for “people who have more time than other people” .

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2) What are all of the other things in this prayer book? I'm so confused by the different troparia and kontakia and stichera and akathists...I don't even know what all of these words mean!

The troparia and kontakia are for specific days (feast days, days of the week, Sundays of the year); their presence in your prayer book is a way of following along with the Church's liturgical cycle, and they also contain a lot of spiritual and theological depth. You could bring the book the church and use it to follow a lot of the movable parts of the liturgy. You could also insert these prayers in your morning/ evening rule according to when the feasts fall, but that's optional.

Canons and akathists are devotional poetic rites that can be done by yourself or in a group. At certain times of the year they are chanted in churches and led by the priest, but you can use them anytime. The Jordanville prayer book publishes a very lengthy pre-communion prayer rule that includes the recitation of an akathist and two or three canons. Some people might find the rule intimidating; keep in mind that it is not universal and is particular to the relatively recent history of the Russian church. 

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3) In my daily prayer, should I bow or do prostrations during the reciting? I know I make the sign of the cross every time the Trinity is mentioned, but what else should I do?

In the back of the prayer book you'll see a guide for when to make the sign of the cross during the liturgy; some of these rules are applicable in the prayer rule. I've seen the custom vary widely though from one parish to another. As for bows and prostrations, there is also wide variance. I typically bow at "Come let us worship..." but depending on who you ask, there could be a lot more bowing. The Old Orthodox Prayer Book published by the Erie Old Rite church has content very similar to the Jordanville prayer book but also has fairly exacting instructions for when to bow at the waist, bow to the ground, or prostrate. But the Old Rite customs are not universal.

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4) Should I pray these in an icon corner? I don't really have any icons but I guess I should get some more or find them somehow

You can pray in any quiet place. Icons are helpful if you have them but not essential.

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5) Any other suggestions to make the most out of daily prayer?


Don't give up. If you feel rushed or inattentive, consider shortening the rule at that moment and concentrate on the few prayers you say. If your prayer feels listless or uninspired- and it will many times- don't despair, just stick to it. Fervent prayer is something granted by God when he chooses.

« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 03:40:43 PM by Iconodule »
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But it had not been in Tess's power - nor is it in anybody's power - to feel the whole truth of golden opinions while it is possible to profit by them. She - and how many more - might have ironically said to God with Saint Augustine, "Thou hast counselled a better course than thou hast permitted."
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Offline Agabus

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Re: Daily Prayer -Jordanville Prayer Book
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 03:47:55 PM »
Bear in mind that I answer these not as an expert but as someone who has in the past struggled to pray the consistently, as is probably the case for most here.

Hello everyone,

I have recently tried to be more active in my daily prayer, praying the morning and evening prayers in my Jordanville prayer book, and have some questions for you all.

1) Do you pray all of the Morning and Evening prayers or can you pick and choose? They take so long for me to pray sometimes especially if I pray them intently.
In short, yes, you can abbreviate them. The prayer book is more of a suggested order than a mandate. There are much simpler prayer disciplines out there.

The greater consideration is to ask why you want to spend less time praying. It's only about a 20 minute practice. If you find you can't concentrate on the longer discipline, you might try another prayer book (like the HTM or the little red book from the Antiochians). It's better to pray well for a short time than to pray many words and not mean much of it.

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2) What are all of the other things in this prayer book? I'm so confused by the different troparia and kontakia and stichera and akathists...I don't even know what all of these words mean!
In brief: Troparia are short liturgical hymns that sort of sum up the theme of the day; Kontakia are also short hymns inserted into the services depending on the feast, etc. Strichera are hymns that alternately sung between versus in the pslams during some services. Akathists are devotional poems written in a certain structure that can be read as prayers.

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3) In my daily prayer, should I bow or do prostrations during the reciting?
If you choose. The Jordanville has an appendix in the back that explains when such things are appropriate, at least within the particular strain of Russian piety that it represents.

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4) Should I pray these in an icon corner? I don't really have any icons but I guess I should get some more or find them somehow
It's nice to pray in front of icons if you can, but you don't need icons to pray. When you can get one, great, but don't feel like not having one is a deterrent.

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5) Any other suggestions to make the most out of daily prayer?
Do it, even when you don't feel like doing it, and don't feel beholden just to the words of the book.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Daily Prayer -Jordanville Prayer Book
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 09:15:37 PM »
Lately, I've been doing little more than uttering the Lord's Prayer, the "Jesus prayer," and asking the Blessed Mother and saints and angels to remember my children. Not my goal to pray so little -- but how much better even to make the sign of the cross before the Christ at bedtime than not to pray at all for days, as is sometimes the case with Christians who don't have knowledge of the sacred traditions. As a Protestant, I felt my prayers must be substantial and original and draw on an emotionalism I couldn't always muster. Prayer in the Orthodox understanding has been a boon.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Daily Prayer -Jordanville Prayer Book
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 10:11:25 PM »
Lately, I've been doing little more than uttering the Lord's Prayer, the "Jesus prayer," and asking the Blessed Mother and saints and angels to remember my children. Not my goal to pray so little -- but how much better even to make the sign of the cross before the Christ at bedtime than not to pray at all for days, as is sometimes the case with Christians who don't have knowledge of the sacred traditions. As a Protestant, I felt my prayers must be substantial and original and draw on an emotionalism I couldn't always muster. Prayer in the Orthodox understanding has been a boon.
I'm on the same situation more or less, I just try to keep some praying routine, even if it's so poor (Lord's Prayer, Creed, Psalm 50, some very short ones).
"Now therefore, when thou didst pray, and Sara thy daughter in law, I did bring the remembrance of your prayers before the Holy One: and when thou didst bury the dead, I was with thee likewise." (Righteous Tobit 12:12)

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Daily Prayer -Jordanville Prayer Book
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 10:22:21 PM »
Saint Seraphim of Sarov recommended a very short rule- three Our Fathers, three O Virgin Theotokos, then the creed.
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But it had not been in Tess's power - nor is it in anybody's power - to feel the whole truth of golden opinions while it is possible to profit by them. She - and how many more - might have ironically said to God with Saint Augustine, "Thou hast counselled a better course than thou hast permitted."
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Offline Antonis

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Re: Daily Prayer -Jordanville Prayer Book
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 12:26:10 AM »
Saint Seraphim of Sarov recommended a very short rule- three Our Fathers, three O Virgin Theotokos, then the creed.
He said that with unceasing prayer throughout the day, this was "sufficient to be saved"!
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 12:26:29 AM by Antonis »
You sound like a professional who knows what he's talking about.  That's because you are.

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Re: Daily Prayer -Jordanville Prayer Book
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2017, 11:16:42 AM »
.... Prayer in the Orthodox understanding has been a boon.
I'm feeling a little stiffled, personally. My own fault, no doubt.
"Now, don't allow yourself to be fatigued beyond your powers; there's a amiable bein'.
Consider what you owe to society, and don't let yourself be injured by too much work.
For the sake o' your feller-creeturs, keep yourself as quiet as you can; only think what a loss you would be!"
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Daily Prayer -Jordanville Prayer Book
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2017, 10:54:29 PM »
.... Prayer in the Orthodox understanding has been a boon.
I'm feeling a little stiffled, personally. My own fault, no doubt.

Do you know the Lord's Prayer by heart?
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy