A Book of Hours for our church

For our round of daily liturgical prayer, there are a lot of possible needs: books for clergy and people, church and home, with or without music. Until now, it’s taken a LOT of work to find pray-able editions of these books, especially ones that use our translations and music.

Earlier this year, the Seminary Press asked me to prepare new editions of the MCI Sunday Matins and Vespers books, and perhaps add new books for daily services.  Instead, I’ve submitted a proposal for a full set of books for the Divine Praises – one which I think will meet quite a few different needs.

Here is the proposal as it stands.  I hope to begin working on it later this month.

1. Service book for Vespers (done): clergy texts, complete rubrics, with details for Sunday evenings in Lent, Great and Holy Friday, and Vespers with Divine Liturgy.

2. Service book for Matins: clergy texts, complete rubrics, with details for Paschal Matins

3. Horologion, Vol. 1: The Greater Hours: Vespers and Matins for church or home, ordinary + octoechos (partial for Matins) + commons of saints – basically enough to do SOME sort of Vespers and Matins on any ordinary day

4. Horologion, Vol 2: The Lesser Hours: Hours and Compline for church or home – ordinary + troparia/kontakia  for the year – enough to do Hours and Compline on almost any day of the year.

5. Horologion, Vol 3 (maybe): Midnight Office, with octoechos

6. Musical supplements for Vespers, Matins, and Hours: one book each (the previous books are WITHOUT music, except for a very few things like O Joyful Light; instead, texts are pointed for chanting) – Vespers, Matins, Hours and Compline on any ordinary Sunday or weekday could be sung using just one supplement

7. Liturgical Psalter

8. Prayer book (material from the Horologion not included above: morning and evening prayers, Akathists, Paraklis, Molebens, preparation for Confession and Communion, explanation of the Jesus Prayer)

What do you think?

7 thoughts on “A Book of Hours for our church”

  1. This seems like a robust and organized ideal. It has occured to me, what would I do if my internet were down and I could not access the handouts? I would need books, of course. #8 would be especially useful also since the little black Byzantine prayer book is out of print. To have texts and music that are easily coordinated is invaluable. The proposed list seems to make sense. With the Matins octoechoes being partial, would a suggested format be given if they do not entirely coordinate with the service book? Thank you for your vision and work!!

    1. May God bless these efforts so that our Church May have the full liturgical cycle of our Byzantine Tradition more readily accessible!

    2. The Matins would be partial, in the sense that we would probably only have 3 odes instead of 8 for each weekday canon – one variable ode, plus Odes 8 and 9. Also, we would provide guidance on using just one canon each day, rather than combining several canons as in the “full form” of the service.

  2. May God bless you in this work. This is certainly above me, but I do hope that the translations of the Psalms will be updated from the old Grail translation. Either the Revised Grail translation , which would be common with the RC, or the (adapted) Septuagint Psalter (deVinck) which is common with the Melkites, and which was previously used in the Metropolia (cf. also the out of print Byzantine Book of Prayer mentioned in another post above) would be good options. But again, that is way above my pay grade.

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