The Online Menaion project

Astute users of the MCI website may have noticed a new entry in the left-hand navigation bar: Menaion.

The Menaion, of course, is the monthly book (twelve in all) with propers for divine services on each day of a particular month.  Such books are available in Greek and Church Slavonic;  in “King James” English; and in a modern English edition that follows Greek / Antiochean usage.  But until now, we have not had a complete set of these books for our church, using our translations and following Ruthenian Slav usage.

Over the past 12 years, the MCI has prepared Vespers propers for each Saturday evening, and for major feasts, as well as Divine Liturgy propers for every day of the day.  Since August, I have been working with Father David Petras to compile these Vespers propers, make necessary corrections, and put ALL of them online.  That is what you will find here: Menaion.

So far, Vespers and Divine Liturgy propers are complete for August through December, and I am working on January now. Here is what I do:

  • Examine the Church Slavonic menaion (a Kiev edition) and compare it against the Roman Apostol (epistle book) and Chasoslov (which has troparia and kontakia for each day of the year).
  • Starting with the published MCI leaflets, and Father David’s typikon, I assemble  the texts for Vespers and the Divine Liturgy, and add asterisks (*) to mark the phrase breaks, to allow singing directly from the text.
  • If texts have not appeared in MCI leaflets, I use texts from
    • the Festal Menaion of the Sisters of Saint Basil (corrected where necessary to match our current translation practice; for example, using “Mother of God” or “Theotokos” depending on what the Slavonic actually says)
    • the English translations of the Melkite Church, wherever the Greek and Slavonic match
    • new English translations from other sources, where the Greek and Slavonic traditions diverge

All texts are checked against the Slavonic sources to verify that they are correct and complete.Wherever we have an officially promulgated translation of a text, that is used.Where there are actual differences in rubrics that cannot be settled from the Roman books, I follow the published practice of the churches of Uzhorod and Presov wherever they agree.

Wherever music exists, there is a link to it in the menaion entry.

NEXT year (starting in August) I plan to add Matins texts as well, followed by online versions of the Octoechos, Triodion, and Pentecostarion.

In the meantime, feel free to ask questions and make suggestions!

3 thoughts on “The Online Menaion project”

  1. And some examples of the kind of decisions that need to be made when you do this:

    1. Should descriptions of saints be capitalized? For example, “O Holy Father Nicholas, you….”
    Decision: No, following the example in the Divine Liturgies book. This is particular important where earlier translations capitalized words like “One” or “You”, making a saint appear to be God.

    2. Should repetitions of stichera be marked?
    Decision: Yes. At Vespers, there are always 6, 8, or 10 stichera at the Lamp-lighting Psalms. Sometimes the Slavonic menaion gives three stichera for a six-stichera feast, with the tacit understanding that each one is repeated; the online menaion makes these explicit. Of course, pastoral requirements may lead to abbreviations, but this way you know what the original liturgical book said.

    3. Should fasting rules be given?
    Decision: Later, when Matins texts are added.

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