This site is offered to the glory of God as a liturgical resource to Orthodox Christians seeking a modern language resource for their personal prayers.
We seek to follow God in the Way of Jesus using the tools provided by the Mothers and Fathers of the Eastern Church in the context provided by our experience and the presence of God in our lives. As with all of Orthodoxy, we use ancient forms yet we do so in the modern world: we seek a way to bridge the gap between our modern senses and our ancient faith. Our worship expresses our experience using modern language to bring us in sync with the ancient ways (not the other way around). We seek to be the Church here, now.
These resources are for private, home use. The parts generally reserved for a priest are not noted here. There is no translation of the Divine Liturgy offered on this site because that is a jurisdictional issue. Old Calendar (left hand column) and New Calendar (right hand column) information is provided for equal access usage. Eventually I will put links to various resources in either column.
This translation is a work in progress, drawing from many source (see below). I intend nothing new or heretical here: if you see something confusing, or a questionable translation, please let me know your concerns via email (arkouda AT doxos DOT com). Even my choices for a language of humanity inclusive of both genders is currently in use under the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
This Website is NOT a Prayer Rule!
How to use this material: consult with your Spiritual Father or Mother. Ask for their advice. Take it. Many people pick up an Orthodox prayerbook and try to do everything always and forever and when they fail (or oversleep) they beat themselves up and even bring it to confession. Some people can take an hour or more at morning devotions even though the entire set of prayers can be read in 15 minutes. In consultation with your Spiritual Father or Mother you can arrive at something that is serious and challenging as well as profitable for your salvation. The prayers offered here are not a hard and fast rule. Prayer rules can be long or short. Look to this monastic community for a shorter sort of rule. Take a look at this wonderful paper on the Russian prayer rule by a very traditional Orthodox priest.
I have regularly heard it confessed by a large number of people that they fail to complete all of their daily prayers. What is meant by these confessions is that some penitents regularly cut short the Rules contained in the Orthodox Prayer Book. It must be noted, however, that there appear to be no standard rubrics for the composition or length of Morning and Evening Rules, nor is there a mention of the “sin of the shortening of the Prayer Rule” either in the daily confession of sins contained at the end of evening prayers, or in the Rite of Confession contained in the Book of Needs.
Likewise, there are differing traditions for before and after communion. I hope to, eventually, provide a full collection of material so that one could do the rule as directed from within any Eastern, Byzantine tradition (Greek, Byzantine Catholic, Russian, etc).
Sources: This book is crafted from a number of sources, primarily I’ve been using the Jordanville Prayerbook, the 1982 St Tikhon’s Prayerbook and several publications from the community at New Skete. I’ve also made ample use of online sources. When including scriptural texts I’ve used the New Skete Psalter and the New Revised Standard version of the Bible. I’ve made steps to make the language inclusive of gender for humanity and avoid blatantly Non-Orthodox renditions passages. No: the words are not “heretical” but languages shift over time. Perhaps at one time some of these things meant what they say – but not any more.
My main concern with this translation is that the New Skete monks corrected the LXX for the Hebrew, noting ” unfortunately, the compilers of the Septuagint frequently manifest a deficient, perhaps even a defective, understanding of and facility with the form of Hebrew that was ancient and “dead” even in their time. Therefore, the Septuagint, venerable as it is, reflects less precision, less comprehension of the Word of God than is generally possible through scholarship today.” So I’m in process of sourcing out a better Psalter, which will, in turn, require editing in other places where the Psalter is quoted (such as in the little hours).
I’ve been tripped up a couple of times when different Jurisdictions and Translations are radically different in meaning. For example:
Lord, save your people, and bless your inheritance, granting to faithful Christians victories over their enemies, and protecting your commonwealth by your Cross.
O Lord, save Your people, And bless Your inheritance. Grant victories to your rulers over their adversaries. And by virtue of Your Cross, Preserve Your commonwealth.
Save, O Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance; grant victory to the faithful over their adversaries. And protect Your commonwealth, by the power of Your Cross.
O Lord, save thy people, and bless thine inheritance! Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries, and by virtue of thy cross, preserve thy habitation.
It keeps going…. so I’ve made choices. And yes, I’ve crossed the streams: I’m a Liturgical Hunter/Gatherer, a Palaeolithic Liturgy Geek. And sometimes it may change. Eventually, I hope to include some Holy Images, maybe some audio (but I don’t know how that will work on the iTouch). All in good time.
Yes, comments are not allowed on these pages like they are on my blog, Sarx. Feel free to contact me over there (or by email – at arkouda AT doxos DOT com – take out the spaces, etc) if you want to ask a question or share a prayer request!
If you use these prayers or otherwise find this site useful, please remember the unworthy sinner, Huw Raphael, in your prayers.