Thursday, May 07, 2009

Of Prayer Books - II (Publicans Prayer Book)

For a modern English equivalent to the Jordanville Prayer Book, one can use the recently-published Publicans Prayer Book from Sophia Press. Indeed, the Publicans Prayer Book is, to some extent, a Melkite version of the Jordanville Prayer Book. The complete morning and bed-time prayers seem to be modern English updates of the Jordanville originals. However, there are significant and welcomed differences.

While omitting the ‘public’ liturgical material found in the Jordanville volume, the Publicans Prayer Book packs in a complete Menologion, with Troparia for every day of the year, including the common Troparia for saints not having their own Troparion. It also features complete preparatory prayers and Canons for Holy Communion and Confession, Prayers and Canons for various needs, and a collection of quotations from the Church Fathers and much more. The appendices includes topics on the Christian home, fasting practices and aids for living the spirigual life.

The Publicans Prayer Books is an astounding accomplishment. In the past, Sophia Press publications have been plagued by typographical errors. This volume is beautifully presented with no typos found. The binding is sturdy, appearing to be sewn, with a burgundy leather cover, gilded-edged pages and five ribbons for place marking. The pages themselves are sturdy, slightly cream coloured, with a red border. Prayer text is nicely sized in a pleasing font, with rubrics and instructions in red. Here and there iconic images grace the pages.

With only one intercession for the Pope, the Publicans Prayer Book could serve quite well for Orthodox Christians as well as Melkites and Eastern Catholics. Indeed, the Publican's Prayer Book may prove to be the twenty-first century's main competition to the Jordanville Prayer Book in the hearts of many. I only hope that Sophia Press not limit its publication to a single run as this book has enduring potential - and I'm not saying that only because it was published by my Eparchy's publication arm.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Father, can you please tell me where I can find a book similar to the Jordanville book (preferably one that is Eastern Catholic) in the Spanish language?

Anonymous said...

I sent my order in today, though I'm a Latin (a old one)I have come to prefer Eastern prayers...

Jakub

orthocath said...

How would you rate the Melkite Horologion as far as being "Orthodox-friendly"?

The Byzantine Rambler said...

Having just received the new Second Edition (greatly expanded), I can only give a preliminary opinion. In general, I think it would be of service. The Menologion in the back might require some checking against one's Orthodox calendar, rubrics are always a bit different between one Church and another, but if you are satisfied with the language of the Publican's Prayer Book and other "Service Books of the Byzantine Churches" series, I suppose you could find it useful. It does include both the Troparia for the commemoration of St John Klimakos as well as the "Holy Relics" for the Second Sunday of Great Lent in the Triodion; and it includes the purely latinized "Feast of the Body" (to wit. Corpus Christi) in the Pentecostarian section. At first blush, other than these, I didn't see to much "Popery" that the average Orthodox would find objectionable.

orthocath said...

Thank you for the review! Sounds like the Melkites are producing some quality materials.

Tikhon said...

this prayerbook sounds wonderful. I have not been able to find all of the things I look for in a prayerbook, and this looks to be what I've been looking for. being an Orthodox Christian, this looks good for me. I am very happy you posted this review! I'll send in my money order straight away!

 
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