Thursday, May 14, 2009

Of Prayer Books VI - Orthodox Daily Prayers

Orthodox Daily Prayers is published by St Tikhon Seminary Press. The 2008 edition is a revision of the 1982 original. In many ways, this volume is a compromise between the Jordanville and Holy Transfiguration Monastery approaches to prayer books. The collection of morning and evening prayers are those found in the Jordanville and Publicans prayer books. Yet here we also find Little Compline and the Three Canons as well as Communion.

Orthodox Daily Prayers is more of a small paperback than a 'pocket' book. Somewhat larger than A Book for Prayer, the text is tight but readable. Not just in classical English, but copyrighted Revised Liturgical English, it is useful and not overly expensive.

I would note that while the psalm texts are nice, they reflect a forthcoming new edition. To my mind, it would have made a better book to use the Holy Transfiguration Psalter - but that's just my opinion.


becket said...

I think both the Jordanville and Holy Transfiguration prayerbooks are almost identical contents wise, with the exception of HTM having Small Compline. What do you see that is different?.

The Byzantine Rambler said...

The differences between "Jordanville" and "HTM" could be characterized as Slavic versus Greek, or “for the laity” versus “for the monastics or monastically-inclined” approaches. The substitution of Compline for the Prayers Before Sleep exemplify this difference in which "HTM" fosters a discipline encouraging the daily insertion of a different Canon or Akathist (allowing the Akathist to the Theotokos and Paraklesis to stand as separate services) every night. The material at the end of “Jordanville” (Tale of the Five Prayers, On the Jesus Prayer) seems more focused on the average layman. Beyond that, the inclusion of the Litany for the Departed before the Litany for the Catechumen in "Jordanville" - more traditionally included in the Slavic tradition, is the only other difference I notice.

Any other thoughts on this subject?

becket said...

Is it good to have both. Right now I only have the Jordanville. But I have been thinking about the HTM. What would you recommend as a good second prayer book. Would the HTM be a good. I do attend both Russian or Greek Orthodox churches for Vespers. And a Ukranian Catholic Church for the Liturgy.

The Byzantine Rambler said...

Dear Becket (Say, your first name wouldn't be Tommy, would it?):

You pose a difficult question on several levels. The HTM has the basic text of the entire service of Vespers for Sundays and Feast Days, however a Greek Church using English would likely not use this text. The Greek Archdiocese has several Greek-English edition service books with varying English texts. So for the purpose of a text to follow along it might be best to ask the priest. (In fact, this would be prudent for the Russian church as well.) In this way you could be sure your English text wording would conform to that of the church. Truly, the same goes for the Ukrainian Catholic Church as they have their own particular translation of the Liturgy.

Having said that, I have used both the Jordanville and HTM Prayer Books for over twenty-five years (or since the first edition was published in the case of HTM). As my 'cultural' tradition is in the Mediterranean mold, I typically use HTM for personal use in Compline, Akathists and Canons. This, particularly as the HTM translations chant especially close to the Greek originals. As I noted in another post, the Melkite Publican’s Prayer Book is much like a modern updated Jordanville with several other features that you might also consider.

You mention attending Divine Services of several traditions, but two to one in favor of the Slavic side. Again, this would lead me to advise you to ask the local clergy what they would suggest.

And... having said that, I find that while most Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Prayer Books generally have the same collection of prayers, there seems to always be one or two particular items in each to commend it.

The main thing: Keep praying!

(And, please to pray for your humble rambling servant.)

becket said...

Thanks!. And no I'm not Tommy. My name is actually Bob. God Bless!.