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Catholic Church is so vast and so rich that a complete version, within a reasonable, convenient compass, is utterly out of the question. Accordingly, I have selected those services which are generally used, and include, practically, all that are ordinarily required. For instance, I have omitted even the skeleton of such services as the Midnight Service (Po/undshtc/milza), Little Vespers, the Blessing of a Ship (at launching), and many of a private nature, such as the Blessing of a Pectoral Cross, the Blessing when a Well is dug, and so forth.
In the original the Litanies, Prayers, and certain of the Hymns in the unchanging framework of the Liturgies, Vespers, Compline, and Matins are printed consecutively. The movable portions and specially appointed Hymns are inserted according to the rubrics, at the proper points, from various other volumes.
I have combined the fixed parts and have arranged them in such way as to show what takes place simultaneously within the Sanctuary and outside. I have also indicated the usual variations during pontifical Services, Feasts, Fasts, and so forth, selecting these and the most important representative Hymns for various occasions from the numerous volumes in which they are dispersed.
For the sake of convenience, I have combined the Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great, and the Pontifical Liturgy, thus avoiding repetition, but keeping them as distinct, otherwise, as in the original.
I have been obliged to leave the service for Vespers almost in a skeleton state, as it appears in the original service books (instead of filling it out, as in the case of the other services), because of its very great flexibility, which causes immensely wide variations dependent upon the seasons — the proximity of Fasts, Feasts, and so forth.
If in actual practice it shall prove desirable to have the more infrequent services (or others, which are abbreviated here) in fuller form, I shall endeavour to complete them, either in a new edition of the present work, should there be a demand for it, or in special volumes. In that case I shall hope to take advantage of all competent and unprejudiced criticism for the perfecting of a book which has long been so near my heart; also of any new translation into the Old ChurchSlavonic, or revised edition of the Russian Service Books. In several cases I have preferred for this volume the older, rather than the more recent, editions.
It has seemed practical and advisable to retain the Slavonic nomenclature for the parts of the service, in addition to the corresponding English terms. Had I introduced the original Greek terms also, great confusion would have ensued. But the omission of the Greek is unimportant. Most of the Slavonic terms are sufficiently near those from which they were borrowed to make comprehension perfectly easy. In the exceptional cases there is no difficulty in determining the corre. spondence. Thus the book will be as useful for a comprehension of the Greek services as of those in the Slavonic countries.
There have been two or three previous translations, from the Greek or Slavonic, of portions of these services, by other persons than myself. But in practice they have proved unsatisfactory, either in language or arrangement or both, or because neither singly nor combined do they furnish the services in that completeness which is imperatively necessary. My aim has been to remedy these defects.
A list of the service books which have entered into the composition of my volume will afford some idea of the difficulties of the problem.
(I) The Sluz/zébmk, or Service Book, which contains most of the fixed portions of the Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great, and of the Presanctified Gifts; also the Litanies and Prayers of Vespers and Matins, together with the Graduals and Benedictions appropriate to all occasions. This is used by the Priest and the Choir.
(2) The Tchásoslov, or Book of the Hours (Horologion), which contains, in addition to the Hours and the Typical Psalms, those fixed portions of Vespers, Compline, Matins, Midnight Service, and so forth, which are used by the singers and the readers ; also a selection of Hymns for various occasions.
(3) The Pontifical Service Book (Tchinowzlk), which contains the fixed portions of the Liturgies above mentioned, as celebrated by a Bishop; together with all the Offices of Ordination, ecclesiastical promotion, the blessing of an antimins (corporal), and so forth.
(4) The Októikh, or Book of the Eight Tones, which contains the Canons and certain of the Hymns used during Little and Great Vespers, Compline, Midnight Service, and Matins; the Hymn for the Day and the Collect-Hymn from the Canons being used also at the Liturgy on the following morning. There are eight complete sets for each service mentioned, for every day in the week, all during one week being sung in the same Tone.
(5) The Monthly Minéya, in twelve volumes, which contain the order of services for all the fixed days in the year celebrating some special event in the history of the faith or the Church, or commemorating a Saint 0r Saints. All the Minéya contain the Prayers for Vespers and Matins, while some have special Prayers for the Hours, Liturgies, Compline, and the Midnight Service.
(6) The volume known as the Antholdgion, or Prázdilc/maya Minéya (Festival Minéya) contains the Services for the Twelve Great Feasts.
(7) The Fasting Triédion (Po'smaya Triéd) contains the variable portions of the services on the movable days which constitute the preparation for the Great Fast (Lent), and during the entire Great Fast. It is so called because the Canons have only Three Odes (or ThemeSongs), instead of the customary nine - practically eight — which are in the Book of the Eight Tones (Októikh).
(8) The Tzvyetmiya Triód (Flowery Triédion), or Pen/icostdrion, contains the order of services during Easter-tide, beginning with Easter and ending with Pentecost, including the following day, — Whitsun Monday, — which is the real Pentecost, or Day of the Spirit, Sunday being called Trinity Day.
(9) The Apéstol contains the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, and the Graduals, Introits and Anthems for the Feasts.
For their guidance in the use of these complicated volumes the ecclesiastics have a volume entitled the Typikón, Ustdv, or Rule, which provides regulations for all possible contingencies.
(10) The Great Trébnik, or Book of Needs, which contains all the Sacraments (except the Holy Communion and Ordination), — Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, Matrimony, Unction of the Sick; together with various other services, such as the Reception of Converts from various other Churches, the Tonsure of Monks, the Anointment of the Emperor at his Coronation, and so forth ; also private services, such as Prayers at the Birth of a Child. the several Funeral Services, the Consecration of a Church, the Blessing of a New Dwelling, and so forth.
(11) A Book of Te Drum: and Prayer Services (Maliébny) for different occasions.
([2) The lrmolégion, which contains the Theme Songs of the Canons, and certain Services of Song in honour of Our Lord, the Birth-giver of God, St. Nicholas, and others.
It will be seen that I have been confronted with the problem of rejection, as well as of judicious selection. I may add, that many things are done or said “by custom” which are not mentioned in the printed books. These I have included.
I have used the King james version of the Bible for the Scripture lessons; and the Psalter contained in the Book of Common Prayer for the Psalms and Verses, with occasional exceptions, when the exigencies of the Slavonic version or adaptation to special cases or services required slight changes.
My book has been revised by a very able and thoroughly competent priest, to whom I am greatly indebted for indispensable services in supplying me with the unrecorded points of the ritual (established by usage) referred to above, and for making sure that I have accurately expressed the dogmas of his Church, and have properly carried out the complicated arrangement entailed by my plan for rendering the services intelligible.
I alone am personally responsible for everything: the suggestion that the book was needed, and the plan without which it would have been impossible; for the execution ; for occasional invented words, and for the language, in general and in particular, except in the case of the incomparable rendering of the Prayer of St. Chrysostom, which I have taken from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer; and of course the passages from the Bible, as above stated.
His Grace, the Most Reverend Tikhon, Archbishop of North America and the Aleutian Islands, has, by his deep interest and practical aid, been of inestimable service, and I thank him most warmly.
His High Excellency, K. P. Pobyedonostzeff, formerly Procurator of the Holy Synod of Russia, has for years past shown sympathetic and practical interest in my work, which has encouraged me during serious difficulties, and has been profoundly appreciated.
The Holy Synod of Russia has defrayed in part the cost of publishing this volume ; and his High Excellency Count Sergius I. Witte has contributed very liberally to this object. I am sincerely grateful to them.
I wish, also, to express my obligations to the late mitred Archpriest, Father Feodor Pavlovitch, of Tzarskoe Selé, for many books and much important information. Memory Eternal !
It is fitting that I should commemorate last of all my book’s first friend, - his Grace, the Most Reverend Archbishop Nicholas, formerly Bishop of Aleutia and Alaska, now appointed a member of the Council of the Empire, and of the Holy Synod. He was the first person to whom I imparted my intention of making this gift of love to his Church, the first to see and to approve of my systematic arrangement and of the manuscript. He gave me a complete set of the valuable Slavonic Service Books above mentioned, and others, and has constantly used his power to the fullest extent to render possible this publication, affording me, meanwhile, the invaluable help of his fervent sympathy in my long and difficult task.
To all these friends I now say, with sincerest gratitude, in the language of the Church which they love so well, Many Years !
It is my earnest hope that this Service Book may not only be of some use to the Russian Church in North America, for the use of which, in public worship, it is designed, but that it may help the other Churches
especially those of the Anglican Communion, to one of which I am myself attached — to a right understanding of the Holy OrthodoxCatholic Apostolic Church of the East.
ISABEL F. HAPGOOD. NEW YORK, October, 1906