Byzantine Prayer Book

I’m thinking about getting this book:

Prayer Book

I’ve heard this is a good intro prayer book for Westerners interested in Eastern Catholic/Christian prayer. Would it be worth my money??

If it’s the one I got, then it’s OK in that it has a lot of the devotionals and services, although the translations aren’t my cup of tea. It also has facing Slavonic, which is what I use it for.

There are a couple of other ones, but there exact title escapes me right now. In particular there is one, I believe OCA, that translates the whole liturgy, including the proskomedia/preparation liturgy, prayers before and after communion etc. which has better (though not modern/inclusive, which for me is a plus), translated from the Slavonic in comparison with the Greek. It used to come in a white cover. If I can lay my hands on the title, I’ll post.

I’m not so much interested in the text of the Divine Liturgy itself as much as just the “style” of daily prayer. I picked up a paper booklet at the church that has some Byzantine Catholic prayers in it and I really like the style. It fits perfect with my personal preferences. I’m just looking for a book that could give me some daily prayers to say, nothing fancy.

I’ll keep those books you mentioned in mind though just in case I want to delve a little deeper.

Actually, what you’ve linked to is the Jordanville Prayer Book - i.e. the standard Russian Orthodox prayer book - English only - in a very traditional translation. (A wonderful volume, BTW!)

And, if you’re interested, you can view an older translation of the same here:

Jordanville Prayer Book Online

I love the prayers in the Jordanville Prayer Book! I have prayed the Canon of Repentance when preparing for Confession - it’s a wonderful help to it.

This is the main prayer book I use, I think you’ll love it. Highly recommended! The jordanville prayer book is all English. It has a great set of morning and evening prayers(quite a few), prayers during the day, Akathists and Canons, and the text of the Divine Liturgy. :thumbsup:

Slightly off topic but - why the Icon all of a sudden? Are you now going East?


That icon (should say icon-style work, so as not to offend those who are true icon-writers) is actually by a Roman Catholic priest, Fr William McNichols SJ. Love his work!

GASP :eek: an Icon??? EAST? :eek: lol

I know, I know. :holds up hands - palms outward: :stuck_out_tongue: I don’t have anything against the east, nor do I consider eastern catholics second class citizens - it’s just that my Latin self is still a little sceptic I guess. :smiley: Something to work on.


Take in a Divine Liturgy, it will do the work itself! :wink:

I’d like to, but there are only two close by - one is a Byzantine Catholic Church that has the Divine Liturgy in English, and the other is a Maronite Church that my mother feels uncomfortable around. To foreign, & middle eastern. :smiley:


Check out the Byzantine Catholic Church if you can! I totally understand the cultural issue… foreign and middle eastern… like Christ Himself… I honestly do understand; I’m Polish and German. I’ve often thought to myself how it’s funny that we follow what essentially began as a middle-eastern faith, but it still can feel uncomfortable for us of European ancestry to immerse ourselves in that culture! So it goes, right? I think you’ll love the Byzantine Liturgy if you get the chance to go! It’s Greek in origin, no more foreign that Roman, right? :thumbsup:

The Jordanville Prayer book just arrived! HOWEVER, fellow Catholics, I’ve noticed that some of the prayers include prayers for “Orthodox Christians”…is this a bad thing to pray?? Also in the back it has a list of when to bow or prostrate and it says “we do not kneel or beat our breast for that is what the heretics of the West do”…that kinda took me aback…

No. In the Ruthenian liturgy it is (or was, as I remember it) translated as “Christians of the True Faith” which is essentially what Orthodox Christians means in that context.

The Ukrainian Catholics, and possibly the Melkite Catholics, use the term Orthodox directly in the liturgy.

Oh, about that ‘heretics’ comment, just ignore it. But don’t beat your breast or kneel with that book in your hands!

Mea Culpa…

Well, it is an Orthodox prayer book, after all :slight_smile: . As a former Catholic (Byzantine), I would say there is nothing wrong with you using it. Just skip any prayers you either don’t like or don’t feel comfortable with. Or…you may certainly pray for Orthodox Christians–we all can use all the prayers we can get! Or…you could substitute in your private prayer the words “Catholic Christians”. I’m sure Catholics are in as much need of your prayers as us unworthy Orthodox :wink: !

If you want something more “Catholic”, yet still Eastern, check out the Byzantine Book of Prayer. You can get it here:

It, too, is a wonderful prayer book, includes the Divine Liturgies of SS. John Chrysostom and Basil, and many beautiful Byzantine Catholic prayers.

God Bless you,

I will admit, the ‘western heretics’ comment does seem like a bit of an unnecessary potshot. :shrug:

Only if you are a “western heretic”.

(Just kidding!!! :smiley: )

On a more serious note, however, this is how many Orthodox view non-Orthodox Christians, rightly or wrongly, fairly or not. But then, much has been said about all of that on other threads.


EAST Roman, of course!

It is funny but I read once that the Byzantine churches could be ranked as a western tradition. Historically, and culturally it has more in common with Roma and the West than the other (termed “oriental”, sounding more exotic, and meaning the same!). Greece is the foundation of western civilization, especially the arts and philosophy. In most other ways it is thought of as ‘the west’, or the gateway to the west. Certainly Paul thought so when he arrived in Philippi.

The point of reference used for this “east-west” idea, of course, is Rome. But Rome itself is so far east in the old Mediterranean-based empire that it is practically on the edge of the west, if one thinks historically. I can imagine travelors heading west in ancient times and reaching Rome where, along with the Burma shave signs one would see “Last stop for gas” before heading into the mostly empty forested wildernesses.

Lumping everything east of Rome together into one pot makes no more sense than lumping everything north of the Alps together.


lol, I’m making my way (more slowly than my impatient self would like) to Orthodoxy, so I hope I’m not one of those. :wink: Still however, that comment just seems like an excuse to call people heretics. It could just as well have said “we don’t kneel and beat our breast” and have ended there. Oh well! :shrug:

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