For something the Orthodox Christian uses every day, the choice of prayer book can make a big difference. I have been using the St. Tikhon Monastery Press Orthodox Christian Prayers prayer book for quite a while now, and will share some thoughts on it, so you can make a more educated decision when trying to choose a prayer book for yourself.
Initially, I would like to share some of the features of this prayer book for those who wonder if they should order one and do not have a chance to pick one up and thumb through it, but then eventually, I would also like to share some of my little “hacks” for the book: things like marking tones to aid in singing and how I use some of the information included here that most prayer books do not have.
Continue reading “What Prayer Book to Buy”
We prepare to celebrate All Saints of North America this Sunday. The hymnography is mostly fine, but needs two major updates. One, relatively easy to fix: it is quite limited in the names it mentions, probably a product of when the service was written. That is fairly easy to fix, and not necessitating a mention of every name, for that would also soon be out of date, but to focus on more prominent or categorical additions.
The second issue needing an update is that that the wording of the service in its current form has in mind only immigrant saints, and we need to see that this is a living faith which has produced and continues to produce saints among the native-born people of the Americas. Within that issue, it is also a problem that though “men and women” is mentioned in various places, it still sounds past-tense, speaking of the immigrants; though we do not have canonized women saints in America, yet, we must intentionally commemorate the women among the all-saints of our lands, for All Saints is all about the saints we do not know about. Just think Matushka Olga.
Continue reading “Updating Hymnography for the American Saints”
We celebrate the glorification of our beloved father Tikhon tomorrow, who did much to establish and organize the Church in America, but also guided the Russian Church through some of the most tumultuous times in its history, the Russian Revolution.
It is likely too late for this to be of help to anybody for this particular Sunday in October of 2022, and it reveals to you all how late these things are prepared here in Bend, Oregon, but hopefully, it will be of use later. I was tempted to not go to the trouble of “cleaning this service up”, but there were just too many awkward phrases that would not be understood, especially when sung in our services, that I could not resist going through and rewording: moving phrases around, placing particular words to be emphasized by the music, and similar other changes.
Continue reading “Service for St. Tikhon of Moscow”
I do not know who else out there struggles with this one, but wouldn’t it be a beautiful world to have the same version of the psalms used in our personal prayer books, as with the many psalms read in church, and as with the innumerable uses of psalms throughout the services? Such consistency would, that much more easily, bring those hymns to our lips throughout the day. We would accidentally memorize large chunks of the Psalter. And what unspeakable aid would that provide to our path toward union with Christ?
Continue reading “What Psalter Is in Your Prayer Book”
As we near his celebration next week, on July 26th, I am posting the full service for St. Jacob Netsvetov, enlightener of the peoples of Alaska, below. It includes Vespers, Matins, and Liturgy material. You may either use the PDF below, which has pointed text to save you time in preparation, or, if you would like to remark it for your own musical needs, you may follow the link to the digital file, make a copy, and re-point the text as needed.
Initially, I could only find pieces of the service for St. Jacob of Alaska, so I compiled what I found and edited the language throughout the service to give it the same style and smoothing some of the phrasing to better fit the music. Only near the end of the process did I find what I think is the original service written for him, from 1995 at St. Tikhon’s Monastery, and considering he was canonized in 1994, it would make sense if it were the first service written for him.
Continue reading “Service for St. Jacob of Alaska – Vespers, Matins, Liturgy”