A useful file for parish cantors and readers — Prokeimena and Alleluia Verses of the Octoechos, General Menaion, Lenten Triodion and Pentecostarion — formatted for 3″x5″ index cards, easily attached to the interior of Epistle books.
Care should be taken to test the paper feed of your own printers (if printing off at home or at the parish office) before committing the whole file to print. These settings vary from printer to printer, but can generally be managed through the Adobe Acrobat Print dialogue box.
The Vesperal Service in the Orthodox Church can have four different orders: Daily Vespers, Lenten Vespers, Paschal Vespers,and Great Vespers. In addition, Great Vespers can be served in conjunction with Matins, to form the All-night Vigil. The booklet you hold in your hands contains the fixed parts of the service of Great Vespers and the 9th hour, and is intended for use when Great Vespers is served by itself on Saturday evening and the eve of feast days, with or without the Litia.
When served by itself, Great Vespers is usually preceded by the 9th hour. The hours of prayer are short, read (not sung) services, which correspond roughly to dawn (1st hour), morning (3rd hour), midday (6th hour), and mid-afternoon (9th hour), comprised of the opening prayers, 3 psalms, hymns, and prayers. These “canonical hours of prayer” have Biblical roots, and, along with Matins, Vespers, and Compline are a manifestation of the “sanctification of time”. It is normal to “aggregate” the hours to the nearest “main” service: the 1st hour following Matins, the 3rd and 6th hours preceding the Liturgy, and the 9th hour preceding Vespers. The 9th hour is the last service of the liturgical day (e.g., the 9th hour on Saturday afternoon is the last service of Saturday, and so we would read the festal or daily tropar and kondak for Saturday during the 9th hour), and Vespers is the first service of the new day (e.g., Vespers on Saturday evening is the first service of Sunday, so all the stykhyry, hymns, the dismissal, etc., are all for Sunday).
Depending on the local parish practice and the particular solemnity of the day or feast being celebrated, certain portions of the service will change.
In preparation for the coming Lenten Spring: Half-letter sized Booklets for the Passia service, with mirrored Ukrainian and English texts.
By Your crucifixion, crucify me from this world with its temptations and desires.
By Your Cross, hide me from the invisible enemies which seek to capture my soul.
With Your pierced feet, turn my feet from every evil path.
With Your pierced hands, keep my hands from every deed which is unworthy of You.
You, Who were nailed to the Cross in the flesh, nail my flesh to fear of You,
so that I might turn away from all evil, and do only that which is pleasing to You.
You, Who bowed Your head upon the Cross, bow down my proud, earthly pretentiousness in humility.
Protect my ears with Your crown of thorns, so that I would hear nothing other than that which is virtuous.
You, Who tasted the gall with Your lips, place a guard about my unclean lips.
You, Whose heart was pierced with a spear — create a clean heart within me.
With Your wounds, sweetly wound all of me to love for You,
so that I would love You, my Lord, with my whole soul, my whole heart, with all my strength, and with all my mind.
The pdf files are meant to be printed, double-sided on letter size (8.5″x11″) paper (2 pages per side, 24 sheets of paper in all); folded in half and saddle-stitched to form half-letter sized booklets. Though the default Acrobat .pdf print auto-scaling has been disabled in the file, it would be good to print a complete double-sided spread to test your own system/printer settings before committing to a large print run. Auto-scaling tends to shrink and reposition the content — and in a booklet application, that means shifting the spine of the finished booklet so that the content is no longer centered on an uncropped page. The file is designed to avoid additional cropping. If you opt to print this at home or at a parish office and do not have a sophisticated printer/copier/collating/binding system, testing to arrive at the proper settings is a good idea. If you opt to have this printed at a commercial printer’s, remind them that the inside pages are meant to be mirrored: i.e. Ukrainian page 5 on the left | English page 5 on the right — and so on.
Attached, two simplified versions of the Typikon, in Ukrainian and English for the month of February.
These are without service tables and incipits, but have the key information most parishes will need.
March, April and subsequent months will be posted very shortly.
The elaborated eTYPIKION project will move into a different phase in the meanwhile — the build-out of a series of service templates and a corresponding database which, when completed, should serve not only to speed up the process of compiling a monthly calendar, but also permit linking of relevant text, music and readings.
At the moment, much of the delay is down to manual data entry, sourcing and editing of relevant texts — not all of which are currently available in one uniformly-styled source — in either Ukrainian or English. The good news is that this is changing — good work is being done now in both languages, and we can expect in the course of the coming years, that doors formerly closed to us will be opened.
The hope is that once completed, the eTYPIKON will permit anyone using it to access the fundamental resources they need when researching any service, via embedded links, directly from the document itself.
Liturgy — the worship life of the Church — is profound and beautiful, but the complexity of properly assembling services that are subject to the annual rhythm of fixed and non-fixed Feasts, ruled by an 8-tone weekly cycle, governed by the relative honour which the Church ascribes Her Feasts and Her Saints, sourced from a daunting library of materials (Octoechos, Menaion, Triodion, Pentecostarion, Irmologion, etc.) presents something of a stumbling block even to the pious to whom knowledge has not always been perfectly (or yet partially) transmitted. We are driven to find patterns, logic and order in things — and in the absence of an order we might perceive at once, with the first glance, we tend to impose our own. Mistakes will be made — but we should be on guard for the easy temptation to assert in these cases that someone else, somewhere else, for some unworthy reason, has fallen short — when the truth is (as it so often is) — that the beam is in our own eye.
The eTYPIKON for the month of February — in English. Several changes have been made in order to bring more clarity to service structure and their common parish variants. In addition, the order from the Slavonic Typikon is given for a number of the saints whose memory the Church honours on their day of commemoration with a Doxology, Polyeleos, or Six stichera service. The Slavonic Typikon reflects monastic practice — with all its attendant rigour — but there are things even here, among these seemingly bare and mechanical instructions on which we might reflect — as for example, the directive at the Dismissal of the all-night Vigil — at which the community, enveloped from evening to the dawning of the light in darkness, has been praying with one voice, for many hours, without ceasing:
“And oil from the holy vigil lamp is given the brethren.”
Of that which they, as a Body, have sanctified with hymnody and prayer — all receive a share.
The compilation, formatting and accompanying research have come at something of a cost in terms of time — and work on the Ukrainian version is running into competing deadlines with life’s other obligations. We’ll see what tomorrow’s effort brings — but we may have to deliver a stripped-down version in Ukrainian for February, in order to get to work on March and April — the Lenten Spring.