Nicholas Cabasilas’ Commentary on the Divine Liturgy is a remarkable product of Byzantium’s last great flowering of theology. The wok has long been essential reading for specialists in the fields of comparative liturgy and history of liturgy, since Cabasilas comments in detail on the Byzantine rite of his day and is able to draw comparisons with the Roman liturgy as well. The work is also invaluable for all those who wish to understand more about the theory and practice of worship in the Orthodox Church. In this edition the text of the Commentary, translated by J. M. Hussey and P. A. McNulty, has been supplemented by a brief foreword which places Cabasilas’ work in its historical context. A helpful introduction by R.M. French describes the celebration of the liturgy in the Orthodox Church.
A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy begins with observations and description, but it does not end there. Like Cabasilas’ Life in Christ, his Commentary is imbued with a fervent sacramental mysticism. For Cabasilas, man’s redemption in Jesus Christ is not just a matter of history. It is a saving event in which man is called to participate here and now, in body and spirit as well as intellect, through the sacramental life of the Church. The vitality of worship, and not just its form, therefore is the focus of Cabasilas’ thought. His message remains pertinent for us today.
“One way in which we can increase the talents given to us by God is “to celebrate a service in splendor” and thereby “communicate the word to those untaught.” (Matins Aposticha of Great and Holy Tuesday) A Practical Handbook for Divine Services will serve as an invaluable guide to all—priests, deacons, servers, readers and singers—who seek to increase their God given talent in fulfillment of these words.
It will also encourage all the laity who desire to enter more fully into an understanding of the Church’s Typicon, the “rule” which governs how Divine worship is offered in the church, and to internalize the principles that underpin it.
Whilst drawn from Russian sources, the texts also touch upon differences found in Greek usage. The primary source is the 1998 work of I.V. Gaslov, Orthodox Divine Services, which was written to address the need of the many new clergy ordained in Russia following the fall of communism. A Practical Handbook for Divine Services will be equally helpful to the many Orthodox clergy ordained in the West in the past twenty years or more who have not grown up within settled Orthodox communities.
Igumen Gregory (Woolfenden) was a noted Western liturgical scholar who was received into the Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) in 1996. He reposed in 2008.
- From The Back Cover
Abridged Calendar of the Feasts of the Orthodox Church, Vol. 1 – January to June Author: Tsami-Dratsellas, M. Publisher: Myrioviblos Publications
This revised and reprinted popular work about the Typikon/Typicon outlines many aspects of the services and how they ought to be done. Topics range from proper decorum in Church, the use of flowers, the orders of censing, directions on how to celebrate a hierarchical liturgy, how to serve in the presence of a non-celebrating bishop, services of Holy Week and Pascha, cross-processions, concelebration of the liturgy by multiple priests, and many other topics of interest to especially clergy in the Church.
The present volume presents an update to An Abridged Typicon first published in 1974 and reprinted in 1985 by St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press. The revisions made in this edition have been limited mostly to clarifying the text as originally presented to conform with traditional English liturgical norms now used in North America, and with much of Mother Mary’s and Kallistos Ware’s traditional liturgical translations. The chapter listing the prokeimena, alleluia verses and communion hymns in the original edition has not been included here since these texts are now available in The Apostol published by St. Tikhon’s and used here. Likewise, the table listing the readings from the Psalter and the Glossary have also been omitted.
Byzantine Liturgical Reform: A Study of Liturgical Change in the Byzantine Tradition Author: Pott, Thomas Publisher: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press
In this study on evening worship in the Orthodox Church, Nicholas Uspensky reveals the true purpose for which the service of Vespers came into existence: the ancient Christian tradition of giving thanks for the evening light, and the faith which this tradition implies concerning the presence of Christ in the midst of those gathered in His name. While tracing the evolution of the rites of Vespers and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts from their Old Testamental antecedents to their present forms today, he calls upon liturgical commentators to stand closer to the meaning attached to the service of evening worship by the ancient Church. This valuable historical-liturgical study also discusses the Communion which is added to the Vespers in the midst of the Fast, and the differences that exist between the Greek and Russian orders of service for the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist.