Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Old Prayer Book !

One of my recent acquisitions due to the current favourable (to us) £/$ exchange rate has been a copy of the Old Orthodox Prayer Book from the Old Believer community at Erie.

It is fabulous, and the best £15 I have spent in a very long time :-)

I particularly like the Canon for the Sick, which I have not ever seen before in a prayer book.

It is great having the large variety of Canons, Akathist, Liturgy(which has some differences from what I am used to), all the Hours, Vespers, Matins, Calendar, Troparia and Kontakia in one easily portable volume, as it is much smaller than Hapgood and more "useful" on a layperson`s daily basis than Hapgood. They may not be used often, but they are extremely useful to have. I think this may become my designated "Hospital Prayer Book" to be packed and taken in emergencies as it is both comprehensive and compact.

What I simply wasn`t prepared for was the Orthodox aerobics. If you think the Canon of St Andrew in Lent is tough on the joints, so are the daily prayers.

To pray the standard Morning prayers according to the rubrics involves 58 metanias (plus 5 more if you wish to pray fervently for someone alive, and another 5 if you wish to pray fervently for someone who has reposed), making 68, plus ten full prostrations interspersed at intervals . And that does not , of course, include the 17 prostrations involved in the prayer of St Ephrem in Great Lent !

Personally, I find the activity involved very useful in keeping me focused on what I am praying, rather than racing through the prayers, though it is obviously entirely possible ( though I imagine not often formally permitted by the Community) to omit the bows and prostrations when needed.

I have a friend who is an Old Believer hierodeacon , so I was pleased to be able to afford to get this lovely book and see for myself why he loves it so much .
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1 comment:

Young fogey emeritus said...

I have and like that one too.