Committee on the Translation of Liturgical Texts
These English translations are published with the Blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia. They are the product of the continuing work of the Committee on the Translation of Liturgical Texts, formed in 1990 under the chairmanship of Dr John Lee. His Grace Bishop Seraphim of Apollonias has kindly acted as adviser to the Committee and generously gave his time to assist with the resolution of many difficult questions. Mr George Harris is the current chair of the Committee.
Our objective has been a translation that uses contemporary, though formal and dignified English; that is as accurate as possible within the limits of English idiom; and that conveys its meaning unambiguously without reference to the original. The decision to undertake new translations was not made lightly, but only after careful consideration of existing options. It is hoped that these translations will be the first steps towards achieving the desirable goal of uniformity in the English texts used in Australia.
We owe a great debt to our predecessors. Without the pioneering work of those who have previously put their hands to the task, beginning more than a century ago, our own work would have been far poorer. To a great extent we have needed to do no more than revise what exists already.
Existing translations have been carefully compared and all renderings have been re-examined in the light of the Greek original, before final decisions have been reached.
THE DIVINE LITURGY OF ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
The Committee on the Translation of Liturgical Texts began the task of translating the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysosotom in 1992. It has been a challenging task because of the unusual nature of some of the language and the complexity of the service itself. Other translations have been carefully compared, but this is intended to be a more accurate version.
Prayers of preparation for Holy Communion, the Blessing of Loaves (Artoklasia) and the Memorial Service (Mnimosino) are also included. The Greek text is based primarily on that in the edition of the Holy Monastery of Simonopetra, Mt Athos.
* Recently reprinted in a larger format, suitable for priests and chanters.
BOOK OF PRAYERS: A Selection for Orthodox Christians
The prayers are for everyday use. The Book of Prayers, containing both Greek and English, includes a selection of the most common prayers for Orthodox Christians to incorporate into the daily rhythm of their lives. Following a short introduction on prayer, taken from the Ladder of Divine Ascent by St John of Sinai, it includes: Morning Prayers, Evening Prayers, Prayers at Meals, Communion Prayers, The Typica and Occasional Prayers.
Beyond the Baptism Service, this book also includes prayers for the Making of a Catechumen, Katavasia hymns and the Service of Holy Chrismation for already baptised persons entering the Orthodox Church. The Greek text is essentially that in the Mikron Efchologion, with adjustments in the order to match actual practice, with the advice of His Grace Bishop Seraphim of Apollonias.
The Funeral Service is chanted for all those who have fallen asleep, both kings and patriarchs, hierarchs and priests, men and women, young and old. For children a special Funeral Service is given separately. Included are: the Funeral Service for Home and Church; for Renewal Week; for Children; and also for the burial of an unbaptised Child of Christian parents and Non-Orthodox Christians. This book has a profoundly rich theological expression contained within as well as allowing its readers to better understand the deeper meaning behind this solemn service.
The Marriage Service includes the Services of Betrothal, Crowning, Second Marriage and Restoration of Marriage. The rubrics have been kept largely in their traditional form rather than adjusted to cover details of current practice, which in any case is not rigid but allows for variations and different customs.