We are pleased to present here an ever-accumulating collection of liturgical texts from the Menaion, Lenten Triodion, Pentecostarion, Octoechos and other liturgical books of the Holy Orthodox Church. These texts are presented by the editor in a traditional liturgical English language recension called “Revised Liturgical English” (RLE).
This recension strives to retain the grace and beauty of the traditional poetic expressions of prayer in our native English tongue while at the same time: a) retaining the integrity of the original source language of the text; b) avoiding attempts to “modernize” the texts, for example, by arbitrarily removing “thee and thou” (here the editor reminds all that the language of the King James Bible is classified by linguists as “Modern English”); c) conversely, avoiding the pitfalls of forcing compliance to truly archaic forms merely for their own sake; and, d) presenting them in a poetic meter and rhythm designed to fit the standard obikhod and znamenny chants of the Russian Orthodox Octoechos. As such, they are marked or “pointed” to the obikhod for the sake of consistancy.
These texts speak for themselves. While previously translated texts have been routinely consulted during their preparation (it would have been foolish not to do so), no effort has been made to merely “un-do,” “re-translate” or “fix” the work that has been done prior to this. Indeed, the editor is humbled by those that have done their work before him and is grateful for their tireless labors and pioneering contribution. He prays that his modest work will merit their regard and consideration.
The liturgical norms and rubrical notations conform to accepted usage in both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church in America, and reference is made to works already published in RLE, i.e., the “Apostol”, the “Annual Liturgical Calendar and Rubrics”, the “Daily Prayerbook” and the “Hours and Typica” published by St. Tikhon’s. It is the intent of the editor to regularly post those basic texts needed for upcoming services at least one month in advance, and return to complete any missing sections as strength and the Will of God allow.
These texts are all being made available to everyone for use in Holy Orthodox Temples. In time they will be compiled and presented in appropriate format for publication and non-commercial sale.
The editor alone takes responsibility for the content and scope of his work and invites all competent and unprejudiced criticism aimed toward the perfection of this work to the glory of God and His Holy Orthodox Church.
Sergei D. Arhipov