Category Archives: Liturgics

Some Digitized Resources on Hagiography and Heortology

Batiffol, Pierre. History of the Roman Breviary.

Delehaye, Hippolyte. The Legends of the Saints: An Introduction to Hagiography.

Delehaye, Hippolyte, ed. Synaxarium ecclesiae Constantinopolitanum.

Duchesne, Louis. Christian Worship: Its Origin and Evolution.

Kellner, Karl Adam Heinrich. Heortology: A History of the Christian Festivals from their Origin to the Present Day.

Martinov, Johannes. Annus ecclesiasticus graeco-slavicus.

Nilles, Nikolaus. Kalendarium manuale utriusque ecclesiae orientalis et occidentalis, vol. 1.

Nilles, Nikolaus. Kalendarium manuale utriusque ecclesiae orientalis et occidentalis, vol. 2.

Thurston, Herbet J. and Donald Attawater, eds. Butler’s Lives of the Saints, Complete Edition.



Readings in Academic Theology with an Eastern Orthodox Focus

Introduction to Orthodox Theology

A. Louth. Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology.

E. Theokritoff and M. B. Cunningham, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Christian Theology.

Church History

R. L. Wilken. The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity.

J. M. Hussey. The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire.

H. Chadwick. East and West: The Making of a Rift in the Church from Apostolic Times until the Council of Florence.

S. Runciman. The Great Church in Captivity: A Study of the Patriarchate of Constantinople from the Eve of the Turkish Conquest to the Greek War of Independence.

Th. Bremer. Cross and Kremlin: A Brief History of the Orthodox Church in Russia.

R. Roberson. The Eastern Christian Churches: A Brief Survey. 7th ed.

K. Parry, ed. The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity.

K. Parry et al., eds. The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity.

J. A. McGuckin, ed. The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

Exegetical and Biblical Theology

Th. G. Stylianopoulos. The New Testament: An Orthodox Perspective.

E. J. Pentiuc. The Old Testament in Eastern Orthodox Tradition.

M. Simonetti. Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church: An Historical Introduction to Patristic Exegesis.

E. W. Klink III and D. R. Lockett. Understanding Biblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice.

W. Zimmerli. Old Testament Theology in Outline.

U. Schnelle. Theology of the New Testament.

X. Léon-Dufour, ed. Dictionary of Biblical Theology. 2nd ed.

R. E. Brown, ed. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. 3d ed.

Th. C. Oden, ed. The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. 29 vols.

History of Doctrine and Theology

J. Pelikan. Credo: Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition.

J. Pelikan. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Vol. 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600).

J. Pelikan. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Vol. 2: The Spirit of Eastern Christendom (600-1700).

A. Di Berardino and B. Studer, eds. History of Theology, Vol. 1: The Patristic Period.

L. D. Davis. The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787): Their History and Theology.

H. R. Drobner. The Fathers of the Church: A Comprehensive Introduction.

J. Quasten. Patrology. 4 vols.

P. K. Chrestou. Greek Orthodox Patrology: An Introduction to the Study of the Church Fathers.

B. Tatakis. Byzantine Philosophy.

B. Tatakis. Christian Philosophy in the Patristic and Byzantine Tradition.

Dogmatic Theology

J. D. Zizioulas. Lectures in Christian Dogmatics.

D. Staniloae. The Experience of God: Orthodox Dogmatic Theology. 6 vols.

Spirituality and Christian Ethics

D. Staniloae. Orthodox Spirituality.

A. Louth. The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition: From Plato to Denys. 2nd ed.

T. Spidlik. The Spirituality of the Christian East: A Systematic Handbook.

T. Spidlik. Prayer: The Spirituality of the Christian East, Vol. 2.

S. S. Harakas. Living the Faith: The Praxis of Eastern Orthodox Ethics.

Ch. Yannaras. The Freedom of Morality.


P. F. Bradshaw. Early Christian Worship: A Basic Introduction to Ideas and Practice. 2nd ed.

J. Daniélou. The Bible and the Liturgy.

R. F. Taft. The Byzantine Rite: A Short History.

H. Wybrew. The Orthodox Liturgy: The Development of the Eucharistic Liturgy in the Byzantine Rite.

J. Getcha. The Typicon Decoded: An Explanation of Byzantine Liturgical Practice.

E. Wellesz. A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography. 2nd ed.

A. Schmemann. Introduction to Liturgical Theology.


O. C. Edwards, Jr. Elements of Homiletic: A Method for Preparing to Preach.

Pastoral Theology

K. Kern. Orthodox Pastoral Service.

J. Chryssavgis. Soul Mending: The Art of Spiritual Direction.

J. K. Kornarakis. Pastoral Psychology and Inner Conflict.

J. Meyendorff. Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective. 3d ed.

Canon Law

P. Rodopoulos. An Overview of Orthodox Canon Law.

L. J. Patsavos. Spiritual Dimensions of the Holy Canons.

W. Hartmann and K. Pennington, eds. The History of Byzantine Canon Law to 1500.

New Edition of the Euchologion

Papadimitriou has this year published a new edition of the Great Euchologion (Ευχολόγιον το μέγα). This is the first new edition of the Great Euchologion since 1927. Other editions currently in print are photographic reprints of editions from the nineteenth century. The Great Euchologion contains the order for the celebration of the sacraments and other sacred rites. It contents corresponds somewhat to the Sluzhebnik and Trebnik in the Slavic rite. Apostoliki Diakonia publishes an edition of the Small Euchologion, but this does not contain the orders for the celebration of all the sacraments, but there are also other separate prints of individual services. Papadimitriou’s new edition of the Great Euchologion has a new typography and has been corrected against other editions and manuscripts. It also has a new introduction and notes. It can be ordered here.


Greek Editions of Lectionaries

The following are editions of the Greek lectionaries for the Byzantine rite:

Lectionaries with New Testament texts:

  • Apostolos (Readings from Acts and the letters)
  • Evangelion (Readings from the gospels)
  • Eklogadion (Selected readings from the Apostolos and Evangelion)

Lectionaries with Old Testament texts:

Greek Orthodox editions of the Byzantine version of the Bible:

Critical editions of the Bible:

Liturgical studies

Easter is the most intense period in the liturgical year in the Byzantine rite. This made me think about what would be good literature for a course in liturgical studies specialized in the Byzantine rite. The following are my suggestions.

Liturgical documents

Apostoliki Diakonia. Ιερατικόν.

Apostoliki Diakonia. Εγκόλπιο αναγνώστου και ψάλτου.

Apostoliki Diakonia. Μικρόν Ευχολόγιον.

K. Papayannis, ed. Ἀνθολόγιον τῶν Ἱερῶν Άκολουθιῶν τοῦ ὅλου Ἐνιαυτοῦ, vol. 1.

K. Papayannis, ed. Ἀνθολόγιον τῶν Ἱερῶν Άκολουθιῶν τοῦ ὅλου Ἐνιαυτοῦ, vol 2.

P. Trembelas, ed. ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΙΚΟΝ.


P. Trembelas, ed. ΜΙΚΡΟΝ ΕΥΧΟΛΟΓΙΟΝ, vol. 1.

P. Trembelas, ed. ΜΙΚΡΟΝ ΕΥΧΟΛΟΓΙΟΝ, vol 2.

Byzantine chant


K. Pringos. Θεία Λειτουργία.

K. Pringos. Μουσική Κυψέλη, vol. 1.

K. Pringos. Μουσική Κυψέλη, vol. 2.

K. Pringos. Αναστασιματάριον.

K. Pringos. Η Αγία και Μεγάλη εβδομάς.


R. Messner. Einführung in die Liturgiewissenschaft. 2nd ed. 2009.

P. Bradshaw/J. Melloh, eds. Foundations in Ritual Studies: A Reader for Students of Christian Worship. 2007.

P. Bradshaw. Early Christian Worship. 2nd ed. 2010.

M. E. Johnson. The Rites of Christian Initiation. 2nd ed. 2007.

P. Bradshaw. The Eucharistic Liturgies. 2012.

P. Bradshaw/M. E. Johnson. The Origins of Feasts, Fasts, and Seasons in Early Christianity. 2011.

P. Bradshaw. Daily Prayer in the Early Church. 2nd ed. 2008.

R. Taft. The Liturgy of the Hours in East and West. 2nd ed. 1993.

A. Chupungco, ed. Handbook for Liturgical Study. 5 volumes. 1997-2000.

R. Taft. The Byzantine Rite: A Short History. 1992.

H. Wybew. The Orthodox Liturgy. 2nd ed. 2013.

J. Getcha. The Typikon Decoded. 2012.

K. Papayannis. Σύστημα Τυπικού. 2006.

Sarapion of Thmuis finally finished

I have finally finished my Swedish translation of Sarapion of Thmuis (see here and here) and submitted it to my publisher, Artos & Norma. The translation will be printed and distributed sometime after January next year.

Sarapion of Thmuis (Continued)

M. E. Johnson, The Prayers of Sarapion of Thmuis (Rome: PIO, 1995)

I have now made a translation draft of Bishop Sarapion (Serapion) of Thmuis’ prayers. I used Brightman’s edition for this translation; however, I have now had the opportunity to consult Johnson’s edition and study. This made me realize that Brightman’s reconstructions of the original liturgical rites are too speculative and introduce unnecessary hypotheses. (I am very fond of Occam’s razor.)

The order of the prayers: Another theory

There is another theory proposed by Schermann and Cuming (independently of each other), which claims that the order of the prayers in the manuscript is logical as it stands; however, the original used by the eleventh century copyist was a scroll with writing on both sides and he began to copy it from the wrong side, which explains why the preanaphora prayers come at the end of the collection.

Reordering my translation

I have accepted this theory in my translation and rearranged the material as follows: oil prayers (15-17), burial prayer (18), the liturgy (liturgy of the word, prayers 19-30; liturgy of the eucharist, prayers 1-6), initiation (prayers 7-11), and ordination (prayers 12-14).

I am currently reviewing my draft with the help of Johnson’s edition. He is very cautious in his edition and preserves the prayers in the order of the manuscript unlike my reordering based on the theory of Schermann and Cuming.

Serapion of Thmuis

My pastime this summer is to translate into Swedish the fourth century euchologion of Bishop Serapion (Sarapion) of Thmuis. This euchologion or pontifical is a collection of thirty liturgical prayers primarily intended for a bishop. It is one of the oldest preserved liturgical documents and an important source of liturgical history. The document belongs to the Egyptian or Alexandrian rite and is an early ancestors of the later Liturgy of St. Mark.

The manuscript

Bishop Serapion of Thmuis

This fourth century euchologion is preserved in an eleventh century manuscript, which belongs to the Lavra Monastery on Athos. It was first published in 1894 by the Russian liturgical historian Dimitrievsky in the journal of the Ecclesiastical Academy of Kiev. This edition went largely unnoticed in the West. Independently of Dimitrievsky the German scholar Wobbermin published an edition in Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur N.F. 2:3b, Leipzig: 1899. Wordsworth published an English translation of Wobbermin’s edition: Bishop Sarapion’s Prayer-Book, London: SPCK, 1899. The language of this translation is very awkward and the translator seems to have misunderstood the original Greek in some places.

The order of the prayers

The prayers in the manuscript were not preserved in their liturgical order but in order of importance (the manuscript begins with the anaphora and ends with the preanaphora prayers). Brightman reconstructed the original liturgical context of the prayers in a new edition based on photographs of the manuscript and Wobbermin’s edition. Brightman’s edition was published in Journal of Theological Studies 1 (1900): pp. 88ff., 246ff. I have used this edition but also consulted Wobbermin’s edition for my translation.

The euchologion contains prayers belonging the the following rites: the liturgy (the eucharist), initiation (baptism and chrismation), ordinations (deacons, presbyters, and bishops), unction of the sick, and burial of the dead.

UPDATE 2: The reconstruction of Brightman is very speculative. There is another simpler theory proposed by Schermann and Cuming (independently of each other), which claims that the order of the prayers in the manuscript is logical as it stands; however, the original used by the eleventh century copyist was a scroll with writing on both sides and he began to copy it from the wrong side, which explains why the preanaphora prayers come at the end of the collection. I have accepted this theory in my translation and rearranged the material as follows: oil prayers (15-17), burial prayer (18), the liturgy (liturgy of the word, prayers 19-30; liturgy of the eucharist, prayers 1-6), initiation (prayers 7-11), and ordination (prayers 12-14).

The character of the prayers

From a pastoral perspective it is interesting to note how layoriented the Serapion’s euchologion is unlike the later extremely monastified Byzantine rite; it contains explicit prayers for families, husbands, wives, and children.

Serapion’s euchologion is also interesting from the perspective of history of theology and dogma. All the prayers are addressed to God the Father through the Only-Begotten One in Holy Spirit (no definitive article). The most common Christological title in the prayers is “Only-Begotten One.” Interestingly the epiklesis of the anaphora (eucharistic prayer) is not addressed to the Spirit but to the Only-Begotten One. The prayers show an unreflected pneumatology; the focus is on the Father and the Son.

My translation of the prayers

Since I am busy writing my doctoral thesis I have not the time to catch up on the latest research concerning Serapion and the early Egyptian rite; therefore, I have turned to my former teacher of patristics, Anders Ekenberg, who also is specialized in liturgical history. He has kindly agreed to write an introduction to my translation. The translation will be published by Artos & Norma, the largest publisher of translated patristic texts in Sweden.

UPDATE 1: A friend  brought to my attention that there exists a later study of Serapion’s euchologion which also contains the Greek text and a new English translation: Johnson, M. E., The Prayers of Sarapion of Thmuis: A literary, liturgical, and theological analysis, Orientalia Christiana Analecta 249, Rome: PIO, 1995. Unfortunately I have not yet had the opportunity to consult this work.

Debut of New Swedish Translation of the Divine Liturgy

This Sunday the new Swedish translation of the divine liturgy makes its debut at the Uspensky Cathedral in Helsinki, Finland. This is the first official Swedish translation of the divine liturgy (previous translations have been private initiatives). The translation was commissioned by Metropolitan Ambroius of Helsinki and has been approved by the assembly of bishops of the Orthodox Church in Finland. The debut was televised by YLE and may be viewed online at YLE Areena until June 26, 2012: It may also be viewed at

New Swedish translation of the Divine Liturgy

On May 27, 2012, a new Swedish translation of the Divine Liturgy attributed to St. John Chrysostom will be taken into use in the Orthodox Diocese of Helsinki, Finland. This translation was ratified by the council of bishops of the Orthodox Church in Finland on March 27 this year. This is the first official translation of the Divine Liturgy in Swedish commissioned and ratified by a local Eastern Orthodox Church. The translation was commissioned by Metropolitan Ambrosius of Helsinki in 2010. The goal of the commission was to produce a new theological and philological sound translation into contemporary Swedish fitting the pastoral needs of Swedish-speaking members of the Eastern Orthodox Churches in Finland and Sweden.

The commission making the translation

The commission which produced the translation was composed of members from both Sweden and the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland. The commission hired two translators to produce two drafts which would be worked into a single text by the full commission and then sent to a referral group which was consulted before producing the final draft and submitting it to the Diocese of Helsinki and the council of bishops. The two translators were I and Pater Dr. Anders Piltz OP, professor emeritus of Latin, Lund University, and chairman of the Catholic Liturgical Committee (Katolska Liturgiska Nämnden) commissioned to produce the Swedish translations of the Roman Catholic liturgical books for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockholm, Sweden. Both Dr. Piltz and I continued to be connected to the commission as advisers after we had produced our drafts.

The finished translation

The new translation is now at the printers and will officially be taken into used at the Uspensky Cathedral in Helsinki on May 27, 2012. Metropolitan Ambrosius of Helsinki and Bishop Macarie, the Romanian Orthodox bishop of Scandinavia, will preside at this liturgy.