Prayer & Worship Prayer Books and Devotional/Liturgical Texts

Hermetic Seal

Pelican
Orthodox
Gold Member
I thought we could use a thread on Orthodox prayer books and other devotional texts like the Psalter, and even Bibles.

Here are the books I primarily use.

Jordanville Prayer Book - The standard prayer book in ROCOR is popular with Orthodox Christians across jurisdictions because it's really just that good. The book is very sturdy and well made from quality materials, and I've used mine for a year almost every day and it's held up great. Long, detailed morning and evening prayer rules that you can adjust for your situation, and beautiful, KJV-style language. The only negatives are typos ("the Thy") and a fairly bland typeset and interior design, and a lack of dynamics. However, if you work a Psalm or two into your morning and evening prayer rule, that can help add some variety.

The Psalter According To The Seventy (the "Boston Psalter") - In my opinion, this Psalter from Holy Transfiguration Monastery (henceforth HTM) is the best Psalter out there for a variety of reasons. First, the book's materials, construction quality, typeset, and interior artwork far exceeded the modest $22 price tag. Second, this is the best translation of the Psalms I've seen - it's in the KJV style (and used for the Jordanville Prayer Book's Psalms) but translated from the Septuagint, per Orthodox usage. The language works extremely well when chanted aloud, and this translation is evocative, sometimes even a bit quirky, in a way that others I've handled tend to be a bit wooden. Note that my parish uses this translation for all their services. There is also a smaller version of this Psalter available, but I prefer this edition for the larger print and additional material not found in the smaller edition. Some may be bothered that this is published by a schismatic Old Calendarist group, but they were in communion with ROCOR when this book was produced in the 1970s.

Orthodox Book of Common Prayer - The Orthodox adaptation of the classic Anglican prayer book is widely used by Western Rite communities in the Antiochian Church and ROCOR. Quality materials and printing, though not as good as Jordanville or HTM's books. Has some nice features built in, including the classic Coverdale Psalter, a lectionary, and calendar of Saints. A great option if you want to try doing an Orthodox version of the English Daily Office at home.

Some others I have but don't use as often:

Jordanville Horologion - The main book you need to do the monastic Hours at home, the Horologion forms the backbone of most daily services. This is a fairly hardcore book, but a useful reference if you're interested in liturgics. Just make sure you have a music stand or something to place this (massive) book upon if you use it for prayer/reading.

Orthodox Christian Prayers - A popular book in OCA, this prayer book beats the Jordanville book in a few categories. Excellent typeset and interior design, more prayers for meals and various occasions, and bookmark ribbons. However, the materials and construction quality feel comparatively flimsy, and I don't like the language as much as the Jordanville book. I mostly use this one for mealtime prayers and miscellaneous occasions.

Old Rite Orthodox Prayer Book - Do you think the Jordanville prayer rule is too easy and want to bow after every other sentence? Do you want your pre-communion prayers to take as much time as watching a Disney movie? Do you just really dislike Patriarch Nikon and lament the loss of fur hats in the Russian Church? Say no more! This bilingual Old Believer book has you covered. Excellent quality printing and typeset, this is the most hardcore Orthodox prayer book I've found. But I rarely use it.

Some others I don't have, but have heard good things about:

HTM Prayer Book - Published by the lovable schismatics mentioned in my Psalter writeup above, I've heard good things about this one, but haven't handled one in the flesh yet.

HTM Book of Hours - A handheld, compact, and inexpensive alternative to the Horologion that lets you pray an abbreviated version of the monastic Hours at home. I've handled this book a few times and as usual, it's the typical high-quality, thoughtful product I've come to expect from HTM.

A Psalter for Prayer - Published by Jordanville, this Psalter represents Jordanville moving away from reliance on HTM's Psalter (and by extension, connection to a schismatic group) and is used in most newer Jordanville texts. This is a high quality translation based on Myles Coverdale's classic translation, but corrected according to the Septuagint. While there are many good things about this Psalter, I'm not crazy about the translation and feel it lacks character compared to HTM's, but your mileage may vary.


Would be interested to hear what prayer books and other associated texts you guys use. I realize I am absurdly nitpicky about this kind of thing, but perhaps some of you will find my analysis helpful.
 
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Sol Invictus

Sparrow
Orthodox Catechumen
I just got the Jordanville Prayer Book and have to say I'm quite impressed by its quality. My own observations of it are pretty much the same as yours. It could probably do with a little better spacing between the prayers, but the large print coupled with the small form factor don't really leave much room for that. Between that and the other books I've seen that are published by Jordanville, I can definitely say they don't skimp out on anything in their publications.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Orthodox
HTM Prayer Book - Published by the lovable schismatics mentioned in my Psalter writeup above, I've heard good things about this one, but haven't handled one in the flesh yet.

I have both Jordanville, and the HTM prayer book, There's good to both, the Jordanville morning and evening prayers are longer than HTM's, and I like to switch it around every now and then. I like some of the single word changes Jordanville's wording. For instance, Jordanville (page 62) has "Thy lowly, sinful and unworthy servants" whereas the same HTM prayer has "Thy humble, sinful and unworthy servants". I just don't like referring to myself as humble. It sounds off. I also like the "Canon of Repentance" in the Jordanville whereas the HTM has a "Canon to the Guardian Angel" instead.

However, HTM's translation of the communion prayers is far superior, I can't even read St Symeons prayer (Prayer 6 pg 362) in the Jordanville after reading the HTM metered translation.
 

Hermetic Seal

Pelican
Orthodox
Gold Member
I can't even read St Symeons prayer (Prayer 6 pg 362) in the Jordanville after reading the HTM metered translation.

This is a good point, something about this prayer has always seemed a little strange to me. Maybe St. Symeon just has a very dramatic, florid style of writing in general (I've never read anything else by him), but I find this prayer to have some unusual turns of phrase that feel a bit awkward, so the translation in the Jordanville book might be amplifying that a bit. I checked it in the Old Rite Prayer Book (p. 621) and their translation seems a bit better.
 

ROCORTexan

Chicken
Orthodox
Of all the prayer books I've handled (New Rome Press pocket prayer book, Antiochian little red prayer book, A Manual of Eastern Orthodox prayers, Jordanville full size and pocket edition, St. Tikhon's new leather/pleather edition) I find the full size Jordanville to be the most readily useful prayer book, there are a few things I like in the St. Tikhon's book and I wish I could have Small compline like the the New Rome Press book has but bound in, and in the translation of, the Jordanville.
 

Chasinglogos

Pigeon
Orthodox Catechumen
Prologue of Ohrid
100%
I love that lives of the saints book very much. The reflections and sermons are great.

I am very happy with my purchase of The Ancient Faith Deluxe Gift Set: Orthodox Study Bible / Ancient Faith Psalter / Ancient Faith Prayer Book
https://store.ancientfaith.com/deluxe-gift-set
I like the prayers in this prayer book way more than the ones in the little red Pocket Prayer Book for Orthodox Christians. I'm only a catechumen so take this recommendation with a grain of salt.
 
Last edited:

Ape

Chicken
Orthodox
I thought we could use a thread on Orthodox prayer books and other devotional texts like the Psalter, and even Bibles.

Here are the books I primarily use.

Jordanville Prayer Book - The standard prayer book in ROCOR is popular with Orthodox Christians across jurisdictions because it's really just that good. The book is very sturdy and well made from quality materials, and I've used mine for a year almost every day and it's held up great. Long, detailed morning and evening prayer rules that you can adjust for your situation, and beautiful, KJV-style language. The only negatives are typos ("the Thy") and a fairly bland typeset and interior design, and a lack of dynamics. However, if you work a Psalm or two into your morning and evening prayer rule, that can help add some variety.

The Psalter According To The Seventy (the "Boston Psalter") - In my opinion, this Psalter from Holy Transfiguration Monastery (henceforth HTM) is the best Psalter out there for a variety of reasons. First, the book's materials, construction quality, typeset, and interior artwork far exceeded the modest $22 price tag. Second, this is the best translation of the Psalms I've seen - it's in the KJV style (and used for the Jordanville Prayer Book's Psalms) but translated from the Septuagint, per Orthodox usage. The language works extremely well when chanted aloud, and this translation is evocative, sometimes even a bit quirky, in a way that others I've handled tend to be a bit wooden. Note that my parish uses this translation for all their services. There is also a smaller version of this Psalter available, but I prefer this edition for the larger print and additional material not found in the smaller edition. Some may be bothered that this is published by a schismatic Old Calendarist group, but they were in communion with ROCOR when this book was produced in the 1970s.

Orthodox Book of Common Prayer - The Orthodox adaptation of the classic Anglican prayer book is widely used by Western Rite communities in the Antiochian Church and ROCOR. Quality materials and printing, though not as good as Jordanville or HTM's books. Has some nice features built in, including the classic Coverdale Psalter, a lectionary, and calendar of Saints. A great option if you want to try doing an Orthodox version of the English Daily Office at home.

Some others I have but don't use as often:

Jordanville Horologion - The main book you need to do the monastic Hours at home, the Horologion forms the backbone of most daily services. This is a fairly hardcore book, but a useful reference if you're interested in liturgics. Just make sure you have a music stand or something to place this (massive) book upon if you use it for prayer/reading.

Orthodox Christian Prayers - A popular book in OCA, this prayer book beats the Jordanville book in a few categories. Excellent typeset and interior design, more prayers for meals and various occasions, and bookmark ribbons. However, the materials and construction quality feel comparatively flimsy, and I don't like the language as much as the Jordanville book. I mostly use this one for mealtime prayers and miscellaneous occasions.

Old Rite Orthodox Prayer Book - Do you think the Jordanville prayer rule is too easy and want to bow after every other sentence? Do you want your pre-communion prayers to take as much time as watching a Disney movie? Do you just really dislike Patriarch Nikon and lament the loss of fur hats in the Russian Church? Say no more! This bilingual Old Believer book has you covered. Excellent quality printing and typeset, this is the most hardcore Orthodox prayer book I've found. But I rarely use it.

Some others I don't have, but have heard good things about:

HTM Prayer Book - Published by the lovable schismatics mentioned in my Psalter writeup above, I've heard good things about this one, but haven't handled one in the flesh yet.

HTM Book of Hours - A handheld, compact, and inexpensive alternative to the Horologion that lets you pray an abbreviated version of the monastic Hours at home. I've handled this book a few times and as usual, it's the typical high-quality, thoughtful product I've come to expect from HTM.

A Psalter for Prayer - Published by Jordanville, this Psalter represents Jordanville moving away from reliance on HTM's Psalter (and by extension, connection to a schismatic group) and is used in most newer Jordanville texts. This is a high quality translation based on Myles Coverdale's classic translation, but corrected according to the Septuagint. While there are many good things about this Psalter, I'm not crazy about the translation and feel it lacks character compared to HTM's, but your mileage may vary.


Would be interested to hear what prayer books and other associated texts you guys use. I realize I am absurdly nitpicky about this kind of thing, but perhaps some of you will find my analysis helpful.
I thought we could use a thread on Orthodox prayer books and other devotional texts like the Psalter, and even Bibles.

Here are the books I primarily use.

Jordanville Prayer Book - The standard prayer book in ROCOR is popular with Orthodox Christians across jurisdictions because it's really just that good. The book is very sturdy and well made from quality materials, and I've used mine for a year almost every day and it's held up great. Long, detailed morning and evening prayer rules that you can adjust for your situation, and beautiful, KJV-style language. The only negatives are typos ("the Thy") and a fairly bland typeset and interior design, and a lack of dynamics. However, if you work a Psalm or two into your morning and evening prayer rule, that can help add some variety.

The Psalter According To The Seventy (the "Boston Psalter") - In my opinion, this Psalter from Holy Transfiguration Monastery (henceforth HTM) is the best Psalter out there for a variety of reasons. First, the book's materials, construction quality, typeset, and interior artwork far exceeded the modest $22 price tag. Second, this is the best translation of the Psalms I've seen - it's in the KJV style (and used for the Jordanville Prayer Book's Psalms) but translated from the Septuagint, per Orthodox usage. The language works extremely well when chanted aloud, and this translation is evocative, sometimes even a bit quirky, in a way that others I've handled tend to be a bit wooden. Note that my parish uses this translation for all their services. There is also a smaller version of this Psalter available, but I prefer this edition for the larger print and additional material not found in the smaller edition. Some may be bothered that this is published by a schismatic Old Calendarist group, but they were in communion with ROCOR when this book was produced in the 1970s.

Orthodox Book of Common Prayer - The Orthodox adaptation of the classic Anglican prayer book is widely used by Western Rite communities in the Antiochian Church and ROCOR. Quality materials and printing, though not as good as Jordanville or HTM's books. Has some nice features built in, including the classic Coverdale Psalter, a lectionary, and calendar of Saints. A great option if you want to try doing an Orthodox version of the English Daily Office at home.

Some others I have but don't use as often:

Jordanville Horologion - The main book you need to do the monastic Hours at home, the Horologion forms the backbone of most daily services. This is a fairly hardcore book, but a useful reference if you're interested in liturgics. Just make sure you have a music stand or something to place this (massive) book upon if you use it for prayer/reading.

Orthodox Christian Prayers - A popular book in OCA, this prayer book beats the Jordanville book in a few categories. Excellent typeset and interior design, more prayers for meals and various occasions, and bookmark ribbons. However, the materials and construction quality feel comparatively flimsy, and I don't like the language as much as the Jordanville book. I mostly use this one for mealtime prayers and miscellaneous occasions.

Old Rite Orthodox Prayer Book - Do you think the Jordanville prayer rule is too easy and want to bow after every other sentence? Do you want your pre-communion prayers to take as much time as watching a Disney movie? Do you just really dislike Patriarch Nikon and lament the loss of fur hats in the Russian Church? Say no more! This bilingual Old Believer book has you covered. Excellent quality printing and typeset, this is the most hardcore Orthodox prayer book I've found. But I rarely use it.

Some others I don't have, but have heard good things about:

HTM Prayer Book - Published by the lovable schismatics mentioned in my Psalter writeup above, I've heard good things about this one, but haven't handled one in the flesh yet.

HTM Book of Hours - A handheld, compact, and inexpensive alternative to the Horologion that lets you pray an abbreviated version of the monastic Hours at home. I've handled this book a few times and as usual, it's the typical high-quality, thoughtful product I've come to expect from HTM.

A Psalter for Prayer - Published by Jordanville, this Psalter represents Jordanville moving away from reliance on HTM's Psalter (and by extension, connection to a schismatic group) and is used in most newer Jordanville texts. This is a high quality translation based on Myles Coverdale's classic translation, but corrected according to the Septuagint. While there are many good things about this Psalter, I'm not crazy about the translation and feel it lacks character compared to HTM's, but your mileage may vary.


Would be interested to hear what prayer books and other associated texts you guys use. I realize I am absurdly nitpicky about this kind of thing, but perhaps some of you will find my analysis helpful.
In my own experience I totally agree that the HTM psalter is of outstanding quality. It's a shame they are schismatic! I recently purchased the Saint Tikhons Monastery "Orthodox Christian Prayers" and it also very lovely. The typeset just feels right.
 

J Michael

Chicken
Catholic
My new favorite is the New Rome Press prayer book. I love the whole presentation of it, especially the inclusion of color iconography and the solid binding, sewn and glued. Sometimes the language is a little awkward, but not so much as to really detract from it. There are many "occasional" prayers and the "Safeguard For the Soul" by St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain is not to be found in other prayer books that I've seen. "Small Compline" is perfect for evening prayer and can be modified if needed. All in all I think it's great!

Prior to that I used the Jordanville and the Antiochian little red prayer books. I also have and have used the "Byzantine Book of Prayer" . I also have a Ukrainian Catholic Horologian which after many years I still haven't figured out.

Another favorite of mine is "A Spiritual Psalter" by St. Ephraim the Syrian. Fantastic!
 

iop890

Peacock
Orthodox
Gold Member
The Psalter According To The Seventy (the "Boston Psalter") - In my opinion, this Psalter from Holy Transfiguration Monastery (henceforth HTM) is the best Psalter out there for a variety of reasons. First, the book's materials, construction quality, typeset, and interior artwork far exceeded the modest $22 price tag. Second, this is the best translation of the Psalms I've seen - it's in the KJV style (and used for the Jordanville Prayer Book's Psalms) but translated from the Septuagint, per Orthodox usage. The language works extremely well when chanted aloud, and this translation is evocative, sometimes even a bit quirky, in a way that others I've handled tend to be a bit wooden. Note that my parish uses this translation for all their services. There is also a smaller version of this Psalter available, but I prefer this edition for the larger print and additional material not found in the smaller edition. Some may be bothered that this is published by a schismatic Old Calendarist group, but they were in communion with ROCOR when this book was produced in the 1970s.

Just an FYI, this Psalter, whish is unfortunately also from a schismatic group, uses the HTM translation but also has patristic commentary on selected psalms, which makes up the second half of the book. It's in my opinion the best psalter out there for home use. They also have a very good translation of the New Testament which also has loads of fantastic patristic commentary.

I can also recommend the HTM prayer book, just got it today and I like it a lot. I think the HTM in combination with the Jordanville is the gold standard. I believe that's also what Father Peter Heers recommended a while back in one of his Q&As when he went through his suggested prayer rule.
 

arseni

Chicken
Orthodox
I purchased the recently released Anthologion. It’s great quality and provides a lay person the ability to do services at home. It has Little Compline, Matins, the Hours, Vespers and so much more. They put a lot of thought into it. It’s a little overwhelming at first but they released some great YouTube lessons:

 

MatthewC

Chicken
Orthodox
I was given HTM prayer books as a catechumen, now I don't like any other translations. I use:
The new 2 volume Horologion
Pocket book of hours
Pocket Psalter
Their little blue prayer book is with me in the altar for every service
The bilingual Pascha book for prayer and learning Greek
The tiny Communion Preparation book is very good too, and is truly pocket sized
They are all beautiful and of high quality.
 

iop890

Peacock
Orthodox
Gold Member
I was given HTM prayer books as a catechumen, now I don't like any other translations. I use:
The new 2 volume Horologion
Pocket book of hours
Pocket Psalter
Their little blue prayer book is with me in the altar for every service
The bilingual Pascha book for prayer and learning Greek
The tiny Communion Preparation book is very good too, and is truly pocket sized
They are all beautiful and of high quality.

I'm liking the HTM more and more myself. I still use the Jordanville to extend my morning prayers, as I'm used to the more extended Slavic tradition, and like the prayers to the guardian angel, patron Saint, prayers for the living and the dead, etc. But I refer to the HTM translation for any prayers that it includes.

I've been doing small compline from the HTM after dinner, with canons/akathists inserted and I absolutely love those prayers. The only thing I wish the HTM included is the Canon of Repentance that's included in the Jordanville, it's fantastic.

Right now I think the HTM + Jordanville combo includes everything I need, but I'm curious about the New Rome Press book. Not sure if it's worth buying at the moment though.
 

iop890

Peacock
Orthodox
Gold Member
Just an FYI, this Psalter, whish is unfortunately also from a schismatic group, uses the HTM translation but also has patristic commentary on selected psalms, which makes up the second half of the book. It's in my opinion the best psalter out there for home use. They also have a very good translation of the New Testament which also has loads of fantastic patristic commentary.

I made a mistake here, it's actually not the same translation, but a similar one. The Holy Apostles version is a bit more literal(unlawfulness instead of iniquities).
 

MatthewC

Chicken
Orthodox
I'm liking the HTM more and more myself. I still use the Jordanville to extend my morning prayers, as I'm used to the more extended Slavic tradition, and like the prayers to the guardian angel, patron Saint, prayers for the living and the dead, etc. But I refer to the HTM translation for any prayers that it includes.

I've been doing small compline from the HTM after dinner, with canons/akathists inserted and I absolutely love those prayers. The only thing I wish the HTM included is the Canon of Repentance that's included in the Jordanville, it's fantastic.

Right now I think the HTM + Jordanville combo includes everything I need, but I'm curious about the New Rome Press book. Not sure if it's worth buying at the moment though.
Very good. I actually do have a few audio prayer readings from the Jordanville, by Holy Cross Hermitage. It does have some prayers I wish were included in the HTM books. I specifically like the prayers before bed included in Jordanville.
 

iop890

Peacock
Orthodox
Gold Member
Picked up a copy of the New Rome Press prayer book to try it out and I'm not really a fan to be honest, aside from the Akathist and 30 day 'Safeguard for the Soul' from Saint Nicodemus, which are great.

If you have the HTM prayer book and pocket book of hours you have 95% of what's in the New Rome Press book but in a much better translation. The extra occasional prayers are nice but again it's common stuff you can find better translations of elsewhere.

What I can recommend from New Rome Press is 'Mother of the Light', a book of prayers to the Theotokos that I believe were not translated into English prior, it also includes three canons that I know are new translations. One prayer that stands out is prayer 12, which is modeled after Saint Mary of Egypt's confession and was something Saint Gregory Palamas prayed every morning. The companion book of prayers to Christ, 'The Light of the World', is also very good.
 
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