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An Announcement: The Episcopal Liturgy of St John Chrysostom

We have in the last months received many enquiries about The Episcopal Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, a pocket-sized book containing detailed liturgical instructions for all concerned, especially subdeacons and servers.

The camera copy of this 212-page book, in A6 format and in this Cambria font, was prepared on 1 November and sent off for final corrections and the blessing of the appropriate authorities. It will be published as a book at £10 or $20 per copy, post free, as soon as the vital, final corrections have been made and the equally vital episcopal blessing obtained. Below we publish the acknowledgements, to be found at the beginning of the book.


In recent years in the Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain and Ireland we have been blessed to see our bishops outside London. In the more distant past, for various reasons this was not the case and, as a result, most Russian Orthodox had little idea of what an episcopal liturgy is. Another development in recent years is that we now have many churches where the main liturgical language is English. This is new. Indeed, we can recall that in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, for example, even the English translation for many liturgical terms had not yet been established. An English-language guide to the episcopal liturgy, that is, a liturgy presided over by a bishop, is therefore long overdue.

Although most of the work here comes from experience and observation, we would like to acknowledge the help that we have received. In particular, we owe a debt to a Russian typescript, which we used for many years. This was compiled by an unknown subdeacon of the ROCOR Memorial Church of St Job in Brussels. We also acknowledge help from a book called, ‘Hierarchal Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom’, now out of print, but published in 1995 in the USA under ROCOR. This gave us ideas about format and was consulted for some of its directions to the subdeacons. We must thank Subdeacon Michael Astley for his contributions here, which have been truly invaluable, and also thank Edmund Dunstall, who prepared the camera copy.

Without a bishop, there is no Church and when all know their duties, an episcopal liturgy is like a symphony. We hope that this little book will help to create the conditions for that symphony. Although the below has been prepared for use in these Isles, it could be used with a few variations in other dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. With a few adjustments to litanies and rubrics, it could also be used in other Orthodox dioceses, in particular in English-language parishes under the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia.

We beg indulgence of our users for any inadvertent mistakes, despite our many corrections and redrafting. And, above all, we ask for your prayers.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips,
St John’s Orthodox Church
Colchester, England.

St John Chrysostom
13/26 November 2010

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