Study Texts of Translations of the Liturgical Books of the Ruthenian Recension
Volume I - The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
The attached document containing the text of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (Ruthenian recension) is intended to be the first in a series of study texts (for private study and use only) of Byzantine-Ruthenian Liturgical texts. The goal of this project is simple – to provide the most complete, exacting and literal translations of the official 1942 Služebnik
(Liturgicon for the Ruthenian Recension published at Rome) and other liturgical books in English (in full conformity with both the Liturgical Instruction
and Liturgiam Authenticam
), while also respecting what has been memorized (by Ruthenians) since the first official translation was published in 1964 (1965) by the Byzantine Seminary Press (Byzantine Liturgical Conference). It is my belief that preparing such study texts and putting them online for everyone to examine would be very useful to anyone desiring to study and learn the Liturgy, and hopefully will foster love for authentic Liturgy. It is also my belief that the direction the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church should have taken was to simply prepare new editions of existing liturgical texts with corrections rather then disrupting the life of the Church with a major liturgical reform that takes us further away from other Byzantines (both Catholic and Orthodox).
Since I am not a linguist I needed a simple approach to this project. I compared the texts word-for-word from both the 1964 Ruthenian Divine Liturgy and the 2006 (2007) Revised Divine Liturgy to all of the translations in my possession (emphasizing those translated from Slavonic but also using translations from Greek). I then noted each difference and consulted competent linguists who were kind enough to answer many of my questions. In addition I used Archimandrite Serge Keleher’s review of the text of the Revised Divine Liturgy, confirming his recommendations that I accepted with others. I present the results in a four-column side-by-side comparison. Column 1 is the 1964 translation. Column 2 is the 2006 Revised Text. Column 3 is what I call a “2009 Pastoral Update”. Column 4 is a “Possible Future Update” that is even more literal but probably too major a change at present. I very much continue to recommend to the Ruthenian bishops that they rescind the Revised Divine Liturgy and return to a corrected version of the 1964 (perhaps along the lines of what I offer in Column 3).
The texts contained herein are surely full of mistakes, both in translation and in typographical errors. I invite any and all to help me find the mistakes so that the final version I put online is as good as is possible. Columns 1 & 2 need review to match the 1964 and 2007 texts exactly, as they are existing texts. Columns 3 & 4 need review for accuracy to the official 1942 Služebnik
(the Liturgicon for the Ruthenian Recension) published at Rome and which we share with other Ruthenians (Catholic and Orthodox) by those who have the language skills. They also need to be reviewed for style, grammar and readability. This document is currently being reviewed by several competent linguists but it seemed best to open it up to others. If you are interested your comments are welcome! Find my mistakes!
I have prepared the document so that it is easy to follow. Using the 1964 as the base text changes that were made in the other columns (“2007 Revised Divine Liturgy”, “2009 Pastoral Update”, and “Possible Future”) are background highlighted in yellow (see the document as the forum won't let me do it easily). Questions and comments that need to be addressed are in blue
. There are also several cases where I noticed that certain phrases in the official Greek Orthodox and the forthcoming new Roman Catholic translations of the Creed are identical, and where I suggest possible edits to the 1964 translations to match. These are shown in green
. Such changes are a logical step towards a common translation and are actually directed by the “Liturgical Instruction”.
The bulk of the textual changes I have made are in the rubrics and the texts prayed by the priest and deacon and each needs verification. Currently, there are less than 10 changes for the people’s texts. It is my intention to update this document (online) several times until the texts are in good shape. Then I will present it as a study text on the main website. I have prepared similar reviews for other liturgical texts and will be posting them online soon (Basil is next in a few weeks, followed by a corrected version of the Pew Book, then Vespers and Matins). Texts will be accompanied by the appropriate rubrics from the Ordo Celebrationis
and the Časoslóv (Horologion)
with the source of each text identified by color. Comments may be made on The Byzantine Forum (we may set up a separate forum if there is enough interest) or to me via e-mail.
Thanks! And please pray for me!
John Vernoski - jvernoski @ byzcath.org (remove the spaces) – April 5, 2009Notes:
1. Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher is required to view the document.
2. If you are a serious reviewer willing to make comments and want a color paper copy but don't have access to a color printer please contact me.
3. General relevant comments can go in this thread. Specific comments on texts should be started in new threads (appropriately titled). The moderator will be ruthless in deleting all comments that are not about the texts or in other ways wander from the topic.
4. See also useful information at this page, including a link to the Služebnik.
February 2010 - The document attached below is now very much out of date - a lot of work has been done to make the updated text both more literally accurate and more elegant. Watch for an update soon. -- See this link for the latest version of the Chrysostom and Basil Liturgies.