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#420746 12/21/20 12:19 PM
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Hello my friends,

I attend a Roman Rite parish that is down the street from my home. There is a Ukranian Byzantine parish approximately 40 miles from here. I have not been there yet. However, what stops me is that as much as I am in love with the Eastern approach to the Faith, I love the people of my parish more. For me to switch rites at this point is impossible for how can I abandon those to whom I have been given and who have been given to me by God? Till we eventually move to the Pittsburgh area I will have to content myself with my Orthodox prayer book, the Jesus Prayer, the Philokalia and the writings of the Saints of the East.

This brings me to a realization I had at Mass yesterday. During Mass it came to me that the possession of the Kingdom is given to the "poor in spirit" (Matt 5:3). Poverty of spirit is essential, therefore all that we do, in my opinion, should have the shade of repentance over it. I find this approach prevalent on every page of my prayer book and of course in the Jesus Prayer. It is there that my soul calls out to the Lord. However it seems to me that in the Roman Rite repentance is hardly ever mentioned except for the penitential rite at the beginning. This is ok but does nothing to emphasize a life of repentance in the hearts of those in attendance, in fact it almost generates the unspoken idea of a spiritual fire extinguisher ( "just in case you sinned before Mass here's a chance.."). I am grateful for this chance and have taken up on it many times, but again it does nothing to spur me on to a life of repentance.

The difference and my frustration became clear. We, in the Roman Rite since Vatican II, have emphasized the celebratory (ie: "celebrating the Sacraments"), giving the connotation of a big religious shin dig, complete with dancing, a "meal" and hip music (please know that none of these things exist in my parish as my Pastor is a fine priest).. The liturgical abuses that followed the Council demonstrate this quite clearly. For instance, a nun once told me that "we get together and make Church". Nothing could be further from the truth. In my opinion, we offer ourselves to the Lord, He offers Himself to us and as a result we meet! On the other hand the East emphasizes repentance, or perhaps poverty of spirit in approaching the Lord. In that moment I realized that my spiritual home (the Roman Rite) was offering me the way of celebration while my heart was calling out for the way of poverty.

As stated by the Holy Father St. John Paul II, we need BOTH lungs to breathe. To breathe on one lung is dangerous, not fulfilling and leaves on gasping for breath. Yet something deeper exists for me...people. Christ calls us to repentance not just for ourselves and our own struggle for divinization, but for others. Perhaps theosis has as much of an evangelical quality as it does a mystical one. It is my sincerest hope that should I make it all the way to theosis in this life, that I will not forget those whom God has given to me. Spiritual narcissism can be a real danger. Pray for me that I do not fall captive to that spirit.

your friend,
s.o.d..

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While I am very fortunate to be within a delightful ten minute walk to our little Byzantine rite Ukrainian Catholic Church, I still have a love for the stark simplicity, clarity and beauty of the Latin rite when done reverently and well. Even in its newest mode it has all the marks of its antiquity, especially in that beautiful supplication at the Breaking of the Bread: Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi... This prayer is absent from the DL to my knowledge, but I think it bears all the characteristics of Sacrifice, mercy and repentance that we'll ever need. The very reason we are able to ask for mercy is that He has taken away the sins of the world by His Sacrifice, Death and Resurrection. The Eastern Rite is most worthy of praise, but don't undersell the rite of Rome. I somehow feel it does not get the kind of catechesis it needs. The Agnus Dei should always be chanted in Latin, by the way, and with all the passion it deserves!

Utroque #420756 12/22/20 12:26 AM
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Spot on and thank you my friend! You are so right. I wish that the diocese I am a part of encouraged Latin or its literal equivalent. I also agree with the "stark simplicity, clarity and beauty of the Latin Rite" as you put it. Thank you for the reminder. I am wondering what, if any, prayer book you might recommend? I have the Orthodox Christian Prayers which I love. I also have Benedictine Prayer put out by the press at Collegeville. I love praying the psalms but have a difficult time with the politically correcting of the Scripture. Any suggestions?

Utroque #420757 12/22/20 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Utroque
Even in its newest mode it has all the marks of its antiquity, especially in that beautiful supplication at the Breaking of the Bread: Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi... This prayer is absent from the DL to my knowledge, but I think it bears all the characteristics of Sacrifice, mercy and repentance that we'll ever need. The very reason we are able to ask for mercy is that He has taken away the sins of the world by His Sacrifice, Death and Resurrection. The Eastern Rite is most worthy of praise, but don't undersell the rite of Rome. I somehow feel it does not get the kind of catechesis it needs. The Agnus Dei should always be chanted in Latin, by the way, and with all the passion it deserves!
Thanks for this comment; it got me thinking.

The Agnus Dei is a allusion to John the Baptist's acclamation:

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

The Latin liturgy, quoting the Gospel text even more explicitly, has the priest before communion holding up the bread, and in the Novus Ordo optionally the cup also, saying: Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi [Behold the Lamb of God, behold who (masculine, so him-who) takes away the sins of the world.] Both uses are slight variations on the Gospel text. John's acclamation is a third person reference to the Lamb, a participle (masc., nom., present) that the Greek idiom often uses though not so in English: the-one-taking-away-presently, the sin (singular, peccatum). Both liturgical texts have sins, peccata rather than the singular, "sin" of the Gospel. And the Agnus Dei does not have the third person form tollit (takes, taketh) but the second person tollis, like, you-who-takes (who takest vs. taketh; the inflected Old English can do it.). The Agnus Dei payer is addressing the Lamb: Lamb of God who TAKE (not takes, i.e., you take) away ... (Contemporary English can try to convey that second person form but it can sound awkward to the modern ear; see e.g. the RDL, prayer before the Our Father, ": To you, O Master who love us all,...; also discussed in Feminism and the English Language).

The Byzantine liturgy, in the Proskomedia where the sacrificial aspects of the Divine Liturgy and references thereto abound, has at the preparation of the Lamb (the center portion of the loaf stamped with IC XC NI KA) the priest, as he "sacrifices it in the form of a cross," saying "The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world..." Also at the liturgy's essential fraction (rite), -- the breaking of the bread as in the Latin rite -- the priest says "Broken and distributed is the Lamb of God..."

I too have a great love and appreciation of the Latin liturgy, especially when it is true to - and in continuity with -- its roots. An aspect of that continuity is an awareness of the harmony of our life and the rhythm of our worship with the world that God created and "so loved ... that he gave his only Son (John 3:16 RSV) "who for us, Men, and for our salvation...became Man."

Such harmony that speaks in its own way in addition to words is found in today's O Antiphon, sung at Vespers before the Magnificat in the Roman rite.The seven O Antiphons are sung to the same beautifully haunting melody. And it is precisely on this day, December 21, the darkest day of the year, the winter solstice, that the church appropriately sings:

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O Oriens - Rising Sun,
splendor of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

O Oriens
splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

(written on December 21)

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Christ is in our midst!!

son of the desert,

Go to the EWTN website and check their offerings for psalm books. They did offer the original Jerusalem Bible, sans feminist language. Try also Ignatius Press from which I obtained a small leather bound New Testament and Psalms: The Ignatius Bible - RSV 2nd Edition. I use this latter one regularly.

Bob

ajk #420761 12/22/20 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ajk
The Agnus Dei is a allusion to John the Baptist's acclamation:

I forgot that that beautiful ancient hymn of praise and supplication, the Gloria, found in both liturgies, echoes the same words and sentiments.

Son of the Desert, my favorite Book of Psalms, is my old Confraternity of Christian Doctrine copy from a series published by CUA back in the 50s, but its probably out of print. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, well worn, but loved.

theophan #420767 12/23/20 01:46 AM
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Thank you Bob,

As you suggested, I use the original Jerusalem Bible and find it totally acceptable. I also have, not used, the NRSV from Ignatius Press. I am kind of hooked on the Jerusalem Bible. Have tried switching to the NSRV but it hasn't taken. I was hoping that there was a prayer book out there that is not politically corrected and not afraid to use the masculine pronoun. My Orthodox prayer book is definitely not afraid to use it.

Thank you my friend

s.o.d.

Utroque #420768 12/23/20 01:50 AM
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Thank you Utroque,

I know I had their NT pocket sized. I just looked but can't find it. I am motivated to do so now to see if it's the same one your describe.

Thank you my friend for your suggestion

pray for me
s.o.d.

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Christ is in our midst!!

s.o.d.,

Have you tried eBay for one of these books you are searching for? Sometimes, with patience, one will come along. I bought a Latin "Divine Office" there a few years back that is authorized for every English speaking country except the United States. It is Standard English; not feminist language.

Bob

theophan #420783 12/24/20 11:52 AM
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Thanks Bob,

I have a friend who has a used book store and is an expert on getting hard to find books. Can you give me the exact title, copywrite date and perhaps publisher so I can relay this to her?

s.o.d.

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I found the three volumes on eBay about four years ago. They were brand new, never used. But I had to import them from a seller in the UK. Books: "The Divine Office, The Liturgy of the Hours According to the Roman Rite," 1974, Collins (London and Glasgow), E. J. Dwyer (Sydney), and Talbot (Dublin), three volumes.

Bob

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I have a few recommendations, especially if you can wait a few months.

St. Ignatius Orthodox Press (via Legacy Icons) will offer their equivalent of a western breviary this spring, hopefully by April 2021.

Sophia Press via the Melkite Eparchy of the United States has a book called the Publican's Prayer Book, it contains traditional prayers plus an abbreviated version of the Divine Offce that is suitable for lay use. It went out of stock at the start of pandemic and was supposed to be available by now, but life happens so I would guess early next year. Maybe even January 2021?

Ancient Faith Publishing has their own Psalter divided into convenient units. It is the old RSV translation edited to the Septuagint and customary Orthodox phraseology.

In the next few years, there will be a new translation from Latin of the Liturgy of the Hours. It will be a much more literal translation, similar to the Mass translation in use now, perhaps even a bit less wooden. Expect it within the next few years. It will use "Abbey Canticles and Psalms" an update of the Grail Psalter that is a bit more literal, but maintains the "sprung rhythm" of the original grail psalter that in turn was based on the Jerusalem Bible. You can buy a stand alone psalter of the Abbey Canticles and Psalms from the USCCB website.

If you wish to continue praying in Eastern Tradition, I would pick up a psalter and pray through it and supplement it with your Orthodox Prayer book, then I would consider either the St. Ignatius Press Anthology of Prayer or Publican Prayer Book to supplement it. The abbreviated hours in those books will not contain the entire psalter so between the two type of books and your prayer rope, you would have all your bases covered.

theophan #420789 12/25/20 11:49 AM
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Thanks Bob!

I will get my book person on it directly. Merry Christmas to all on these boards! May Jesus, the Son of the Living God, haver mercy on us all.

s.o.d.

Devin1890 #420792 12/26/20 12:40 AM
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Thanks Devin,

I will definitely check all of these out. A quick question regarding the Orthodox Psalter.I checked Ancient Faith Publishing and the one listed there does not have any information regarding the unites you describe. I also checked for the "Publican's Prayer Book" but was unsuccessful. Do you have any links to these?

your friend
s.o.d.

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Christ is in our midst!!

You might also like "A Psalter for Prayer," published by Holy Trinity Monastery's press. It was compiled because the Slavonic Psalter used in the monastery had prayers after each Kathisma that were not available in other psalters in English. It's a large print volume--also large in size--that has instructions for its use in daily monastic use. It is a arranged for liturgical use and daily private prayer. It is in a traditional English mode and uses language similar to the KJV.

Bob

theophan #420795 12/26/20 08:19 PM
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Thanks again Bob,

Is that the Monastery in W. Virginia?

s.o.d.

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Christ is Born!!

s.o.d.,

Did you take down your post? I had an email asking that I approve it but it is not here. No, Holy Trinity is in Jordanville, NY.

You might find this book on Amazon. I think that's where I bought mine.

Bob
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theophan #420799 12/27/20 11:16 AM
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Hi Bob,

No, I did not take down any post. I am "all thumbs", technologically speaking, to do anything beyond clicking the reply and post reply buttons! I will check out the Jordanville Press for that book. Thank you my friend. Pray for me.

s.o.d.

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Bob,

One other thing. Do you use the Psalter from Jordanville in tandem with a prayer book? If so, which one and how do you go about it? The Psalter looks great and I am going to order it. But I was just wondering how during the flow of my prayer time to use it. Right now I pray from "Orthodox Christian Prayers". I am sure that the Psalter can be dovetailed with this book. How does it break down which Psalms to pray? According to a cycle, days of the week, canonical hours? The listing on the website really doesn't give that information. Thank you my friend. Pray for me.

s.o.d.

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First of all, I did find your post and approved it.

The Jordanville Psalter is one that does not need a prayerbook with it. There are prayers at the end of each Kathisma that are sufficient. The book is modeled on that used in Slavic monasteries both in community and in cell from what I gather from using it. The explanation about its use is in great detail in the forward pages. I'm not sure I have mastered that part yet.

If I may, I have found that one ought not to get too far involved that one cannot sustain the prayer rule one sets out on. The Enemy is at work here. If one takes on too much, it can become too much to sustain in the lay state. Then the temptation is to modify and often that leads to abandoning the project altogether. I suggest reading "A Layman in the Desert," by Daniel Opperwall before getting too deeply involved in adding to one's prayer life. He has as his thesis that the lay state is equal in dignity to the monastic and that in our state we ought not to think that we are second class monks or that we are less than. He suggests that we can become frustrated and, as a friend of his has done, abandon the attempt at building a prayer life and our relationship with Christ.

Bob

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Bob,

Amen and thanks again! Spot on regarding the condemnation of the enemy when seeking one's own rule of prayer. The suggestion is well taken and received. One must never strive to be a "Junior Monk", but rather faithful as the Holy Spirit lays it down to that individual. The overburdening you mention, is a constant temptation. Once one find's one's own rule of prayer, THAT is what one sticks to. As for me, I am tired of seeing the Holy Scriptures politically corrected so as to not offend gender sensibilities. I believe in praying the Psalms to the Lord, which is why I was interested in this book, but was not sure about how it plays out in the larger scheme of a prayer life. I have learned that the Holy Spirit is the Master Teacher of Prayer. A rule of prayer is a disciplinary thing, not a spiritual ball and chain, or "one more thing" to do. The discipline of prayer gives the life of prayer form, from which contemplation may in fact spring. After all, this is not about being a monk wannabe...but about finding God. Thank you my friend. Your points are received with gratitude and love. Pray for me.

s.o.d.

ps: I will look into that book you mention. Thanks!

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s.o.d.,

There is another book I highly recommend and have given to people as a gift. Entitled "Beginning to Pray," Metropolitan Anthony (Anthony Bloom), a Russian metropolitan who worked with the French Resistance during WW2, He talks about how to begin and sustain a life of prayer. There are also two other works by him on prayer, one of which I have entitled "Living Prayer." They are both available on Amazon.
Bob

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s.o.d.,

After all the books and essays and discussions, remember that a prayer life is one of the four ways in which one builds one's communion with Christ. It is a relationship process; it is a love affair. One begins with the use of prayerbooks and regular times to establish a pattern that will sustain a person over time--through thick and thin; through good times and dry times. Don't lose sight of this essential quality.

bob

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Once again thanks Bob,

Both posts were wonderful. I have BOTH books by Metropolitan Anthony. One of which, "Beginning to Pray", given to me in October. I started it last night after reading your post.

Second post was highly instructive by way of reminder. It is always about seeking the Lord. In our desire to relate to Him, and the struggle to find the way there, we sometimes forget about the real reason we do any of this. Thank you my friend.

pray for me
s.o.d.

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Bob,

I happen to notice your location. Our daughter and her husband live in Pittsburgh. When we go to visit the area we pass right by your location. I also think that I saw your profession referred to in another post. My best friend has the same profession. Would it be possible to message me to discuss these things? I don't really know the protocols for such things on this website. But I did want to reach out as I have been very blessed to know you and the other wonderful people on this board. If you'd rather not, no worries. I totally understand.

pray for me,
s.o.d.

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s.o.d.,

You don't yet have private message privileges but you may email me at fd25cpc5@aol.com.

Bob

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Originally Posted by son of the desert
Hello my friends,

I attend a Roman Rite parish that is down the street from my home. There is a Ukranian Byzantine parish approximately 40 miles from here. I have not been there yet. However, what stops me is that as much as I am in love with the Eastern approach to the Faith, I love the people of my parish more. For me to switch rites at this point is impossible...
To really make a "switch" is to make a commitment and to change enrollment to a different canonical (Catholic) church. I'd say a preference or affinity for a rite is more of a private devotion, good but noncommittal. We are members of churches; we observe rites.

Originally Posted by son of the desert
... for how can I abandon those to whom I have been given and who have been given to me by God? Till we eventually move to the Pittsburgh area I will have to content myself with my Orthodox prayer book, the Jesus Prayer, the Philokalia and the writings of the Saints of the East.

This brings me to a realization I had at Mass yesterday. During Mass it came to me that the possession of the Kingdom is given to the "poor in spirit" (Matt 5:3). Poverty of spirit is essential, therefore all that we do, in my opinion, should have the shade of repentance over it. I find this approach prevalent on every page of my prayer book and of course in the Jesus Prayer. It is there that my soul calls out to the Lord. However it seems to me that in the Roman Rite repentance is hardly ever mentioned except for the penitential rite at the beginning. This is ok but does nothing to emphasize a life of repentance in the hearts of those in attendance, in fact it almost generates the unspoken idea of a spiritual fire extinguisher ( "just in case you sinned before Mass here's a chance.."). I am grateful for this chance and have taken up on it many times, but again it does nothing to spur me on to a life of repentance.
What are the aspects of repentance that stand out as differences, East vs. West, liturgically and in the respective theological emphases or spirituality?

Originally Posted by son of the desert
The difference and my frustration became clear. We, in the Roman Rite since Vatican II, have emphasized the celebratory (ie: "celebrating the Sacraments"), giving the connotation of a big religious shin dig, complete with dancing, a "meal" and hip music (please know that none of these things exist in my parish as my Pastor is a fine priest).. The liturgical abuses that followed the Council demonstrate this quite clearly. For instance, a nun once told me that "we get together and make Church". Nothing could be further from the truth. In my opinion, we offer ourselves to the Lord, He offers Himself to us and as a result we meet! On the other hand the East emphasizes repentance, or perhaps poverty of spirit in approaching the Lord. In that moment I realized that my spiritual home (the Roman Rite) was offering me the way of celebration while my heart was calling out for the way of poverty.
A general impression -- the one usually encountered ???-- is that the Byzantine Divine Liturgy emphasizes the joyous participation in the Kingdom of God made present while the Mass emphasizes the Sacrifice of the Cross, Atonement etc. -- more eschatological or more historical/soteriological respectively. I too think it wise to be cautious about "enthusiastic" utterances of contemporary Catholics of the Western Church. However, the space behind the iconostasis, the Altar, has the Holy Table as its center, and de Lubac’s dictum that “the Eucharist makes the Church” is prominent in Catholic, Orthodox, East-West ecclesiology (see “Does the Eucharist Make the Chur...Theological Quarterly 51:1 (2007): 23-70) The Divine Liturgy is in its essence directed -- offered -- to the One God, the Father, by the Son who, as Christ, includes us through baptism, and in the Holy Spirit. I don't know what Sister had in mind but consider:
Quote
The celebration of the eucharist by the primitive Church was, above all, the gathering of the people of God epi to auto that is, both the manifestation and the realization of the Church. Its celebration on Sunday the day of the eschata as well as all its liturgical content testified that during the eucharist, the Church did not live only by the memory of a historical fact the Last Supper and the earthly life of Christ, including the cross and the resurrection but it accomplished an eschatological act... It was there, in the presence of all the people of God and of all the orders, in an event of free communion, that the Holy Spirit distributed gifts "by constituting the whole structure of the Church." Thus the eucharist was not the act of a pre-existing Church; it was an event constitutive of the being of the Church, enabling the Church to be. The eucharist constituted the Church's being.
John D. Zizioulas, Being as Communion (Crestwood: St.Vladimir s Seminary Press, 1993), 1, 20-21

Originally Posted by son of the desert
... and our own struggle for divinization, but for others. Perhaps theosis has as much of an evangelical quality as it does a mystical one. It is my sincerest hope that should I make it all the way to theosis in this life, ...
I would say that theosis is a journey to and not an arrival at a destination. It is actualized, sealed in baptism and then grows with God's grace toward the perfection, completeness that we are instructed to seek (Mt 5:48; Mt 19:29). It is the harvest that "grows the more by reaping" and is never exhausted.


A general question to all: How important, how essential is the liturgy to spiritual growth and perfection?

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Thank you so much ajk!

You bring up many good points for consideration. I will read the article that you suggest. As for the question regarding the importance of the liturgy to spiritual growth and perfection, that is really the key issue. How does one find the balance between private and communal devotion? As far as I know, the Desert Fathers sometimes made long treks to receive the Eucharist once a week. That in and of itself should tell us something. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls the Eucharist "The source and summit of the Faith". As for me, I am not sure about the balance between private and communal devotion other than the example of the Desert Fathers. The Father seeks those that worship "in spirit and in truth". It is always a BOTH AND, NEVER AN EITHER OR. It is never one to the exclusion of the other. How that lays for me I am still trying to figure out. Thank you may friend. Pray for me.

s.o.d.

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s.o.d,

In the East, the Psalter is usually divided into 20 "Kathismata". And each "Kathismata" is further divided into 3 "stasis". So the Psalter is divided into 60 "stasis".
Traditionally, the psalter is recited in total once per week with two Kathisma prayed in the morning and one Kathisma prayed in the evening. However, you can pray at your own pace. If you recite, one stasis a day, it would take 60 days to go through the entire psalter. If you pray two a day, it would take a month.

This is how the Ancient Faith Psalter is divided.

Here is the link for the Publicans Prayer Book. https://melkite.org/products-page/prayer-books/publicans-prayer-book
The pictures they have for the table of contents are for the first edition though and the current is the 3rd edition.
Of note, it contains a small horologion (liturgy of the hours) and troparia for every day of the year. If you google for reviews and search Facebook you may find pictures from various editions.

Peace and Blessing for Christmas, Theophany and the New Year,

Devin

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Thank you so much Devin!

That prayer book looks wonderful as does the site of the Eparchy of Newton! Unfortunately, the book is out of stock due to the pandemic. I am trying to find a used copy.

The home page of the Eparchy is absolutely wonderful and is everything I had hoped to find in Eastern approach to the Faith and yet still in Communion with Rome, not from a position of superiority and as a "nod" toward the East, but rather as a legitimate approach to the Faith. They also highlight the continuing struggle against "Latinizing" their approach. This was probably one of the best websites of the East, properly related to Rome, that I have found. Thank you my friend.

As far as the Psalter from Ancient Faith, I am going to order it. I see a way to use it in my prayer life, in conjunction with what I presently do. Again thank you and pray for me.

s.o.d.

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Thanks again Devin,

I ordered the Psalter from Ancient Faith Publishing. I am excited for it to get here. It will be great to pray the Psalms, without political correction of the language, as in the breviary I have used in the past. I hope that the type is readable. For the reviews on the web page, people seem to indicate that it is. An Orthodox priest friend also recommended "The Psalter; According to the Seventy" listed on the Holy Cross Monastery, W. Virginia website. I might order this for my private prayer as it is a hard back and the other to travel with as it is a "cheap soft cover", as it is described in the reviews. Regardless, I thank you.

My Priest friend also sent me this link regarding the importance of the Psalms in the prayer life of individuals. It is well worth the half hour to watch.



happy new year to all,

s.o.d.

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HI all,

I just received "The Ancient Faith Psalter" and I could not be happier. In all ways this product has exceeded my expectations, the most important of which is the font and style of the print due to my eye issues. Granted, it is a paperback. However, I will most likely order the hardback for home and use the paperback for travel. Thank you Devin for this suggestion.

s.o.d.

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Christ is in our midst!!

Son of the Desert,

The three volume Divine Office that I referred to I use only occasionally. If someone would use it daily, I am willing to part with it. There is no reason to have it collect dust on my shelf if someone would benefit from its use.

Bob

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