Prayer Book in Accordance With the Tradition of the Orthodox Church

I’ve always had a hard time with prayer books that use Elizabethan English — all those “thees” and “thine,” wouldst” and such never flow well for me. I figure that prayer ought to be in a language I am accustomed to and not require me to use a different vocabulary. For that reason, I was pleased to obtain this new prayer book as a gift: Prayer Book in Accordance with the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church published by All Saints of Alaska Orthodox Church in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The prayers in the text of this prayer book use a dignified, modern English and avoid archaic English pronouns and verbs.  One occasionally finds archaic language only in the Lord’s Prayer (“Hallowed be thy name…”) and in a few Scripture quotations in introductions to certain sections. Otherwise, the prayers and text utilize modern English. Besides the wide selection of prayers are over 100 pages of quotes about prayer from the Holy Fathers.

Another attractive feature is the comb binding edition which allows the text to lay flat as it is used. (A paperback version is also available.) One can also obtain an epub version of this prayer book that can be used on your Kindle or Nook. A sampler look at the text can be read in this pdf here.

All in all, I find this one of the best modern English Orthodox prayer books currently available and give it a high recommendation.  It can be ordered here direct from the parish or from St. John’s Monastery’s book store.

5 Responses to Prayer Book in Accordance With the Tradition of the Orthodox Church

  1. Dana Ames says:

    Dear Orthocath,

    I can’t find any information on the order form page at ASOA on the size of the prayer book. Could you give dimensions, please?

    Thank you.

  2. NickJ says:

    “Thee” is still modern English. Its just fallen on hard times. It has a real and valid purpose and most school children know how to use it correctly. You might as well have Spanish toss out “tu” as being archaic and useless. It actually serves the exact same purpose and prevents that barbarous “YOU” that the New World Translation was fond of using. Its also not Victorian but has been in constant (if albeit limited after 1700) use since at least 1200.

    And yes, I’m fond of it. It has a romantic richness that “you” just doesn’t satisfy.

    • orthocath says:

      I’ve worked in public schools for over 10 years and the only time I hear the use of “thee” and “thou” is in a very limited context — usually, high school English classes when reading Shakespeare. It’s not used in the vast majority of literature that students study in school. I enjoy reading literature from the Elizabethan era myself but I don’t see a need for it to be perpetuated in our liturgical life.

  3. I grew up with the KJV, and am perfectly comfortable with and decidedly prefer the use of thee and thou, specially so as I speak German and Spanish and am aware of the precious distinction between thee and you. Yet sadly I am aware that most North American speakers of our New World form of English are perhaps both confused and put off by thee and thou. Truly a shame of ignorance! So we should have both available, though I believe that our culture should take the time and make the effort to educate itself…nevertheless, I’m not holding my breath.

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