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Origin of prayers in the prayer book


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#1 Gregory M.

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 01:44 AM

Hello. I am new to this site.

I'm looking for help discerning the origin(s) of the prayers in the Prayer Book (I use the 'Jordanville' edition, tr. Archimandrite Lazarus Moore). Obviously, the origins of prayers attributed to various individuals (St Basil, etc.) are clear. But what of the many unattributed prayers (such as the 'Prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ' in the morning prayers)? Do we know who wrote these, and when? Is there a reference guide or study on their origins?

If this topic has already been discussed, help finding the appropriate thread would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Robert

#2 Yuri Zharikov

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 02:41 AM

Hello. I am new to this site.

I'm looking for help discerning the origin(s) of the prayers in the Prayer Book (I use the 'Jordanville' edition, tr. Archimandrite Lazarus Moore). Obviously, the origins of prayers attributed to various individuals (St Basil, etc.) are clear. But what of the many unattributed prayers (such as the 'Prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ' in the morning prayers)? Do we know who wrote these, and when? Is there a reference guide or study on their origins?

If this topic has already been discussed, help finding the appropriate thread would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Robert


A good question and I would like to broaden it somewhat: what is the origin of the layman's morning/evening prayer rule in general. I do know that it did not exist in pre-Petrine Russia. Lay people then followed the same daily cycle of services as did monastics and clerics in general. Thus, large numbers of road-side chapels in the old Russia (chasovnya, literally hours' house, house to read the hours). The only thing I know about the current rule is that apparently it was compiled during the "Synodal" period in the Russian Church. Again, if somebody has deeper insights, that would be great.

In the Lord,
Yura

#3 Mourad Mankarios

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 06:25 AM

Hello. I am new to this site.

I'm looking for help discerning the origin(s) of the prayers in the Prayer Book (I use the 'Jordanville' edition, tr. Archimandrite Lazarus Moore). Obviously, the origins of prayers attributed to various individuals (St Basil, etc.) are clear. But what of the many unattributed prayers (such as the 'Prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ' in the morning prayers)? Do we know who wrote these, and when? Is there a reference guide or study on their origins?

If this topic has already been discussed, help finding the appropriate thread would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Robert


I think this a very interesting question. In terms of the canonical prayers of the hours I can say that there are many prayers that are almost identical in both the eastern and the coptic. This could suggest a pre-chalcedonian origin or a sharing of liturgical resources post-chalcedon. Some of the prayers that you will find in common include:
- O heavenly King: Comforter, Spirit of truth...
- Come let us adore our God and King... (First Hour)
- O good God, so very rich in patience and in mercy...
- The prayer for the departed
- Remember us, Lord, when You enter Your kingdom...
- Glory to God in the heights... (Compline)

The following troparia:
- At the third hour, O Lord, you sent Your Holy Spirit... (Third Hour)
- At the sixth hour of the sixth day, you fastened to the cross... (Sixth Hour)
- As Your flesh tasted death at the ninth hour... (Ninth Hour)
- Behold, at midnight the bridegroom arrives...
- With that awesome day in mind...
- You are fortress of safety, O Virgin...
- At you awesome second coming...
- Grant me tears of repentance...

#4 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 04:44 PM

Many of the prayers are lifted directly from the Psalms and various "formal" prayer like the Hours, Vespers, Compline. Many are so much a part of the Tradition of the Church that authorship has simply been lost to antiquity.

#5 Mourad Mankarios

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 09:17 PM

One particular text that you may find helpful, although its focus is more on the origin of the structure and system of prayer rather than on the origin of specific prayers, is the following:

The Liturgy of the Hours in East and West: The Origins of the Divine Office and its Meaning for today by Robert Taft

#6 Gregory M.

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 01:30 AM

Thanks to all for your suggestions. Thanks especially to Mourad for suggesting the Taft book. I'll look into it, and perhaps report back on my findings, if they're relevant. Meanwhile, if anyone else has any other leads, I'd love to hear them. Robert

#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 12:22 AM

The Rule of St Pachomius (+346) must be a very early account of these prayers. For lay people, St Seraphim of Sarov recommended the use of an adaptation of this Rule three times a day: before breakfast, before lunch, and before bedtime (not every hour as in the days of St Pachomius!). St Seraphim said that by saying this short Rule - the Lord's Prayer three times, 'Hail Mother of God and Virgin' three times, and the Creed - it is possible to reach a measure of Christian perfection and divine love. See: 'St Seraphim of Sarov A Spiritual Biography' by Archimandrite Lazarus Moore, p 227. According to the Prologue of Ohrid by St Nikolai (Velimirovich) for 15 May, the Rule of St Pachomius was given to the saint by an angel of the Lord.

#8 Vitalis

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 05:34 AM

Yeah, like people above said, most of those prayers are taken from all over the place, since after the 17th century, Christians were no longer required to keep the Full Cycle of services as before. Thus, the prayer rule needed to include parts from various services.

#9 Christophoros

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 11:55 PM

http://frsergei.word...odox-tradition/

#10 William White

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:51 AM

I am a new convert but as i read, if we have no trust... why are we even thinking of it.
TRUST IN THE lORD..tHIS prayer book best of my knowledge has been of the orthodox church
prayers for some time.. if it is used in monasterys i would think it is permisable....ask your presbyter...




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