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A Practical Handbook for Divine Services (Fr Gregory Woolfenden)


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#1 J.D. Duttweiler

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 01:30 PM

Title: A Practical Handbook for Divine Services
Author: Igumen Gregory Woolfenden
Publisher: The Printshop of St Job of Pochaev (April 2011)
ISBN: 9780884651918 (paperback)
Pages: 168
Price: $17.95 (available on Holy Trinity Publications)
Description (publisher's): One way in which we can increase the talents given to us by God is “to celebrate a service in splendor” and thereby “communicate the word to those untaught.” (From the Aposticha of the Matins of Great and Holy Tuesday.) A Practical Handbook for Divine Services will serve as invaluable guides to all -- priests, deacons, servers, readers and singers --who seek to increase their God given talent in fulfilment of these words. It will also encourage all the laity who desire to enter more fully into an understanding of the Church’s Typicon, the “rule” which governs how Divine worship is offered in the church, and to internalize the principles that underpin it. Whilst drawn from Russian sources, the texts also touch upon differences found in Greek usage. This is also a valuable resource for any student of Christian liturgy.

Initial submitter's queries: I'm not certain where this should go, not a book review but ask about a book on liturgics, so I'm putting it here. Is anyone familiar with this book from Holy Trinity Publications? I can find no review of it or anything more than the description in HTP's online catalog. Most of the servers in my parish (OCA of a traditional bent) look to me for direction, for which I feel completely inadequate most of the time. I'm frequently looking to "fill in the gaps" of my liturgical education, which has primarily been based on seeing, doing, and being corrected when bishops or others come to serve (thanks be to God).

Thanks for any thoughts on this!

Attached File  practical_handbook_on_services.jpg   21.02K   163 downloads


Edited by Archimandrite Irenei, 04 May 2011 - 02:31 PM.
Updated to reviews area style


#2 Father David Moser

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 02:22 PM

JD,

Note that this book was only published April 1 of this year (2011) thus I would guess that there is little practical experience with it yet (and keep in mind also that much of the intervening time has been during Lent and so many of the various quirks of both the lenten and paschal services will tend to make a proper evaluation difficult. My guess is that it is based on ROCOR and specifically Holy Trinity practice. I too just saw this on the new new website and catalog and am intrigued as well. Looks worth a check to see how useful it is.

Fr David

#3 J.D. Duttweiler

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 07:16 PM

Thanks Father. I confess I didn't pay attention to when it had been released, but did see it was a "new" release for HTP. I may just ask my parish bookstore to order it for me.

#4 Nicholas Chapman

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 02:24 AM

The book is not based on specifically ROCOR/Holy Trinity Monastery practice. It is drawn from a variety of Russian Orthodox sources from both pre and post communist periods and also notes differences with the Greek tradition. It was compiled with specific reference to the situation of Orthodox in Western Europe and North America. A full table of contents can be found at http://www.holytrini...e_Services.html by clicking on the "Contents" tab. It should be helpful to anyone who is involved in the Divine Services, not only ordained clergy.

#5 Matthew

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 05:32 PM

Most of the servers in my parish (OCA of a traditional bent) look to me for direction, for which I feel completely inadequate most of the time. I'm frequently looking to "fill in the gaps" of my liturgical education, which has primarily been based on seeing, doing, and being corrected when bishops or others come to serve (thanks be to God).


I'm reading it now. I think it fits exactly what you're looking for. It goes into a surprising (to me) level of detail of what is said and when, especially during the Divine Liturgy.

For example, it specifically goes through each step as the priest uses his spear to separate the lamb from the prosphera, and what he says at each step along the way.

#6 Nathaniel Woon

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 05:27 AM

Thanks Matthew,

I am hoping to obtain a copy soon and will be looking forward to the book. Would you be familiar with this book - A Fieldguide to Orthodox Church Services by Fr Dn Serge Arlievsky? Is there any overlap between these books?

#7 Father David Moser

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 03:15 PM

Would you be familiar with this book - A Fieldguide to Orthodox Church Services by Fr Dn Serge Arlievsky? Is there any overlap between these books?


Fr Serge's book is very good - I have an earlier copy that I use constantly for training for the kliros. This book takes each of the services and breaks it into a very basic segments and then presents in a series of graphs reminiscent of "exploded diagrams" common in mechanical drawings how those segments come together for every rank of service and the sources of the parts.

I'm guessing that Wolfenden is more for servers and I know Arlevsky is definitely for chanters.

Fr David

#8 Cyprian (Humphrey)

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 08:34 PM

Well, this one doesn't seem to have any diagrams, but it is very full of information.

I don't think I could say it has a gripping plot line, or wonderful character development, in fact, I'd say it's a pretty good treatment for insomnia. But, it definitely is a good reference. If you need to check something, you can look it up, and the info is there.

Just trying to read it cover to cover, as light reading, might be a bit of a stretch for most folks. I'm reading it cover to cover because that's just how much of a liturgy geek I am, but that's another issue... :)

#9 Father David Moser

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:44 PM

I just got a brief review from another priest who is reading this book. I thought it would be of interest here:

Also, I am reading the new book from Jordanville: "A Practical Handbook for Divine Services", and it is very informative. It is by someone from the MP in Great Britain, and so some of the things that it says seem quite different than what I have seen in ROCOR, but it provides very detailed instructions on how the services are actually done (not kliros liturgics, but altar liturgics).


Fr David

#10 Michael Astley

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 08:53 PM

For those unaware, this book seems to have been published posthumously. Igumen Gregory reposed in the Lord in 2008. As we benefit from his labour of love, let us not forget to pray for his etnal memory before the Lord.

M




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