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Dobryj Pastyr / The Good Shepherd Prayer Book

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#1 Christophoros


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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:57 PM

Title: Dobryj Pastyr / The Good Shepherd Prayer Book

Author: edited and prepared by the Liturgical Commission of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada

Publisher: Ecclesia Publishing Corporation, 2007

Language: Ukrainian and English

ISBN: 0-921517-42-4

Pages: 899

Price: out of print, second edition being prepared, used copes around $50

Links: http://www.uocc.ca/en-ca/churchgoods/


From the publisher's website: 



On May 11th of this year [2007] the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, with the
blessing of Metropolitan John, unveiled the newly published “Good Shepherd”
prayer book. The publishing of this prayer book is undoubtedly one of the most
significant events in the life of the UOCC over the past decade. For the first
time we have a standard, bi-lingual edition of all major and minor feasts and

We all understand that it is impossible to have a prayer book which suits
everyone’s tastes and preferences. The liturgical commission has done a
marvelous job in crystallizing vast amounts of material down to a text which
reflects both the meaning and the majesty of our spiritual heritage in a
bilingual format.

The heart of our liturgical and prayer life is the Psalms. The Orthodox
Church continues to use the Septuagint text of the psalms (i.e., the Greek
psalter, translated in the 3rd century B.C. from the Hebrew), which was used
universally within Christendom until the 16th Century. Martin Luther’s edition
of the Bible, which is the version currently used by Protestants, not only omits
certain of the Old Testament books, but uses the Hebrew Masoretic text (which
wasn’t edited into its final form by Hebrew scholars until the 9th century A.D.)
as its base. So the first step in preparing a new translation for our prayer
book consisted of finding a suitable translation of the Septuagint psalms in
modern English.

The English translation of the Psalms used in the new prayer book was made by
Fr. Seraphim (Dedes), a monk of Mt. Athos who is totally fluent in both English
and Biblical Greek. Our Ukrainian text is based on the 1936 edition of the
Psalter published with the blessing of Metropolitan Dionysius by the Polish
Autocephalous Orthodox Church, as well as the current editions of the Horologion
and Psalter published by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyivan Patriarchate.

In regards to the hymns, prayers and service texts the Liturgical commission
strove to maintain a close affinity to the most recent Liturgical translations
which have been published in Ukraine by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyivan
Patriarchate, while at the same time taking into account the translations
currently used by our faithful. Both the Ukrainian and the English translations
of all liturgical hymns, prayers, service texts etc. were rigorously compared to
the original Greek and Slavonic texts. One of the major problems of the prayer
book published in 2000 A.D. by the joint liturgical commission of the UOCC and
UOCUSA was that in many places it was not a translation so much as a paraphrase
– a very serious problem which our liturgical commission sought to avoid at all

Two of the most common questions raised regarding this new prayer book have
to do with its size and whether or not the rubrics for sitting and standing at
Liturgy are included.

As to its size, we must keep in mind that this “Dobryj Pastyr” prayer book
was intended from the beginning to be a “cradle to grave” prayer book, including
all the prayers and services which an Orthodox Christian will require for their
daily spiritual life, as well as for their liturgical needs. It is the first of
a series of books which are in preparation, including bi-lingual versions of the
Priest’s service book, the funeral, and a Divine Liturgy pew book. It was
necessary to start with this large book, so that the texts of consequent books
can be standardized. Given the amount of material it contains, it is
surprisingly compact and handy.

No rubrics are printed in the Liturgy section indicating when to stand and
when to sit during Liturgy. While such directions are not found either in the
original “Dobryj Pastyr” or in contemporary prayer books from Ukraine, these
rubrics can be found in the booklet “How to Behave in God’s Temple”, along with
much other important and valuable information.

As to the future work of the liturgical commission, besides the publishing of
the books mentioned above, work is in progress to publish all the new texts
under notes in both Kyivan and Galician settings. It is envisioned that by
summer’s end a simple version of the Divine Liturgy, the set hymns for Vesper
and Matins, the 8 Resurrectional and Vesperal tones with Prokeimen melodies,
etc., will be available both under notes and on CD.

Truly, much work has been completed, but much yet remains to be done. May the
publishing of this new prayer book help spark a spiritual and liturgical renewal
in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. But such a renewal can only begin if
these prayer books end up where they belong: not in a box, not on a shelf, but
in the hands of the faithful – every day.

#2 Christophoros


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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:38 PM

I recently acquired a used copy of this prayer book, and it is an impressive work. The sturdiest hardcover binding I have ever seen in a prayer book, the bilingual pages are printed on substantial glossy stock that should last more than a lifetime. Contents include: complete morning and evening prayers, prayers before work/lessons/meals, 25 page catechism, order of Great Vespers, Matins, prayers and reflections for preparation for confession and communion, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great, prayers after communion, daily propers for weekday liturgies, resurrectional tones, General Menaion for classes of saints, propers from the Lenten Triodion and Pentecostarion, 100 pages of propers from the Festal Menaion, akathists to Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Theotokos and St. Nicholas, moleben to Christ and the Theotokos, and one of thanksgiving, litia, order of lesser sanctification of water, plus supplemental material on Gospel/epistle readings, calendar of fixed feasts, Paschalion, carols, etc. It reminds me of a larger, more expanded version of the fine Prayer Book published by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America, headquarted in South Bound Brook, NJ. Coming with six marker ribbons, it's somewhat larger than most handheld prayerbooks (8" tall x 5.5" wide x 1.5" thick), but is still easily held.


The only downside I see is completely subjective: the English translation is done in contemporary instead of liturgical English. I would also prefer to see more occasional prayers for use during the various trials and temptations that life presents. These issues aside, I wish other publishers put as much time and thought and investment into their prayer books as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada clearly has. All in all, a very impressive publication that will hopefully be reprinted soon.

#3 Christophoros


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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:10 PM

On another forum, I came across a table of contents:


Table of Contents

1. Daily Prayer

  • Morning Prayer
  • Prayers for various needs
  • Evening Prayer


2. A Brief Catechism

  • God's Ten Commandments
  • The Two Great Commandments of God
  • The Nine Commandments of the Beatitudes
  • The Church Commandments
  • Truths of the Faith
  • The Holy Mysteries
  • Christian Virtues
  • The Seven Corporal Acts of Mercy
  • The Seven Spiritual Acts of Mercy
  • Major Sins and their Opposite Virtues
  • Sins Against the Holy Spirit
  • Conditions for a Good Confession
  • Instruction about Prayer
  • When to Make the Sign of the Cross
  • Greeting Orthodox Clergy
  • The Feasts of the Church
  • Fasts Prescribed by the Church
  • Days for the Special Commemoration of the Departed
  • Days on which Weddings are Not Permitted
  • Festive Salutations


3. The Order of Great Vespers

4. Matins

5. Preparations for the Holy Mysteries of Confession and Communion

  • The Holy Mystery of repentance
  • Examination of Conscience According to the Ten Commandments
  • Rite of Preparation for Holy Communion
  • Prayers before Holy Communion


6. The Divine Liturgies of Our Holy Fathers John Chrysostom and Basil the Great

7. Prayers of Thanksgiving Following Communion

8. Changeable Portions of the Liturgy

  • For the Daily Services
  • Resurrectional Tones


9. From the General Menaion

10. The Lenten Triodion

11. From the Pentecostarion

12. From the Festive Menaion

13. Akathists

  • To Our Lord Jesus Christ
  • To the Most Holy Theotokos
  • To Saint Nicholas


14. Molebens and Memorial Litia

  • Moleben to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Theotokos
  • Moleben of Thanksgiving
  • Memorial Litia


15. Supplementary Materials

  • Epistle and Gospel Readings
  • The Order of Lesser Sanctification of Water
  • Index of Fixed Feasts and Selected Saints
  • Paschalion


16. Religious Songs

  • Let us Humbly Enter
  • O Great God
  • We Beseech You O Virgin
  • How great Thou art
  • O Heavenly King, Almighty God
  • The Mournful Mother


17. Carols

  • God Eternal
  • There was Great Joy
  • Heaven and Earth
  • Heavens Great Star

#4 Christophoros


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Posted 19 February 2014 - 11:07 PM

I recently learned the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada released a Second Edition of this suburb prayer book. Images can be found here:




It is truly the most comprehensive prayer book available in English. The only issue some might have is its use of contemporary English.

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