Pew Liturgy Book now online at newbyz.org
- Dear List Members:
One of my biggest projects is now available on our website at
http://www.newbyz.org Itâs the Divine Liturgy pew book which
corresponds to the music on the website. This book is what I consider
to be the best existing single resource for bilingual congregational
chanting in the Sunday liturgy at English-speaking Greek Orthodox
churches. It contains the text of the liturgy, followed by a hymnal
that has two settings of the Divine Liturgy, Plagal Fourth (major) and
Plagal First (minor). It also contains the most frequently-used proper
hymns. Everything is in side-by-side Greek and English.
This book is intended to be a replacement for the âGreen Book,â the
liturgy hymnal published by the Archdiocese since the 1970âs. While
that book filled a need for congregational participation in Greek and
English, the English versions of the hymns were quite antithetical to
the principles of Orthodox hymnography. The attempt to haphazardly
squeeze English words into the established melodies of John
Sakellarides resulted in poor translations that were almost
unsingable. In our new book, English texts take two forms, those that
are carefully metered to the Greek text and can truly follow the model
melody, and those that retain their own meter with melodies that adapt
to the new syllabic patterns. In both cases, the English translations
are carefully made to be accurate and poetic.
As for the music, it is based upon the traditional system of Byzantine
music, even if it does not attain the level of accuracy one would
expect to hear from experienced chanters. Traditionalists may argue
that only a well-trained Byzantine choir singing true Byzantine music
should chant the Divine Liturgy, but the fact remains that most Greek
Orthodox churches in America have lay choirs, and priests who
encourage the lay congregation to participate vocally in the chanting
of the hymns. The result over the last 75 years has been music that
sounds closer to the Catholic and Protestant Christan traditions.
Without criticizing those who use polyphonic choirs and organs, we
want to provide a more traditional alternative to be available. This
book is written to give these lay choirs and congregations a resource
in familiar staff notation that comes closer to the traditional music
and is less Western in character.
This book is meant to be used by congregations in conjunction with the
materials for choirs found on our website. The liturgy books for the
choir are in a 3-ring notebook-sized format, and the hymns are
interspersed with the text of the liturgy. The selection of proper
hymns is much wider in the choir materials. For the pew book, I had to
pick what I thought were the most-used hymns to keep the book small
and all in one volume that would be easy to use by the layman.
Since we only publish our material on the Web in PDF format, I can
update this book and correct errors. With that in mind, I ask you to
look at the book and offer your opinions and criticisms so I can keep
it up to the highest quality possible.
It is not difficult to publish this book from the PDF file. The file
is in legal-sized paper booklet form. When you print it out on 8.5 x
14 paper, you get the front and back sides of a booklet that assumes
you will fold the paper in the middle. While there are too many sheets
(40) to practically fold it in the middle, the PDF should be printed
on both sides, collated, and then cut in half to be spiral-bound, or,
if desired, made into a hard-covered volume. The method for doing this
is as follows:
In the Adobe Reader program, print the file on legal-sized paper with
the option of âeven pages only.â Then put the sheets back into the
printer and print the blank sides using the âodd pages onlyâ option.
If you lined up the paper correctly on the second run, in most
printers, you should have your booklet in the proper order. Otherwise,
you may have to adapt the printing process to your particular printer.
Cut the booklet in half down the middle of the paper and place the
front part of the book on top of the back part. You are now ready to
bind the book in the manner you desire.
We offer this book free of charge to the English-speaking Greek
Orthodox churches of the world, in the spirit of giving and in service
to Christ. We hope it will be useful to whomever desires to use it.
You may access the book at: