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Re: SJKP Pentecostarion $80 + SH[orthodox-synod] Boston Menaion -- Just to set the record straight

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  • DDD
    Can somebodny tell us more about Fr. Lazarus Moore s translation of the Psalter (which HTM Brookline dumped on so vigorously--or politely)? And, is that the
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 31, 2005
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      Can somebodny tell us more about Fr. Lazarus Moore's translation of the Psalter (which HTM Brookline dumped on so vigorously--or politely)?
      And, is that the version of the Psalter that was used in the original (or at least, 1960 & 1979) English edition of the Jordanville Prayer Book? I love its simple yet reverent language! Also, its Psalm 22 is more accurate than the HTM--Brookline version:

      Psalm 22: 1960, 70 Jordanville: "And Thy chalice which inebriates me, how glorious it is!"
      HTM-Brookline: "And Thy cup which filleth me, how excellent it is!"

      Quite by accident, I was looking at a catechetical homily by St. Cyril of Jerusalem. This verse was quoted in it--in the old Jordanville version essentially, to prove that the custom of some priests to use **only water** in the Eucharist was wrong. So, he quotes "Thy cup which **inebriates** me...". Water cannot inebriate. By the way, "inebriates" is the sense in both Slavonic, and, as far as I can see, Greek.
      There are lots more instances where HTM-B Psalter is not accurate, or where verses do not agree with a patristic explanation of them. To read their introduction, you would think that HTM was perfect, but--not so.
      I'm looking for a better English version, myself.


      either of the two
      previous occasions when it was announced as immediately available (both
      apparently timed with hopes of damaging the Menaion project of Br. Isaac¹s
      translations published by SJKP).  So I won¹t get too excited (and not then)
      until someone tells me he actually has the books in his hands.

      I find it a bit odd that a clergyman of ROCOR would in effect promote such a
      publication, coming as it does from a schismatic group ‹ since all needed
      Menaion materials are readily available in English within our own Church and
      with the blessing of our own hierarchs.

      As to any likelihood these are pirated or lightly revised versions of Br.
      Isaac¹s work, I think Fr. Matthew is almost certainly right.  Highly
      unlikely.  As to whether they are actually intelligently readable (unlike
      the Boston Pentecostarion) by ordinary human beings, only time will tell.

      I thank Fr. Seraphim for his ³loyalty².  Indeed, the Menaion published
      (still, and ongoing) by SJKP has our bishop¹s blessing.  It seems rather
      unlikely that any of our hierarchs would bless the use in our churches of a
      Menaion published by schismatics.  It is odd that Fr. John shows no
      awareness of the fact that, far from being ³typescripts², the looseleaf
      Menaion services (and akathist hymns) published by SJKP have been in
      carefully formatted versions for many years.  The first of these services
      was released nearly 20 years ago, and the most recent group (38 items) this
      past April.  The project now counts some 625 Menaion services and akathist
      hymns in print (all available on the SJKP website).

      He also shows no awareness that the first complete Menaion ever to be
      published in English, in twelve hardbound volumes, is now completely sold
      out.  Most of those sets were sold outside ROCOR.  Interestingly, that
      edition is all but required in the OCA Diocese of the West.  A second
      edition is underway (of which the March and May volumes are currently
      available).  Pending publication of the 2nd edition, the other 10 volumes
      are being kept available in print-on-demand reproductions of the 1st
      edition, which may be exchanged for the 2nd edition when printing can be

      Why isn¹t it all done already?  Simple:  (1) time: each volume requires 1-2
      months of concentrated work for preparation (the 2nd edition is not simply a
      reprint of the 1st, but rather a thorough review and editing of all the
      texts, as well as addition of new services).  (2) money: the capital
      investment for each volume is $12-25,000, which will return to SJKP
      operational funds only very, very slowly ‹ there is no ³immediate² market
      for 100+ copies of each volume as it appears, as there was for the 1st
      edition.  AND ‹ the project is seriously undermined by the circulation of no
      small number of pirated copies (usually of the looseleaf edition).  The
      formula is simple:  no money, no books.

      Beyond the Menaion...

      The Euchologion/Trebnik/Book of Needs:  I can find no trace of Fr. Michael
      Gelsinger¹s work in the current L&L catalog, and indeed would be astonished
      if I did ‹ I think I wheedled the last available copies out of the John
      XXIII Institute people (no good news in the story of how they came by the
      texts) many years ago.  To my knowledge the only thing resembling a
      ³complete² work is the 4-volume set from St. Tikhon¹s, which I find all but
      unusable (clumsy language and poor editing/construction of the books).
      Contrary to Fr. Seraphim¹s fears, its release did not ³blow the wind out of
      the sails² of our intended publication of Br. Isaac¹s exhaustive
      translations of these texts.  Rather, the project remains on hold (in the
      form of an enormous collection of unedited text files in my ³liturgical
      works in progress² folder) for the same reasons as above.  Bits and pieces
      of it will doubtless appear from time to time (as indeed several already
      have) in individual booklets and some day, God willing, the entire work ‹ at
      least four volumes, probably more.

      The Pentecostarion...

      The Boston Pentecostarion has been out of print for quite some time, and the
      thirst of many who perforce used it for a less tortured translation often
      vigorously expressed.  Notwithstanding Br. Isaac¹s severe difficulties with
      his eyesight, and my limitations in getting the formidable amount of text
      formatted in a usable form, a thoroughly preliminary, essentially unedited,
      book was released at the end of this past Bright Week.  This edition will
      remain in limited use through Pentecost 2006.  Those who have purchased (or
      yet purchase) it become members of the proofreading team.  After All Saints
      2006 the preliminary copies are to be returned for use in preparing the
      subsequent edition, to be released prior to Pascha 2007.  The volume is not
      and will not be listed in the SJKP catalog until the 2007 edition is
      available.  Those interested may purchase both editions for $80 + s&h: the
      preliminary edition to be shipped immediately, then replaced at no cost
      other than s&h early in 2007 by the proofed/edited version.

      The Psalter...

      Many, many people were and remain unhappy with the Boston Psalter, whether
      because of its source, or because of its language (or both).  Those of us
      raised on the Coverdale Psalter (mostly onetime Anglicans) for the most part
      find it ungainly.  There was a good reason for which the KJV Psalter never
      replaced the Coverdale in Anglican usage.  BUT... As I found out when I
      tried experimentally using the Coverdale Psalter in my own parish/household
      years ago, we now live with a generation of Orthodox folk, ³cradle² and
      ³convert² alike (my children mostly the former), who have never heard the
      Coverdale Psalter, but have heard the Boston Psalter from the cradle up.
      Folks change hard!  I gave up.

      Our commitment to high-quality English liturgical texts remains.  Please
      keep the work in your prayers ‹ and support it with your purchases and your
      integrity (piracy is destructive!), and encourage your friends to do

      In Christ Jesus,
      Fr. Gregory Williams

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
      The Saint John of Kronstadt Press
      The Haitian Orthodox Mission
      The Orthodox Church of the Annunciation/Agape Community
      1180 Orthodox Way 
      Liberty, TN 37095-4366 USA

      Catalog of books & recordings: www.sjkp.org
      Information on the Haitian Mission:  www.orthodoxhaiti.org
      Information on Church of the Annunciation:  www.annunciation.us

      Phone:  (615) 536-5239
      FAX: (615) 536-5945
      E-mail: frgregory@...

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