There are many prayer books, but those wanting an authentic and accessible expression of the Church's ancient cycles of liturgical worship, in its rich variety, can look to the Anthologion and its riches, composed by Saint John of Damascus and others.
From the very beginning, Christians gathered for prayer at fixed hours to pray. These prayers centered on the Psalms, and in the desert monasteries they developed into the daily prayers of the Church that we still use today.
The Anthology of Prayer or Anthologion is an Eastern Orthodox prayer book that uniquely includes a treasury of selections from the riches of Orthodox prayer and worship, including:
- The Book of Hours (Horologion) with Lenten and Paschal variations
- The Book of Eight Tones (Octoechos)
- The common services of Saints (General Menaion)
- Selections from Great Lent and the Paschal season (Triodion and Pentecostarion)
- Traditional morning and evening prayers
- Topical prayers for different occasions
- And much more
Suitable for use individually or with a group, this monumental book aims to fill the place that the Breviary or Liturgy of the Hours fills for Western Christians: offering the full daily office of prayer in a slightly simplified form, with texts for special feast days and seasons. It is a prayer library in a single book.
- The new 2nd Printing includes two additional ribbon bookmarks, additional material, and corrections from the 1st Printing
- Over 1000 pages of sacred prayers, scriptures, and hymns, forming the foundation of Orthodox prayer and worship
- High quality leather-bound softcover with sewn binding
- Two-tone red and black printing
- Highly readable 10pt font
- Six ribbon bookmarks
- Designed for Pan-Orthodox use
- Abundant supporting material and clear instructions — with a little initiative and study, anyone can carry on the prayers of the Church in any circumstances with just a single book
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I have used a lot of Orthodox prayer books over the years. In my opinion, each prayer book has its strengths. While some aspects of this translation of the Anthologion are different than what I am used to, overall this is a fantastic prayer book and a solid translation. I still substitute in a few places with the version I have memorized, but that is just out of convenience and what I am used to. This book shines in breadth of services it contains including the dynamic parts and containing some of the regular commemorations celebrated. It is also setup to let you do as much or little as you may be able to. If you struggle sometimes, like me, to just do the regular morning and evening prayers, this will help you. And when you are able and wanting to do more, it's all at your fingertips. As someone who sometimes travels, this keeps all the regular prayers and services, including Typica and a tiny book of needs with me at all times. I also love the section on preparation for confession. TLDR: don't hesitate to buy this!
I am new to the church. Please forgive me for lack of details, or omissions, or inaccuracies. I bought this book, and some of the translations are not what I've heard in most Orthodox churches. The Trisagion (Holy God, Holy Strong, Holy Immortal) is the most immediate thing worthy of notice. This is not in the product details for this site (nor immediately apparent at the publishers site) but much of the translation for this book is based upon the EOB translation. "Holy, holy, holy are you, O God; through the Mother of God, have mercy on us." is another jarring one for me personally. If you search for "Fr. John Whiteford EOB" you will find a review from a priest that details the problems with this particular translation. Again, I'm new. But I haven't been to a single parish in the US that says the prayers in this way. That makes it hard to use this book to "follow along" in a service (you might rather just use whatever materials the parish has) or to add laity ran daily services to your parish (your parish priest might not want you using an unfamiliar translation) and if you use this at home, you'll start to memorize a different translation which will get you out of sync with the rest of your parish. Some reviews online have stated to just substitute in other translations if you have committed them to memory. You'll need a copy of the New Testament + other materials to do that. I don't know if I'm allowed to link to it but if you find the publishers site, on the books product page, they have a 36 page pdf that is a sample of "exactly" what is in the book. I would strongly suggest reading through the "Waking Prayers", then read the review from Fr. John Whiteford, and then showing your parish priest some of the translations for the Trisagion. If none of those are limiting factors, then buy the book, because it's beautiful, and no doubt will it be useful! I hope they release this book in a more traditional translation format, or correct some of the issues that Fr. John Whiteford outlined. ----- Legacy Icons response: We feel the translation of "Strong" is accurate and perhaps superior, as outlined in Fr. Ephraim Lash's original translation notes. In summary, this choice is justified in four ways: - Antiquity: The earliest English translations of the Trisagion in the 1700s used “Strong”, based on both Slavonic and Greek sources - Patristics: Various Fathers and scholars writing about the Trisagion reference Psalm 41/42:3 LXX, “My soul has thirsted for God, the strong, the living." - Hebrew Linguistics: “El” “Strong (One)” is an epithet for God throughout the OT, which the LXX consistently translates as “Strong” - Greek Linguistics: “Strong” conveys the force of “Ischyros” better than “Mighty,” which is better reserved for “Krataios,” echoing the usual translation of “Pantokrator” as “Almighty” With the multiplicity of prayer books available today—both from Orthodox publishers as well as Orthodox jurisdictional authorities—there will always be the chance that the translation of some element of a prayer book is different from that which is used in one's local parish. How important that precise word-for-word matching is, each individual will have to decide.
Stunning book. It’s basically an Orthodox/Byzantine breviary for those who want to pray more than morning and evening prayers. I often follow along at Great Vespers in church and used it to follow along during Holy Week services and the accuracy and similarity of translations was astounding. Perfect for clergy and laity alike, this is a beautiful book, affordable and it might be the best prayerbook out there, period.
This prayer book was recommended to me and I couldn't be happier with it. It's absolutely beautifully made, and the print is perfect size. Quick shipping and very well packaged also. I think everyone should own this book and I hope to buy more as gifts. Thank you very much.
Would highly recommend this Anthologian for those who wish to pray the Daily Office in the Byzantine tradition
The Ahthologion here from St. Ignatius Press is a wonderful addition to any Orthodox Christian's prayer library. Perhaps not for those newly converted to orthodoxy, but for those of us who have been Orthodox for several years, and in my opinion, for any Orthodox layperson wanting to pray any of the daily services: Matins, the Hours, Vespers, etc; this highly professionally printed and exceptionally well-put-together volume allows us to pray as much or as little of all of the Canonical Hours from the Horologion as we are able, by providing all of the "common" of those services; i.e. the unchanging portions, as well as a large portion from the Octoechos, and a small selection from both the Lenten Triodion and the Pentecostarion. Additionally, included are the contents of the General Menaion for Major Feasts as well as a basic "parish typicon" to enable us to add the "propers"; i.e. the changeable portions of the services into the offices. The parish typicon is a very basic order for combining the propers and commons and thanks to how well this volume is put together, is extremely easy to use. Excellent job and well worth the $45 not only due to the contents, but also the quality of the book, the binding, etc. Thank you so much, and have a blessed upcoming Great Lent!!!
The Best Orthodox Prayer Book Ever.
Today for the first time I prayed every daily service and it was… exhausting but beautiful! And I will continue to do so! A wonderful book and the only prayer book I will be using from now on.
Recently, I received a copy of the Anthologion published by Saint Ignatius Orthodox Press. This monumental volume aims to function like the Breviary or Liturgy of the Hours does for Western Christians. It's the first time the essentials of the Church's daily cycle of prayers have been offered in a single book, conveniently arranged as reader services for use by the laity. It's not an exaggeration to say that this book represents an historical milestone in the development of Orthodox Christianity in the English speaking world. An that's why I really wanted to fall in love with this ambitious book of prayers. Unfortunately, I didn't. If you worship in an Orthodox jurisdiction that uses traditional liturgical English, you'll find the Anthologion's contemporary translation jarring. Contemporary translations can, of course, be lyrical and beautiful, but this one is sadly pedestrian and clunky. It reads more like a text translated for academic study than for common prayer. In other words, it's technically accurate but practically problematic. Thus, even if you are accustomed to worshiping in contemporary English, the Anthologion's translation choices may still seem odd to you. For example, "Theotokos" is always rendered as "Mother of God," and the Trisagion Hymn is always rendered as "Holy God, Holy Strong, Holy Immortal." This often awkward departure from common usage across jurisdictions creates an unnecessary and unwelcome divide between the language used at home and at Church. Moreover, the Anthologion unfortunately does not seem to account for chanting, and its meter and rhythm do not facilitate the easy use of traditional Greek or Russian melodies. There is also the matter of typos, omissions, grammatical errors, and obvious mistranslations, of which there may be two or three substantial ones per page in my reckoning. For example, I just flipped it open to pages 128-129 (Compline), and the creed omits "the" from "Father Almighty" and "who" from "for our sake and our salvation," and also features an accidental repetition in "who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and together glorified." On page 131, the Prayer to the Mother of God petitions, "And using your Mother's boldness, implore your Son," which undoubtedly should read "motherly boldness" unless the intent is for the Theotokos to invoke the prayers of her own mother, St. Anne (it's not; no other translation renders the prayer this way). Saint Ignatius Orthodox Press, it should be noted, is carefully collecting errata and has promised to correct them in future printings. However, their list of errata thus far is woefully incomplete (upon checking, it doesn't include the example errata I found while writing this review), and you may want to wait to purchase the Anthologion until its wrinkles are thoroughly ironed out, perhaps in the third or fourth printing. Fortunately, we're still early in the lifespan of this text, and there's a lot of time (and room) for improvement. Many books that get off to a rough start later make a picturesque landing - and it must be emphasized that the Anthologion has a tremendous amount of unrealized potential. In conclusion, if you're going to buy the Anthologion by Saint Ignatius Orthodox Press right now, then buy it for the instructions on putting services together, not for its translation. The Anthologion's clear and concise directions for readers is where the volume really shines. Orthodox Christians who like to worship in contemporary English may be able to substitute their own jurisdiction's prayers in appropriate places to make the Anthologion serviceable for them, but other faithful who are used to traditional liturgical English would be better served by Holy Transfiguration Monastery's very affordable Prayer Book, Pocket Book of Hours, and Pocket Psalter. Indeed, these three books together cost $46 and constitute a more complete cycle of services than presently offered by Saint Ignatius Orthodox Press's Anthologion. The Prayer Book and Pocket Book of Hours by themselves offer a comparable alternative to the Anthologion at only $32 and have a mature, polished text that handily works with traditional Greek melodies. My rating for the Anthologion? 3 out of 5 stars.
“The man who lives in the world prays little, whereas the monk prays constantly. Thanks to monks, prayer continues unceasing on earth, and the whole world profits, for through prayer the world continues to exist; but when prayer fails, the world will perish…..When there are no men of prayer on the earth, the world will come to an end and great calamities will befall: they have started already.” (St. Silouan the Athonite) St. Silouan was referring to monks whose calling is to pray for the entire world but now we, the laity, can share this calling with the use of the Anthologion. This prayer book allows us to unite our prayers with monks whose prayers are offered unceasingly at every hour of every day throughout the world. This prayer book is also unique because the publishers provide a series of You Tube videos to instruct us in its use. Whether the circumstances of daily life limit our time for prayer or whether we have abundant time to devote to daily prayer, this book meets our needs and allows us to join with the universal Church in the traditional prayers, not only for ourselves, but for the world. The Anthologion, designed for the Orthodox layperson, has become my constant companion throughout the day and I recommend it to those who want to expand their daily rule of prayer in concert with all Orthodox of the world!