+ 1976 Edited by Archbishop Laurus

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Archbishop Averky


(+ 1976)

Edited by

Archbishop Laurus



Archbishop Averky


(+ 1976)

Edited by

Archbishop Laurus




Part One

I. Understanding the Science known as


Preliminary remarks.

The Subject and Objective of Liturgics.

Division of the Science of Liturgics.

Primary Sources of Liturgics.

Russian Research of Liturgics.

II. On Worship

The Origins of Worship.

The Development of Orthodox Worship.

Church Hymnographers.

The Significance of Orthodox Worship.

III. The Origin of

the Christian Temples

The Inner Layout and Arrangement of the Temple.

The Altar.


The Central Part of the Temple.

The Nave.

On the Church Bells and Tolls.

IV. On Those

Who Perform the Divine Services

The Clergy.

The Church Servers.

V. On the Sacred Vestments

The Meaning of the Sacred Vestments;

their Colors and Adornment.

VI. Sacred Symbolic Acts

and Rites during the Divine Services

VII. Liturgical Books

Simple books.

Books for Common Services.

The Service Book (Sluzhebnik).

The Chinovnik (Book of Rites) for Hierarchical Services.

The Horologion.

The Ochtoechos, or Book of the Eight Tones.

The Monthly, Festal, and General Menaions.

The Lenten Triodion and the Festal Triodion (or Festal Menaion).

The Irmologion.

The Typicon, or Ustav.

Books for Individual Services.

The Book of Needs (the Trebnik).

Ceremonies for Uniting the Heterodox

to the Orthodox Catholic Eastern Church.

The Book of Supplicatory Services.

The Order for the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

Books for Home Usage.

Books for Common and Individual Services.

The Gospel.

The Apostle.

The Psalter.

On Music Books.

VIII. Understanding the

Various Cycles of Services

1. The Daily Cycle of Services.

2. The Weekly Cycle of Services.

3. The Yearly Cycle of Services.

The Compilation of a Church Service

On a Given Day.

The Titles of the Unchanging Prayers.

The Titles of the Changing Prayers.

IX. Church Singing,

Reading, and Iconography

Part II

The First Part of the All-night Vigil

The All-night Vigil and its origins.

The time for its performance and its structure.

Small Vespers.

I. The Beginning of the All-night Vigil


The Singing of the Opening Psalm.

The Great Litany.

The First Kathisma.

The Small Litany.

The Singing of the Verses of “Lord, I have Cried”

and their Stichera.

The Vespral Entry.

The Prokeimenon and the “Readings” (Lessons), or Paremii.

The Augmented Litany, and the Litany of Fervent Supplication.

The Litia.

The Stichera at the Aposticha.

“Now Lettest Thou Thy Servent,”

The Troparion, the Blessing of the Loaves,

and the End of Vespers.

II. The Second Part of the All-night Vigil


The Six Psalms.

The Great Litany.

“God is the Lord” and the Troparia.

The Kathismata, the Small Litanies, and the Sedalia.

The Polyeleos, Troparia of the Resurrection, and Megalynaria.

The Small Litany, the Hypakoe or Sedalion,

and the Antiphons of Ascent (or Hymns of Ascents).

The Prokeimenon and the Reading of the Gospel.

The Canon.

The Exapostilarion, or Photagogicon (Svetilen).

The Psalms of Praise and the Stichera at the Praises.

The Great Doxology.

The Augmented and Supplicatory Litanies

and the Dismissal of Matins.

III. The First Hour and The End of the All-night Vigil

IV. The Polyeleos Service

V. The Doxology Service

VI. The Six-Stichera Service

VII. The Five Ranks of Feast.

VIII. The Daily Vespers.

IX. Small Compline.

X. The Midnight Office.

XI. Daily Matins.

XII. The Hours and the Typica.

XIII. The Cycle of Daily Worship.

XIV. The Saturday Service.

Part III

I. The Divine Liturgy.

Preliminary remarks.

The Origin of the Liturgy.

The Time of the Performance of the Liturgy.

The Place of the Performance of the Liturgy.

The Persons who Perform the Liturgy.

Types of Liturgy.

Ii. The Liturgy of

St. John Chrysostom.

The Preparation of the Clergy

for the Performance of the Liturgy.

The Vesting of the Clergy

before the Liturgy.

The Proskomede.

The Liturgy of the Catechumens.

The Small Entry.

The Singing of the Troparia and Kontakia.

The Trisagion.

The Ascent to the High Place.

The Reading of the Holy Scriptures.

The Prokeimenon, Apostle, Alleluia, and Gospel.

The Litany after the Gospel.

The Liturgy of the Faithful.

The Cherubic Hymn.

The Great Entrance.

The Litany of Fervent Supplication.

The Kiss of Peace.

The Symbol of Faith.

The Eucharistic Canon, or Anaphora (Elevation).

The Epiclesis — the Prayer of the Calling Down of the Holy Spirit.

The Preparation of the Faithful for Communion:

The Supplicatory Litany and “Our Father.”

The Breaking of the Lamb

and the Communion of the Clergy.

The Communion of the Laity.

The Transferal of the Holy Gifts to the Table of Oblation.

Giving Thanks for Communion.

The Prayer Below the Ambon and the Blessing to Leave the Temple.

The Completion of the Divine Liturgy.

III. The Liturgy

of St. Basil the Great

IV. The Liturgy

of the Holy Apostle James.

Part IV

I. Feasts

II. On the Services

for the Immovable Days of the Year

Small Feasts.

Median Feasts.

Median Feasts with the Sign of a Cross in a Semicircle.

Great Feasts with the Sign of a Cross in a Circle.

II. The Calender










IV. Temple Feasts

V. Worship on the

Movable Days of the Year

VI. The Divine Services of the Lenten Triodion

I. The Weeks Preparatory to Lent.

The Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee.

The Sunday of the Prodigal Son.

Meatfare Saturday.

Meatfare Sunday.

Cheesefare Week.

Cheesefare Sunday.

II. The Great Forty-day Fast.

III. The Peculiarities of Daily Lenten Services.

The Midnight Office.

Lenten Matins.

The Lenten Hours.

The Lenten Typica.

IV. The Liturgy

of the Presanctified Gifts

On the Presanctified Liturgy of the Holy Apostle James.

V. The Order of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

VI. Special commemorations and Rituals during the Days

of the Holy Forty-day Fast.

The Sunday of Orthodoxy.

The Second Sunday of Great Lent.

The Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross.

The Fourth Sunday of Lent.

The Fifth Sunday of Lent.

Palm Sunday.

Holy Week.

Great Thursday.

Great Friday.

Great Saturday.

The Divine Services of the Pentecostarion.

I. The Pascha of the Lord,

or the Resurrection of Christ

II. Special Commemorations and Services During the Days of the Holy Pentecost.

The Sunday of Antipascha.

The Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women.

The Sunday of the Paralytic.

The Sunday of the Samaritan Woman.

The Sunday of the Blind Man.

The Leave-taking of Pascha.

The Ascension of the Lord

The Seventh Sunday after Pascha.

IV. The Sunday of Holy Pentecost

The Sunday of All Saints.

Part V

I. Concerning Private Worship

II. The Book of Needs, Part One

III. Baptism.

IV. Chrysmation.

Concerning Rites of Unification to Orthodoxy.

V. The Order of Confession.

VI. The Sacrament of the Priesthood.

The Consecration of a Subdeacon.

The Ordination of a Deacon.

The Ordination of a Presbyter (or Priest).

The Ordination of a Bishop.

Elevation to Various Church Ranks.

VII. Marriage.

VIII. The order for Holy Oil.

The Rite for giving communion

immediately to one who is gravely ill.

IX. The Monastic Tonsure.

X. The Supplicatory Canon at the Departure of the Soul.

XI. The Funeral and Burial of the Departed.

The Funeral for Laity.

Directions for a Funeral During Bright Week.

XII. The Small and Great Blessings of Water.

XIII. Prayers for Various Needs.

XIV. The Book of Needs, Part II.

VI. The Book of Molebens.

Appendix I

On the Typicon — the Church Ustav.

Appendix II



The course of lectures on liturgics here put forward was compiled by Archimandrite Averky over the time when he taught this subject in Holy Trinity Seminary, during the academic years of 1951/52 and 1952/53.

The Most Reverend Archbishop AVERKY (in the world Alexander Pavlovich Taushev) was born October 19/November 1, 1906, in the city of Kazan. His parents were Pavel Sergeivich and Maria Vladimirovna Taushev. His father completed his course of study in the Military-Juridical Academy and worked in the military-judicial department until the Revolution. Due to the nature of Pavel Sergeivich’s occupation, the family was obliged to travel constantly to various places in Russia. It was especially difficult during the First World War and the Revolution. At last, after enduring numerous ordeals for Russia, the Taushev family left Russia in the beginning of 1920. Alexander and his parents traveled by steamer to the city of Varna in Bulgaria. Here before long a Russian high school was opened, into which 250 students, including Alexander Taushev, were enrolled. Alexander learned exceptionally well, and in 1926 finished high school “with the gold medal.”

Prior to this, the student Alexander had made the acquaintance of Archbishop Theofan (Bistrov) of Poltava and Pereaslavl, and under his influence had become more inclined to the spiritual, monastic life. Upon finishing high school Alexander, having received the blessing of his spiritual father, Archbishop Theofan, entered the theological department of the Derzhava University in Sophia, which he finished in 1930.

Following this, Alexander learned from the magazine “Orthodox Carpatho-Russia” that in Carpatho-Russia there was an opportunity to labor in the field of missionary work. Thus, with the blessing of Archbishop Theofan, he went to Czechoslovakia in Carpatho-Russia, where he was given employment in the diocesan administration of the Mukachev-Prjashev diocese. On May 4/17 he was tonsured a monk at St. Nicholas monastery, near the village of Iza in the region of Khustsk. He was given the name Averky in honor of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Averky of Ierapolsk. On the very next day Father Averky was ordained to the rank of hierodeacon. On March 25/April 7 he was ordained to the rank of the priesthood by the Most Reverend Damascene, bishop of Mukachev and Prjashev. Father Hieromonk Averky then passed the time of his pastoral service in St. Nicholas monastery as the assistant of Father Archimandrite Matthew, after which he soon became the rector of a parish in Uzhgorod. In 1937 on the feast of Pascha he was elevated to the rank of abbot. In December of 1938, Abbot Averky was appointed rector of a parish in Mukachev and administrator of a part of the Mukachev-Prjashev diocese in the territory of the kingdom of Hungary.

Later on Father Abbot Averky was forced to abandon Carpatho-Russia after its occupation by the Magyars, and in 1940 he arrived in Belgrade. Here he was received by Metropolitan Anastasy and appointed to serve at the Russian church of the Holy Trinity. During the Second World War he was first in Belgrade, then in Vienna and other places in Germany, where he endured all the horrors of war. One consolation for Father Averky was the fact that throughout these years he was near the Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, served molebens before Her and performed services for those who came to pray to Her. In Munich, on October 1, 1944, Father Averky was elevated to the rank of archimandrite.

Archimandrite Averky came to Holy Trinity Monastery from Munich, Germany, at the invitation of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), in the beginning of 1951. Immediately following his arrival he was appointed to be an instructor in Holy Trinity Seminary, where he taught the following subjects: New Testament, liturgics, and homiletics. Inasmuch as there were no particular study aids for these subjects, he prepared his lectures and typed them on a typewriter, then copied them with a duplicating machine. The students then received the printed lectures. In this way study aids originated for the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament, liturgics, and homiletics, all compiled by Archimandrite Averky.

At the recommendation of Archbishop Vitaly, on February 17, 1952, Archimandrite Averky was appointed by the Hierarchal Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to the post of rector of Holy Trinity Seminary. Within a little over a year he was consecrated bishop of Syracuse and Holy Trinity.

Inasmuch as Bishop Averky was a member of the brotherhood of Holy Trinity Monastery, he participated fully in the life of the monastery. Besides this he took an active part in the publishing work of the brotherhood of the print shop of Venerable Job of Pochaev, wrote articles for “Orthodox Russia” and other publications of the monastery, and participated in the missionary work of the monastery. Being the vicar of the Eastern American diocese, he likewise took part in the life of the diocese. Besides this, Vladika Averky was the spiritual instructor of the St. Vladimir youth. Because of this he often gave lectures in various parishes which had St. Vladimir youth groups.

Thus, being burdened with all of these obediences, Archbishop Averky took upon himself the teaching of the New Testament in the seminary: the Four Gospels in the fourth year and the Apostle in the fifth, four hours a week for each year, plus two hours of homiletics. In the course of the week Vladika Averky had a total of 10 hours of classes. He transferred liturgics to Hieromonk Laurus, who began teaching church ustav in seminary in 1954, and liturgics in 1956.

The lectures on the New Testament, compiled on the duplicating machine, Vladika Averky gradually corrected and prepared. Starting in 1955 they were set in linotype and typographically produced as an appendix to the Holy Trinity calendar under the title, “Handbook for the study of the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament, Part I.” The Four Gospels were printed in appendixes for the years 1955 and 1956. Part II, the Apostle, was printed in appendixes for the years 1957, 1958, and 1959. Both parts were likewise published as separate books. The handbook for homiletics was printed as a separate book in 1961.

However, the lectures on liturgics, compiled by Archimandrite Averky and printed in the academic year of 1951/52 on a duplicating machine in limited quantities, were not produced typographically. In the seminary we made use of that synopsis, but when copies ran out we began to use other textbooks for our purposes. Now it has become possible to produce this course typographically.

The course of liturgics which we now offer to the reader has been significantly reworked, particularly the first part (the preliminary remarks). Many additions and several changes have likewise been made in the course itself.

We hope, above all, that the publication of this liturgics textbook will be a useful aid for students of the seminary, and likewise for all who study or are interested in our divine services. These lectures present a systematic presentation of material on the subject of liturgics, in which a short historical description of the origins of worship is given, the symbolic meaning of several aspects of the services is discussed, and other necessary explanations and instructions involving the order of the divine services are likewise given. In addition to this, owing to its typographic publication, this academic textbook will now be available to a wider range of readers and lovers of ecclesiastical-liturgical literature.
+ Archbishop Laurus
Holy Trinity Monastery

Afterfeast of Pentecost

Commemoration of Holy Equal-to-

the-Apostles Emperor Constantine

and Empress Elena

May 21/June 3, 1999


The subject of liturgics is the history of Orthodox Christian worship. Orthodox worship is the entirety of the prayers, hymns, and sacred rites which are performed in the Church of God on earth by hierarchical persons, as lawful representatives of Christ (see the epistle to the Hebrews).

Worship is performed for the faithful, and in unity with them, according to an established order. Through worship the faithful are called upon to express their feelings of faith in God, as well as hope and love for Him; they enter into mystical communion with Him; and they receive the power of grace for the living of a Christian life, which leads to salvation.

Worship has great significance for man. It is the expression of the prayer life of the Church of Christ. The Orthodox divine services of ancient Byzantium astounded our forefathers by their majestic beauty, and led them to Christ, to the Orthodox faith.

One may show one’s faith by starting with fervent and comely prayer. But the modern western man, who knows neither God nor religion, in particular those in our homeland who have been corrupted by the propaganda of godlessness — if they were to hear the words of one preaching on faith, on God, on prayer, or on worship, they would be unable to immediately change their position and reach out towards faith in God, accepting all that should be said to them. Prejudice remains in them, and they waver. However, it often happens that such people, upon seeing the earnest performance of the divine services, devout prayer, and the beauty of the Orthodox rite, are penetrated by the sublime majesty of the worship of the Church, and their hearts are touched by “the word of God.” As it happened before, so it happens now. An indifferent, possibly even unbelieving person stops by or enters a church by chance, or goes in out of curiousity, and in the surrounding temple atmosphere of peace and faith, fervent reading and singing, such people are caught up by the sincere prayer of the faithful and, unexpectedly for themselves, they become participants in the common prayer and begin to feel a thirst for faith in God: they apprehend the instruction of the one preaching, and often join themselves to the Holy Church.

According to the words of the Holy Apostle Paul, Christians must do everything “decently and in order” (I Cor. 14:40). The decent order of the Orthodox divine services was developed over centuries. Their authors are the Holy Apostles and the Holy Fathers and hymnographers of the Church. The rite of worship was formed by ascetics and heroes of the spirit, in deserts and in monasteries.

Therefore the wealth of prayers, ideas, images, and thoughts which has accumulated over the ages, which is kept and preserved in thick church books and leather bindings, must resound in the souls of contemporary believers through fervent worship. And whoever loves the prayers of the Church, once he has understood their contents, will love also their harmonious order.

We shall remember that the most important element in the divine services is the living, personal participation of both those who come to pray and of those who perform the divine services — those who serve, the readers, and the chanters. Only that which is felt and experienced by the performers of the divine services themselves will reach the hearts of those who pray.

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