Saints of the British Isles - Russian Church Compiling All Known Liturgical Texts

"The Church in the British Isles will only begin to grow when she begins to again venerate her own Saints." - Saint Arsenios of Paros 1877

Originally appeared at: Orthodox Christianity

Continuing and building upon a venerable tradition in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe launched the Saints of the British Isles Liturgical Project last year.

The veneration of the saints of the pre-Schism West was particularly modeled by St. John (Maximovitch) of San Francisco, who during his time as Archbishop of Western Europe would carefully research the lives of ancient Western saints.

In this vein, the ROCOR London Diocese has undertaken the meticulous work of compiling and editing all existing liturgical texts to the many saints of the British Isles so that priests will have the option of celebrating the services to the local saints.

As part of the first phase of the project, work is well underway on systematically cataloguing the extant hymnography into one liturgical index.

Timed to the Feast of All Saints of the British Isles, celebrated on the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, the London Diocese has published a table listing all the Saints of the British Isles for whom there exists a complete service. As the diocesan report notes, for some saints this includes hymnography only for Vespers, but for most it includes hymnography for Vespers, Matins, and the Divine Liturgy.

The table includes 85 services in three liturgical languages, composed by 9 authors. Contact has been made with all the authors to receive permission to move ahead with the editing phase, to bring the texts in line with the idioms and phraseology used by ROCOR.

A later phase of the project will involve commissioning new services for those saints who do not yet have Orthodox texts composed in their honor.

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