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COMPILED, TRANSLATED, AND ARRANGED FROM
Some explanation is necessary touching the aim and scope of this Service Book, and my methods in compiling it.
It has always been the policy of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church of the East to have her services celebrated in the languages of the countries inhabited by her members. In accordance with this policy it is desired, eventually, to make English the language, in this country, of the Russian Church, which was the first to bring Christianity to Alaska, and now has more parishes in all sections of the land than either of the other representatives of that Commuri, those Greek and Syro-Arabian branches. . ~e, and'
Moreover, the adoption of the English language into a.ole solution of many difficulties encountered by the priests of that' Aarch in administering to the spiritual wants of their flocks, who come from many countries, each of which has its own language or dialect, — Great Russia, Little Russia, Galicia (in Eastern Austria), Hungary, Servia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Rumania, Syria, Greece, and, possibly, other localities. English is the Pan-Slavonic language in America, as German is the Pan-Slavonic language on the Continent of Europe. The children are reared in our American public schools, as a rule, and it will be difficult to teach them their church services in the original tongue, under the prevailing conditions. An English version of the services is also desirable for the pupils in such parish schools as exist, where much attention is given to instruction in English.
I have used the Old Church-Slavonic books of the Russian Church, rather than the original Greek, because my work has been done, primarily, for the use of the Russian Church in America. Slight differences in arrangement and practice (not in dogma) have arisen between the Russian Church and the Greek Church, similar to those between the Church of England and the Protestant Episcopal Church in America. I have carefully compared everything with the original Greek.
My object has been to make a book which shall show, as precisely and clearly as possible, all the services in general use; and that in a manner which shall be practical, not only for the ecclesiastics who are familiar with them and their congregations, but also for students of Liturgies and for travellers in the various lands where the Orthodox Church exists, as well as visitors to the churches in America and in numerous capitals and cities of Europe. To that end I have adopted an arrangement of my own devising. The difficulty and intricacy of the undertaking have been very great, owing to this arrangement and to other factors in the case. The treasure of services in the Orthodox