Sunday, January 17, 2021

Holy Transfiguration's new Horologion

I needed a new icon, so it was convenient and fortuitous timing that Holy Transfiguration just put out their new two-volume Great Horologion. If you don't know what that is, I'll let Wikipedia come to the rescue:

The Horologion is primarily a book for the use of the Reader and Chanters (as distinguished from the Euchologion, which contains the texts used by the Priest and Deacon). Several varieties of Horologia exist, the most complete of which is the Great Horologion (Greek: Ὡρολόγιον τò μέγα, Horologion to mega; Slavonic: Великий Часословъ, Velikij Chasoslov, Romanian: Ceaslovul Mare). It contains the fixed portions of the Daily Office (Vespers, Compline (Great and Small), Midnight Office, Matins, the Little Hours, the Inter-Hours, Typica, Prayers before Meals). The parts for the Reader and Chanters are given in full, the Priest's and Deacon's parts are abbreviated. The Great Horologion will also contain a list of Saints commemorated throughout the year (with their Troparia and Kontakia), selected propers for Sundays, and moveable Feasts (from the Menaion, Triodion and Pentecostarion), and various Canons and other devotional services. The Great Horologion is most commonly used in Greek-speaking churches.

Really, I think every family should have a copy of either a complete version like this or the reduced versions that you can order inexpensively. St. Tikhon's used to have a very reasonably priced paperback "The Hours and the Typica" for example. 

As a first impression, what I like about these books is that the binding and covers are quite sturdy. They just feel like they're going to hold up for a long time. And for books that are constantly going to get pulled from the kliros pile, that's a must. Conversely, the pre-printed annual orthros books (from another press) that I use every Sunday already have their common first pages falling off the backing. It's still January. I'm not at all worried about that with these texts.

The font is eminently readable and the right size. Church lighting, while you'd think it would be optimized for actually reading what you are looking at, rarely is. Many a church I have served in have "sweet spots" where you can make out the text, with many more locales of murky darkness. Regardless of the lighting, I trust that I won't be hunting for my place while the congregation wonders what is wrong. The illustrations seamlessly match the text and don't feel incongruous at all. All in all, it's a professional product. 

"What about the translation?" you might ask. That's going to take some time for me to review. While one quick read through of the EP's attempt at a unified translation made one howl in pain, I won't be able to speak to the translations here without a few months of use. Expect a follow-up review.

(HTM) - Translated from the Greek by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery. Revised Second Edition, 2020.

Hard-cover binding. 392 pages, 2-color printing. 7⁠-⁠1/2 x 12 inches.

In church or at home, The Great Horologion is indispensable for the divine services. Printed in black and red throughout in large format for easy reading in church, in the same typeface in the same size printed on the same acid-free Mohawk Vellum paper as the Menaion, Pentecostarion, Octoëchos, and Holy Week.

Part One provides the order of services with complete texts and Lenten variants for the Midnight Service, Matins, the Hours, Vespers, Small and Great Compline.

Part Two contains the Troparia of the Resurrection in the Eight Tones, Troparia for Weekdays, and Theotokia; the Katavasiae for the Seasons of the year; and the Eclogarion, which contains the psalmic selections used for the Polyeleos.

Part Three contains Akathists to our Saviour, the Theotokos and the Cross; Supplicatory Canons to our Saviour, the Theotokos, the Guardian Angel and to the Angels and All Saints; and the Communion Prayers.


  1. I had their original edition for years. Very complete, though in Holy Transfiguration English. Holy Trinity Monastery (Jordanville) publishes a Horologion that's comparable but I think a bit easier to use, though not as nicely printed.

  2. So, of the many out there, which one is the best,,,,,with the choices available it is hard to determine without buying each one and comparing,,,,they ain't cheap

  3. HTM's web page shows $120 for the set.