THURSDAY 9 / 22 JUNE 2023: The Diocese is pleased to announce publication of the Second Edition of the Liturgical Handbook of the Church Abroad, which is now published both in paperback and in e-Book format on the popular Kindle platform, which can be downloaded to all Kindle devices, as well as to the Kindle apps for iPhone, Android phones, tablets, and both PC and Mac computers.

Cover of the 'Liturgical Handbook of the Church Abroad' eBook 2nd Edition

(В настоящее время выпускается полное русское издание, которое должно быть доступно в ближайшие месяцы.)

The Liturgical Handbook is a concise resource on liturgical practice for clergy and Altar servers, dedicated to preserving the unique liturgical heritage of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), with question-and-answer discussion of a large array of points, providing practical instruction on how to celebrate aright and with due piety.

While focussed on the liturgical practice of the Church Abroad, the Handbook will be a helpful resource also for all those clergy and servers in parishes following the broadly Slavic Orthodox liturgical heritage found in, for example, parishes of the Russian Orthodox, Ukrainian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Antiochian Orthodox, Moldovan Orthodox, and Orthodox Church in America’s traditions.


Below is the Table of Contents of the Liturgical Handbook, available now in its entirety in print or as an eBook, including photo-illustrations. So that the reader can examine sample content, certain of the entries in the Table of Contents are provided below as links to abbreviated versions of the entries in the Handbook.


Clergy Vesting and Entrance Prayers

This section contains entries relating to the Clergy’s entrance into the Temple at the beginning of the Divine Liturgy (entrance prayers, etc.), as well as practices relating to the donning of vestments, which vestments are worn at which times, etc.

  • When is the ryassa to be worn?
  • When do Readers and Subdeacons wear the cassock? Do they ever don the ryassa?
  • Is an epitrahil (stole) worn during the Priest’s entrance prayers before the Divine Liturgy?
  • Is it permitted to partially ‘pre-vest’ by donning the podrisnik (alb) and other vestments, covering them with the ryassa, prior to the entrance prayers?
  • If multiple clergy concelebrate, who does the reading of the Entrance Prayers?
  • Are head coverings (kamilavka, etc.) worn during the entrance prayers?
  • In what manner are the vesting prayers to be read as the clergy vest themselves?
  • Are the nabedrennik and palitsa (rectangular- and diamond-shaped priestly awards) worn under the liturgical belt, or over it?
  • At which services is it permissible to wear an epitrahil but not the cuffs?
  • What is to be done if a vestment is dropped and falls to the floor?
  • When an Altar server presents his stikhar to the Priest for a blessing, how is this done?
  • If a Bishop is serving, should Altar servers approach him on the cathedra to bless their stikhar?
  • What are the vestment colours associated with the major feasts and seasons of the Church?
  • When the vestment colours change several times in a week, is it necessary to change the colours throughout the whole temple each time?
  • Diocese-specific: Within our Diocese, may Greek-style ryassas be worn?

The All-Night Vigil and other Evening Services

This section contains entries relating to the evening services of the Orthodox Church, and chiefly the All-Night Vigil as celebrated in most parishes on Saturday evenings and the eves of feastdays.

The Proskomedia

This section contains instruction on all matters relating the the performance of the Proskomedia (service of preparation prior to the Divine Liturgy), including the right preparation of the Lamb, the manner of making commemorations, etc.

The Divine Liturgy

This section contains instruction and guidance on all practices relating to the celebrations of the Divine Liturgies of St John Chrysostom and St Basil the Great (for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, see the separate Lenten Services section).

Concelebrations of Multiple Clergy

This section contains guidance on the peculiarities and variations to the Divine Services when they are concelebrated together by more than one Priest and/or Deacon.

The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy

This section contains rubrics, notes and practical guidance relating to Hierarchical Services (at which one or more Bishops preside), and also contains more general instruction on comportment of Services when a Bishop is present (even when not serving).

Diaconal Rubrics and Services

This section contains guidance for Deacons, and for Priests at services where a Deacon is serving.

Lenten Services

Liturgical peculiarities related to the Divine Services of the Great Fast (and additional lenten periods), includings its special services and rites.

Prostrations, Bows and Kneeling

This section contains specific guidance regarding the practice of making prostrations, as well as kneeling, during the Divine Services and at other times within the Temple.

General Comportment in the Altar

This section contains general guidance on how Clergy and servers are to comport themsevles in the Holy Altar, as well as instructions on more general activities therein that are not specific to any one Divine Service.

Monastics and Monasteries

This section contains instructions relevant to monastics during the Divine Services, as well as to all others serving together with monastics or in monasteries.

Icons, Relics, Church Adornment and Other Practical Matters

This section contains guidance on the placement of icons in the temple and their liturgical employment in the Divine Services, as well as related matters such as the veneration of relics, the adornment of the temple, etc.

Readers, Reading in the Church, and Texts and Translations

This section contains guidance for tonsured Readers, as well as all (whether tonsured or lay) who are blessed to read during the Divine Services.

A Concluding Word

APPENDIX: ‘To Serve in My Father’s House’: Reflections on the Service of the Holy Altar

Included as an Appendix to the Second Edition of the Liturgical Handbook is the complete text of this primer on the ethos and comportment of Divine Service in the Holy Altar. Aimed at those in the ranks of Altar Server, Reader and Subdeacon, it describes the mentality and comportment that are nevertheless relevant also to all serving Clergy in any rank.