Books of the Eastern Churches

The question may arise: Where can I find the sacraments and rituals of the Eastern Churches?  What books might be helpful?  It is true that a couple Churches do not have some rites written in liturgical books of their own– or any book at all.  For example, ….

Here is a good outline of the liturgical books of the Eastern Churches.  (Following this list, you will also find the books wherein I found much of the material for the prayers that I mentioned previously).

SERVICE BOOKS of the Orthodox Churches [from The Festal Menaion, pp. 535-543]

1)     The Book of the Gospels

2)     The Book of the Epistles

3)     The Psalter

4)     The Euchologion

  1. aka: the ‘book of prayers’ – This is a book for the use of the priest—and to a lesser degree, of the deacon—containing the sacraments and other services, together with numerous special prayers and blessings.  Its contents and arrangement vary widely.
    1. There is in the first place a comprehensive volume known as the Great Euchologion.  In it are found the fixed portions of Vespers, Matins, and the Liturgy; the other six sacraments; other liturgies and blessings; office of the dead, etc
    2. There are short books as well
      1. The Ieratikon or ‘service book’ which is an altar book containing the priest’s parts for Vespers, Matins, the Litrugy
      2. The Small Euchologion or ‘book of needs’ containing five sacraments, omitting Eucharist and Ordination, and various other services
  2. There is also the Archieratikon or Pontifical which is to be used by the bishop.

5)     The Horologion or Book of Hours

6)     The Octoechos or Book of Eight Tones, aka Parakletike

7)     The Tiodion – book for Lent

8)     Pentekostarion – book for the Easter Season

9)     The Menaion – a kind of “proper of saints”

10)  The Irmologion

  1. a book that gives the text of the irmoi sung at the beginning of the various canticles of the canon.  The larger services books (eg: Menaia, Triodion) often given only the opening words of the irmos: and so a cantor who does not know the irmoi by heart will need to have this book ready in hand.

11)  The Typikon – a book of liturgical rules and rubrics


The Greek Great Euchologion (found at

The Offices of the Oriental Church.  Edited by Nicholas Bjerring.  Ams Press, New York, 1969,  See pages 104-108.

The Byzantine Daily Worship.  Allendale, N.J., Alleluia Press, 1969.  See pages 931-932.

Confession.  A series of lectures on the mystery of repentance by Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky. p. 106.

“The Festal Menaion” translated by Mother mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware; Faber and Faber, London, 1969.

George Appleyard.  Light of the East. Co-published by Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of St. Josaphat in Parm and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership, 2000.

Handbook for Liturgical Studies, Volume IV: Sacraments & Sacramentals.  Edited by Anscar J. Chupungco.  The Liturgical Press: Collegeville, MN, 2000

Pope John Paul II.  Orientale Lumen.

NCCB, Eastern Catholics in the United States of America (ECUSA).

The New Latin code of Canon Law and Eastern Catholics (CCEC).

Second Vatican Council.  On the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite (Orientalium Ecclesiarum)

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