The following books are recommended as a basic library of essential reading for every Orthodox household. This list is by no means exhaustive and should serve as the foundation of the Orthodox home collection.
Many of these titles are available at Holy Transfiguration Monastery and Holy Nativity Convent as well as online. Please click for online purchasing links.
A Prayer Book for Orthodox Christians
Translated from the Greek by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery. 2010. Purchase
- Morning Prayers and Prayers at Mealtime
- Complete services of Small Compline, Vespers, Matins and the Divine Liturgy
- Principal hymns of the feasts of the year
- Complete Service of Pascha
- Akathist Hymn to our Sweetest Lord Jesus Christ
- The Akathist Hymn to the Most Holy Theotokos
Supplicatory Canon to our Lord Jesus Christ
- Both the Small and the Great Supplicatory Canons to the Most Holy Theotokos (translated to fit the Greek melodies)
- Supplicatory Canon to the Guardian Angel
- Communion Prayers
The Pocket Psalter
The full text of English translation of the Psalms from the Septuagint Greek, newly formatted as a pocket edition for personal use. Purchase
Included in addition to the 150 Psalms:
- A Psalm (Psalm 151)
- A Prayer for the Reposed
- Order of Reading the Psalter
- A table comparing the Septuagint and KJV numbering of the Psalms
- Psalms Assigned to Services
A Manual of the Orthodox Church’s Divine Services by Archpriest D. Sokolof
This classic volume describes the liturgical services and cycles of the Orthodox Church. It also describes the design of an Orthodox church, the roles of the clergy and their vestments. Invaluable for understanding the liturgical life of the church. Purchase
Against False Union
by Alexander Kalomiros, with a prologue by Photios Kontoglou, translated from the Greek by George Gabriel. Saint Nectarios Press. 1990.
Against False Union was first published in 1967, and is still of value today. A revised appendix, which includes such articles as Is the Papacy a Church?, The Form of Holy Baptism, and New Age Bishops (part of which compares passages of the Koran with passages of the New Testament) was added for this edition. Purchase
Ten Homilies on the Beatitudes by Saint John of Kronstadt
Translated from the Russian by Professor N. Kizenko-Frugier
Published by Cornerstone Editions, Albany NY. 200. Purchase
A Conversation of Saint Seraphim with Motovilov
Saint Nectarios Press. 1993.
A new translation of the conversation Saint Seraphim had with his disciple Nikolai Motovilov, in which the Saint made many profound observations about the purpose of the Christian life. Purchase
A New English Translation of the Septuagint
The Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation of Jewish sacred writings) is of great importance in the history of both Judaism and Christianity. The first translation of the books of the Hebrew Bible (plus additions) into the common language of the ancient Mediterranean world made the Jewish scriptures accessible to many outside Judaism. Not only did the Septuagint become Holy Writ to Greek speaking Jews but it was also the Bible of the early Christian communities: the scripture they cited and the textual foundation of the early Christian movement. Purchase
Orthodox Church History
Developed as a manual for Sunday School teachers and home-schooling parents, this book is an important resource for adults also. Orthodox Church History covers the broad history of the Church from Old Testament times (mentioned briefly) through the modern era. The outlines in each chapter are brief, with notes and questions for the teacher included with black & white illustrations and icons. Purchase
Guide to Byzantine Iconography (Vol. 2)
Constantine Cavarnos. 2001. 160 pages.
Detailed, illustrated explanation of ten major icons of the Festal cycle and of the iconography of God (the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), of the Panagia or Theotokos, of Saint John the Baptist and of the Angels, followed by illuminating remarks of Saint Nectarios of Aegina and Photios Kontoglou on iconographic “Types” and “Archetypes.” Purchase
Orthodox Wall (or Desktop) Calendar
This color-coded calendar visually follows the fasting and feasting days of the Church according to the Julian (Old) Calendar. Includes booklet with scripture readings for each day. Purchase
Titles in Greek
Printed by the zealot fathers of the Holy Mountain Athos. 2012. Pocket size, 540 pages.
The four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and the Apocalypse. Printed in Greek. An excellent Gospel for those who travel. Purchase