Holy Wisdom Orthodox Mission
1355 North 4th Street • Grand Junction, CO 81501
(On the corner of North 4th Street & Kennedy Street)

holywisdomorthodox@gmail.com • 720-295-7715
A mission parish of the
Orthodox Church in America , and the Diocese of the West
Typikon Orologion Oktoechos Menaion Triodion Pentekostarion

The Liturgical Worship Services of the Orthodox Church

Community worship in the Orthodox Church is called ”Liturgical Worship” or “Liturgical Prayer.” The English word “liturgy” and its adjectival form, “liturgical,” derive from the Greek word λειτουργία (leitourgía), which literally means “work for the people” or “public service/activity.”

Orthodox Liturgical Worship is the activity of the faithful gathered in the local church to glorify and praise, as well as to supplicate and thank God according to “services” handed down unchanged since the early Church, and in many cases derived from Old Testament Temple and synagogue services.

The Orthodox worship services are not “free-form,” nor are they chosen (much less dictated or composed!) by a “liturgical committee.”

Each “service” (Greek: ἀκολουθία/akolouthía; Church Slavonic послѣдованїе/posledovánie) has a “fixed framework” (unchanging parts) into which “movable propers” are inserted from the Októechos, Triódion, Pentekostarion, and Menaion according to the liturgical season, and the date of the month.

The daily order of the Divine Services depends on the location and region. This order is referred to as the Typikón. The English version most-commonly used in parishes of the Orthodox Church in America is, in fact, titled “Order of the Divine Services.”

The first major distinction among various Typikóns (or Typiká) is among those used for cathedral, parish, and monastery usage. There is some thought within Slavic Christtianity that these three distinctions melded into an all-purpose Typikón, although the distinctions clearly remain within the Byzantine tradition. The annual Typikon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate indicates the order of services at the Patriarchal Church of Saint George (“cathedral rite”), the order in parishes (“parish rite”), and the order for monasteries (“monastery rite”).

Each church and monastery, of course, adapts the service structure to accomodate church architectural features as well as the needs and capabilities of the faithful.

To help clergy apply their Typikon to the circumstances of the local parish or monastery, various national Churches, such as the OCA, publish an annual Calendar, variously titled as “Typikon for the Year 2023,” “Liturgical Calendar for the Year 2023,” etc.

Although the texts of Orthodox services are constant, regional distinctions are reflected in the musical styles and melodies. The two broadest categories of these distinctions are the “Byzantine” and “Russian” which are based, respectively, on the 8th-century order of services of the Stúdion Monastery in Constantinople and of the 5th-century order of services of Saint Savvas Monastery in Jerusalem.

The “fixed” portions of the Divine Services are contained in the Orologion, or “Book of the Hours.” These are the Daily Services of Mesonyktiko (Midnight Office), Matins, First Hour, Third Hour, Sixth Hour, Ninth Hour, Vespers, and Compline.

The “variable” portions of the Divine Services are contained in a series of volumes. There is a general precedence of the hymns and Kanons in these books:

The Sunday Resurrection Hymns from the Oktoechos according to the eight tones,

The Lenten Hymns from the Triodion during the seventy days of the Triodion season,

The Pentecostal Hymns from the Pentekostarion during the fifty days of the Pentecost season,

The Daily Hymns from the Menaion according to the day of the month,

The Daily Hymns from the Oktoechos according to the eight tones and day of the week.

Links at the top of, and within, this webpage are to the Liturgical Library books most-commonly used in parishes of the Orthodox Church in America.