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085. June 23/July 6, 1971. Vladimir Mother of God

Dear Father Panteleimon,

Evlogeite! This is solely a “Publication Question Sheet”; a letter will follow shortly. Thanks be to God, we are well and in good spirits.

1. Life of St. Mamas: safely received with many thanks. It will go in the May-June issue, as Vladika John will have to be our saint for March-April! By the way, it does no good to send us anything by “special delivery,” which is unheard of here; all our mail just sits in the post office until we go and get it.

2. Life of Blessed Archbishop John in Russian is enclosed — this is our closely guarded “secret project” about which no one knew. Glory be to God, we finished it the evening before Vladika Johns repose and delivered it at 6. a.m. to the Sepulchre before Liturgy. First response from everyone was favorable, after the shock wore off, but we await further repercussions. We visited for two hours with Vladika Nektary, who was just sent home; his condition is still serious, but hopeful; he is on a strict regime with absolute rest prescribed, even idle gestures being prohibited.

3. Calendar: have you checked through the whole thing? How widespread are the discrepancies in dates of commemoration of saints, and how can we make the calendar usable for Greeks as well as Russians? We would like to start printing, God willing, in Sept.

4. Service to St. Nectarios: we would like to print this year as part of OW (and separately), if possible before November. We hope to print one service a year, next year hopefully St. Mark of Ephesus. We have your translation of Vespers and the French translation of part of Matins; can you supply the Canon and anything else missing? If you want to supply the whole Matins, wonderful; otherwise we will translate from French. But we will need to know what Tone the kathismata are in, also the stikhera or lauds, and whether there are any “special melodies” here or in Vespers. Also, please give Acrostic, if any — but we don’t require it to fit the English Canon! (This is what the Slavonic Menaion does.) And please suggest whether we should supply more rubrics and/or text of the “common” parts of Vespers and Matins for our Americans who don’t know the order of services.

5. If we catch up, print the calendar, etc., this year, we would like to begin thinking, for next year, of printing a full Horologion for church use. What do you say and suggest? Will we need to appeal to an “English Liturgical Committee” of the Synod, which might involve endless complications and delays, or is it sufficient for your monastery and ours to work out the text between us and then offer it jointly to the English-speaking Orthodox world? Daniel Olson was just here for another week and volunteered his services, and astutely observed: everything depends on a standard Psalter, no adequate version of which has yet been printed in English; and he thought we should use yours. Can you send us a copy, or is it being printed?

If we do not hear from you in writing within a reasonable time, we will have to put you again to the expense of a phone call! As you see, we are full of hopes and plans for the future, while God gives us the time and opportunity. We are more than ever convinced that Vladika John and St. Herman are with us, and with their help we can do much.

Asking your prayers,

With love in Christ our Saviour,
Seraphim, monk

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