Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov

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Introduction

My interest in the history of the Morning and Evening Prayer Rules came from a somewhat unusual source: in more than seven years of serving as a parish priest, I have regularly heard it confessed by a large number of people that they fail to complete all of their daily prayers.  What is meant by these confessions is that some penitents regularly cut short the Rules contained in the Orthodox Prayer Book.  It must be noted, however, that there appear to be no standard rubrics for the composition or length of Morning and Evening Rules, nor is there a mention of the “sin of the shortening of the Prayer Rule” either in the daily confession of sins contained at the end of evening prayers, or in the Rite of Confession contained in the Book of Needs.  To be sure, one of the prayers in the evening rule does…

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