The Prologue from Ochrid

Introduction

The Prologue is the age-old reading of the Orthodox peoples. They have been educated by this reading through long centuries of heavy oppression and of freedom. Through all these centuries the Orthodox people, brought up on the Prologue, have been brought face to face with the diverse multitude of the Saints and knights of God's righteousness who, by their example, enlightened and guided the people....

In its content, a Prologue is nothing other than an expanded and annotated Calendar.

The Calendar presents us with a part of the mysterious Book of Life (Rev.3:5) - only a part, I say, for it does not contain all the names but only some of those of the innumerable host of blessed souls whose delight it was to follow Christ, to fulfill His commandments and to inherit His eternal Kingdom.

All their names, whether known to us or not, are written in the heavenly Book of Life. Our Calendar is just one part, a very small part, of that enormous Book of Life which is, in its entirety, known only to the eternal and all-knowing Judge.

The Calendar was the first book that I saw and took in my hands as a child. At home in the village, it stood behind the icon and was handled with reverence and put back with care in its own place. It was to me a mysterious and, at that time, magical book of names, nothing but names, without obvious content or explanation. I had no notion of the vastness hidden within these names; the book bewitched me, and I revered and loved it without understanding....

It is my hope that the Prologue from Ochrid will be daily reading for the faithful, both layfolk and clergy.

From the Preface to The Prologue from Ochrid, by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic





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