Saturday, May 21, 2022

The First Ukrainian Printed Book: An Epistle Lectionary of 1574

A few days ago, the YouTube channel of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University posted this video about the oldest printed book in Ukrainian, an Epistle lectionary with the text of the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline and Catholic letters. A friend of mine, Dr Daniel Galadza, who is an expert on the liturgical history of the Ukrainian church, informs me that the book was definitely made for liturgical use, and is not just a section of the Bible. This is why it also has an appendix which includes information about the Sunday antiphons (the chants which begin the Divine Liturgy), according to practices which are still observed to this day in the region of Galicia, which is now partly in western Ukraine, and partly in southern Poland, and at the Pecherskaja Lavra in Kyiv, also known as the Monastery of the Caves.

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