Service books

Complex Orthodox services are unthinkable without service books.

Some of these books are known as sacred, these being fragments of the Bible read during services: Gospel Book (four gospels divided into segments for reading purposes), Psalter (150 psalms). Others are just known as church books: Typikon – Church constitution (service rules); Euchologion, containing sacred rites of the Sacraments and various other sanctifying rites; Ieratikon, holding complete texts of the Vespers, Matins and the three Liturgies; Horologion or the Book of Hours (intended for Readers and Chanters) etc. From the times of Saint Sava service books of the Serbian Orthodox Church were written in the contemporary Serbian language and alphabet. These service books are called Ser-bou-lye.

During difficult times brought about by the Ottoman occupation of Serbian lands service books arrived into Serbia from Russia. These were written in Church Slavonic. Today, service books are mostly translated into modern Serbian.

For centuries service books were copied and decorated with love in Serbian monasteries. Some of them represent great works of art.