The Orthodox Easter. Church undoubtedly possesses the most abundant hymnology for her services. Special entire services date their origin as far back as the fourth if the third century. But the greatest impetus to their production was given by the sweet melodies of St. John of Damascus (a substantial part of the Octoechos). The rich harvest of about two centuries' work appears in the shape of 12 books, one Menaion for each month, with at least one service for every day. At the time when everything had to be copied by hand, such a wealth could of course be found in large monasteries only; almost from the beginning therefore a want was felt and supplied later on by a book, of which the translation is now offered and which had and has to be used, even where the Menaia are found, in cases e. g. of the newly canonized saints until special services are composed in their honor.
- From the Preface