The information in these pages and in these charts, outlines, and tables consists of general models. The models do not cover every specific case; often for a particular day or occasion, the typicon and the other service books and the annual calendar and rubrics provide more specific instructions supplementing or differing from what is presented here. It is telling that the primary service book containing instructions for the ordering of the services is called the “typicon” (“book of models”) rather than kanonikon (“book of rules”), for its contents are more properly called examples, models, and guidelines, than rules; and if one calls them rules, the exceptions to them are many and varied. Sometimes the instructions given in the typicon and other service books are ambiguous or seemingly contradictory between different books, or even within the same book. In such cases we have usually tried to present here one consistent principle based on a consideration of several practices.
In addition, there are requirements, conditions, and customs of locality and circumstance. The responsibility for applying the models found in the typicon rests with the rector or superior, or with the diocesan authority, and may be modified at their discretion and by their authority. The information presented here is intended as an aid to the proper performance of services, and not as a replacement of that authority. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented in these pages, there may be errors.
Certain types of feast are not treated in these tables. For example, in general each of the great feasts has unique characteristics and special instructions and rubrics that preclude categorization, and for that reason are not treated here. Similarly the tables do not address certain other situations, as for example the conjunction of a Great Feast with a Sunday or other festivity (except Theotokos feasts occurring on a Sunday, which are treated). “Great Feast” in this regard includes several feasts not among the Twelve Great Feasts (also called the Duodenary Great Feasts), namely the Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord, the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, and the Nativity and Beheading of St. John the Baptist.