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Children's Liturgy Book: Edition 2013

posted Mar 16, 2013, 7:04 PM by Ioannis Moutsatsos   [ updated Mar 18, 2013, 6:33 PM ]

The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom for Children

The new edition of the children's  Liturgy book came to fruition in March 2013 after 3 months of working with the Microsoft Publisher desktop publishing software. Although the basic format of the book had materialized in my mind even before I clicked on Microsoft Publisher, much work went into the several revisions that preceded our final publication. 

The Divine Liturgy Text

The English and Greek text of St. John Chrysostom's Divine Liturgy was downloaded from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese web site. Some minor modifications were made to the English translation to better reflect our local parish idioms and usage. The Greek text was used essentially unchanged with the exception of some stylistic corrections. Our parish priest and several of our Catechetical school teachers reviewed several of the drafts and suggested additions, modifications and various stylistic improvements and changes. My daughter's godmother contributed her considerable spell-checking and desktop publishing talents to make some significant improvements to the layout and font selection. After about 5 draft versions and just over three months of constant improvements, we felt comfortable that we were ready to move forward with a small printing run. We've created a PDF file from Microsoft Publisher and gave it to the Church parish office for printing an initial 50 copies of the book.

The paper

I've selected a 28 lb ultra-bright (98 bright) white laser paper from Staples. The page size is half-letter (5.5 in x 8in) The book is a total of 108 pages so it prints on a total of 27 two-sided sheets. I'm hoping that the heavier paper will make the book more resistant to the expected weekly usage by our young students.

The Binding: Plastic Comb or Coil?

Originally I favored a plastic comb binding for the book. This was primarily for cost reasons and for the fact that I owned a small Fellows binding machine and was planning on doing the binding myself. However, once I saw a coil bound example, that Staples did for us, I was convinced that this was a better and more reliable option. The cost still remained a concern until my wife was able to identify a small local binding company that was able to do the job for 30% less than Staples. They also cut and collated the pages for us at no cost! (Staples was charging us for cutting the paper)

Elements of Design and Layout

The clear front cover allows the display of a water-color picture of Christ with children. The picture is taken from the third grade Religion book published by the Greek Ministry of Education and Religion (1970).

The book 
pages (size is 5.5 in x 8 in) are spiral coil bound.

Front and back view of the Liturgy book.
The front cover page is transparent to let the beautiful illustration show through. The back is a Designer style poly navy blue sheet.
 The book opens easily to its intended 'two-page spread' reading format, and can be folded 360 without damage.
 The general layout style has the English Liturgy text on the left side, followed by two columns of relevant explanations, graphics and photos. The last column on the right is the Greek Liturgy text.

Occasionally we have varied this format to improve layout in areas where there are not many illustrations or comments.