St. Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia Patron Saint of Narthex Press
In 1993, Fr. Spencer T. Kezios realized that an important need in the Greek Orthodox Church was going unmet. Because of a dearth of professional cantors knowledgeable in the Greek language and in the complex rubrics for celebrating the Sacred Office of Orthros for Sundays, fewer and fewer parish priests [in the English-speaking world?] were celebrating Orthros.
To address that need, Fr. Kezios undertook the monumental task of both translating the texts into English and formulating the entire order of the Orthros for each and every Sunday of the year. With the publication of these bilingual texts, it was at last possible for anyone to read and chant in either language. The response to the first edition was overwhelming–congratulatory letters poured in from all of the Church’s hierarchs, as well as from grateful parish clergy.
A year later, Fr. Kezios founded Narthex Press with his good friend, the learned Very Reverend Dr. Leonidas Contos. The mission of their new venture was to meet the growing demand for English translations of all the liturgical texts of the Greek Orthodox Church. Although functional translations were already in print, Fr. Kezios and Fr. Contos were aiming for something higher: a rendering of the ancient texts in graceful, contemporary English, with each volume carefully designed and handsomely bound.
Although Fr. Contos fell asleep in the Lord in 1995, leaving behind a treasure of literary achievement, Fr. Kezios has continued the work of Narthex Press with unwavering dedication. Today, Narthex liturgical translations are lauded and used not only in North America, but all over the world, from remote villages in Africa to Asia and Australia.
In an age when electronic media threaten to eclipse printed matter, we at Narthex Press believe as firmly as ever in the value of our mission. We believe beautifully bound liturgical books befit the dignity of our rich liturgical tradition. We promise to continue this ministry faithfully in the service of our beloved faith, and we thank you for your support and interest in our publications.