As a monastic brotherhood in an English-speaking country, we began translating the sacred texts for our own use first; it was only after using them and hearing them in our own services for a number of years, and putting them through revision after revision, that we began publishing them for the use of the faithful, the Psalter being one of the first that we printed.
A disputed question for many years was whether to attempt to conform our translations to the meter of the Byzantine melodies to which so many of the hymns are set in the original. This would make the task of translating the principal service books more than doubly difficult, in a project already large enough to be daunting.
What decided the issue was daily hearing the hymns chanted by one choir in Greek according to the Byzantine melodies, then hearing the other choir chant them in English only approximating the Greek melodies with freestyle improvisation that often had little more in common with the original than the musical mode or tone. This was experienced as such a great loss that the common decision was made to accept the extra burden of setting the hymns to the original meter in exchange for hearing them chanted according to melodies not of merely human inspiration.
With time and God’s help we hope to publish all the main liturgical books in English, while continuing to translate the writings of the Church Fathers, ascetical works, and lives of Saints necessary for the corporate and private prayer life of Orthodox Christians.
Holy Transfiguration Monastery Publications, Inside our Books and the Sources behind them, is a companion site to www.thehtm.org.