The Rudder

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Full title page of The Pedalion, 1908 publication, 5th ed.

The Rudder (Greek: Πηδάλιον) is a codification of Orthodox Canon law by St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain. It was first translated into English by D. Cummings, and published by the Orthodox Christian Educational Society in 1957 under the title of The Rudder.

Full bibliographic citation

File:RUDDER.JPG
Full title page of The Rudder, 1957 publication (trans.)
  • The Rudder (Pedalion): Of the metaphorical ship of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of the Orthodox Christians, or all the sacred and divine canons of the holy and renowned Apostles, of the holy Councils, ecumenical as well as regional, and of individual fathers, as embodied in the original Greek text, for the sake of authenticity, and explained in the vernacular by way of rendering them more intelligible to the less educated.
    • Comp. Agapius a Hieromonk and Nicodemus a Monk. First printed and published A.D.1800. Trans. D. Cummings, from the 5th edition published by John Nicolaides (Kesisoglou the Caesarian) in Athens, Greece in 1908, (Chicago: The Orthodox Christian Educational Society, 1957; Repr., New York, N.Y.: Luna Printing Co., 1983).


  The Orthodox Christian Educational Society of Chicago has passed into history and no longer exists. The Orthodox Christian Educational Society of West Brookfield Massachusetts took over all the work and goods of the Chicago society before the death of Consatntine Andronis who ran that society. Denver Cummings who first translated the Rudder has also passed on to the other world. My name is Raphael or Ralph Masterjohn.  Doinver Cummings was not overly enthusiastic about doing the Rudder but what he did was immensly important and gave me the base and opportunity to edit it in accordance with the original Greek. I spent eight years on this project and the Rudder completely revise is now avilable through us on CD Rom.  It is totallyu hyperlinked as regards a very thorough index. Every synod and father and footnotes are available through hyperlinks.  We are at 280 

New Braintree Road, West Brookfield, Ma. PO Boxes 283. The Rudder is available to bookstores, clergy and monasteries at reduced prices, the price being 99.95.

  I would like to comment on the term "Canon law". This is a western term and there is no such term in Orthodoxy except in error. Laws must be obeyed. Canons ought to be adhered to but are not laws. That is why the bishops are called to use leniency or strictness when applying canons. Every bishop in the Orthodox Church when ordained promises before God to uphold all the Canons of the Church.

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