Skip to main content

Feast Books


Special paraliturgical books that register the annual commemorative meals in a monastic community throughout the calendar year.

Formally the Feast books are similar to Western late medieval anniversary books in parishes and brotherhoods. The Russian term for "feast book" is kormovye kniga, literally "feeding book." Kormy, "feedings," in memory of the deceased, correspond functionally and genetically to anniversary meals in Byzantine monasteries as well as in Western communities. The Russian term reflects the idea that by means of the donation, on the basis of which the meal is established, the monks become guests of the donor. "Feeding" the monks equals alms to the poor, in return for which the monks offer their liturgical services. Kormy were the most representative and most expensive form of commemoration in Muscovite Russia. Regular kormy usually took place on the anniversary of death or on the name day of the deceased. In earlier times, the dates of kormy were registered within the Ustav, the liturgical Rule. Probably as early as the beginning of the sixteenth century, monasteries began to register the dates separately in special Feast Books, but the preserved manuscripts derive only from the last third of that century and from the seventeenth century. The entries range from brief notation of date and name of the commemorated person to elaborate detail concerning donor and donation, the food to be served, and the burial place within the monastery. Some Feast Books additionally specify the menu throughout the year and contain instructions concerning discipline of the brethren, services, distribution of alms, and related matters.

See also: donation books; sorokoust


Steindorff, Ludwig. (1995). "Commemoration and Administrative Techniques in Muscovite Monasteries." Russian History/Histoire Russe 22:433454.

Ludwig Steindorff

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Feast Books." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . 23 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Feast Books." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . (April 23, 2019).

"Feast Books." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved April 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.