Cantor's Retreat in Pittsburgh
The Cantor's Day of Reflection and Prayer will be held on Bright Saturday, March 29, at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is open to all cantors and cantors' assistants. The day begins at 9:30 a.m with Divine Liturgy and closes with Vespers of Thomas Sunday at 3:00 p.m. See the registration form for schedule and additional information; please submit a form even if you have previously sent indicated your interest. Deadline for registration is March 14.
A text of the people's parts of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in Slavonic, with English rubrics, is now available which follows the order of the first part of The Divine Liturgies of our Holy Fathers John Chrysostom and Basil the Great. This booklet (28 pages, 14 sheets on legal size paper) was prepared by Cantor Joe Ferenchick of Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and it intended for use in those parishes celebrating the Divine Liturgy in Church Slavonic, either in whole or in part. Many thanks for this valuable contribution!
The Service of the Supplicatory Canon to the Mother of God, also called the Paraklesis or Paraklis, is now available, with complete text (as given in the Ruthenian Čhasoslov) and using the traditional prostopinije melodies. This service may be used throughout the year, but is associated particularly with the Dormition Fast (August 1-14), when it is celebrated daily. Copies (softbound with comb bindings) can be purchased for $10 from the Metropolitan Cantor Institute, or you can download the PDF.Many thanks to those who donated copies for use in the seminary chapel at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh!
The Cantor's Companion provides two melody options for the psalm verses which are sung durng Holy Communion (the psalm verses come from the same psalm as the day's Communion Hymn itself, and are sung with a triple Alleluia refrain):
- The cantor sings each psalm verse to the same melody as the Communion Hymn, and the faithful respond with the triple Alleluia from the Communion Hymn. This requires a fair amount of improvisational skill on the part of the cantor, but makes it easy for the faithful to find the pitch for the refrain.
- The cantor sings each psalm verse to the regular psalm tone, and the faithful respond with the triple Alleluia from the Communion Hymn. Here, the cantor's job is much easier, but finding the pitch for the Alleluia is more difficult.
At last year's Cantor Institute in Pittsburgh, Professor Thompson distributed a set of simple psalm melodies that can be used in singing the verses of the Communion Hymn. These melodies are easy to use, derived from the Communion Hymn melodies themselves, and each one ends on the same pitch that starts the Alleluia refrain. These melodies, along with instructions for their use, can be found on the official publications page.Since all the melodies use the same "pointing" system for the psalms, Professor Thompson has prepared an unofficial reprint of the Communion psalms from the Cantor's Companion, pointed to match the psalm verse melodies.
Due to the interest
in the new Divine Liturgies books, we have
created a separate
"official" publications - those approved by
the Council of Hierarchs - and added ordering information for the
Divine Liturgies book, the Cantor's Companion, and the Divine Liturgies
This new page also includes contributed materials from across the Metropolia, to assist in the use of the new book. We strongly recommend that pastors and cantors look over the bookmarks, inserts and other guides that some parishes are using to familiarize their faithful with the new books and musical settings.
Two New ArticlesWe are pleased to present the following two articles from Pastoral Music, a publication of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians:
- An account of the history of the Greek-Catholic liturgical experience during the immigration to the United States, and prospects for a restoration of Greek-Catholic liturgical traditions in the Byzantine Catholic Church.
- A review of the new Divine Liturgies book by Father Peter Galadza.
New Forum Available
The Metropolitan Cantor Institute now has has an online forum to provide an areas for Byzantine Catholic Cantors to discuss liturgy, music and practical issues, provide mutual support, and pass on suggestions and requests to the Cantor Institute. Drop us a line if you have any suggestions for the new forum, which is still under construction:
The forum is also linked from the top of the home page; we will eventually add a link from the other pages as well.
A complete service book for
is now available from the Metropolitan Cantor
Daily Vespers with the Weekday Octoechos and the Common Stichera for
Classes of Saints (345
pages) gives the ordinary
Daily (as opposed to Great) Vespers, with all of the special
adaptations needed in the Lesser Fasts. The weekday propers in all
eight tones are given, and the "common hymns" of saints (one
apostle, two or more apostles, and so on).
The book also contains the "dismissal theotokia" in all eight tones, which are sung with the troparion at the end of the service. Finally, this volume also contains the "Prayers of Light," so that a priest can celebrate from this book and have everything necessary in one volume.
The only necessary texts for daily Vespers NOT contained in the book are the daily troparia. These can be found in the monthly Menaion (also available from the MCI) or in The Divine Liturgies of our holy fathers John Chrysostom and Basil the Great (available from Byzantine Seminary Press).
The new Daily Vespers book (and the monthly Menaion) can be downloaded from the Publications page, which also has ordering information for printed copies.
Article added 06-17-200
A complete four-part (SATB) harmonization of the first part of the new service book, The Divine Liturgies of our holy fathers John Chrysostom and Basil the Great, is now available from the Metropolitan Cantor Institute. Choir directors are invited to download the harmonization from the new "official publications" page, which has both the new Divine Liturgies book and a variety of addditional unofficial materials to accompany it.This harmonization should be considered a work in progress. We invite you to contact us with comments and suggestions concerning this publication.
Order of the Third Hour availableA booklet for the Order of the Third Hour is now available from the Metropolitan Cantor Institute. This setting does not include the Lenten or Bright Week versions of the hour; instead, it is intended for those parishes that celebrate the Third Hour before the Divine Liturgy.
The Cantor's Companion, which was prepared by the Intereparchial Music Commission to be used with the new service books promulgated by the hierarchs of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh PA, on January 6, 2007, is now available online in PDF format. Printed copies have been mailed to each parish in the Metropolitan Church.
1 - The Role of the Cantor
Chapter 2 - The Church's Liturgy
Chapter 3 - The Church's Plainchant
Chapter 4 - The Cantor and the Typikon
Chapter 5 - The Divine Liturgy of our Holy Father John Chrysostom
Chapter 6 - The Divine Liturgy of our Holy Father Basil the Great
Chapter 7 - The Divine Liturgy for the Departed
Chapter 8 - The Vigil Divine Liturgy
Introductions to the Books of the Old Testament
Introductions to the Books of the New Testament
Vespers: Cantor Verses at the Lamplighting Psalms
The Divine Liturgy: Prokeimena and Alleluia
Table of Communion Hymns
Psalms for Communion
Additional Communion Hymn Verses
Appendix A - History of Prostopiinije
Appendix B - Index to the Music in the Faithful's Book for the Divine Liturgies
Additional printed copies can be ordered from the Metropoltan Cantor Institute, 3605 Perrysville Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15214. Checks should be made out to the ARCHEPARCHY OF PITTSBURGH. Cost is $10 per copy, plus $3 postage and handling.
On January 6, 2007, the hierarchs of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh PA, promulgated new service books for the Divine Liturgy. These books are expected to be in parishes by the end of January. As of June 29, 2007, only the new books are to be used for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in English in the churches of the Archeparchy.
The new people's book, The Divine Liturgies of our Holy Fathers John Chrysostom and Basil the Great, will have complete music for the ordinary hymns of the Divine Liturgies, the Sunday eight tones, and the liturgical year. Parishes will also receive copies of the Cantor's Companion, a volume from the Music Commission that explains the new People's Book and its use, and professional recordings on compact disk of the music in the new Divine Liturgies book.
Once the new books have been distributed to clergy and parishes, we will be using this website to post sheet music, instructional materials, and guidance on introducing the new music. Cantors who are able to travel to Pittsburgh are invited to register and take part in the upcoming Cantor Institute sessions; the Metropolitan Cantor Institute has been teaching the new musical settings for the past year and a half to cantors from across the United States. In the meantime, we are making available the recordings which will accompany the new music, at the top of the Recorded Music page.
Prostopinije Conference in Uzhorod, Ukraine
This year is the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Prostopinije of Bokshai and Malinich. In honor of this anniversary, the Blessed Theodore Romzha Greek Catholic Theological Academy is hosting a conference on the history and use of prostopinije. The conference will be held on June 25-27, 2006 at the seminary in Uzhorod, Ukraine,
Sunday Vespers at Byzantine Catholic Seminary
The Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Ss. Cyril and Methodius begins the celebration of the Lord's Day with Great Vespers, sung by the seminary community at 5:00 p.m each Saturday of the school term. If you are in the neighborhood, we invite you to join with us in greeting Christ, the "joyful Light of the everlasting Father in heaven." (directions to the Seminary)