The texts, music and commentary on this website were prepared by the Metropolitan Cantor Institute of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. They are approved for provisional use in the Archeparchy, but are otherwise unofficial and should be considered superseded by any materials promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs.

Upcoming events

November 30 - MCI Office Hours: 8:30-9 PM and 10-10:30 PM Eastern time. Open chat, 9-10 PM Eastern time. (Zoom link)

Liturgical Calendar

November 15 is the beginning of the Christmas Fast, which ends on December 24.Emmanuel Moleben (supplement)

November 26 is the twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost.Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 3 is the twenty-seventh Sunday after Pentecost.Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 6 is the feast of our holy father Nicholas the Wonder-Worker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia.Vespers (samohlasen) - Matins - Divine Liturgy - Moleben

December 8 is the feast of the Maternity of Holy Anna (Conception of the Theotokos).Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 10 is the twenty-eighth Sunday after Pentecost.Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 12 is the feast of the Theotokos of Guadalupe.Vespers - Divine Liturgy

December 17 is the second Sunday before the Nativity, the Sunday of the Forefathers.Vespers - Divine Liturgy

December 22 is the vigil of the Nativity.Royal Hours (music supplement) - Office of Readings

December 24 is the Sunday before the Nativity.Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy

December 25 is the feast of the NATIVITY (birth) of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.Vespers with Divine Liturgy OR Vespers - Great Compline - Matins - Divine Liturgy

December 26 is the Synaxis of the Theotokos.Divine Liturgy

December 27 is the feast of the holy apostle and first martyr Stephen.Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy - Moleben

December 31 is the Sunday after the Nativity and the commemoration of the realatives of the Lord.Vespers (samohlasen) - Divine Liturgy - Moleben (New Years' Eve)

complete liturgical calendar

Vigil Divine Liturgy propers

December 6 - Saint Nicholas

December 8 - Maternity of Anna

December 12 - Theotokos of Guadalupe

MCI Office Hours, and new day/time for Cantor Chat

I have received several requests to have regular office hours for MCI classes, and it sounds like it may also be useful to have a time people can ask questions about upcoming services, particularly on the weekend.  So beginning this week, I will be hosting the following every Thursday on Zoom:

    8:30 - 9 PM (Eastern TIme)      Office hours (early)

    9:00 - 10 PM (Eastern)               Cantor chat / open discussion

    10 - 10:30 PM  (Eastern)            Office hours (late)   

This should make things more accessible and predictable for cantors in any of the North American time zones.  If you're taking an MCI class OR just have questions, you can stop in for help or answers, early or late, without having to make arrangements in advance.  To just chat with other cantors, stop in for the middle hour.  I hope you can make it!

The schedule and Zoom link will be posted here on the MCI home page, top right under Upcoming Events.  If I have to cancel office hours for any reason, that will be noted in the same place. Noe that this is a NEW Zoom meeting, so any old links can be discarded.

Annual Typikon now available for 2024

The 2024 Annual Typikon is now available from the Byzantine Seminary Press:

If you don't have a common of the Common Typikon already - AND your parish celebrates Vespers or Matins - you probably need the Common Typikon as well (unchanging from year to year):

For more about both these books, and how to use them, see the MCI Online course Introduction to the Typikon, which is enabled for guest access.  This information is also summarized at Setting the Services.

Organization for Cantors Formed!

It is my pleasure to announce that there is now an organization for the cantors of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church in the United States - all four eparchies.  Membership is open to those who regularly lead the singing at church services in one of our parishes or missions, as well as anyone who has in the past been a regular parish cantor for five years or more.

You can find a membership application and the new group's bylaws here:

The officers of the new organization are president Steve Petach and secretary/treasurer Sandra Polocz.  You are invited to the weekly Tuesday Cantor Chat (link provided on the Cantors list below, or write me for more information) to find out more. 

Hymnal update

Based on input from Bishop Milan of Parma, and after consultation with a number of other contributors, I have decided to split the draft hymnal into two pieces - one with the traditional "core" hymns for the liturgical year, in English and original languages on opposite pages;  and one with the more recent hymns "for Sundays and feast-days."    I believe this will be easier to use overall, and simpler than seasonal hymnals with duplicated material in each one.

Here are the two volumes, which I will be sending to the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission for review and consideration:

Use  them as you like;  please send me any suggestions you may have!  Individual pages of both books can be printed from the Hymnal Project page, inserted into parish bulletins, etc.  I plan to make recordings of each hymn or tune, and also provide harmonizations, as soon as the Music Commission has finished its review!

Prayer in time of coronavirus

O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in Your ineffable goodness, look down upon Your people gathered in Your name.  Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction.  You know our weakness.  You hear our cry of repentance and contrition of heart.  O Lord who lovest mankind, deliver us from the impending threat of the Coronavirus.  Send Your Angel to watch over us and protect us.  Grant health and recovery to those suffering  from this virus.  Guide the hands of physicians, and preserve those who are healthy that we may continue to serve you in peace and glorify Your most honorable and majestic Name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

(Bishop Alexis of Bethesda, MD, Orthodox Church in America)

Resources for Prayer at Home

During the current viral outbreak, many churches have been forced to curtail services. Therefore, we would like to make available the following materials for use at home.

From St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church in Whiting, Indiana:

The Office of Typika for Home Use

Typika is a Byzantine monastic service which includes the readings of the day; it was originally a service for communion when monks could not attend church services. Anyone can pray this version of the service, individually or in a small group. For the appointed Scriptural readings, on Saturday and Sunday use the ones on the church calendar. On Lenten weekdays, use the readings on the church calendar for the day from Genesis and Proverbs, or read a portion of the Gospel of Saint Mark.

The regular version can be viewed online or printed on ordinary letter-size paper; the booklet version is set up for printing on legal size (8.5 by 14 inch) paper.

The Moleben for the Sick

This service, from our Slavonic Trebnyk or "Book of Needs", is a prayer service for one or more people who are sick. It is from the Liturgical Commission's work on the service for the anointing of the sick, which has been submitted to the Council of Hierarchs for approval. Unlike the sacramental anointing of the sick, however, this service can be prayed by individuals and families on their own.

Both the regular version and booklet version are set up for printing on letter size (8.5 by 11 inch) paper.

Reading Scripture

You can find the Scripture readings (chapter and verses) for each of these services on your church calendar, or in the Lectionary.

Live-streamed Liturgical Services

The following is the best collection I have found of live-streamed Eastern Catholic liturgical services, so that you can participate in worship from home:

You can use the following books to take part in the Divine Liturgy:

People's book for the Divine Liturgy

Read about the recent Church Music Day in Pittsburgh

From Bishop Milan of the Eparchy of Parma, Ohio:

"Cherish the beauty of our prostopinije, our liturgical chant. We constantly need to work on it. " - pastoral letter for the new Church year

Seminary library seeks cantor papers

The library of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary is assembling a collection of music and papers from our cantors and choir directors since the founding of our church in the United States. These collections are being indexed and preserved so that that they can be used for research by scholars, and also for fostering our church singing in the future.

If your parish or a retired cantor you know has music, memorabilia, or recordings which might have a place in this collection, please contact Deacon Jeffrey Mierzejewski (412 735-1676, or library director Sandra Collins (412 32-8383). We also invite donations of materials from family and friends of our cantors who have reposed; this collection will serve as a permanent memorial to their labors.

Mailing List for Cantors

We have migrated the old MCI mailing lists to single list, This new list should be more reliable than the one we have been using, and does NOT require the creation of a Yahoo ID. It also has more options for collaboration, including a wiki and post tagging.

This list will be used for both announcements, and general (moderated) discussion. If you wish to receive email ONLY for announcements, you can set your subscription options to "Special Notices Only."

To subscribe to the list, just go to

Documenting the history of our church music - how you can help

The Metropolitan Cantor Institute is working with the Byzantine Catholic Seminary Library to put together material to document the history of the liturgical music of the Byzantine Catholic Church, both plain chant and choral music. Please consider contributing to these two efforts:

In early 2018, we will also be distributing images of particular pieces of music or other memorabilia we would like to find or identify.

What is the Metropolitan Cantor Institute?

The Metropolitan Cantor Institute exists to support and foster liturgical singing in the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh. At the direction of our bishops, and in cooperation with our clergy and experienced cantors, the Institute trains and certifies cantors for the service of the church, prepares music and educational materials, and provides workshops and seminars in church singing.

The mission of the Metropolitan Cantor Institute:

To ensure that each parish in the Byzantine Catholic Church has a cantor who can lead the liturgical singing of the parish well, to the glory of God and in support of the prayer of the faithful.

For more information, click on Cantor Institute in the left-hand navigation bar on this page.