CWN - In an interview for the 30th anniversary of his episcopal ordination, Metropolitan Hilarion Volokolamsk spoke about the importance of the sacred liturgy and liturgical music.

The prelate leads the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations.

When he was 15, Metropolitan Hilarion was attending music school, but became “attracted by the very atmosphere of the liturgy” and entered monastic life. “Celebration of the liturgy is the spiritual core around which the whole life of a priest is built up,” he said. “It is the liturgy, the standing at God’s altar that gives you strength to do the rest.”

As a bishop, Metropolitan Hilarion has composed sacred music, including a Stabat Mater cantata. Reflecting on liturgical music, he said:Liturgical singing should be, above all, prayerful. It should not divert people from prayer but rather encourage it. I am very upset when a choir sings too loud or performs concert numbers. What is important in liturgy is integrity, which also concerns the singing of the church choir. I very much love the old Russian chanting. But I also love today’s four-voice polyphony, provided that they sing distinctly and devotionally.

 

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Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

I pray Thee, compassionate Lord, do not allow me to be condemned because of the unworthy and ungrateful manner in which I contemplate the great mysteries that Thou hast revealed to Thy saints and through them to me, a sinner and Thy unworthy servant. For see, Lord, Thy servant stands before Thee, idle in everything, speechless, as one who is dead; and I do not dare to say anything more or to presumptuously contemplate further. But as always I fall down before Thee, crying from the depths of my soul. . . .

St. Peter of Damascus