www.byzcath.org
The Sunday of the Righteous Ancestors
(the two Sundays prior to December 25)
sung to the tune, St. Lewis (�O Little Town of Bethlehem�)

O come, you lovers of the feasts!
With gladness let us raise
For Patriarchs and Prophets blest
A hymn of thankful praise!
For Abraham and Isaac
And Jacob and his seed
Whose covenant with God endured,
We give You praise, indeed!

Believers, let us praise this day
The fathers on faith�s trek;
For Adam, Enoch, Noah and
The great Melchizedek!
For prophets like Isaiah,
For Daniel and the youths
Who, in the face of evil, still
Proclaimed Your holy truths.

For Miriam, Sarah, Rachel fair,
For Hannah and for Eve,
For all the mothers who conceived
And bore those to believe
That God would keep His promise,
We give You thanks this day;
So give us grace, in all our deeds,
To serve you, as did they!

O Bethlehem, prepare yourself,
O Ephrathah, rejoice!
The gate of Eden�s open wide!
Cry out with joy-filled voice:
Our Christ makes haste to come now
And brings us back to grace.
Prepare your hearts, your homes, your lives!
Give Christ the finest place!


The Holy Prophet Daniel
and the Three Holy Youths Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael
December 17

(to be sung to the tune, �Prizri, O Marije�)

As a star, resplendent,
announces the break of day,
We praise you, O Daniel,
who prophecied Messiah�s way.
As the feast approaches,
we are filled with gladness!
Hear Your saints, O Master,
who join us as we pray.

Through the firey furnace,
O youths, you blessed your fathers� God.
Heedless of temptation,
in purity God�s path you trod!
As the feast approaches,
we are filled with gladness!
Hear Your saints, O Master,
who join us as we pray.

Fortified by fasting,
you holy ones were bold and brave,
Kept safe by You, Lord God,
who show yourself as strong to save!
As the feast approaches,
we are filled with gladness!
Hear Your saints, O Master,
who join us as we pray.

(These texts are based on the stichera
of Vespers for December 17 from the Menaion.)

The Sunday after Christmas:
Commemoration of the holy and just Joseph,
David the King, and James, Brother of the Lord

to be sung to the tune, �Mendelssohn� (i.e., Hark! the Herald Angels Sing)

Glory to the Lord of all,
Born in cave to save us all,
He, the sole-begotten One,
Born the Virgin�s only Son!
Changeless God a Man is made,
Saving us, the sore afraid!
Glory to Your birth, O Lord!
By Your Church be e�er adored!
Hark! the herald angels sing:
�Glory to the new-born King!�

For Saint Joseph, righteous one,
Guardian of the Virgin�s Son;
For King David, bold and strong,
Singer of the Lord�s new song;
For the brother of the Lord,
James, the preacher of the Word:
Thanks and praise Your Church shall bring
To Your throne, O infant King!
Hark! the herald angels sing:
�Glory to the new-born King!�

Hail, O Christ, our Savior-Lord!
Ev�ry praise let us afford
For Your coming as a man
To fulfill the Father�s plan!
By Your birth, You set us free,
Newborn souls in You to be!
Guard us, keep us free from fear;
Grant us peace, a glad new year!
Hark! the herald angels sing:
�Glory to the new-born King!�

The Sunday before Theophany
Epistle: II Timothy 4: 5-8
Gospel: Mark 1: 1-8
tune: Kol slaven nas

Thus says the Lord: �I send before you
My messenger, your way to prepare!�
Now hear the voice of someone shouting:
�Make for the Lord a path straight and fair!
For One is coming, greater than I�
Come and repent!� was John the Baptist�s cry!

�For after me, Another is coming,
Mightier than I, our God�s only Son;
He will baptize with God�s Holy Spirit,
And with Them both is truly One!
For One is coming, greater than I�
Come and repent!� was John the Baptist�s cry!

For those who wait the manifestation
Of Jesus Christ, that day will shine
And crowns of righteousness and glory
Wait there for all of Abraham�s line!
�For One is coming, greater than I�
Come and repent!� was John the Baptist�s cry!

The Sunday after Theophany
Epistle: Ephesians 4: 7-12
Gospel: Matthew 4: 12-17
tune: Kol slaven nas

When John was placed in prison by Herod,
Jesus then left for Galilee,
Forsaking Nazareth, he dwelt in
Capernaum, beside the sea:
�All those who walked in darkness and shadow
Now by the light of God�s own glory see!�

The gospel preached by Jesus the Savior
Stirs still the hearts of those who hear:
�Repent! the reign of God is coming!
God�s love and care for all is clear!�
�All those who walked in darkness and shadow
Now by the light of God�s own glory see!�

For each of us by God has been given
Grace in the gen�rous measure of Christ!
The same Lord Christ whose presence is filling
heaven and earth, who paid sin�s dread price.
�All those who walked in darkness and shadow
Now by the light of God�s own glory see!�
Dear Professor,

If these texts and melodies are intended for latins or for singing at home or something, then forgive me. But if your intentions are for these to be sung in byzantine churches then I would have a major problem with that.
If the structure and basis of these 'hymns' are based on stichira, then why not just sing the true stikhira in their appointed tone?
Why must we resort to "o little town of bethlehem" and "hark the herald angels sing". It is un-canonical for this type of stuff to be sung in church especially to non-church tunes. There have been many articles written by orthodox hierarchs on the troubles of "Our Father" and other liturgical texts being sung to various classical composers. Even Baroque Church music is not pure and the orthodox are moving away from that too. Why then are we intoducing it? You may be opening pandora's box that will set back proper church singing in byzantine churches for decades.
We should be rediscovering our traditional church music and building off that.
This is not a matter of taste, it is a matter of pinije vs muzika. In slavonic there is a distinction made in the language between church music and secular music. Music of the church is seen as being on a completely other level than artistic, worldly music.

I am sure you are aware of what galician melodies are capable of sounding like (the harmonizations of Fr. Conrad Dachuk come to mind). Kievan melodies are out of this world. Podobens, Bulgarski, Znamenni (leser and greater), what an undiscovered wealth of beauty. Give Daniil and myself another couple of years of working at it and we will have some real gems.

Ilya
Ilya,

I can only say AMEN!

Andrij
(wannabe pivets)
With all due respect to the work that you are doing with plainchant Professor, I have to agree. Why not encourage singing portions of Matins or Vespers proper to the feast or in the tone of the Sunday, rather than re-creating the wheel. We've been doing this alot at our church, especially singing the exaltation of matins on special feasts, ie. "We extol you, O Christ the giver of life, and we..." with the proper verses. This seems to work, especially since it's refrain and verse. This is usually repeated during the communion as well.

Again, no offense intended, but using music from matins and vespers would help to teach this un-sung treasury and hopefully, one day aid in the restoration of the divine praises more widely on a parish level.

John.
Amin, Illya. I regularly lament the loss of podobni, samopodobni, etc. that our musical tradition was once so rich. You are not alone in your observations and feelings, believe me.

But as my spiritual father told me when I was explaining one of my laments to him, you have to do something about it, and not just lament it. You have to learn the music and not only learn it but use it. We have regular Vespers and I have found that people pick up pretty quick, actually, on Samohlasni for the stikhera.

I too have to wholeheartedly give kudos to Fr. Conrad's work on Tranquil Light and other English settings of stikhera and troparia. They are good texts and extremely singeable.

Drillock and others also have some very singeable settings of Obikhod, Znamenny, Carpatho-Russian and various other chant traditions. I think it is not much harder to learn the Samohlasni and Bulharski as it is to force fit a text to a set melody outside of the tradition.

When I was at St. Basil's Joe Roll would give us a text and make us sing it in any tone Samohlasni that he threw at us as a sort of "quiz". But anyone can do it if I can do it. wink
Daniil and I work on music constantly.
Frankly, I didn't know stuff like this was even going on (besides St. Demetrius in T.O.).
But then again its too easy to lose touch in Brampton, you take what you have for granted. Moving to Ottawa has been a sobering experience. Needless to say, the only place where I feel at home is at the OCA and Saint Xenia's. My sister does her best with trying to help with the singing at the shrine, but it is difficult even for her.

Oh, by the way there is only one 'l' in my name

Ilya
Hey Ilya:

What do you have in the way of written out galician chants? We at V&O's have a lot written out by your uncle but I myself am always on the lookout for additional stuff. We might be able to do some business. Thanks!

Yours,

hal
I only have a few things of father Conrads, there is a lot more that he has stashed away. Most of my stuff is still stashed in my head. I will ask Daniil tonight what he has (I know he has been writing some stuff recently).

Ilya
I remeber it's only one "l", my keyboard has had too much coffee spilt on it and some if not most of the keys stick now.

Most if not all of what I have of Fr. Conrad's your father passed to me. I suppose someone could run to Welland somtime and dig some more out?
Well, Professor, here is one guy that likes your hymns! I find these and all your newly composed hymn lyrics to be perfectly in line with the para-liturgical hymnography of Carpatho-Rus' and surrounding areas.

Dave
It'll be very tough to beat your revised version of "Kumbaya", when it comes to liturgical hymn adaptations, Dave... wink
Geez, you are NEVER going to let me live that one down, eh? :p

Dave
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Gentlemen who have posted:

Would it not be a tad more prudent, and in line with Christian charity, to ask questions before making condemnations?

First of all, at the seminary, we are singing the very podobni you are talking about, and making them available in whole services to parishes and cantors that wish to establish/re-establish the singing of Vespers and Matins according to the fullness of the prostopinije traditions.

Secondly, at our Cathedral in Munhall, we sing the Praises from Matins before the Divine Liturgy every Sunday, so that people are getting more exposed to these tones as well.

However, in many of our Byzantine Catholic parishes, that which is sung before the Divine Liturgy has no sense of being part of the liturgical year. The provision of texts composed in the spirit of the proper hymnody of Vespers and Matins, sung to familiar tunes (mostly Rusyn melodies, but at Christmas with other quite well-established "western" melodies) is introducing some people for the first time that para-liturgical hymnody can be sung that isn't only connected with the Theotokos or the Most Holy Mystery of the Eucharist.

If they are of no use to you, ignore them. But they are far from being illegal or immoral or even fattening. And, Ilya, I am profoundly aware that in your father's parish in Brampton you sing para-liturgical hymnody, even things completely western (i.e., NOT inspired by Byzantine hymnody), so I find this rather strident comment both out of character for you and a little unkind. Nonetheless, I wish for you and for all posters a blessed Philip's Fast, with whatever you are singing---and for a deepening of the observance of the Divine Praises in all parishes of the Byzantine and Ukrainian Catholic Churches.

In Christ,
(Prof.) J. Michael Thompson
Byzantine Catholic Seminary
Pittsburgh, PA
Quote
Originally posted by Professor J. Michael Thompson:
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Gentlemen who have posted:

Would it not be a tad more prudent, and in line with Christian charity, to ask questions before making condemnations?

(snip)

However, in many of our Byzantine Catholic parishes, that which is sung before the Divine Liturgy has no sense of being part of the liturgical year. The provision of texts composed in the spirit of the proper hymnody of Vespers and Matins, sung to familiar tunes (mostly Rusyn melodies, but at Christmas with other quite well-established "western" melodies) is introducing some people for the first time that para-liturgical hymnody can be sung that isn't only connected with the Theotokos or the Most Holy Mystery of the Eucharist.

If they are of no use to you, ignore them. But they are far from being illegal or immoral or even fattening. And, Ilya, I am profoundly aware that in your father's parish in Brampton you sing para-liturgical hymnody, even things completely western (i.e., NOT inspired by Byzantine hymnody), so I find this rather strident comment both out of character for you and a little unkind. Nonetheless, I wish for you and for all posters a blessed Philip's Fast, with whatever you are singing---and for a deepening of the observance of the Divine Praises in all parishes of the Byzantine and Ukrainian Catholic Churches.

In Christ,
(Prof.) J. Michael Thompson
Byzantine Catholic Seminary
Pittsburgh, PA
Ilya,


I myself tend to cringe at the singing of "western" hymns and Christmas carols in paraliturgical settings, though I hardly think of them as "un-canonical". Inappropriate is the word that comes more to my mind. If we have a treasury of hymnody we should endeavour to restore it. I have been going through some Ukranian kolady books and discovering some beautiful melodies in there. Though they are not necessarily of the tradition of my parish and my church.

You wrote:

"Why must we resort to "o little town of bethlehem" and "hark the herald angels
sing". It is un-canonical for this type of stuff to be sung in church especially to
non-church tunes."

Do you have a reference in the canon law that would back up your case?

Travel to other parishes within your eparchy as well as outside before you condemn what goes on in other parishes. Brampton is NOT the center of OUR universe, though it may be for your own. eek While in your view your parish is the norm by which all else shall follow, I don't know what your parish does as a norm except by what truth you choose to print here. I see by Prof. Thompson's reply that you may not be telling us the truth as it should be.

You also wrote:
"We should be rediscovering our traditional church music and building off that.
This is not a matter of taste, it is a matter of pinije vs muzika. In slavonic there is a
distinction made in the language between church music and secular music. Music
of the church is seen as being on a completely other level than artistic, worldly
music."


So "Nebo I Zemlya" (excuse the lack of cyrillic character usage) can't be used since it is worldly music? Look at the structure of the music. "Kol Slaven Nas" is definitely too western as Bortnianski had a western music influence through his travel in Europe. I don't think the Slavonic language has any say in what is and is not church music. I would suppose the "Da Ispolnjatsja" in it's many musical incarnations is not liturgical. Do you have a true liturgical, ie pinije vs muzika, music arrangement/setting for "Da ispolnjatsja" that is used exclusively for church?

I think sometime we all do get hung up on how to do things 'right' and forget that the words of prayer are more important by far than the music accompanying them.
If a parish sings "Ize cheruvimy" to the tune of "Koly Jasna Zvisda" and understands the beauty of the words of the hymn, sings from the heart, does that mean they will be forsaken because it isn't 'canonical'?

Back to preparing for tomorrow's liturgy,


Steve Petach
Well said, Professor.

I would hazard a guess, by the way, that Galician/Kievan/Znammeny tones in our particular church would be more controversial than most hymn tunes that are well-established in the American culture.
[rant] The following applies to music, as well as other aspects of our services (be they Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Chaldean, etc.). We have a treasure trove of texts, melodies, services and traditions. Why must we re-invent the wheel and come up with new elements based on western influences while ignoring our own? Yes, it's easier to feed parishes something based on melodies they hear around them during this season. But since when are we on the easy path? This goes for liturgical shortcuts as well. "Do we really need all those verses?" "We can skip over that - the service is almost an hour long as it is!" "What's Compline?" But amazing things can happen when things start being done by the book (as we've been told to do by our boss, the Pope). People hear beautiful music, theologically rich texts and then wonder why they've never heard it before. What do we tell them? 'Well, nobody wanted it'? How can you want something you know nothing about? [/rant]

Professor, please forgive. This isn't a personal attack on you and all of your work. I appreciate the work you've done on chant (for starters). Seeing what I have of parishes, as well as what people can be like, I can't understand these current offerings. People will pick up on these quick and easy, along with any other "normal" (read as what *real* Catholics do) liturgical elements. And, following along from what djs said, traditional melodies will be even more difficult to introduce, it seeming even more foreign. If we were working on a "native" chant tradition for North America (note: anyone who wants to discuss this *please* start another thread) that would be a completely different story. But this isn't NA chant...

Sorry, I feel myself slipping back into rant mode again. This is a topic I get worked up over. I remember back when I was like the majority of the people in our churches: show up for Sunday and (some) Liturgies, sing Amen-LHM-TYOL-GTOL while the cantor wailed away. Then one day I started looking at what he was actually singing, then looking into the music (which was much better than his rendition) and was completely flabbergasted! eek I couldn't believe we had let the meat, the 'good stuff' be neglected so much. I've heard so many 'cradles' say "our services are boring - same thing every time except for a bit of funny moaning towards the begining. I was at a xxxxx church a few times and there's so much variety - so interesting."

Apologies, I must stop - I keep slipping into a rant. I've re-written bits of this a number of times, and thought of not posting it at all, but I feel I must say something. I don't mean to offend.

Andrij
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear Ilya,

I was not in my office when I typed my reply to you, and didn't have the reference I wanted to quote.

In the booklet "Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom: An Outline for Advent Chant," prepared in 1997 and revised in 1998 by Archpriest Roman Galadza of St. Elias Church in Brampton, Ontario, two Western hymns are utilized: "People look east" (given for before the service) and "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" (given as a Communion Hymn in two languages: the English translation of the Latin text by John Mason Neale, and a Ukrainian translation of the text by Archpriest Conrad Dachuk).

I wouldn't be able to use either one of these hymns in the Byzantine Catholic places where I work, because of their "Western" origin. Fr. Roman has used them, and used them well. That's why I was so surprised when you reacted as you did in the above post.

The melodies "Mendelssohn" and "St. Lewis" were both sung in Byzantine Catholic parishes and institutions long before my arrival in Pittsburgh, and are available in the Christmas booklets published by Msgr. William Levkulic (may his memory be eternal!)

The Rev. Dr. Peter Galadza has defended the use of certain hymns and carols of Western origin as paraliturgical hymnody in Ukrainian Catholic parishes.

At this point, I fail to understand what you're getting at. All singing in our parishes which is not according to the eight-tone system is "non-canonical." (See vonGardner, "Russian Church Singing, pp. 101-103, and his discussion of "Canonical and Non-Canonical Singing.") The bulk of the melodies used for the Ordinary of the Divine Liturgy in both the Galician and the Carpatho-Rusyn traditions is "non-canonical" by this definition (excepting, of course, the Resurrection Tones of the Troparia and the ancient znamenny-rooted melodies of the Prokeimena and Alleluiaria).

I go into this in some detail because it is important for the restoration of the prostopinije tradition that there not be a wholesale abolition of non-chant materials, whether choral settings or para-liturgical "spiritual songs." As in many things, this needs to be a "both-and" situation rather than an "either-or" solution.

Greetings of the Fast to all.

(Prof.) J. Michael Thompson
Byzantine Catholic Seminary
Pittsburgh, PA
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear Andrij,

You posted:

"Why must we re-invent the wheel and come up with new elements based on western influences while ignoring our own? Yes, it's easier to feed parishes something based on melodies they hear around them during this season. But since when are we on the easy path? This goes for liturgical shortcuts as well. "Do we really need all those verses?" "We can skip over that - the service is almost an hour long as it is!" "What's Compline?" But amazing things can happen when things start being done by the book (as we've been told to do by our boss, the Pope)."

How could you assume that the posting of these new texts for use before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy even possibly (!!) take the place of any liturgical text? Where did I post such a thing?

I get a considerable amount of "flak" for insisting that services be done in their integrity, both with texts and with the proper prostopinije melodies. We are singing things at the Seminary and at the Cathedral that haven't been in common use in those institutions since the time of Fr. Stavrosky (may his memory be eternal!) in the 1950s--podobens, different melodies for various portions of the Divine Liturgy and the Divine Praises, and even paraliturgical hymnody from Carpatho-Rus'and Galicia.

Where did the concept come from that I wanted these things to take the place of anything liturgical?

Especially at Christmas time, when the melodies of the Alleluias in the eight tones are replaced by those of Galician carols, and when the "Lord have mercy" response at the Litija of the Nativity Compline are complete replaced by stanzas of Galician carols---both of which practices are pretty unknown in the Rusyn world---well, what I am saying is that those practices are quite common. And they are not practices which I would recommend in any Rusyn parish, because we don't need to change the "canonical" melodies to accommodate the Christmas carols. The only use of carol melodies in the Divine Liturgy among Rusyns would be the singing of the Cherubic Hymn, the Anamnesis Acclamation ("We praise you...") and the Communion Hymn to the carol melody, "Divnaja novina."

Somehow, someone has set up a straw man.

To conclude: I am not an advocate of replacing liturgical texts/melodies with non-liturgical texts or melodies. I am, however, an advocate of trying to add a liturgical and seasonal dimension to the paraliturgical singing in the Byzantine Catholic Church. None of this is done with any sacrificing of the traditional melodies--indeed, they are used and fostered and taught in all the places where I am fortunate enough to be employed: the Seminary, the Cathedral, and the Metropolitan Cantor Institute.

Sincere best wishes for a peaceful Philip's Fast.

(Prof.) J. Michael Thompson
Byzantine Catholic Seminary
Pittsburgh, PA
Professor Thompson,

I continue to applaud your efforts to assist those of us who attemting to restore the traditional cycle of liturgical services in our parishes. Your arrangements of Byzantine hymnody in "western" melodies have allowed our cantors to recover in a introductory way our liturgical patrimony in a small, but effective, manner. So in a real sense your work has had a didactic effect upon our cantors, and although to some who have posted here they view this as a step backward, it has allowed our cantors to go beyond the standard repetoire of opening or recessional hymns. (Hey they do not even sing Marian hymns at Communion.) For us, there has been teaching moments as well. In addition, we have begun to introduce Festal Vespers on a limited basis, which was not celebrated in years past, and on the December 5, we celebrated Vespers for Saint Nicholas. There were about 25 faithful in attendance on that Friday night which was a very prayerful experience for those who participated.

Thank you again!
Dear Professor Thompson,

My apologies. I didn't mean to imply that you personally wanted to make liturgical changes. From what I've learned previously I reaslised you are a traditionalist. It was meant as a general rant.

At times I can be pessimistic and fear a 'slippery slope'.

Please forgive.

Andrij
Question:

Were not these original Rusyn, Galician, and the such, melodies based on traditional folk melodies? It seems to me that using melodies of our culture is traditional.

Furthermore, if I had the talent of a Tchaikovsky, could I not write new tones? I didn't realize that tones were canonical and hallowed in and of themselves. (Wait until the Russians and Ukranians find out that their tones are heretical wink )

John

John
I am very sorry if I offended.
As for the singing of western songs in our church in Brampton, needless to say I was too young when my father printed those books. We havn't sung "people Look East" in years. I still have a problem with "O Come O Come Emmanuel". Give me a few years on that.
I completely agree that things are not perfect in Brampton, but after 4 months of being in ottawa there is no comparison.

Quote
Originally posted by Professor J. Michael Thompson:

How could you assume that the posting of these new texts for use before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy even possibly (!!) take the place of any liturgical text? Where did I post such a thing?

You answered your own question. Why aren't the 3rd and 6th hours read before liturgy? Why aren't the Prayers after Communion read after?
I do have a problem with Alleluia sung to "vo vyfleemy" etc. I think there is a lot of better music out there that is meant for liturgy.
I am sorry but I stick to my original position.

I am glad to hear that you are doing work at rhe seminary with podobens etc., but what about the rest of the byzantine churches in the states? Should we be giving them an unnecessary desert before they eat their own dinner?

It's the next generation of hell-raising Galadza's.

I am sorry again.

Ilya
Funny enough,

Tchaikovsky was taken to court because he did not base his music on old church melodies. There was actually a law passed in pre-revolutionary russia that prohibited "new" church music compositions (ie ones that were not at all based on traditional chants). This was done as an attempt to move away from baroque and Saint-Petersburg style of music. This is why there is such an awsome revival of znamenni chant at the end of the 19th beginning of the 20th century. Kastalsky was a pefect example of this, traditional chants INFLUENCED by folk music and it can be done with our stuff too.

I am not saying that traditional carols anf stuff have to be removed, that would be silly. Work with what we have.

Ilya
Ilya, I think you have the story on Tchaikovsky slightly amiss. His legal problems originated from publication without approval of the censor; Bakhmetev wished to keep the monopoly on publication of religious music. From Bortniansky to that time, the composed music had a heavy Italian, and later German, influence. The publication of Tchaikovsky's setting of the Divine Liturgy is regarded as a break with controlling officials who were maintaining that current, and a return to ideas that were more authentically "Russian" (in the broad sense).

You bring up some interesting points, but this topic will be harder to discuss than Purgatory if you don't try to be a little clearer by what you mena by Western, what is inappropriate in e.g., Bortniansky, what is appropriate about Kastalsky. Is it simply antiquarianism or do you have somthing more substantial in mind? In this regard, is part singing appropriate? If you justify that Western innovation, how and where do you draw the line?

Andrij, I am not sure what you are making of my point that you cited in your post to PJMT. The two strongest cultural currents in the parish lives of most members of the BCC in the US are Carpatho-Rusyn (whether they know it or not) and American Borrowing of tunes from our own cultures - this is highly precedented in our music, as mentioned by others. Our tones, however, represent a particular development within our church. I am passionate about our cherishing this patrimony. It is a particular responsibility that we have. And, I see no reason to import any other tone schemes from any other traditions into our church. That is the idea behind my remark. Others might not like our way, but it's probably one of those things that people from one particular church should show some solicitude about, rather than ranting on the traditions and currents in another particular church.
Prof. Thompson,

I to apologize if I offended. I did not mean what I said as a personal attack. In fact I think that the texts are quite nice and eastern sounding.

My whole point was that instead of introducing new paraliturgical hymnody to be sung before the liturgy, why not draw on the existing chant repetoire for vespers and matins?

Our choir still has to sing Adams' "O Holy Night" on Christmas because "it's traditional." See what I mean?

John.
I think that the Ruthenian Metropolia has to re-evaluate the lack of concern for the tradition of Plainchant. While it might be nice for some to hear newly-created para-liturgical hymns, I think there is a greater need for the study of Prostopinije as a whole. We all know that there has been too much disregard for the education of trained cantors. Instead of trying to create a overly-simplified reptoire of chant melodies in order to quickly train new cantors, a more extensive study and rediscovery of Plainchant has to be created. There have been cantors who have created voluminous collections of Plainchant which the heirarchy has refused to recognize. For what ever reason, our hierarchy really doesn't what to retain our indigeous liturgical tradition. It will be a sad day when this once-time honored tradition disappears because of apathy.

Ung-Certez

Ung-Certez
Quote
I would hazard a guess, by the way, that Galician/Kievan/Znammeny tones in our particular church would be more controversial than most hymn tunes that are well-established in the American culture.
This comment is strange if not ridiculous. Why would melodies near if not within the tradition cause consterntation? Is there some inherent bias present here?

I have heard Tone 6 Kyivan in use at more than one BCC parish, and by the way many Galician melodies are close to Prostopinje melodies. Both Galician and Rusyn churches have borrowed melodies back and forth.

In the far reaches of the Midwest/West where any Greek Catholic parishes are few and far apart, some have mixed congregations and thus mixed musical usages. Nothing wrong with a more well-rounded and inclusive approach to incorporating the chant tradition of the Slavic churches.

And with regard to Znamenny, those are fightin' words. The proper traditional Dohmati and Irmosi even in the Prostopinje chant tradition are Znamenny melodies or often derived from Znamenny. Znamenny is a definite part of the Rusyn chant tradition, although it has all but fallen into complete disuse.

Dear Ung, you raise some good points. Like with seminaries, educational institutions and the like, it would be nice if the Greek Catholic churches of Carpathian extraction would work together instead of either competing or operating in vacuums.

Would it be so hard to unify on the preservation and promulgation of the unique corpus of Carpathian chant, both prostopinje and samoylka? I'm dreaming again, excuse me.
Quote
Is there some inherent bias present here?
from dictionary.com
bias: a preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment.

Of course, there is some bias! I also have heard tones from other traditions in our church. My preference or inclination would be to use our own, even though I might impartially judge as better, musically or for simplicity, some substitute. If we, ourselves, do not work resolutely to preserve this particular legacy, who will?

The situation in parishes that are serving people of different traditions obviously requires more flexibility, but, ISTM, that typically within the BCC, it should be automatic that we should promote song of our own tradition, which, as I noted above is first Carpatho-Rusyn prostopinije and secondly American. These traditions would strike a resonance that other, unfamiliar "melodies near if not within the tradition" would not.

What, btw, are your criteria of "nearness" of a melody? Tones from across the border might be close in geography, they might sometimes be close also in some musical senses, but ultimatley they will lack the familiar nature, the sense of "ownership", that is inherent in "our" music.

I agree that there has been substantial borrowing and have read on the connection of our Irmosi to the Znamenny. But I don't see how that would warrant substitution of the latter, when different, for the former, apart from occasional exotic departure. And while borrowing across the Carpathian ridge in hymnody has been very substantial, but again this is not to suggest substitution for liturgical prosopinije.
Quote
Originally posted by Ung-Certez:
I think that the Ruthenian Metropolia has to re-evaluate the lack of concern for the tradition of Plainchant. While it might be nice for some to hear newly-created para-liturgical hymns, I think there is a greater need for the study of Prostopinije as a whole. We all know that there has been too much disregard for the education of trained cantors. Instead of trying to create a overly-simplified reptoire of chant melodies in order to quickly train new cantors, a more extensive study and rediscovery of Plainchant has to be created. There have been cantors who have created voluminous collections of Plainchant which the heirarchy has refused to recognize. For what ever reason, our hierarchy really doesn't what to retain our indigeous liturgical tradition. It will be a sad day when this once-time honored tradition disappears because of apathy.

Ung-Certez

Ung-Certez
Ung Certez,

You seem to imply that there is a lack of concern regarding the plainchant at the executive (hierarchal) level. I would disagree in that what I see is a steady return to the traditions by both the hierarchy and the parishes. As one of those cantors attending the Metropolitan Cantor Institute in Pittsburgh over the past 4 years, I can most certainly state that the focus is anything BUT an emphasis on a "overly-simplified reptoire of chant melodies in order to quickly train new cantors".
If that were the case, I would not travel the distances I do!

Rather than bemoaning what you feel will happen inevitably, help out, be proactive rather than reactive. Support the cantors, support the Seminary, support the seminarians and deacon candidates.

" It will be a sad day when this once-time honored tradition disappears because of apathy."

I agree that it will be a sad day, however I will do what it takes to NOT let that happen in my lifetime.

Steve
You missed my point. In a parish of mixed provenance between Galician and Rusyns, why should there not be a mixed Carpathian musical tradition?

Quote
What, btw, are your criteria of "nearness" of a melody? Tones from across the border might be close in geography, they might even be close some musical senses, but ultimatley they will lack the familiar nature, the sense of "ownership", that is a very important quality.
The similarity of melodies of various Carpathian subtraditions has been noted by various musicologists. Likewise anyone who has spent much time in both Galician (especially parishes made up of Hutsul, Boyko and other mountain people) and Rusyn parishes can hear that some melodies are similar. Some of these vary only by a couple of notes, some by entire phrases.

So because one melody is from another village on the other side of a mountain, yet within the general musical and liturgical tradition, that should be discarded for one in another culture entirely that is neither of the liturgical tradition nor anywhere near the musical?

If I am concerned with trying to save Tennesee Appalachian fiddle music I would certainly consider a Kentucky fiddle tune part of the family musically and not set those tunes to Jamaican reggae.
Dear Ung,

I agree with what you are aiming for. But aren't those goals shared broadly? Aren't they what motivated the recruiting of Professor Thompson? Aren't they what is driving his work and the work of the liturgical music commision mentioned in the posted Van Nuys newsletter?
Quote
You missed my point. In a parish of mixed provenance between Galician and Rusyns, why should there not be a mixed Carpathian musical tradition?
I did not miss that point. I specifically noted that more flexibility would be required in such parishes.

The musicological similarities, whatever that might precisely entail, are not as interesting, IMO, as that sense of ownership that I was talking about - which makes the music itself and the chanting, in an exquisitely intimate way, the work of the people.
I would also point out the success of the OCA musically with the work of Dr. Drillock and others who have done a tremendous job not focusing on only one chant subtradition and singling it out for "preservation", but have made a much larger Byzantine-Slavic chant tradition available, including Carpatho-Russian, Bulgarian, Znamenny, etc.

Some of the growing Orthodox jurisdictions have been more inclusive musically, not by setting liturgical texts to Western ditties outside of the tradition but rather by exposing the faithful to the riches of other chant traditions.
The OCA, as you pointed out on another thread, is the exemplar of "mixed" traditions. In that sense the situation is different than the BCC. Is it not fair to say, moreover, there there is indeed some singling out of the Russian tradition in the territorial dioceses?

Finally there is a difference in perspective associated with their use of choirs to "expose" various chant traditions ot the congregation, and our use of congregational singing, which really requires familiarity with a specific repetoire.
When there are Bulgarian, Romanian and Albanian dioceses within the OCA, I would tend to disagree with your last statement.

And, as I mentioned considering the present makeup of Midwest and West parishes, where anyone of direct original Rusyn ancestry may be a small or non-existent minority, I don't think it is all that different at all from the situation with some OCA parishes.

It really varies from parish to parish, as even some of the former Galician and Rusyn parishes which ended up in the OCA have kept their previous musical traditions. In general I think the OCA has shied away from "official" musical promulgations precisely because of the musical diversity not only between dioceses but between parishes.

But then again, with anything Byzantine, don't things to a great extent vary from parish to parish? wink
Sorry, I edited while you were responding; my "last" statement was about territorial diocese, which means in the OCA those that are identified by geography rather than ethnicity (Albanian, Rumanian,...).
If the hierarchy of the Ruthenian Metropolia desires to save the Plainchant tradition, why have they turned a deaf ear to cantors who teach extensive repetoire of Prostopinije?. Why have they not asked experienced cantors such as Jerry Jumba and John Vernoski for their imput? I'm not slighting John Thompson for his work. I just would like to know why many other educated cantors are not asked to paticipate in the liturgical training of future cantors. It comes down to the hierarchy not repecting the important role of the parish cantor. How many parishes even actually pay their cantors? Everyone seems to think we can get by with volunteer cantoring. Until our hierarchy make a major effort (which means spending money) in the training of future cantors, our Plainchant tradition will not survive.

Ung-Certez
SLAVA ISUSU CHRISTU!

Ung, I for one, would like to know what happened to the thousands and thousands of hours of tape that Jerry Jumba made of our cantors from various parishes around the country.

He had recorded hundreds of melodies that were unique to Ruthenian Plainchant.

Is this all gone forever???

confused

mark
Mark, I wholeheartedly agree. The VERY BEST propstopinje self-training tape I ever heard was one handed to me of Jerry solo with some valuable interspersed explanations, some of them approaching anecdotal notes which made them even more endearing.

Unfortunately my tapes have disappeared a long time ago, victims of overplaying and cannbilistic tape machines. frown

Ung's point about support are also very poignant. After nearly 20 years of cantoring in both UGCC and BCC parishes, usually the only time I ever got paid was funerals or weddings, and then by the families and not the parish involved. I'm sure this is a similar experience to many diaki in the USA of either church.

In the villages, of whatever mixed Carpathian chant tradition, the diaki were very well respected, sometimes even more than the clergy.

RC "music ministers" are almost always compensated for their efforts in leading and coordinating liturgical music.
Quote
Originally posted by Diak:
.........
RC "music ministers" are almost always compensated for their efforts in leading and coordinating liturgical music.
HUH ?? confused confused eek eek

Not here they ain't frown us poor folk are all unpaid volunteers [ I'm just choir - but we do see our Choir Mistress gets a wee minding every Christmas and Easter for all her work with us. All the organist gets is an official key to the Organ Loft !
Diak, "Amin", you're preaching to the "chor" on that issue. Why buy the "korova" when the "moloko" is free? Until financial resources are spent on both cantorial training and on salaries for cantors, Plainchant won't survive.

Ung-Certez
Quote
...why have they turned a deaf ear to cantors who teach extensive repetoire of Prostopinije?. Why have they not asked experienced cantors such as Jerry Jumba and John Vernoski for their imput? ... why many other educated cantors are not asked to paticipate in the liturgical training of future cantors.
Great questions. My guess is that to make progress swifter and to avoid feuds over artistic differences it is considered important to keep the committee fairly small (three cantors, Bishop Andrew, and Father Pipta are listed in the Van Nuys newsletter.) But if this committee doesn't get much broader input, then they are wasting their time. What Mark mentions about the work of Jerry Jumba is very important. Like Bokshaj he investigated the grassroots practice; a top-down approach that is not informed by that practice cannot hope to correct, regularize, or elaborate it. Unless it is all as smooth as silk, it will just be ignored. I hope that this mistake is avoided.

With the coming of the internet, there are so many things now possible to improve our music. I am hopeful that there will emerge from this committee a website wthat will allow for an exchange of musical renderings. Father Sloan Rolando's choir practice site is a good example of possibilities (his dreadful four-part renderings of Carpatho-Rusyn prostopinije, however, make me cringe). There is another site from an OCA parish in Texas that has even worse settings, but nevertheless still shows how it is possible to use the internet effectively. And Mark's parish also sets a fine example.

The "new" music has been discussed here already some time ago. Why is it not on the internet?
Quote
Originally posted by Ung-Certez:
If the hierarchy of the Ruthenian Metropolia desires to save the Plainchant tradition, why have they turned a deaf ear to cantors who teach extensive repetoire of Prostopinije?. Why have they not asked experienced cantors such as Jerry Jumba and John Vernoski for their imput?...
Ung-Certez
Ah, here is the real complaint. It's not that the hierarchs have not done anything, but that the "right" people have not been "consulted". Whenever a descision has to be made, someone is always going to be unhappy or dissatified. Outside of Professor Thompson, I do not know the other two cantors from Parma or Passaic, but I'm quite sure they are accomplished cantors in their respective eparchies. Fr Robert Pipta, in addition to being raised in the Painchant of the Byzantine Church (his father is a cantor), studied music prior to entering the seminary. In my unlearned opinion, I think it unfair to slam a prudential judgement because the "right" persons are not involved.
When the Metropolia turns away educated cantors who have taught and completed intense research of Plainchant for over 25 years, it seems to be a deliberate plan. When Byzantine Catholic cantors who are forced to look for cantoring positions among our sister Orthodox parishes because the Metropolia doesn't want to pay them, I think it makes our hiearchy look bad. It seems over the last decade we have been our own worst enemies.
I believe the hierarchy isn't interested in preseving Plainchant,even in English. I think the hierarchy wants newer, non-ethnic liturgical music in order not to be labeled as an "ethnic church". I don't think this is the way for our Church to survive. We will lose a lot more members when we no longer care to perpetuate our Plainchant.

Ung-Certez
Quote
Originally posted by Ung-Certez:
When the Metropolia turns away educated cantors who have taught and completed intense research of Plainchant for over 25 years, it seems to be a deliberate plan. When Byzantine Catholic cantors who are forced to look for cantoring positions among our sister Orthodox parishes because the Metropolia doesn't want to pay them, I think it makes our hiearchy look bad. It seems over the last decade we have been our own worst enemies.
I believe the hierarchy isn't interested in preseving Plainchant,even in English. I think the hierarchy wants newer, non-ethnic liturgical music in order not to be labeled as an "ethnic church". I don't think this is the way for our Church to survive. We will lose a lot more members when we no longer care to perpetuate our Plainchant.

Ung-Certez
Yup,

Everything is a conspiracy, no room for the emotions, politics and such! We who are the metropolia are the ones to blame. How many parishes insist on stations of the cross, rosaries and such. While "the Metropolia" is attempting to change and correct things, there has been much resistance from within. Complaints of this 'new' music is too hard to sing when it is really the same notes our ancestors used only fuel such resistance. The metropolia gets their money through US. WE must be willing to pay. It is not US vs THEM.

You seem to be set on seeing only the negative side of the issue. Have you been to the seminary cantor school? have you seen the material? I have.

See my original response to you on page 2 prior to the DJS/DIAK conversation.

I think Deacon John Montalvo hit the issue on the head.

Steve
Steve wrote: --Complaints of this 'new' music is too hard to sing when it is really the same notes our ancestors used only fuel such resistance.--

The �new� music is impossible to sing. Everyone I show it to just grimaces. The people at the seminary keep telling us to wait until it�s promulgated before making a judgment. Once it�s promulgated it will be too late. Ung-Certez is right. This new junk is going to drive people away from our churches because they can�t sing it.
There hasn't been mass distribution of the new music yet. I wish anyone with the music in there hands would go ahead and put in on one of the web sites. My concern is that it will contain only 10% of what used to be sung. It will be nothing but a small, overly-simplified new version of that 1960's English pew book that will have one melody for the Trisagion, one melody for the Cherubic Hymn, etc. It would be a shame to over look the enormous amount of Painchant music that is available from numerous cantor's private collections. An authentic liturgical tradition will not survive when it's reduced to a small portion. I find in very ironic that there have been scholars at several well-known universities that have spent decades writing about the uniqueness of the Subcarpathian Plainchant tradition while we in the Ruthenian Metropolia believe it is something that should be diminished.

As far as individuals financially supporting cantorial training, I will be the first to send a check to the seminary if a real attempt would be made at training cantors.

Ung-Certez
Quote
Originally posted by Ung-Certez:
It will be nothing but a small, overly-simplified new version of that 1960's English pew book that will have one melody for the Trisagion, one melody for the Cherubic Hymn, etc.
(snip)
An authentic liturgical tradition will not survive when it's reduced to a small portion. I find in very ironic that there have been scholars at several well-known universities that have spent decades writing about the uniqueness of the Subcarpathian Plainchant tradition while we in the Ruthenian Metropolia believe it is something that should be diminished.

As far as individuals financially supporting cantorial training, I will be the first to send a check to the seminary if a real attempt would be made at training cantors.

Ung-Certez
The grey 1965 pew book, which I have in my hands a I type, has but 2 Trisagion melodies, 1 Alleluia melody, ONE Cherubic hym melodyeek ...etc, etc, etc. This is what many parishes used for quite a time. I don't see how one could make a new pew book more simplified than that! The Cantor knew the other melodies and taught them to the parishioners!!!
cool

The green pew book (Passaic, with music) had a few more choices, though the arrangements still left something to be desired.

Save your check. You will likely never be satisfied with any plainchant music someone other than you decides upon.

As to "we in the Ruthenian Metropolia" who "believe it is something that should be diminished.", I certainly do not share that opinion and am a member of the Metropolia.

"What you mean 'We', Kimosabe?" asks Tonto.

Steve Petach
Cantor
Do you not think having a variety of melodies would be better than one or two? When other variant melodies are no longer sung, they will be forgotten. I would like to ask a question to all of our parishes, how many traditional, para-liturgical "koljady" (in English) are still sung? I would guess very few, and probably more Latin/Western Carols are sung instead. Another example that even when sung in English, our carols are too ethnic for the powers that be.

Ung-Certez
Quote
Originally posted by Ung-Certez:
I would like to ask a question to all of our parishes, how many traditional, para-liturgical "koljady" (in English) are still sung? I would guess very few, and probably more Latin/Western Carols are sung instead. Another example that even when sung in English, our carols are too ethnic for the powers that be.

Ung-Certez
Ung Certez,

I will answer as far as my own personal experience....

I guess all those koljady that I sang last year (in English)wasn't enough to please some in the crowd. I even sang some in Slavonic! eek

I would like to visit your parish and hear what you complain about, though I can't make it for Christmas. I will be in Pittsburgh in February, March, September, October and November of 2004. I usually attend Holy Ghost in McKees Rocks, though I try to visit other parishes while I am in town.

Steve Petach
Van Nuys, CA
Quote
Originally posted by Frank C:

The “new” music is impossible to sing. Everyone I show it to just grimaces.
(snip)
This new junk is going to drive people away from our churches because they can't sing it.
Frank C.

Wow, I can do the impossible!!! and so can about 100 others whom I know. It is a matter of looking at the music and comparing it to the original music in the 1906 Bokshai to see that there is nothing 97 years new about it. Maybe it's the translation that upsets you more than the music, Hmmm?

It took thirty years for the english translations we know so well now to become just that, well known.

Steve
In my short time as a BCC cantor I have come to understand that an elaborate setting of anything will likely end up as a solo, or be sung by very few people until they become familiar with it. This is especially true when a given setting is for a single day, and is not reused for another year. People who don't read music often opt out, and those who do, often prefer to be at ease with the setting before singing. It is also rare for even the cantors to rehearse together. Is all this true in most other parishes? These facts influence what the parish WILL sing, regardless of endorsements. Under these circumstances being pragmatic is reasonable, because after all, the congregation gathers for worship, not to support a particular musical style or setting. In general, returning to historic musical and liturgical roots needs to be accomplished with minimal disruption for worshippers. No easy task for any of us.
Quote
Frank C wrote:
This new junk is going to drive people away from our churches because they can�t sing it.
Frank C.,

The first rule of the Forum is charity. Please find a way to express your opinions in a way that is charitable. People put a lot of work into arranging music. All of this work assists in the building up of the Church.

Admin
Dear Administrator,

Thank you for ensuring we are all singing from the same hymn-book!

Alex
Jim, there is nothing wrong with having to solo on certain parts, such as a Dohmat at Vespers or an intricate irmos, which are still in Znamenny to a large extent and can get quite intricate. But the Liturgy, Resurrectional Tones, etc. should be singeable for everyone.

Neumes often work well for people who don't read music, and I actually prefer neumes to written music myself although I can follow written music.
Ya know,

One of the focii of the Cantor school is to train cantors in the "new" music. It's impossible to train people who don't come.

I've been going for five years - and during that time the "new" new music has been introduced, sung, revised, reviewed, sung some more, etc. Comments and sugestions have been sought and adopted. One example of things that have been done to make the music more "user friendly"- a "feathered" note is the doodad that indicates "keep on this note until you finish this particular section." It looks more or less like this: |O| . We use a lot of 'em, because in our chant, there's often a bunch of text on a note. Our "old" books always put the feathered note between a beginning and an ending note on the same pitch. This is not necessarily common in standard music, but it makes it easier for the untrained eye to follow. The music wasn't originally set up this way, but it was all "retrofitted" to accommodate the preference.

How many times does it need to be said? There is TREMENDOUS interest by our hierarchs in preserving our liturgical musical heritage!

I don't think the process is perfect, (and yes, some very faithful people have been treated shabbily, and it troubles me, & I don't know what to do about it, since most of these folks are friends or at least friendly acquaintances and I'm not a bishop) and sure, some of it isn't the way (omnipotent, omniscient) *I* would have set it, but on the whole, it MAKES SENSE - and some of our stuff - at least the English versions, have NEVER made musical sense.

As for the hymns, I need to approach our new pastor about 'em. We don't do Vespers or Matins except on rare occasion, and it would be nice to introduce sme seasonally appropriate hymnody that folks could sing.

Heretically yours,

Sharon
SLAVA ISUSU CHRISTU!

DIAK wrote:"...there is nothing wrong with having to solo on certain parts...

Diak, one of the most increidble solo's I've ever heard was on the Dormition Feast when one of my friend's (now a priest) from Uzhorod was singing the Oce Nas. He sang the first few verses and the congregation responded Oce Nas...

I got chills when he first started and soon had tears running down my eyes...

I'll have to look for the cassette he made for me of the different melodies that he sang...

the least servant

mark
Christ is in our midst!

I use this greeting for this post because the lack of charity on this topic has been distressing to me. Perhaps this greeting will remind all of us that when we are rude or act with a lack of trust to another, we actually do it to our Lord and Savior.

So much of what has been discussed on this thread comes off as "either/or" thinking. In the best liturgical and pastoral work, "both/and" reactions tend to produce the most fruit---and the Gospels assure us that "by their fruits shall you know them."

At the Cathedral in Munhall, we sing the carols as they are given in the books printed by Msgr. Levkulic (may his memory be eternal). In general, though, I try to sing two Rusyn-origin carols for every "western" carol. My feeling about this is:
the other carols can be sung somewhere else, but the Rusyn carols will only be sung by us in church (or, in very lucky places, by carolers going from house to house).

Anyone familiar with the hymns I have written to go with the Byzantine Sunday Lectionary is aware that all of the melodies utilized in that collection are Rusyn melodies, mostly from the collection of Marian hymns, with a few well-known tunes from other places (like Kol Slaven Nas, or the Krestu Tvojemu hymn-tune from the Lenten Hymnal, or "Christos voskres!" for the Paschal Sundays). In one case, I actually wrote the music for one hymn (used on the Sundays of the Great Fast); and in four cases (the two Sundays before Christmas, the Sunday after Christmas, and Theophany) I utilized "western" carol melodies---melodies which were included in the Levkulic Christmas publications.

While we are on this subject: at least three of the standard "Rusyn" carols for the Nativity are either of foreign import (Polish or Slovak origin) or are such common usage in the Slavic Catholic world that it's now impossible to tell where they showed up first. So, it's often historically inaccurate to assume that all "Rusyn" carols are in fact of Rusyn origin.

When I came to the Cathedral, there was a drastic abbreviation of the Compline service, which included RECITED texts (the hymns of the Litija). We have since gone back to the "original" Levkulic book which, though drastically shortened, has true prostopinije melodies for all of the texts. It's not the best solution, but it's better than what was done before. At some point, I hope that the Inter-Eparchial Liturgical Commission tackles the texts of Christmas.

In the morning of Christmas Eve, we sing the Royal Hours with all the attendant Troparia and Stichera appointed, in their proper tones.

Also, in the afternoon of Christmas Eve, we sing the Vespers and Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, all again with the proper melodies.

In all cases, the singing of para-liturgical hymns (while fostered and sung lustily) never takes over or encroaches on the appointed texts of the services.

Much of this is MORE than was done before I came on board the Cathedral Staff.

This is not posted in the interest of self-exculpation, but rather in the interest of accuracy.

(Prof.) J. Michael Thompson
Byzantine Catholic Seminary
Pittsburgh, PA

P.S. Who, please, is John Thompson????
Thank you Professor Thompson, I couldn't agree more! If you have the most 'perfect music' in church...the most 'correct' byzantine icons...the most beautiful vestments...and the most uplifting services---you don't have ANYTHING without CHARITY! Without CHARITY, you are simply the 'Church of Latter Day Pharisees'...with everything all pretty on the OUTside...and on the INside filled with 'dead men's bones' and all that stinks! Learn to love the differences in each other...learn to desire NOT to be always right...and then just maybe, you will BEGIN to have a tiny bit of humility?!---then when you have a tiny bit of humility, then you might have a tiny bit of the presence of Christ!

Just a thought from an aging monk.

In Him Who calls us,
+Father Archimandrite Gregory
I'm not here to argue about what others deem important and not important in Plainchant preservation and education. I'm not here to insult people who have produced the new music. I'm just stating my opinion. In the end, if the majority of faithful feel it to be clumsy and cumbersome, most parishes will revert to the older Levkulic arrangements. I just think that by leaving many learned cantors out of the decision making process to be a real shame. How five or six individuals get to make decisions for the entire Metropolia seems a little unfair.

U-C
Interesting exchange of ideas.

Here's some food for thought:

Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you couldn't belong wink

Yurij from Canada
Quote
Originally posted by Ung-Certez:
I just think that by leaving many learned cantors out of the decision making process to be a real shame. How five or six individuals get to make decisions for the entire Metropolia seems a little unfair.

U-C
Dear U-C,

when all is said and done, the number is actually four people (the Bishops)who make decisions for the entire Metropolia.
© The Byzantine Forum