Glory to Jesus Christ!
Music for the Great Fast
Cheesefare Sunday, and the Sundays of the Great Fast
The Metropolitan Cantor Institute has leaflets with the propers for Vespers, Matins, and the Divine Liturgy for Cheesefare Sunday and each of the five Sundays of the Great Fast. See the Liturgical Calendar box to the right, or the complete Liturgical Calendar.
In many parishes, Vespers is also celebrated on Sunday evenings during the Fast. The following materials are available from the MCI:
- The Order of Vespers on Sunday Afternoons in the Great Fast - an 81-page booklet with text and music for Sunday evening Vespers throughout the Great Fast; this book is used with the 1-page "saints only" propers for each Sunday (see the Liturgical Calendar).
- The Order of Vespers on Sunday Evening for the Sunday of Forgiveness (Cheesefare Sunday) and the Sundays of the Great Fast - a 28-page booklet with text and music for the fixed parts of Vespers on Lenten Sunday evenings; this book is used with the full (multisheet) propers for Sunday evening Vespers. (See the Liturgical Calendar box.)
Weekdays of the Great Fast
The following materials are available for Lenten weekdays:
Music for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts can be found in the official Presanctified books that were officially promulgated by the bishops in 2010. The Recordings page has a complete set of recordings for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.
Cantors' Guides for the Great Fast
The Cantor Institute is in the process of preparing "cantor's guides" for the major services in our rite. These will eventually be available in PDF, podcast, and video format as well.
- Cantor's Guide to Sunday Evening Vespers in the Great Fast -- NEW --
- Cantor's Guide to the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
We welcome suggestions for this series.
Choral Recording of the Presanctified Liturgy
In 2012, the Schola Cantorum of Saint Peter in Chicago recorded the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Here are a few selections from this recording; the entire service is available on CD from the Byzantine Seminary Press.
- Solemn evening psalm - "Let my prayer ascend"
- Entrance hymn - "Now the Powers"
- Pre-communion - "One is Holy"
Beginning Cantor's Course announced
On June 6-8, the Metropolitan Cantor Institute will hold a three-day weekend course for new cantors, intended to equip them to begin serving as assistant cantors by the end of the summer. The course will be held at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh; food, lodging, and materials will be provided.
Later in the summer, we hope to repeat the course in one of our other eparchies, at some distance from Pittsburgh.Watch this space for more details on both courses.
Sunday Afternoon Vespers in the Pittsburgh area
This year, area cantors will be leading the singing of Sunday afternoon Vespers for the Sundays of the Great Fast in the Great Pittsburgh area; the schedule can be found in the Byzantine Catholic World. (In the past few years, the singing has been led by our seminarians, but we feel it is important that cantors step up to this responsibility.) A Lenten meal is served afterward.
Each service starts at 4:00 PM. Cantors who want to help lead the congregational singing are asked to arrive at 3:15 PM.
Metropolitan Cantor Institute announces plans for 2014
The following plan was approved by Metropolitan William on January 3, 2014. Further details will be announced here as they become available.
The Metropolitan Cantor Institute exists to support and foster liturgical singing in the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh. Under the direction of the bishops, and in cooperation with 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.
All work of the Institute is oriented toward the worship and mission of the Byzantine Catholic Church. All music and service books prepared by the Institute are entirely provisional until promulgated by the Council of Hierarchs, and the Institute’s activity within each Eparchy must be approved by the eparchial bishop.
With input from cantors and clergy, the Metropolitan Cantor Institute has prepared a set of certification standards for cantors. These standards are set intentionally high, so that a cantor who meets them should be able to dependably lead the singing in any of our parishes for the normal services celebrated throughout the liturgical year.
The Institute is committed to providing education and assistance in support of these standards. Each eparchial bishop, however, actually grants any certification of cantors for his eparchy.
Beginning in 2014, the Institute will work with the distance education director of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary to provide online educational materials in support of in-person cantor training. We will develop a way to assess cantors' learning for their own benefit, and to track cantor-student progress. These materials will be available to all cantors and trainee-cantors in the Byzantine Catholic Church. They are intended to assist, NOT REPLACE, in-person instruction.
When a new funeral book is available, we will hold workshops in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh on its implementation, and make the workshop materials available to the other eparchies. We will use this to validate the combination of distance education and in-person classes.
This summer, the Metropolitan Cantor Institute will hold a 3-day "Cantor's Boot Camp" in the Pittsburgh area, and repeat it in one of the other eparchies (probably on the East or West coast, as seems most appropriate to the Council of Hierarchs). This course will be essentially equivalent to the first year of the Cantor Institute program (on the Divine Liturgy), but will depend on the development of local mentoring relationships for the cantors who take the course so that they can continue their education when they go home.
In the Fall of 2014, the Institute will resume regular monthly classes for cantors, focusing on the subjects NOT taught in the "Cantor's Boot Camp." The aim of these classes is to provide a program that allows cantors to attain certification in one summer, plus three years. Between now and the end of the summer, the Institute will work with the other eparchies to establish relationships that will make it possible to replicate these courses in the other eparchies. Distance education, advance planning, and continuing mentoring are the keys to this effort.
Identifying and Honoring our Cantors
In 1974, for its fiftieth anniversary, the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh honored all its cantors, current and retired, in the context of the St. Nicholas Dinner, at which the program booklet included photos and brief biographies of each cantor.
For the 90th anniversary, in 2014, we would like to honor the cantors of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh in a similar fashion, and encourage the other eparchies to do likewise. This has the potential to bear fruit for years to come in increased awareness of and respect for our church singing and its practitioners.
The chancery will be contacting each parish in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh in order to compile a current list of our cantors.
Integrating Church Singing into Parish Renewal
Several priests in the Metropolia have already begun programs among the faithful to enliven the liturgical singing in their own parishes. This year, the Institute will evaluate these programs and work to implement them more broadly.
For more information, contact the newly-appointed director of the Metropoilitan Cantor Institute, Jeff Mierzejewski, at (412) 735-1657, or email@example.com.
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. Earlier this year, Metropolitan William put out a request to clergy to help in this effort.
Later this year, we will be posting a list of particular items we are looking for, as well as some scanned images that we could use help identifying.
We are also interested in recordings. Here is our working list current list of Greek Catholic plain chant and choral recordings done in the United States:
If you have additional information about any of the recordings in this list (or if you have access to copies of recordings that the seminary does not yet have), please contact us!
Unfortunately, we were unable to hold a Cantors' Day of Recollection this year, and so we are providing here the talks from last year's retreat, which was given at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Munhall, PA.
- 2012 Cantor's Retreat - morning session (40 minutes)
- 2012 Cantor's Retreat - afternoon session (45 minutes)
Both talks about by Fr. David Mastroberte, a priest of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese.
A number of electronic mailing lists are available for Byzantine Catholic cantors and those interested in church music. Click on the name of the group to sign up.
|mcinews||Announcements of cantor education opportunities in the Byzantine Catholic Church|
|mcicantors||Open discussion list for cantors to discuss Byzantine liturgy, plain chant, and congregational leadership.|
|mcichoral||Open discussion list for choir directors, choir members, and those interested in choral music|
|mcimusicfiles||Monthly distribution of sheet music from the Metropolitan Cantor Institute|
These lists will eventually replace the under-used Forum on this website. Each list is archived, so older posts can be viewed and searched. Please sign up for the lists of interest to you!