Glory to Jesus Christ!
Open House at Byzantine Seminary Press
This Saturday, December 7, from 10 AM to 2 PM, there will be an open house at the Byzantine Seminary Press, including a book signing for Lights from the East: Pray for Us, a new book by former MCI director J. Michael Thompson. Please support our seminary press! (You can also pick up a copy of the 2014 Typikon.)
Music for the Episcopal Ordination of Fr. Kurt Burnette
In preparation for the episcopal ordination of Fr. Kurt Burnette on December 4, 2013, the Council of Hierarchs of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh approved texts and music for the services associated with episcopal ordination and enthronment. (Portions of this music are also used in the wedding service, and so should be learned by all cantors.)
Feast of Saint Nicholas
Here is a recording of Great Vespers for the Feast of Saint Nicholas, recorded by the Schola Cantorum of Saint Peter.
- Introduction, Beginning prayers, and Psalm 103
- Litany of Peace
- The First Kathisma ("Blessed is the man")
- Psalm 140 ("O Lord, I have cried")
- Stichera at the Lamplighting Psalms - part 1
- Stichera at the Lamplighting Psalms - part 2
- Stichera at the Lamp-lighting Psalms - part 3
- Festive entrance ("O Joyful light")
- Hymns of the Litija
- Prayer of Simeon ("Now you may dismiss your servant, O Lord")
- Troparia, and Blessing of bread
Chant harmonization workshop
Recordings and handouts for this workshop are now available!
The Pre-Christmas Fast
The Christmas Fast, in preparation for the feast of the Nativity on December 25, is one of the minor fasts of the Church. This fast of forty days was introduced in the 12th century. Counting back 40 days from the feast of the Nativity, the fast begins on the evening of November 14 - the feast of the holy apostle Phillip. As a result, it is traditionally called Phillip's Fast or the Phillipian Fast (in Slavonic, Filipovka). (complete article)
The Feast of Our Lord's Nativity
The feast of Christmas, which the liturgical books of the Byzantine Rite call The nativity (birth) in the flesh of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, begins the cycle of winter feasts that are sometimes called the "Feasts of Light". These feasts -- the Nativity, Theophany, and Meeting - have a common focus: the coming of the Messiah into the world, and the beginning of His work of redemption. (complete article)
See also Hymns for the Christmas Season.
The Divine Liturgy in Church Slavonic
This workshop for cantors was held on December 15, 2012. Recordings are now available online.
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!
In-parish coaching and feedback
One real need that many new cantors experience - especially for those who are not fortunate enough to be working directly with an experienced cantor as mentor - is constructive feedback. This year, we will be investigating possibilities for what professional singers call "process coaching", in which an MCI instructor will come to the parish of a student entolled in the Basic Cantor's Class or Cantor School program, attend and record a service, and provide feedback and guidance for improvement. Details will be announced at a future date.
New downloadable materials
Metropolitan William has also asked the MCI invest more time and energy in downloadable service books and instructional materials, particularly for new environments such as smart phones and tablet computers. For example, we might package music for individual feasts as downloaded "albums" in MP3 format, and provide chant and liturgy tutorials as podcasts. If you have suggestions, now is a good time to make them!
Looking for Local Recordings of Prostopinije!
We would like to expand our archival collection of recorded prostopinije, old and new, in order to provide a record of prostopinije use in Europe and in the New World, to prevent any further loss of melodies, and to support the process of setting texts in English to the Church's plainchant.
Parishes or individuals with recorded prostopinije who are willing to grant non-exclusive webcast rights to the Metropolitan Cantor Institute are asked to contact the webmaster, Jeff Mierzejewski, at Plainchanter@gmail.com. Along with the recordings themselves, please provide a description of where and when they were recorded, and the names of the cantor(s) if known.