Becoming a Cantor

Cantors are vital of the worship of the Byzantine Catholic Church, and have been a respected part of our church's tradition. Most likely you have come to this page because you feel you might be called to become a cantor, or because your pastor or others in your congregation have asked to consider becoming one.

To be a cantor in the Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic Church, you will need to become a skilled liturgical singer:

Above all, you will need to learn to lead the singing in church in a way that is comfortable, prayerful, and suitable to the worship of Almighty God.

Taking the first steps

If you would like to become a cantor:

If you still feel called to consider a vocation as a cantor, sign up for the first two MCI courses: Introduction to Liturgy and Introduction to Church Singing, the next time they are offered. When you have completed these courses, you will be interviewed by an MCI instructor and formally enter the MCI cantor education program. Note that a certain basic level of singing ability and willingness to work are minimum requirements for the cantor education program. Students need to demonstrate these before will be accepted as student cantors.

The important of perseverance

As you continue through the Metropolitan Cantor Institute program, you will learn to follow and appreciate the Church's liturgy, and develop comfort and familiarity in our plain chant. You will also have the opportunity to learn to pray better, and to work with your clergy and fellow parishioners.

Like any vocation, there is no way to know for certain what your future will be . But if you are called to become a church cantor, you will find that you have an opportunity to bring many around you into the beauty that God wishes us to have in relationship with Him, through liturgy, prayer, and song.

Becoming a parish cantor

Just having the skills of a cantor is not enough; because a cantor is a leader in the church, you need to work with your pastor to earn and establish your place as a dedicated and reliable leader of church singing. Through the Metropolitan Cantor Institute courses, you will learn about the roles of clergy, laity, readers and cantors, and how to make these work our fruitfully for the Church. The Cantor Institute is also in touch with our eparchies and parishes, and can provide information about parishes in your area which may need the assistance of a church cantor.

While eventual certification as a cantor is not required, it is one way to demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills to serve anywhere in our church as a parish cantor.